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Menote is yet another diary app

Menote diary app

Your iPhone or iPad can make remarkably handy devices to chronicle your life with. Diary and note taking apps can make the process easier and perhaps even fun. But not all diary apps are equal. Menote is YADA-Yet Another Diary App. It's free, relatively good looking, but awkward to use and has limited features. Menote requires iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The app is free with In-app purchase for premium features for $2.99.

I am a strong advocate of keeping a journal or diary. It's a very useful exercise, and not just for writers. I have the 100 year old line-a-day journal that one of my great uncles kept and it's a fascinating piece of family history. I keep my own on my desk and write in it every day.

There are lots of options for keeping a diary using iOS devices, including the built-in Notes app. You can use heavy-duty apps like Evernote, or purpose-built diary apps like the award-winning Day One. The promise of these apps it to make it easier to keep a diary because your device is with you and you can also capture images, location information, and more.

As I gave Menote a trial run I found that it didn't offer special features or a significantly different or better experience than using other apps. In fact there were more than a few frustrations with using Menote. The app looks nice on the iPhone, but on the iPad it's just blown up for the bigger screen. That's disappointing. The app doesn't allow a switch to landscape in the main view and when creating or editing an entry and you switch to landscape the app removes the menus and controls. You are required to turn your device back to portrait orientation to save, add pics, or return to the main view.

Writing in landscape mode with Menote

Syncing in Menote is not automatic or easy. I created an entry, with photos, using my iPhone and then checked my iPad. Nothing there. I opened and closed both apps repeatedly and eventually the entry sync'd over. There is an option for manual syncing and it's more reliable, but that's a poor substitute for reliable automatic syncing.

On top of all that I am also not sure just how "free" the app is. Menote uses proprietary storage, limited to 50 MB. You'll need to purchase the premium option at $2.99 to gain an extra 1 GB. I am uncertain how many entries and photos the initial 50 MB represents. Purchasing the premium features will gain you that 1 GB extra storage, password protection for individual notes, notifications, and a night mode theme. I did not test the premium features.

If you are committed to keeping a diary or journal I'd recommend Day One. The app is $4.99 for the iOS app and $9.99 for the Mac OS app. I find it to be really well thought out apps for both iOS and Mac. Day One also syncs with iCloud, not proprietary storage. Menote might be worth a try if you don't require a Mac version and use only a single iOS device and you're looking for a free option.

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