Posted on Jul 24, 2011 | 9 comments
An interesting thing about Apple’s App Store is that critics are constantly saying that every genre is full and that it is ignorant to believe that a new app will break the ranks of the best.
I think I have even said that.
And then you get an app like Wonderful Days by HandyPadSoft, released more than three years after the App Store was started yet still finding ways to push the envelope and compete with the best journals available for the iPhone. Like the best apps, it is simple, beautiful and functional at the surface, but if you dig a little deeper you realize that this simple diary has nearly every feature you would want/need.
The interface is clean with light shades with search and add entry icons at the top and five icons on the bottom: calendar, map, view, sync and more information. The default view is to see the most recent entries in snippet form, but you can also view the entries as thumbnails or also pictures.
While the front page interface cannot be changed, one of the neatest features about Wonderful Days is the robust theme system for your entries. Not only are there 12 different themes to choose from, you can also use a different one for every entry (or set any of them as the default). You can also just adjust just the font type and size or picture frame as well without changing the entire theme.
To spice up your daily description, there is also an add mood/weather feature that includes a little sticky note at the top of the entry. There are many different moods and weather types to choose from. You can also add your location to any entry via GPS, which is a great feature so that you can know just where you were when you wrote it. Adding pictures is a snap and they go right in line with your text rather than as attachments like most other journals. A four digit numerical password is optional.
All of these great features would mean little if this life’s work were to stay on your phone forever. Fortunately, this is not the case. You can not only share via email, Air Print and PDF (a KILLER option), but you can also sync with the popular service Evernote. When you do this, it shows up in Evernote as a new notebook. I highly recommend settling on a journal that has features such as a PDF export because that way you have control of your journal. You could print it out or make backed up copies if you would like.
I only noticed a few weaknesses. For one, this app is not universally supported for the iPad, so sorry tablet folks (of course you could always use the pixelated iPhone app on the iPad). It would also be nice (but kind of a pipe dream) if there were a PC or Mac version to sync with like Day One does. Another interesting quirk is that the iPhone’s native autocorrect doesn’t work when you are writing an entry.
And if you are worried about cost, Wonderful Days is $2.99, which is a steal for what you are getting, but still more than the $0.99 or free options.
On a personal note, this is the first journal I have used that has made me seriously consider making the switch from the journal I have used for three years now (which I won’t name at this point). I really feel like it has nearly all of the features that are important to me and would really help capture my life better by utilizing the features the iPhone offers.
I think this would be the case for most journal/iPhone users so I would therefore highly recommend Wonderful Days. It strikes a near perfect balance between functionality and features, all while staying beautiful and leaving several options for export and syncing.
Any other Wonderful Day fans/critics out there? What do you think of it so far?