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Thoughtwriter – A suitably thoughtful journal app

Developer: Simon Guillot
Price: $1.99/£1.79
Size: 130 MB
Version: 1.0
Platform: iPhone & iPad


Thoughtwriter is a journaling app with a twist. While the core of the experience is to lay your thoughts down every day, there’s also a mood-tracking system at play.

From the off you’re called upon to set a self-imposed daily word target. We actually found this element a little vague, but it’s one of two key metrics that Thoughtwriter will track.

The Summary grid gradually builds a mood pattern

The other is your mood. Having written your set number of words, you’ll be asked to input the general mood that accompanied the sentiment using a simple emoji-like system. The app’s AI system will offer an appropriate mood suggestion based on the text.

This doesn’t always work. One day we tried putting down a deliberately neutral message, but this elicited a ‘sad face’ suggestion from the app.

The AI system doesn’t always pick up on your sentiments

Still, the app does promise it will get to know you over time, so it’s possible this will improve with enough entries. In the meantime, you can adjust your mood using a slider, though that does rather highlights how inessential the whole AI angle is. You can write multiple entries per day, with as many mood shifts as you feel.

Thoughtwriter will track your mood entries over time, and supply ‘Mood review’ feedback from the Summary tab accessed from the bottom control bar.

Thoughtwriter lays out its feedback very nicely

After a particularly down day we received an alarming ‘Rather terrible’ rating, along with the encouraging advice “Tomorrow will be a different day. Take care of yourself in the mean time.” A few days later, a ‘Quite okay’ rating warranted a rather less helpful “What made you feel good today?” It’s well meaning, if a little banal.

What seemed more useful was the app’s ability to track your emotional states over a longer period. Simply seeing the weekly breakdown of how your moods shift using a simple graph could well offer valuable insights into what tends to make you happy or causes anxiety.

You can read back on your previous journal entries

The app’s presentation is unimpeachable, with a clean and crisp art style and an uncluttered UI that you suspect would make Apple’s design team very happy. The Summary grid forms your mood inputs into a digital tapestry using a simple shade-based square system. The brighter the square, the happier the mood. Meanwhile the breakdown sections are worthy of the Apple Health app.

Reading back through your journal entries is similarly slick and intuitive, with its own tab from the control bar offering. you an instant calendar-like view for skimming through your comments.

All in all, Thoughtwriter is sharply presented journal app with a neat mood-tracking angle. The ability to attribute a mood to your every entry, and then track your mood shifts over time, opens up the potential for an extra layer of self analysis and reflection that you don’t always get with such apps.

Add in simple but welcome tools like iCloud support and a password system, and you have a writing app that’s fittingly thoughtful.