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Review: Momento combines social feeds and personal journalling

If you want to keep a record of your personal and private stories, Momento’s the app for you

Price: $2.99/£2.29
Size: 43.0 MB
Version: 3.0.1
Developer: d3i Ltd

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The notion of keeping a diary might seem stuffy in an era of super-fast social network streams; but there’s something cathartic about sitting down at the end of the day and pouring some thoughts into a tome you can revisit at any later point. The problem is remembering to do so and finding the time. Digital journaling software gets around these issues by replacing a book with your iPhone and bugging you to update your recorded moments.

Momento combines manual journalling with content from social feeds.

Momento combines manual journaling with content from social feeds.

Day One is probably the most popular iPhone app in this field, and for traditional journaling it remains the best. However, Momento has carved itself a niche in being an interesting halfway house between digital journaling and social networking. This is because along with being suitable for tapping in manual entries, Momento allows you to connect to  social feeds — Facebook; Twitter; Instagram; Swarm; Moves; Uber — and add those posts to your archive.

You can browse by day to focus on your entries.

You can browse by day to focus on your entries.

This is a lot handier than it sounds. If you’re reasonably diligent at launching Momento at least every week or so, it’ll pull down all the new content you’ve added to the aforementioned networks. This then becomes fully searchable, by date, people, places and tags. There’s also a Timehop-style ‘This Day’ tab within the Timeline, so you can check out what you were doing on today’s date a year or more ago.

The integration of social feeds sets Momento apart.

The integration of social feeds sets Momento apart.

Purely as a means of archiving social networking posts, Momento is worth consideration. For the journaling parts, things are spottier. The interface for adding new posts is straightforward, with big, friendly buttons for adding places, people, tags and photos. A post’s date aligns with when a photo was taken, but can be manually adjusted. Also, you can arbitrarily group days into events, for later browsing. Beyond that, it’s simply a matter of typing in some text. There’s no formatting, and no access to the kind of data Day One users enjoy (music, weather, ratings, and so on); if you want distraction-free, Momento fits the bill, but otherwise it could be seen as limiting.

Momento isn't a silo—content can be shared.

Momento isn’t a silo—content can be shared.

The bigger problem is the warning you receive when adding an image. In order to save space in cloud back-ups, you’re informed photos deleted from your device will be removed from your posts. This misses the point of what users want from journaling and appears to be related to the app’s insistence you use iCloud for back-up – previous versions of Momento allowed data export through iTunes. Until users are provided with a choice for these things, Momento 3 comes only as a very guarded recommendation as a digital journal, but it remains a good choice for archiving social feeds.

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