Day One 2 – The Best Journalling App for Mac and iOS

Day One 2 journalling application – first impressions

I’ve been using the journalling application Day One for quite a few years now and now I have Day One 2 . I have written a book about Digital Journalling, you can get on iBooks and also on Amazon. I write every single day in Day One 2. It was five days ago that I got a message to say that the new version of Day One will be available on the 4th of February. So I’ve been having my own little countdown to when the new application became available. I couldn’t wait to get started with it. The good news is we get a few new things we can do with an application and the bad news is that we have to pay to get the new version. Then again, considering it’s an application I use on a daily basis and I enjoy using, I don’t mind in the slightest giving the developer some money. Providing they’ve done a good job and have made some improvements over the previous version. At least they have given a discount of 50% to buyers of the new application for the next week. It’s the only way that developers on iOS can acknowledge the owners of the previous version. It’s no skin off my nose to know that there are going to be one or two people new to the app will take advantage of this special upgrade price. So the long and short of it is, I have bought the Mac version and the iOS version today and it cost me €25. The Mac version came in at €19.99 and the iOS version came in at €4.99. It’s a good application and well worth the money.

Day One

Doing the upgrade to Day One 2 on my devices.

The first upgrade I did was of the iOS version on my iPad Pro. It’s not a huge file to download and didn’t take long before I had the application ready to use. There were about five or six screens with some information about the new application to get past upon opening the app first time. A couple of the screens were also asking questions such as whether I want to have synchronisation, log into account I already have and if I wanted to bring in the data from the previous version. It was pretty handy that the new application recognised that the old application was available on the iPad and offered to bring in all of the old posts, the writing and also the photos. It was a simple procedure to upgrade and to have all of my 3156 journal entries along with nearly 300 photographs and 59 tags, all populating the new Day One 2  digital journalling application for iOS and Mac. After that was done I was keen as mustard to try the application out and see what it could do.

Still more upgrading

The next upgrade was on the iMac and once again it didn’t take too long to have everything sorted out ready to use. After I’d brought in the data from the older version I was then able to remove the previous Day One version. I think it is probably a good idea to do this as soon as possible as otherwise there is a chance that the data could get mixed up with the synchronisation from the device to the service at Day One 2. The icon for the app of course needs to be similar and you might open up the old one by mistake otherwise. It seemed to take a little longer, maybe about an hour so before the application became available on my iPhone App Store. When doing a App Store search it was not turning up in the list. Finally, I left it alone and it downloaded to the iPhone by itself, because that’s how I have it set in my settings for the new applications to be downloaded. There was a small problem I encountered this morning and I was glad to spot a message on Twitter to say that there were problems with the servers for the synchronisation for DayOne. If I hadn’t seen that message then I would probably have got a bit annoyed when creating new posts on one or another of my devices. You expect a sync service to synchronise data to your other devices. It has taken a good portion of the day before the synchronisation was fully up-to-date on all of my devices. Just had to learn to be patient, thats all.

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New facilities in Day one for journalling

Day One

Multiple journals

One of the best new features is now you can have more than one journal contained within the Day One 2 application. So one of the first things I did was to create a new journal to split off and have separate, all of my entries about writing books. In the previous version of the application the only way you’d be able to separate out sets of entries would be to use the tagging feature. We still have the tagging feature within Day One 2, so we’re not going to be losing out on anything. As a user you might want to have a journal for things related to work and another journal for things connected with personal life. It’s quite a big change and it does make the best journalling app for Apple devices even more useful. When you make a new journal entry it’s easy to choose which journal you put it into. It’s another way to help you search your journal and overall the searching much better too.

Multiple images per post

Many times in the past with the old version of the application I had wanted to have more than one image within an entry. It just wasn’t possible and once I got used to it it didn’t really matter too much. However, with Day One 2 we’re now able to put multiple images into one entry. This does work much better and it is a welcome new feature. I’d like to think that as time goes by will also be able to add video clips to an entry in Day One. In a blog post by the developers they have stated that it is on their list of things to do to add audio clips. The ability to add audio clips would be rather nice because there are times when you’d like to hear the sound of somebody’s voice. This is much more personal and can say much more than the words on page will say in a journal. It will be lovely to record a short conversation with my old mom, or hear my grandson saying a few words and save it in the journal.

Mapping your Journal

Day One

I can’t remember whether we has a map to look at in the old version of the app. I never thought about using it, if it was there. Now we have super mapping features to show where in the world we did our journal writing. I love being able to see where I was when I did the journal entry. On the Mac version you can use a right click on the map and choose – New Entry at this Location . Maybe you want to record something you did earlier in the day when you were in a different place. On iOS when you have the map in view there is a button View Visible Region in Timeline (# entries). Why is this facility no available in the Mac version of Day One App? This is a fantastic way to see all the posts from a specific address. It could be all within the country showing or all the entries from a street in a town.

