Posted on Oct 23, 2011 | 13 comments
It would not be within my best interest to express my allegiance to one particular eJournal. Doing so would only discourage you the reader from investigating the best journal for YOUR situation and probably make the developers of other applications take their ball and go home. It would kind of be like Simon Cowell dating one of the top 10 American Idol candidates while still telling the world he was impartial to the rest.
Luckily for me, I use a variety of journals for slightly different reasons. I have also used a few different ones over time. This balance helps me in this role as a so called ‘expert’ on eJournals and also helps fill different aspects of my life. I use one for keeping lists and another for notes and then another one or two for my main journal.
Therefore, when I say that I have used Wonderful Days – Diary with Style for the iPhone for the past few weeks, know that I am not saying there is not other journal to use. It is just a particular application that caught my eye when I first gave it a spin and I liked enough that I have decided to go on a road trip of undetermined length. The following few paragraphs describe this (rather delightful) experience.
I want to first say that I have had no stability issues whatsoever. It has always bounced open when I have tapped on the icon and remained open during the duration. I also like the 4 digit passcode and the ability to change the amount of time before you have to re-enter it. This way you can check and email and come back without punching the code in again.
I really like the home screen interface and what I like even more is that it is customizable. There are three different views to greet you when you open it up: List, Preview and Photo. You don’t really notice how nice this feature is until you have a few weeks worth of entries and I switch between them depending on my mood.
The various themes are nice to have around, but I mostly just found one I liked and have stuck with it. Photos shine in this app not only because you can insert them in line with text, but also because they show up on the home screen as mentioned previous. You can also change the border of each picture.
I haven’t tried the PDF export but love that it is there when I will need it. I have often expressed the importance of also having a ‘cloud’ back up feature as well and Wonderful Days doesn’t disappoint with Evernote integration. I have already mentioned how much comfort this option gave me when I almost lost my data during the iOS 5 update. There is a sync button right on the home screen to back up your entries, but it would be nice if it automatically synced after being used.
But even with how much I am enjoying this experience, since I have perhaps used more eJournals than anyone else alive, I have noticed a few things missing that would make the app that much better. A small but annoying omission is the fact that you can’t back date entries. Those days I was fighting with the iOS update I wasn’t able to compile entries for, breaking my goal of an entry every day for a month.
A larger missing feature is support on other devices. A browser interface would be nice for the occasional entry typed on a full-sized keyboard and an Android app would be great if I ever wanted to switch platforms, but the most glaring omission is iPad support. More and more journals are including this feature and Wonderful Days needs to think in this direction if it wants to stay with the pack.
A few other features I would like to see are things like word count to know how big my journal is getting, multiple journals in case I want to keep one for my kids and some sort of official tagging system for better organization (although the search function works great).
Overall, Wonderful Days is perhaps the best stand-alone journal app available for the iPhone. Any negative words I have about it are because I am picky, because it works perfectly and has a ton of features. But even though this may be the best journal on the iPhone, if it wants to break free from a single platform and compete with competitors that work with a variety of devices, Wonderful Days still has its work cut out.
Any Wonderful Days fans out there?