7 Reasons Why Day One is My Favorite Journaling App
Day One is More Than Just a Diary
Many people have kept journals of one kind or another for centuries. Often also called diaries, people use journals to document their daily lives, and to write out their deepest thoughts and secrets. Some journals are kept private by their owners, and some are meant for others to see.
Until quite recently, journals were written and kept in paper books, sometimes beautifully bound and decorated. But with the onset of technology, keeping a digital journal online has become more popular. One of the top-rated digital journals is an app called Day One. Day One is an Apple™ App of the Year and has won the Apple™ Design Award. I have been using this app for the past few years, and I absolutely love it.
I remember keeping a diary when I was a teenager. It was one of those specially made books with a lock and a little key. I tried, often without much success, to keep my diary to myself. Throughout the years, I have kept my thoughts and daily events in scores of notebooks. I still have some of them, and it is fun and enlightening to read them again. But for years I had not been consistent in my journaling, and I certainly could not add elements such as photos or locations.
A journal or diary is meant to be written in as much as possible: at least daily or even several times a day. Since I started using the Day One app, I have been able to document my life consistently for years.
Disclaimer: I am a total Apple Fangirl. I have two Macs, two iPads, and always the latest iPhone. When I write about apps or systems, I am writing from that worldview. Some of the apps I discuss MAY work on Windows and Android, but I cannot speak to that. I only deal with the Mac OS, iOS, and Apple™ computers and devices.
Features of the Day One App
The Day One app was launched for Mac OS and iOS in 2011 by Bloom Built, Inc. to help people to record and store all of the important memories, photos, and details of their lives. With the Day One app, I can capture ideas and experiences, in short- or long-form on my MacBook Pro, my iPhone and my iPads, and even my Apple Watch, and everything syncs perfectly.
There is a free version of Day One, but for full functionality, I gladly pay about $14.00 per year for the Premium version. The Day One app is full of wonderful features, but here I will list my top seven.
- Ease of Use: Just by clicking the “+” sign on any of your devices, you can start a new journal entry, and “write” with text or dictation, and add one or up to ten photos (with the Premium version), videos, audio recordings, and links from other websites. You can even add an entry from your Apple Watch with an audio recording or dictation. When you want your journal entry to be longer than it is comfortable to write on your phone, you can write on your iPad or with the dedicated app for your Mac. Formatting is achieved through the Markdown feature, and the time, date, and location where you write the entry is automatically added. I love to make a quick entry on what I did every hour or so, especially when I am working, and be able to see how I spent my time every day.
- Multiple Journals: You can add your entry to separate journals to keep things separate, but you can also view all of your entries in one continuous timeline. Your different journals can be color-coded, adding to the beautiful interface of the app. Keeping multiple journals helps you to gauge how much you are balancing the different areas of your life. It is also possible to add tags to your entries so you can easily filter and search your entries. That feature is not available with analog (paper and pen) diaries.
- Adding Photos: It is so easy to add a photo from your Camera Roll or the Photos on your desktop. Sometimes your entry can just be a photo or series of up to ten photos. If you add a YouTube entry, it opens and plays perfectly within the entry. There is a section in the app where you can just view your photos all the way back to when you first started using the app.
- Logging Your Social Media Feeds: Those of you who know me know that I am very active on social media. If you are also active on social media, you can give Day One access to your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts, and your posts will automatically show up with the hashtags in separate Day One journals, and be viewable in your “All Entries” thread. It is another great way to keep track of what has happened each day.
- Using Templates, Prompts, and Metadata During your busy day, it is easy to forget to write in your journal. You can set up different kinds of prompts that remind you during the day to make an entry. Day One also offers templates to help you to quickly make consistent entries in your journal. Whatever type of entry you make, the time, date, current weather, location, number of steps, and other key metadata is automatically added. A section in the app lets you filter by location, so you can go back and see how many entries you made in a specific place.
- On This Day: Your Day One journal will record and store all of your entries since the first day you started using the app, even if it was years ago. Every day, Day One shows you all of the entries you’ve recorded for that date with the “On This Day” feature. It is fascinating to easily and quickly look back at what happened on a particular day years ago.
- Exporting Your Entries: Day One has great exporting features. You can export one entry or several entries of any or all of your journals for a range of dates in plain text or as a PDF. You can even make a beautiful print book of your entries (at an additional price). I haven’t done that yet, but I think I will make a book for every year that I have been using the app. The books will look lovely in my bookcase and it will be fun to read what happened in my life year-by-year, sort of like old-style photo albums.
Why Journaling Is Important
With today’s busy lives, our thoughts often run at a mile a minute. But just the process of writing things down, either with paper and pencil or digitally, our thought process is slowed down. Journaling helps to bring your wandering mind to attention and to the present and allows you to organize everything that you think about and what happened on a particular day or special event and put things in perspective and in order. I recommend you try journaling for yourself.