Journal backed by text files

I’m curious, is there a journaling app backed by text files - preferable using markdown format - that has a calendar view?

Instead of storing notes in a database or inside some bundle, I would like to point it to a folder where the notes would be saved as text files. I think I’ve a very fuzzy memory of an app like this (or perhaps I’m mixing memories and remembering my own app that I wrote many many years ago).

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I used to use the open source Zim for this but always had issues on the Mac (it worked on Windows and Linux, so when I was at my Mac, I would access it via Jump Desktop and my Raspberry Pi. However, I’ve moved to just typing in a markdown file. My current process is described here.

I have considered switching to Obsidian, along with the calendar plugin, as I’m using it for recording my daily thoughts and actions for work, so creating a separate vault for a personal journal wouldn’t be to hard to do. This saves everything as a markdown file.

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NotePlan would seem to be spot-on for your requirement.

As @drezha says, bsidian]( also gets you there – it has a built-in “create daily note” feature. A “Calendar” Obsidian plug-in contributed by Liam Cain gives you the calendar piece you asked for.

So – NotePlan yes, but costs $60/year. Obsidian also yes – costs $0 but you have to do a bit of upfront tweaking one time to set it up your way.


Thanks for info, I’ll take a look and see what I like.

“Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files”.
I strongly recommend Obsidian.
Not only for your plain text format journaling requirements, but it also has some features like graph view of your notes, transclusion, and bi-directional linking that you won’t find anywhere else.
The only other piece of software that is equally good is Roam Research, but it doesn’t have the plain text format files on your Mac, Roam stores your notes in the cloud.
So, I’m sure Obsidian is the best option you can have. They have a super generous free plan, although I would say the subscription is totally worth it!

Obsidian is free. I don’t think most people need the subscription features.

There is a one-time donation-ware “Catalyst” option that gets early (1 week) access to beta builds, but no difference in functionality otherwise. There is a “Commercial” per-person subscription that no one needs except it grants corporations the right to use Obsidian for commercial purposes. If you want to use the optional “Publish” to the web or “Sync” between machines features there are fees, but the features are not essential and are optional.