Narrato Journal For iPhone Makes Maintaining A Diary Easier With Social Media & Camera Roll Integration

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The iOS App Store continues to be live for greater than five years now, understanding that means almost any category has 1 or 2 high-quality apps available there that keep a strong presence. Offline reading category has Pocket, Reddit apps have Alien Blue, with regards to word games, there’s Letterpress, along with context of the post, journaling apps bring to mind Day One. The category may be dead for a while now, but a new app called Narrato Journal aims to shake up.

Narrato Journal for iPhone main screen

Narrato’s main screen

Narrato aims to resolve a genuine problem I have with Day One: so what can I reveal? When Day One reminds me to update my journal at the end of a day, I’m completely exhausted and don’t have the energy to endure my day’s activities i believe to can remember the special moments worth covering. It all looks like a blured mix of taking classes, commuting, checking social networking, and getting together with people. Narrato solves by using “LifeStream”.

With an easy swipe gesture, LifeStream shows you the latest photos from the Camera Roll, tweets from Twitter, posts from Facebook, and check-ins from Foursquare to ‘inspire you for your upcoming entry’. You can selectively add items out of your LifeStream, and provide them context with your own individual text entry, additional photos, moods, and locations.

The app’s design is different from Day One, that allows you to make multiple text+photo entries per day, and shows them separately in the neat manner. With Narrato, each item you import from LifeStream, in addition to any text / mood / photo you add, locations you check-in to etc. from each day go in separate posts within a single day. In other words, the key screen of Narrato organizes groups of posts by day.

Narrato Journal features

Entries for the day (left). LifeStream posts (middle, and right)

Arguably, Day One’s killer feature is cloud storage and syncing. Write a post about the iOS app, and you may see and edit it about the Mac OS X app. Your entire journal can even be backed up to Dropbox, and individual entries might be exported as PDF documents to ensure you can access your journal even if Day One goes down someday.

Narrato now offers cloud syncing and backup, however it isn’t as full-featured. Everything you create using one iOS device is duplicated to Narrato’s servers, and could be pulled as a result of other iOS devices. You can also export your computer data but since it is done so in JSON, it isn’t quite human-readable and requirements to be imported in another compatible app .

Narrato Cloud Sync

Exporting journal entries

For it's innovation in discovering ways to keep your journal, Narrato lacks two important features that needs to be present in the journaling app on the beginning (pun intended). There is no way to shield your sensitive journal entries having a PIN code, and the data the app exports is not human readable. I prefer keeping my journal entries inside a universal format - like PDF - that isn’t tied to an individual app. Apart from that, the app is affected with plenty of UI niggles too, which hinder the entire user experience.

As with this writing, I cannot truly recommend Narrato over Day One. The way it uses Lifestream to inspire you to maintain your journal is very useful, but other departments lack at the moment. However, that is only version 1.0 in the app, and also the developers appear to become working hard at making it better, adding extra features and fixing bugs. They just released v1.1, such as the ability to create multiple journals (work, exercise, because you see fit), and fixes some with the UI niggles I knowledgeable about the app.

Narrato is accessible from the iOS App Store for $3.99. Even if you don’t set things right . now, it's worth keeping track of.

Install Narrato Journal from App Store

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