Day One Mapping tools

When you have selected a Day One entry you can choose to see the location details either in the Day One map or have it jump into Apple maps. If you choose the Day One map the map will show in the left panel. Looking at is in the Apple maps application is good if you want to set up some directions to or from someplace. If you look at the location within the Day One map you get to see little spots of blue where you have made all of your journal entries. also you get the choice of looking at it with hybrid and with satellite views.

Search for your Entries

The first part of your search could be from the Map View, which you then refine down to get just what you want. Hit the tag button and you can dig into just the entries with a tag you choose. The tag button gives you access to all of the filters for search. Favourites/Starred, Tags, Years, Published, Activity and Music. The super thing with search is how you can add a number of search criteria to your search to ensure you get just exactly what you’re looking for. Even more reason to make sure you use all of the tagging, mapping, favouriting, marking the activity as you make your entries. The date will go in automatically and sometimes the activity will be recorded for you too. Tagging is easy in the extreme. You only have to type a tag in fully once, the first time you do it. After that, just start typing and the autocomplete will do the rest. No excuse when it comes to it not to tag. I have over 3000 entries and if I want to look for all the instances of something in a specific year, tagged with a certain tag and in the favourites, that involved the activity of walking – No Problem to see just those in the timeline using the filters.

Day One Filtering

Searching for words instead of filtering

Day One Dropdown List

In the Mac app – Searching for a word in the entries brings up a separate drop down list of entries containing that word. Click on one of the entries and it shows you the content of the entry in the main window. It works, but with the iOS app the space where the timeline was showing, shows the results of the search. The way it works is not the same. On the Mac if you want to add tags to a set of entries based on the mention of a word you click on each one in the search list in turn. Then you may add the tag at the bottom of the entry in the main window without having to open the entry fully for editing. It’s possible to correct the location, activity, add as a favourite, location and the date connected with the entry also. All without having to open the entry for editing. If you want to add a photo to the entry you will need to go to editing mode. It is much better to remember to add tags and whatever when you make the entry in the first place, but you can go in later to make changes if you want to.

Photos View

If you are a more visual sort of person then it’s quite likely you’re going to love the photos view. This gives you a view of all of your entries with photos included in the spot where you can choose between timeline, photos, map and calendar. This will show all of the photos included including the entries where you have added more than one photo. You select the photo on your panel of photos on the left-hand side and the entry containing a photo will show up in the main window to the right. It’s a good way to scan through your Day One journal especially if you add photos to all or most of your journal entries.

When you’re looking at these photos view you can do the same filtering as you can when looking at the timeline view. Show just the photos based on one or more tags. With the tags the operator is OR so if you choose more than one tag it will show you all of the pictures including both of those tags chosen. It would be nice in a future version of the application to have variety of Boolean options for searching. The facilities available for the moment are pretty good and a definite improvement on the previous version. When you finish doing your filtering and you want to see all of the entries in your journal again, just click on the tag icon and then use the command at the top Clear All. The photos view is a great way of looking at your journal with most of the images in a square and then one or two photos in a larger square the same as for of the other smaller sized squares. The pictures in the larger squares are the entries that have been favourited.

Day One 2

Calendar view

The calendar view is not as pretty or as useful as the other the views available. Usually you look at this when you want to see if you’ve missed any days in your journalling. There’s nothing wrong with going back and writing something for someday in the past when maybe you were too busy to write in your journal. I don’t usually have that problem myself with being able to add journal entries from my iOS devices as well as on my Mac. It’s easy to pick up the iPhone and to dictate a quick sentence or two along with a photo and not miss out on a day of journalling. The other hand the use for the calendar view is if you want to do some filtering out to show specific journal posts over a period of time. For example, in the journal I make a note of when I do the computer backups. When I’m looking in calendar view I can easily see how often I have backed up my computer if I use the filter for the tag Backup. I could keep a separate journal just for backups, now that’s available in this Day One 2. I may or may not do that, because as it stands it’s working quite well using tags.

Day One 2 Calendar View

The Mac 20 Q verdict on Day One 2

The previous version of Day One was very good and I didn’t really feel the need to do an upgrade to a new version in terms of what I was doing with the application. When it’s an application you use every day of your life you’re going to want to have the latest and greatest available. I was waiting with baited breath as soon as I knew there was a new version coming. I upgraded as soon as it was possible to get the new versions from the app stores. I haven’t been disappointed in the slightest.

The basics of creating posts are very similar to the previous version. The main change for the editing of entries is being able to add more than one photo per entry. This is a feature well worth having. The ability to have more than one journal as another way to separate various parts of your life is also excellent. I like that I’ve been able to drag pictures directly from the photos app on my Mac into Day One 2. Don’t forget the sharing extensions you can do from other applications such as Over for iOS, which gives you a way to add typography to your images before adding them to the journal.

Now that we’ve got past the first day of synchronising the new applications together using the Day One 2 synchronisation, everything is working just perfectly. Entries are made on my iOS devices turn up in the Mac application very soon afterwards.

It’s especially important when you have a large journal over many years that you’re able to conduct searches for information when you need it. I’m highly impressed with the filtering of the posts with Ron looking in the timeline, photos, map or calendar views. It works very fast and certainly does a great job.


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