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Best Most Secure Diary/Journal App Throughout The Years?


macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
Los Angeles, Ca

So back in 2011 I purchased the DayOne Journaling app. On both the Mac App Store and the iOS App Store. Since all those years I believe the company went to a subscription service model, yearly and I abandoned ship sometime around 2015-2016 according to my journal entries.

For longevity sake, Im sure I backup up all of my journal entries that I typed within the app into a password protected day one file and also a password protected pdf file that has all the entries. These files are currently on a backup drive.

My question here is I am apprehensive about committing my writings to solely one app, as the goal is for me to be able to access my writings decades from now and for only me to be the one to do so. Do you think password protected pdf's will be considered a joke in the future? Or the DayOne encryption backup file I make will be accessible with future versions they may release?

I guess I am asking for the most secure alternative and one that'll survive the digital ages?


macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2009
I use MacJournal but it seems to be loosing entries, which is VERY bad. I wanted to pull up some entries from a few years ago and they were lost?

I like a text only digital journal since it is searchable and dosnt take much space. It is harsh not being able to port your text journal entries to another format. Keep in mind once you start down a path your likely stuck with it.

my advice for what it is worth:
keep it simple. Use a simple Excel spread sheet and do one entry per day.


macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2016
Paper and pen :D
This. Digital material is nice, but for archival purposes it truly sucks and will not survive. I am reminded of all the materials I put into digital formats back in the 80's on my old C-64. They are gone forever and just cannot be accessed. Same for others that I know on the same and even different platforms. If you want it to exist in the future it has to be in a physical format. Pen and paper will work just fine. Or typewriter and paper. I'd say print it out in laser, but I have no idea how long toner lasts. Ink is good for centuries.


Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
For longevity, no data format beats plain text files. I have some that are from the days of 8" floppy disks. They've been recopied several times onto different media, for obvious reasons. They currently live only on a few CD's, since I tossed the fanfold printouts years ago.

For media, I wouldn't plan on any specific one lasting for decades. More specifically, I would overtly plan to use varied media over the decades. Pick a popular format now, like say SD cards plus DVDs, and make multiple copies of your data, using a file-system that will have a long life. For the file-system, I'd probably pick FAT32, or something used by CD's or DVD's, mainly because of the quantity of data around the world that's still in that format.

As to secrecy (which is what I presume you mean by "security"), I don't think anything will last for decades. The closest would probably be a C program you have all the source code for, that you can recompile as a command-line tool on any future platform. Even then, I wouldn't bet everything on that. Plan to change that as needed, so make sure you have a working tested plan for how to get all your data in and out of whatever encryption you use.

Also remember that encryption effectively becomes weaker over time, in the sense that attacks only get better, not worse. So be sure you know who you're defending against, for how long, and what kind of resources they'd bring to bear. If all you're doing is blocking casual viewing, then maybe ROT-13 is good enough (or another simple transposition cipher).

Another aspect of security, in a broader sense, is ensuring integrity over the decades. Calculate and store hashes (e.g. SHA-256) for every file, and verify they're still good on all your copies of the data on different media. Keep multiple copies in separate places, say at home, at work, and in a safe deposit box. There are also error-correcting codes that could be employed, but that's another thing you'd probably need to maintain your own software for, if you expect it to live for decades.
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macrumors 603
Jan 10, 2012
the Delta Quadrant
Wow what great info. I use iA Writer to type out my journals to a text file (one per month) then I copy and paste to Day One and use my phone to add photos if I have any. Then at the end of the month I export Day One to pdf. The text files and pdf export are in a folder by month. Day One is encrypted with a key.
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