Day One, the app that has made journaling fun for me.

Today, I’d like to talk about Day one, a cross-platform journaling app that, for me, has made journaling a joy. Journaling is something I’ve done on and off throughout my life, but definitely not with any consistency. The one time I did journal regularly though was during a year I spent in Germany as an exchange student. I’m super glad I did as I was able to capture many fond memories of my time there; maybe a topic for future blog posts. Anyway, I was talking to a friend about that experience and he asked why, if I enjoyed it, didn’t I continue journaling regularly? I had all kinds of excuses: not enough time, I was too tired by the end of the day, and many more.. My friend told me about Day One and as he was so passionate about it, I decided to give it a try.

The thing I really love about Day One is that it’s really a lot more than a traditional journal. Sure it’s possible to write a journal entry, but it’s also possible to capture audio, video, and images. There are also multiple ways to submit content to Day one: the Day One app (iOs, Android, and Apple Watch), Email, the iOS share sheet, SMS text message, even IFTTT can be used. Being able to capture all of these things in a single app makes it much easier to journal life as it happens and that’s very powerful. In addition, Day One can gather data in the background such as your location, the current weather, what music you might happen to be listening to, and more. This extra data is added to a special section of the journal entry and while it might not always matter what kind of weather I’m experiencing or what music I might happen to be listening to, that extra data adds context that I probably wouldn’t have added on my own.

One of my favorite Day One features is On This Day, a feature that shows all entries that were made, well, on this day. I find that I use this feature every day before bed, just to see what I was up to on any given day, last year, two years ago, or even further back. I find it so interesting to read my perspective on things and then to think about how those perspectives have changed. This has been especially interesting as I look back at my life last year during the pandemic. Entries can also be searched by tag or location making it easy to find entries pertaining to a particular place or event.

I’m admittedly a bit of a privacy nut and the idea of entrusting private data to any app or service was initially incredibly terrifying to me. In addition, I didn’t want to invest significant time putting data into an app that I couldn’t get it back out of if needed. Day One has put my fears to rest on both counts. Day One Protects journals with biometric security, end-to-end encryption, and automatic backups with the ability to export data anytime. Day One is also extremely transparent about the cryptographic methods they use and have published papers on the subject. Finally, and most important to me, Day One is very accessible and any time I’ve found an issue, the team has gotten it fixed extremely quickly. There’s a reason they are an award-winning app and I think their commitment to accessibility helps with that.

I realize journaling isn’t everyone’s thing, but especially if it’s something you’ve never done, using Day One might make the process fun and enjoyable for you, just as it has for me. Day One is available in both a free and premium version, I think I used the free version for about an hour before deciding that the upgrade to premium was well worth it. For me, journaling has gone from something I thought I would dread doing, to something I look forward to doing and I credit Day One for making the entire process, from capturing memories to recalling them later, very easy and enjoyable.

3 thoughts on “Day One, the app that has made journaling fun for me.”

  1. I like day one as well.
    Due to my workI am almost always on windows, platform.
    So I use the e-mail to day one option the most latelyy.
    How do you Journal? Do you take notes with your keyboard connected to your phone? OR just via dictation? Or just a audio recording?
    I love y our blogposts, we have a lot of interests in common it seems.

    • Yes, I agree, it does seem like we have a lot in common, it’s great to meet you. :). For journaling, it really depends. If I’m on my phone, sometimes I will type using Braille Screen Input, other times a hardware keyboard, and often I will just dictate my entry. I like to have my entries as text so that I can search for things, but sometimes I will attach an audio recording to them. I generally record with another app such as Just Press Record or even Voice Memos, and then attach it to a Day One entry either via the iOS share sheet or by browsing for it from within the attach flow in the entry. Also, if you use Chrome, I think there is a plugin that allows for a Day One entry to be created in Chrome. I don’t have it installed but can find the name if you’re interested. The plugin is simple, it basically opens up an edit field with the current page URL pasted in. I think this was designed to journal something about a page that is currently being browsed, but sometimes, I would just erase the URL and type my entry. Email works just as well, but having another option is always good. Oh, one more thing, you can use IFTTT to automate adding things to Day One. I have an IFTTT recipe for example that looks at this blog’s RSS feed and if it finds a new post, it creates a new journal entry. Depending on the kinds of things you twant to journal, IFTTT could come in very handy.


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