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Day One

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
2 min read

A writer writes. Always. Part of the daily ritual (and it must become a ritual) is journaling.

Journaling apps are a dime a dozen and most amount to little more than a crashy everything bucket from a fly-by-night company. None of them have been able to persuade me away from paper…until now.

A new app called Day One has come along with a different take than we’re used to. The whole point of the program is to get out of your way and make it as easy and elegant as possible to capture your daily thoughts.

(screenshot from the Day One website - not my journal)

A quick Menu Bar entry tool and adjustable reminders mean you may not even need to launch the full application to interact with it on a daily basis. Syncing through Dropbox makes journaling possible through your Mac, iPhone and, soon, iPad.

Reading the reviews on the Mac store, the theme seemed to be high praise for the beauty of the app’s design, followed by lists of features each reviewer wanted for the future. I really hope Day One doesn’t give in to the temptation of trying to please everyone, but there is room for improvement.


Don’t get wrong, Day One had my money immediately with just its concept. But I’ve been on look out for years for an app that would accomplish what paper could, without the hassle, and there’s still a piece missing here (and in every journaling app): the review.

Levenger understands this and in their 5-year journals, the entries are arranged in simple format that forces a review: each page represents a day and each paragraph can represent a year. So, when you write each day’s entry, you’re forced to view the entries on that date from previous years. What makes journaling important is the introspection, but what makes it useful is the review.

Day One includes daily prompts to encourage your writing, but what if you could set a preference to view previous years’ entries on that date instead of a prompt? This would make the app a slam dunk to many Levenger devotees and wouldn’t compromise the simplicity of the design.

Back from Tangent

OK, maybe I am like one of those needy reviewers after all, but this is program worth fussing over. After only a few days of use (adding entries going back to December 2010), I’m retiring my paper journal. For writers, this is the easiest $10 decision I can imagine.

Day One is avaiable on the Mac App Store and the iPhone version is available on the App Store.