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Top 10 Best Free Apps for Designing Your Personalized Journals and Planners

woman using desing app to design her planner

One of the best parts of journaling is customizing and designing your very own journals and diaries for entries! From working on original layouts and spreads to customizing little accents and other details that make your diary unique. Ah, how I love this part! 

Whether you're a bullet journal enthusiast, a productivity guru, or simply someone who craves a touch of creativity in their daily routine, these apps empower you to design the perfect companion for your thoughts and plans. Here's a curated list of the top 10 free apps for crafting personalized journals and planners:

10 Best Free Apps for Designing Personalized Journals and Planners

Canva reigns supreme for its user-friendly interface and a vast library of design elements. It boasts a collection of pre-designed planner templates that can be easily customized with fonts, colors, and graphics. Create weekly or monthly spreads, habit trackers, and mood boards – all within the intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Canva also integrates with Google Drive, allowing seamless online storage and collaboration.

For the organizationally inclined, Notion stands out. This powerful app goes beyond basic journaling, offering features for task management, note-taking, and database building. Craft stunning custom planners with linked databases that automatically update across your pages. Notion's flexibility allows you to create intricate project trackers, budget planners, and even gamified goal-setting journals.

Don't underestimate the power of readily available tools! Google Slides, a familiar friend for presentations, doubles as a surprisingly effective planner builder. Design custom layouts with text boxes, tables, and images. Use the "Master Slides" feature to create consistent layouts across your entire planner. While not as feature-rich as dedicated design apps, Google Slides offers a free, accessible option for crafting basic yet functional planners.

Jot+ caters specifically to digital journaling enthusiasts. It provides a plethora of customizable templates for bullet journals, habit trackers, mood trackers, and gratitude journals. Jot+ offers a variety of pen styles and highlighting options, allowing you to personalize your entries for a more traditional journaling experience. The app also includes password protection for added privacy.

Planner Bee focuses on simplicity and aesthetics. Choose from a range of beautiful pre-designed planner templates, or create your own from scratch. Its intuitive interface allows for easy customization of colors, fonts, and stickers. Planner Bee includes features like password protection, cloud storage, and the ability to export your planner as a PDF for printing.

woman using desing app to design her planner

Another familiar app with surprising journaling potential is Microsoft OneNote. This free note-taking app allows you to create digital notebooks with unlimited pages. Use a combination of text, images, and handwritten notes to create a dynamic and visually appealing journal. OneNote excels at organizing information, letting you categorize entries with tags and sections for efficient information retrieval.

For an app that truly mimics the pen-and-paper experience, look no further than Noteshelf. This app boasts a pressure-sensitive writing experience that feels incredibly natural. Import images, PDFs, and web clippings to enrich your journal entries. Utilize the audio recording feature to capture voice notes or interviews alongside your handwritten entries.

Papier stands out for its focus on social journaling. Create beautiful, interactive journals and share them with friends or keep them private. Use collaborative features like polls, quizzes, and drawings for a unique journaling experience with your loved ones. Papier offers a free tier with limited features, but premium subscriptions unlock additional customization options and collaborative tools.

GoodNotes is a popular note-taking app that doubles as a powerful journaling tool. Import PDFs, images, and web clippings to create rich and informative entries. Utilize its annotation features to highlight text, add drawings, and insert sticky notes. GoodNotes offers excellent handwriting recognition, turning your scribbles into searchable text for improved organization.

Journey is a unique app that focuses on journaling as a self-discovery tool. It provides daily prompts and guided meditations to help you explore your thoughts and feelings. Track your mood, set goals, and reflect on your progress over time. Journey offers a free trial with limited features, but a premium subscription unlocks additional prompts, meditations, and customization options.

woman using desing app to design her planner


Crafting a personalized journal or planner isn't just about organization; it's about fostering creativity and expressing yourself. These free apps empower you to take control of your organization and journaling journey. Additionally, check out and download my digital junk journaling kits, so you can base your perfect journal on aesthetics, that inspired you. Happy journaling (and planning)!
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