Among journal apps, there are features that matter and features that don’t. Of course it would be absolutely awesome (and entirely possible) to have pretty much all of the features from insignificant to vital, but I am yet to find that app. So instead it is important to find the features that are most important to us and make sure the journal we choose has most of them.
Day One has most of them, for me anyways. And the ones that aren’t available are on tap for inclusion in future releases. The proactive mindset that the developer Bloom Built has makes me feel more comfortable about Day One being “future proof” (or at least “future resistant”).
Instead of the more classic feel that Momento and Molenotes opt for, Day One chooses a clean and modern look. Styling is consistent and the different elements match well. Of course there isn’t an option to change the theme if you are into that (though the most recent update brought different font sizes), but the light blue throughout stays with the branding. Oh, and the icon is one of the best.
Adding a new entry is a snap and you can change the date and time if you would like for backdating. You can also favorite entries to separate them from the rest. There is a year view, but unfortunately no calendar view (yet). A four digit passcode is available and you can set reminders for any period of time you would like.
As for the most important features, syncing (and therefore backup) is possible through a Dropbox account. This means even more when you discover that this app is universal to the iPhone and iPad and, even better, can be synced with the Day One Mac app, available in the Mac App Store (though it has to be purchased separately). The option to write on your phone, tablet or even personal computer (most people write fastest with a full keyboard) is perhaps the most important feature you can find in a journal app, especially if you are serious about keeping this journal for years (or decades) to come. Note that the computer version of Day One isn’t available for Windows computers.
Bells and whistles aren’t Day One’s strong suit. As I mentioned, this isn’t a deal breaker but tags, geotagging, social integration, emoticons, themes and fonts are all nice to have as options and not terribly hard to integrate. Even the ability to add pictures is lacking so far but is promised among future updates.
The bottom line is that Day One is a serious journal app for people who are serious about journaling. It cuts the frills and retains beauty and the most important features. I also like the fact that updates are constantly being added, which gives it more total worth. If you are still in the hunt for a long term journal, Day One is a great option.
Easy Journaling Rating: 9/10
Note: This article was originally posted July 14, 2011 but has been updated to reflect the ability to add pictures. The rating has gone from an 8 to a 9.