Day One is a journaling app for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac. The iOS app is universal, but obviously one must purchase the Mac app separately if you wish to sync the devices together. For the time being the apps use an existing Dropbox account to keep everything together, but it appears that in the future they intend to use iCloud as well. I’ve been pretty impressed with this app and have a new found joy in keeping a journal.
So what exactly does Day One do?
Day One for iOS ($1.99) is the perfect journaling tool for users who simply want a way to keep a diary or journal of their days. It’s very simple to use and takes a minimalistic approach to keeping a journal. There are not a ton of features, and the focus is on writing. However that doesn’t mean there not any useful ones built-in. Such the ability to Star entries for quicker recall later, and my favorite, Reminders. Users can set up reminders to help keep up with their writing, and it’s all setup via the settings where one can choose a time and a frequency of the reminder. This is very helpful for those who are just trying to get started with journaling. In addition Day One also includes the ability to use Markdown (via a toggle in settings), different font sizes, and the all important passcode (via a toggle in settings) as well.
The Mac App ($9.99) is very similar to its iOS counterpart, and those features I just mentioned exist here as well. There are additions too. Such as the ability to keep the app in the menu bar at the top of the Mac, which will allow for easy adding of entries. I really like the calendar view of Day One on the Mac, which marks the days that you have something written for, and bring up a snapshot of that writing when moused-over. Another addition to the Mac app is the inspirational quotes at the top (which can be hidden) that help push you to write about something if you happen to have writers block for the day, or just give some encouragement in general. It’s a neat way to help get users to keep interacting with the app. Journaling is only worth it if you have a plethora of entries to look back on. Which leads me to searching. From listening to some earlier users of the app it appears there was no way to search, if that was indeed the case this has been added and users can search their entries to help locate something from the past. I would like to see a little addition to the searching though, by allowing users to indicate a “time period” so I could search for “birthday” from “June 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010″ and only receive these entries. This would help limit the number of entries and more quickly find the entry I’m looking for.
The only knocks against Day One are features that are currently being worked on and are planned additions. What am I referring to? First…Pictures. As it stands now you can not add pictures to your journal…and personally, I like it that way, it again keeps the focus on writing, yet I do understand that many users want this feature and it is said to be in a future update. Second, Tagging. Many users are asking for tagging to be included in the app, and while I can see its usefulness, personally I’m not aching for it…but will of course welcome them when added. And finally, one of my favorite “in progress” features is “full-screen writing mode” which will just make the clean interface that much better. I can’t wait.
In conclusion, Day One isn’t perfect, but if it did one thing for me, it has made keeping a journal easy, available anywhere, and interesting again. In my brief time using Day One I have found it to be a simple take on keeping a journal, and I have enjoyed it greatly.