Day One Review: Is It Worth It?

Is the Day One journaling app worth your time and money? Let’s find out in this Day One review!

Good habits are hard to develop. I've been trying to build the habit of daily journaling for years now without any luck. Sometimes I'll tell myself I'm too busy or I don't feel like it. 

I know journaling is beneficial, but it's surprisingly difficult to stick to.

It reminds me of meditating. Who would think that sitting down for 5 minutes a day and doing nothing is so difficult?

However, when I discovered the Day One journaling app, I had to give it a shot. It promised to make journaling fun and exciting. So, did the Day One app work? In this review, I'll go through what the Day One app is like, if I enjoyed using it, and the pros and cons.

What Is Day One And Why Should I Consider Using It?

An honest Day One review the only journaling app you’ll ever need

Day One is a journaling app developed by Bloom Built and is available on Android, macOS, and iOS devices.  It sets itself apart from other apps since it's designed to encourage you to create journal entries and look back on previous memories.

Whether you have an idea while walking, eating, or watching television, you can whip out your phone and make a note. Day One is always adding new features to the app. For example, you can now record entries on your Apple watch.

Day One was founded in 2011 and takes journaling to the next level. You can add photos, audio, and video to every entry. This makes journaling more interactive and fun.

Most of my entries are pictures with a summary of thoughts and feelings.

Day One also uses automatic geotags that add location, date, time, and weather to your videos, audio, pictures, and text. This makes entries detailed and fun to look back on.

When you open the app, there'll be huge indicator icons that allow you to add pictures, audio, and text.

Day One has two color schemes. These include:

  • Default look
  • Dark mode

Both interfaces are beautiful and easy to use. Day One even won the Apple Design Awards and Mac App of the Year because of their engaging design.

The Criteria I Used When Reviewing Day One

While reviewing Day One, I used the following criteria to decide if it's a useful journaling app or not:

  1. Design
  2. Syncing 
  3. Security
  4. Automation
  5. Flexibility

I also focused on pricing, which I'll go into more detail about later in this review.

Design

Design is a key characteristic that determines if an app is worth your time. Nobody wants to use an app that looks like it was created in the 1990s. It should have an engaging and easy-to-use interface. This way, you look forward to clicking on the app.

Luckily, Day One has a relaxing background that ensures you look forward to your next journal entry.

Syncing

The perfect journaling app should be ready at any time. Inspiration can hit at any moment, and a few seconds can determine whether you forget about an idea or record it and turn it into something extraordinary.

You could be working at your desktop, watching videos on your MacBook, or commuting with your phone in your pocket. When a creative idea pops in your head, the ideal journaling app must be ready.

This is why syncing all your devices is essential.

The good news is, Day One allows you to sync your entries with Dropbox or iCloud on your computer, iPad, and iPhone. So whenever you think of a creative idea, Day One will be waiting to capture it.

Security

We use journaling apps to record our most personal thoughts, feelings, and ideas. So it's normal to want peace of mind knowing our information is safe. 

A secure app should have advanced security features like Face ID, Touch ID, and end-to-end encryption to prevent unwanted eyeballs looking at our personal entries.

Luckily, Day One has top-of-the-line safety features so you can be sure your personal information and metadata won't be leaked. You can set a password and even encrypt journals.

Automation

Automation is what separates digital journal apps from a notebook. Notebooks aren't designed to make journaling fun and engaging. It's just there if you have an idea.

If your digital app doesn't make journaling exciting, then you might as well get a notebook.

The ideal app should automatically add time, weather, and location to your journal entries. They should also encourage you to add pictures, videos, and audio.

With Day One, there are enormous icons for pictures, videos, and audio on the home screen. This way, it's easier to add engaging memories. The app also allows you to track location, weather, and time.

It also surfaces old entries and journaling prompts if you're feeling stuck or down with a case of writer's block.

Flexibility

Flexibility is essential when recording creative ideas and thoughts. A digital journal app should be able to handle long entries, pictures, videos, and audio.

We can't capture the finest memories and details of our lives with text only.

Luckily, Day One's daily journal is designed for you to use on-the-go since creating a quick entry only takes a few seconds. You can record entries using your phone, format them with Markdown and edit when back at your desk.

