How to use Apple’s new Journal app with the iOS 17.2 update

Written by Malak Saleh From Engadget
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Apple’s AI-powered Journal app is finally here. The new diary entry writing tool was first teased for iOS 17 back in June, but it only became available on Monday with the new iPhone update — nearly three months after iOS 17 itself came out. After Apple released iOS 17.2, iPhone users can now access to the Journal app, which allows users to jot down their thoughts in a digital diary. Journaling is a practice that can improve mental wellbeing and it can also be used to fuel creative projects.

You can create traditional text entries, add voice recordings to your notes, or include recent videos or pictures. If you need inspiration, AI-derived text prompts can offer suggestions for what to write or create an entry for next. The app also predicts and proposes times for you to create a new entry based on your recent iPhone activity, which can include newer photos and videos, location history, recently listened-to playlists, and workout habits. This guide will walk you through how to get started with the Journal app and personalize your experience.

How to create a new entry in the Journal app on iPhone

Apple Journal App screengrab
Malak Saleh

When you open the Journal app, tap the + button at the bottom of the page to create a new entry. If you want to start with a blank slate, when you tap ‘New Entry’ an empty page will appear and from there you can start typing text. You can add in recent photos from your library when you tap the photos icon below the text space, take a photo in the moment and add it to your entry or include a recorded voice memo when you tap the voice icon. You can also add locations to your entry when you tap the arrow icon at the bottom right of an entry page. This feature might be helpful for travel bloggers looking back at their trips abroad. You can edit the date of an entry at the top of the page.

Alternatively, you can create a post based on recent or recommended activities that your phone compiled — say, pictures, locations from events you attended, or contacts you recently interacted with. The recent tab will show you, in chronological order, people, photos and addresses that can inspire entries based on recent activities. The recommended tab pulls from highlighted images automatically selected from your photo memories. For example, a selection of portraits from 2022 can appear as a recommendation to inspire your next written entry. Some suggestions underneath the recommendation tab may appear within the app with ‘Writing prompts.’ For example, a block of text may appear with a question like, “What was the highlight of your trip?”

Apple Journal App
Malak Saleh

Scheduling, bookmarking and filtering

If you’re not free to write when a suggestion is made, you can also save specific moments you want to journal about and write at a later time. Using the journaling schedule feature, you can set a specific time to be notified to create an entry, which will help a user make journaling a consistent practice. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone and search for the Journal app. Turn on the ‘Journaling schedule’ feature and personalize the days and times you would like to be reminded to write entries. As a side note, in Settings, you can also opt to lock your journal using your device passcode or Face ID.

Settings to schedule journal sessions
Malak Saleh

You can also organize your entries within the app using the bookmarking feature, so you can filter and find them at your own convenience. After creating an entry, tap the three dots at the bottom of your page and scroll down to tap the bookmark tab. This is the same place where you can delete or edit a journal entry.

Later on, if you want to revisit a bookmarked entry, tap the three-line icon at the corner of the main journal page to select the filter you would like applied to your entries. You can select to only view bookmarked entries, entries with photos, entries with recorded audio and see entries with places or locations. This might be helpful when your journal starts to fill up with recordings.

Adding music, workouts and other off-platform entries into your journal app

Using your streaming app of choice, (Apple Music, Spotify or Amazon Music), you can integrate specific tracks or podcast episodes into your entries by tapping three buttons at the bottom of your screen that opens up the option to ‘share your music.’ The option to share a track to the Journal app should appear and it will sit at the top of a blank entry when you open the app.

You can use the same method with other applications, like Apple’s Fitness app. You can share and export a logged workout into your journal and start writing about that experience.

Amazon Music
Malak Saleh

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

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