Day One 2 – The best journal (for Mac) just got better (I think)

Day One 2's main screen.

Day One 2’s main screen.

For the past few years I’ve been keeping a sporadic diary in an application called Day One. I have liked several aspects of the software:

  • It has an elegant, uncluttered interface.
  • It has versions for OSx and iOS, and these have sync’d flawlessly
  • It allows me to write my journals using markdown if I wish
  • It has an effective, but not intrusive tagging system to organize entries beyond dates

There are many, many other features, but those are the ones that matter to me most.

One of the reasons I had not used Day One for more than a casual diary is because it only allowed for one journal, which had to store everything.

Today the developer of Day One has issued a new and improved version called Day One 2. There are several improvements in this version, but the one that matters most to me is I can now create multiple journals.

Day One 2 has multiple journal capability. To edit an entry, you need to be in edit mode. You can use markdown for formatting.

Day One 2 has multiple journal capability. To edit an entry, you need to be in edit mode. You can use markdown for formatting.

I’m not doing a full review here. If you’d like more information about the new version, you can get the details here.

The screenshot above shows the five journals I’ve created (three of them are empty, one has one entry, and the other has imported all my entries from the previous version of Day One). In that screenshot, my entry is in edit mode so I can do my writing. Note that I’m using markdown to add some formatting.

Day One 2 with my entry in view mode. It converts the markdown nicely.

Day One 2 with my entry in view mode. It converts the markdown nicely.

Having to switch back and forth from edit mode is a very mild annoyance, one I can live with. It was that way in the previous version of Day One, too.

The other significant change, at least for me, is that I now need to use the propriety Day One cloud service to keep my two MacBooks and my iPad in sync. In very limited testing, this has worked fine so far. This is what the iPad version looks like (notice it is sync’d):

Day One 2 for iPad. Keep all your (Apple-based) devices in sync.

Day One 2 for iPad. Keep all your (Apple-based) devices in sync.

The developer claims moving to the proprietary service is necessary for additional features they are planning. I hope one of those features isn’t a subscription fee for using the sync service — right now it is free, but I’m not sure if there is a guarantee this will always be the case.

Switching journals in the iPad version of Day One 2. (Note: I could not stand that hideous pink color any longer and changed it to gray... that was my doing, not a flaw in the sync.)

Switching journals in the iPad version of Day One 2. (Note: I could not stand that hideous pink color any longer and changed it to gray… that was my doing, not a flaw in the sync.)

The developer is charging even current users a fee for the new versions on both OSx and iOS. For the first week, the price is half the normal price, so you can get the OSx version for $20 and the iOS version for $5. Some people might gripe at that, but to me $25 is a bargain for a useful application like Day One. I am happy to support the continued development of this fine software.

Anyway, so far, so good. If I run into blips, I will update this article. But I wanted to get it posted as soon as possible since the special pricing is for a limited time.

Advertisements

6 comments

  1. hello.
    i just came across this review by google’ing for such.

    i too have been using Day One for the past couple years, as it seems to be the only/best option for syncing between devices (currently, i use Dropbox for that).

    but unlike you, i hate… HATE… dealing with Markdown!!! the lack of having a formatting bar AND not having many standard formatting options really annoys & strains the OCD in me.

    so, i’ve been trying to find out if version 2 is still like this or if they’ve included other formatting options. i can’t seem to find out anywhere – so, since you clearly have it, can you tell me if it does or not?

    THANKS for your time!!!
    ✌🏼

    1. I looked for other formatting options and could not find anything beyond markdown, I’m afraid. Sorry. The markdown, too, is limited. You can’t create ordered lists, for instance. Room for improvement.

      Thank you for reading Welcome to Sherwood!

  2. How’s performance? I have a few thousand entries in version 1.x, and I saw a report here and there about it getting sluggish now.

    I still haven’t decided if I will upgrade; I hate the sync change. The first day sync outage also was concerning.

    1. Thanks for reading the blog. I haven’t noticed any sluggishness, but I only have 330 or so entries and few photographs, so I may not be taxing the software like you would.

  3. I have one big issue with Day One, wich wasn’t addressed in V2 : All your entries all available in the clear in your mac, with no way to encrypt them. I know the document is encrypted while syncing, but it still stays unprotected on your Mac. This is in contrast with MacJournal wich does encrypt all your saved entries in the Mac.
    I keep wanting to like Day One because of it’s much more elegant design compared to MacJournal, but I find this omission glaring. A personal journal is by definition a place where you are very likely to write very persona and intimatel thoughts about yourself and your personal life, and it should be exactly the kind of software that should encrypt your entries.

    By the way, I like the new look of your blog. Vey nice.

    1. Thank you for the comment about the new look of Welcome to Sherwood and for reading my blog. I understand your worry with DayOne. I tend not to put any really sensitive material in it, so don’t worry about this so much. Regarding MacJournal: I like the OS version very much. Not so crazy about the iOS version though. I wish they’d put the effort they used for the useless timeline feature into improving the iPad app and synching.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s