Android App: MemoiresPosted by Jack on 2013-01-30 at 14:45
I've journaled off an on for my entire life. It seems natural to me, but I never seem to get around to it as often as I should. I almost always think about journaling when there's some great weight on my mind (like moving, switching jobs, Scarlett growing up, parents growing old - you know, the classics) and these topics always require a lot of context, a lot of back and forth and I can never seem to hand write more than two pages before my hand begins to cramp. I guess it's been too long since I've had to do written essays in school =).
So, in a flash of inspiration, I decided that I should look into audio journals. It's so much easier to capture the spirit of what you're conveying in words. You get all sorts of extra clues about the state of mind of the speaker. Most importantly, it's easier to talk for half an hour and hash out your thoughts than it is to write pages and pages.
I wish I could say that I did an exhaustive audit of Android audio recording apps and made a conscious decision but this flash of inspiration I had came at 1:30 in the morning on a night when I had a lot on my mind so I found a well-reviewed app and - so far - it's been awesome.
The app in question is "Memoires: The Diary" written by Victor Nakonechny. The title seems a little pompous, is misspelled, and more than a little redundant, but it's a really nice all purpose journal app. It's free and it's on the market.
This is one solid app. You can keep audio snippets, pictures, and text in reverse chronological order. It amends each entry with the GPS location you made it in (which would be especially cool if you were traveling), the weather at the time, any tags you want, and of course the time and date. I can't personally imagine writing a standard text journal with it, but that's more because a phone's keyboard is tedious for long entries - a tablet might make that a lot more feasible.
The best part is the app will occasionally prompt you to backup which is extremely important if you don't want your journal to be reset by something stupid like phone failure, wipe, or thievery. I only tested the "backup to SD card" option because the other options seem less appropriate for a private, mostly audio journal but there are a lot of other options, like exporting to HTML, RTF, and various Google services. I decided to examine the .zip backup it created to make sure that it wasn't in some stupid format that might disappear if Memoires ever becomes unmaintained or broken, etc. and I found that it was pretty straightforward: a SQLite 3 database, and a directory including the raw recordings I had made. In short, nothing that couldn't be reconstructed if need be.
In addition to the backup settings, there are a number of other basic settings like a password - which immediately made me think of those flimsy diary locks I used to see as a kid. There are also themes and other appearance things (font size, etc.) that are just the icing on the cake.
All in all, I've been happy with it the few times I've had a reason to record in the last couple of weeks and I believe it deserves the high rating it gets on Google Play. If audio journaling is something that interests you, I'd highly recommend it.