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Parent’s Guide to the Apple Journal App (2024)

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Unlock this lesson to learn what you can do to keep kids safe on the Apple Journal App

This Apple Journal app guide will help parents learn: 

  • What is the Journal app?
  • The top concerns with the Journal app
  • Tips for parents to keep kids safe

Learn why parents and educators should care about the Journal app

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Parent’s Guide to the Apple Journal App (2024)

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Journaling can be a healthy, therapeutic, and productive habit for teens and adults alike.  Apple has launched its own Journal app, a private and secure place for iPhone users to keep track of their daily thoughts, log workouts, or reflect on events or happenings in their lives.  Users can also lock down the information stored in the app with the device passcode, Face ID, or Touch ID, wherein lies the problem for parents and teens.  

In this SmartSocial.com parents guide to the Apple Journal app, parents will learn the pros and cons of the app and gain tips on how to dialogue with their teens about it.

Parent and Educator Video

Top Concerns with Journal App

  • Information such as pictures and videos can be stored in the Journal app and locked with the device passcode, FaceID, or Touch ID—making it difficult for parents to monitor their students’ digital activity
  • Users can take new pictures and videos within the app and choose for them to not show up on the camera roll
  • For students trying to hide information from their parents, the app can function similarly to a vault app—the app looks innocent but is actually hiding inappropriate content behind a passcode
  • There are no parental controls attached to the app, so students can adjust the settings on their own
Journal logo

What is the Journal app?

With Journal, users can capture and write about everyday moments and special events in their lives, and include photos, videos, audio recordings, locations, and more to create rich memories. — Apple
  • An iPhone app for users to record and store private thoughts and information securely
  • Only available on iPhone (not on Mac or iPad)
  • Automatically installed on all iOS devices with the iOS 17.2 update
  • Users can receive journaling suggestions and/or notifications based on their activities 
  • “All Journal entries are end-to-end encrypted when stored in iCloud, so that no one but the user can access them.” (Source:Apple)

What can parents & educators do?

  • Parents should have an open dialogue with their child about appropriate vs. inappropriate activities on their phone  
  • Ensure students understand they should not lock the app under a passcode or Face ID
  • Discuss and create a Social Media Agreement WITH your child to set clear screen time expectations and consequences
  • Parents can delete the app from their student’s device, but they will be able to redownload it

Additional Resources

Parents Guide to iPhone Parental Controls (and Other Apple Devices)

Parental Controls on Student Devices: What Parents & Educators Need to Know in 2024

Safeguard Your Student's Future with Our Free Printable Social Media Agreement

Is It Too Late to Establish Smartphone and Social Media Guidelines?

Conclusion

Journaling is a healthy activity for teens to participate in and the Journal app, if used appropriately, can be an easy way for students to get in the habit of recording their thoughts and reflections. Parents should talk to their students about how they are using the app and set expectations about appropriate use.  

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Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Unlock this lesson to learn what you can do to keep kids safe on the Apple Journal App

This Apple Journal app guide will help parents learn: 

  • What is the Journal app?
  • The top concerns with the Journal app
  • Tips for parents to keep kids safe

Learn why parents and educators should care about the Journal app

Log in or join the VIP membership today to view all SmartSocial.com resources about apps!

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Learn more

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