Quick Look: Day One 2 for iPhone

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I can get stuck in a lot of thought loops where I’ll run a scenario or purchase over and over again in my head. My way of working around this form of anxiety is to write things out: sometimes in the form of articles, but more often in little journal entries just for me. The act of writing helps me to feel things out and suss out little details that I’d overlook if all the variables are just kept in my head.

I have chosen Day One 2 as my journaling app because it works very well across my iPhone, iPad and Mac. I like the idea of a digital journal because it’s always available for quick capture, even in situations where a paper journal would be impractical or impossible to write on (like on a crowded subway train), but Day One also brings a host of other great features to enhance the journaling experience.

Most of my entries contain just text, but there’s a lot of metadata that you can choose to add to your journal entries. I can add what music I’ve been listening to, the number of steps taken in a day, and even the weather (although I’ve never cared about recording the temperature of a day). The most interesting attachments for me are photos, but I find it cumbersome to attach them because I keep the bulk of my shots in Lightroom, and they need to be exported before I can add them to Day One.

Multiple Journals and Tags

For the longest time, I only felt the need to keep a single type of journal: a personal one. This held thoughts on my mood and a little log of what I’d done during a given day. However, since Day One supports multiple journals, I’ve expanded to also include a separate work journal. I keep little accomplishments from my job and little victories where I feel like I’ve honed my skills. I plan to use this second journal as a treasure trove for future interviews, since it makes it so much easier for me to surface useful anecdotes from a professional setting.

The other major organizational feature I use is tags. A single entry in Day One can have multiple tabs, which allows me to quickly filter thousands of entries down to a handful. I can start filtering entries with the Vacation tab and then add the Tokyo tag to just see entries from me recent Japan trip. The power of tags is pretty obvious, and I love how Day One helps me by auto-suggesting tags as I type them out. However, the type of tag I use the most doesn’t use any words at all. Especially important entries can be starred, and Day One can quickly filter for starred entries with just two taps. I will take the time to tag especially important entries like trips and holidays, but for most other occasions, I find that stars do the job just fine.

Surfacing Memories

The reason I use Day One on a consistent basis are the excellent notifications that the app sends on a daily basis. Tapping on these notifications brings me into the app and shows entries created on the same day and month, from previous years.

These notifications are a brilliant feature of the app that keep me coming back to review older entries, and also inspire me to create new ones.

iPhone for Primary Entry

I access Day One the most from my iPhone, and I’ve enjoyed using it far more than any paper journal I’ve owned. I love the way it makes my memories into a personal RSS feed, and I love being able to enter entries from anywhere, regardless of whether or not I have an internet connection. I have seven years worth of entries in this app, and I’m looking forward to entering another year of memories in 2017. If you’re looking for a great app to record your time and inspire you to do more, I would highly recommend purchasing Day One. It’s a steal for $7 on the App Store.

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