Mobile Note Taking (and More) with GitJournal

by: Scott Nesbitt | 07 September 2022

A while back, the developer of a mobile app called GitJournal got in touch, suggesting that I take a look at his creation. Took me a little while before I could get around to doing that but I did install the app on my phone.

The problem was that I couldn’t get it to work. So, I duly uninstalled GitJournal and forgot about it. Then, in late 2021, I found mention of GitJournal in some notes. This time ’round, I was able to get it up and running.

Let’s take a look at what I discovered.


It’s one of I don’t know how many mobile note taking apps out there that support Markdown. But unlike many other apps, GitJournal doesn’t save your notes to some of the obvious places — like various boxes and drives online.

Instead, GitJournal synchronizes your notes with the hosting providers that support git (a tool that developers use to track changes to their code). You could be running your own instance of git somewhere, or you can use popular ones like GitLab or GitHub.

Getting Started

Install the app on your phone or device from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

I’m not going into detail about connect GitJournal to a git. That process is a bit involved. You will need:

Working with GitJournal

Here’s what GitJournal looks like when you fire it up:

The main screen of GitJournal

You can create these types of files with GitJournal:

You can tap a button at the bottom of the screen to create each type of file.

The quick-access bar in GitJournal

Note: Tapping the + button the main screen also creates a note.

Here’s what a new note looks like:

Creating a note in GitJournal

A new journal:

Creating a journal entry in GitJournal

And a new list:

Creating a checklist in GitJournal

Tap in the editing area and start typing. You can add formatting, with Markdown, using the on-screen keyboard or using the formatting toolbar at the bottom of the screen. The formatting toolbar is limited in what it can do (for example, headings and lists), but it’s enough for most needs.

Editing a file in GitJournal

You can preview or delete a file while editing it, as well as add a pointer to an image.

Previewing a file in GitJournal

When you’re finished editing a file, tap the checkmark icon in the top left of the screen to save it. Doing that also synchronizes the file with your git repository.

Organizing Your Files

Out of the box, GitJournal saves all files in what it calls the root folder. That’s that top-level folder in your notes repository in git. If you create a lot of files, things get pretty messy pretty quickly.

To better organize your files, you can create folders — for example, one for notes, one for journals, and one for checklists. To do that, tap the stacker menu in the top-left corner of the main window and then tap Folders.

On the Folders screen, tap the + button, type a name for the folder, and then tap Create. You can add a file to a folder while editing it by tapping Root Folder at the bottom of the screen and then tapping the name of the folder into which you want to put the file.

Final Thoughts

Even though it’s tied to a techie tool like git, I don’t class GitJournal as a techie tool. While setting it up is a bit involved, it doesn’t take much technical knowledge to do that. Once it’s set up, GitJournal is as easy to use as any other mobile note taking app.

That said, GitJournal’s not an app for everyone. Mainly because git isn’t part of everyone’s plain text workflow. If git is part of yours, then give GitJournal a peek. It’s a simple and effective mobile note taking tool that could well fit into your overall writing or productivity workflow.