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.

Wonderful Days - Diary with Style - HandyPadSoft

Any Wonderful Days fans out there?

  • Anna

    Hello – I just downloaded this app last night, and I’m really liking it so far. I wanted to comment on your assertion that you can’t enter text on your PC. With the Evernote integration you can actually create new entries or edit old ones right in your Evernote notebook, and they are pulled into Wonderful Days when you next sync. This may not be as elegant as a purpose-built web app, but it’s more than enough for my own needs.

    I agree with all the other points you make and appreciated your reviews, as they helped me decide to try this app.

    I used to use Momento, and really liked the way you could incorporate your personal Facebook and other feeds into it. I imported my Google Calendar feed, for instance. However, the backup system was too inconvenient, and so I never backed up, relying on my iTunes backup… and when I upgraded to iOS 5, I lost ALL my data due to a corrupt backup file. Heartbreaking!

    • Sam

      Glad you have liked Wonderful Days Anna, it is a great choice. You are absolutely correct that Evernote gives a computer interface to the mobile app, I hadn’t even thought of it! That is a great option to have when you want to use a full keyboard instead of just your thumbs on a touchscreen.

      The iOS 5 update messed me up too, but it could have been worse.

  • Bwilks

    Actually you can back date an entry.  Go to the calendar.  Click on the day you missed.  Click the + sign.  That’s it.

    • Sam

      Great tip. I would have never found that!

  • Katrianna Ml

    Wondering is the ‘cloud’ backup the Evernote backup? I’m new to this whole cloud thing and really dont understand it much. I just want to make sure that if anything ever happened I have my entries backed up ad safe. Also which ejournal app can you recommend that has ‘multiple’ journals as an option?

    • Sam

      Yes, Katrianna, ‘cloud’ backup is the Evernote backup. Remember that with Wonderful Days you actually have to press the sync button every once in a while so that your entries sync with Evernote.

      As far as multiple journals go, Penzu has that feature, but I believe you have to have a Penzu Pro subscription. Penzu has an iPhone app. Max Journal for the iPad also allows multiple journals but they haven’t yet made it compatible with the iPhone.

  • Henri S

    While using Wonderful Days for the last three months and migrating my VIJournal data to it, I found that back date entries is possible in a second way: just hit the “+” button and a new entry will be created, subsequently click the “down arrow” to hide the keyboard and click on the data in the title bar to select a different date. After creating all the old entry dates from VIJournal I synced and added all contents within Evernote. It was a lot of work for one year, but is has to be done. Why? Wonderful Days can add text, pictures and location information for a date entry, something I can not do in other apps (or is there an app that can do this?). Would love to see an iPad version of Wonderfull Days, but for now it will do. 

    @Sam, just found your site two weeks ago: great job and keep up the good work.


    Have you noticed an issue with your journal entries cutting off and not saving fully at all? Do you know why?

  • Susan Tate Benivegna

    Forgot my passcode- what can I do?

    • ClaireBrady6

      Me too! I don’t know what to do either! :( let me know if you figure something out.

  • Jamey

    Evernote won’t sync with wonderful days.. I have iPhone 5. Thoughts? I press the sync but no transfer. Help. Chose this diary for that feature!

    • Sam

      My best suggestion is to email the devs. I haven’t had luck with these guys in the past, but maybe if you and others do then they will respond.

  • Cathy

    I just downloaded wonderful days last night and I also cannot get it to sync with Evernote. I have Iphone 4. I guess based on the comments here and the reviews on the app store that I will never get a response to the email I sent for help. Sigh. And it looked like such a great product too. At least I did not put any money into it. If anyone has any idea how to get it to sync with Evernote I would love to know. thanks!