Day One: A great journaling program for the iPad, et. al.

I previously wrote about my effort to streamline my app useage on my new iPad Mini. One app that has made the cut is Day One. I’ve been using Day One off and on for a year or two now, but hadn’t begun to rely on it until I got the Mini. Day One has Mac, iPod/iPhone and iPad versions that can all be sync’d via iCloud or Dropbox. One of the things that held it back for me was the lack of a decent search and the fact that it didn’t have tagging. I’m not a big proponent of tagging in general… that is, for applications that allow you to categorize notes under topics, it seems a little redundant to me. However, for notes that are date organized, tagging is essential. Day One has added both a good search function and tagging to its new release for iPad and iPhone (those features are not yet available for the Mac edition yet, but I expect them soon).

Among the nice features of Day One are these:

  • You can capture photos and include them in your entries.
  • It will automatically capture weather information for your location and include it with the entry.
  • You can use Multi-Markdown to add formatting to your text.
  • It will remind you to make entries on a schedule you set.
  • Make as many entries each day as you need.

My one complaint about Day One is that it does not include any additional keys on the keyboard to help navigate and enter information. I’ve found this very helpful with other apps. For instance, keys that move the cursor forward or backward one letter or one word at a time. Without these, you have to rely upon the awkward iPad technique of pressing and holding your finger over the word you want to edit, wait for the magnifying glass to pop up so you can accurately move the cursor around. This works, but it is disruptive.

My other small complaint is that it is annoying that the OSx app and the iOS apps are not released with the same functionality at the same time.

Regardless of these this minor peeve, I find Day One an exceptional program. It is making me a lot more conscientious about recording diary type information.



  1. Additional keys are available (at least on the iPad version) above the keyboard. There are sets of icons (very small and very dim) above the keyboard. If you swipe from one set to the next (there is a total of three) you will find one containing Markdown tools and right/left cursor keys. Unfortunately, you can’t edit which keys are available to you.

  2. James, thanks for pointing this out. I actually had discovered this myself, but forgot about my own complaint in this post. I’m glad to set the record straight. And thanks for reading!

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