I have never been one to keep a diary. I recall keeping a diary for a couple of weeks for a school assignment years and years ago. Unfortunately my wonderful teachers attempt failed to leave an impression on me. Facebook for many has become their journal of choice, but it would be wrong to call that a journal. Keeping entries should really be a personal activity. Your thoughts, your handwriting, your journal. Facebook is the exact polar opposite of personal and private.
Earlier this year I moved with my wife and daughter to the other side of the world. I started a new job, which has been a wonderful new challenge. Part of my job is to innovate new ways teach students in class. Rather than following a set curriculum, my colleagues and I have to “think up” new ways of learning. It’s fantastic and difficult.
As a result of this new job, I find myself coming up with ideas at odd times. When this happens, I’ve tried to capture those ideas the best I can. I’ve actually got a choice – IA Writer, Notes, Plaintext. But this is where I started running into a bit of a problem. I was trying to capture a set of ideas that were developing over time. I actually needed a journal.
I’ve known about Day One Journal for a few months, and to be honest I had no interest in keeping a journal. But now I needed a solution to my information overload. Day One is beautifully designed. The second you load it up, you know it’s going to be fun to use. In fact, if you want to add an entry to your journal, you simply click on the plus sign, and off you go. It will automatically catalog your entry with today’s date and time. With the latest update, you can add today’s weather (on iOS), or a photo to your entry.
What Day One Journal does for me, (in a similar way to IA Writer) is allow me to start an entry on my iPhone, pick it up later on my iPad and then finish it off on my MacBook. The iCloud sync works behind the scenes so I don’t have to worry about where things are saved.
As you can see from the screenshots, gettings around Day One requires no tutorials or help files. It’s intuitive and just a pleasure to use. The joy I have now is that my favourite iPad app ever, 53′s Paper can now provide the doodles and sketches that I can now place into my journal entries in Day One. For capturing ideas, I don’t think you could find a better combination. If you’re looking to keep your thoughts and activities logged, you’re going to find it hard to do it in a better way that Day One lets you.
If in the future we could add more than one photos to an entry, or best of all, have the ability to keep more than one journal within the App, I could see myself become completely addicted to writing. Although not the cheapest app on the App store, Day One is worth the money you pay for it.