What Is Day One Like?

You can download Day One on the iOS app store for Apple users, Play Store for Android users, or Mac Store for Mac users.

Once the app is installed, you're greeted with a beautiful blue and white homepage. It's clean, straightforward, and easy to use. But you have the option to change this default interface into dark mode if you prefer.

Next to your menu bar, you'll see three formatting options:

  • Camera 
  • Audio recording
  • Plain text

To start journaling, click on the camera icon. It'll ask for access to your gallery. Simply add a picture or take a new photo. You can also use a photo from your social media accounts.

Next, create a note you'd like to attach, and Day One will automatically save it.

You can also click on the audio icon to record audio recordings. However, this option is only available on the Premium Plan.

Between the three, my favorite way to capture memories is with pictures. I'll snap a few photos of something, add some text, and it'll be on my phone for years.

On the bottom of your screen, you'll have three buttons next to your home screen button. 

The first one is your gallery. Here you'll find all the pictures you've taken in chronological order. Next to your gallery icon is your location icon. Here you can see all the places you visited and where you're currently at.

The last icon is your calendar view. This is a helpful tool if you want to build the habit of journaling. 

Overall, Day One is a powerful app based around functionality that uses engaging tools to make journaling fun. I enjoy using Day One since it isn't complicated and I use it capture meaningful memories.

For example, a new Day One feature called Markdown Tables allows you to add tables to your entries. This is helpful for recording tasty recipes. 

Their sync features are also impressive. You can record picture, video, and audio entries on your iPhone and it’ll immediately sync to other devices like your MacBook or desktop using a companion app.

The Day One desktop app for Mac

Who Can Benefit From Using Day One?

Journaling offers several benefits that improve your overall happiness and clarity. Combine that with an app like Day One that’s specially designed to encourage journal entries, and you have a life-changing habit.

So who can benefit from using Day One?

  1. Anyone looking to turn journaling into a habit
  2. Writers and entrepreneurs
  3. Those who like to travel

Anyone Looking To Turn Journaling Into A Habit

Journaling is notoriously difficult to stick to. From personal experience, I can say that before using Day One, I'd journal for about 5 days and stop. This break in momentum forces you to start from scratch.

If you’re trying to build a journaling habit but can’t seem to stick to it, then Day One is perfect for you.

Using Day One isn't as dull as writing in a journal. You have the option to add voice notes, videos, and pictures. Whenever you make a journal entry, the app automatically adds your location, date, time, and weather.

This makes journaling fun and easy to stick to. You can even create multiple journals.

Multiple journals in Day One app
Multiple journals in Day One app

Writers And Entrepreneurs

As a writer or entrepreneur, you constantly need new ideas for blog posts, projects, or marketing strategies. Sometimes you'll think of a revolutionary idea while going about your day, but after a few seconds, it slips your mind.

This leaves you spending several minutes trying to recall that idea without any luck. It's plain frustrating.

But with Day One's advanced syncing and convenience features, this problem is a thing of the past.

Whether you're at work, home, or spending time with family and friends, Day One is always ready to capture your creative ideas.

Those Who Like To Travel

Day One gives you the option to view all your journal entries from a map. It shows the entries you made from cities around the country or even around the world. This makes it a helpful feature for travelers. 

You can capture all your memories, vacations, and adventures with a click of a button.

Another reason Day One is perfect for travelers is because they have an On This Day feature. It takes you back to entries you made on that day in years past. For example, if you traveled to Bali on this day five years ago, then Day One will notify you.

This evokes pure nostalgia.

Day One also shows you the time, weather, and location of your memory.

You can access this feature by clicking on your daily notifications. It'll appear on the top of your timeline within the app.

If you use the Day One app for years and you make regular entries, then the On This Day feature is something you look forward to when waking up in the morning.

How Does Day One's Pricing Work?

Day One is a free app available on all iOS, macOS, and Android devices. It has two plans:

  1. Day One Basic Plan
  2. Day One Premium Plan

The Basic Plan is free, and all you need to do is sign up for an account. You'll get access to one journal, and you can only use it on one device. Meaning, you can't sync your account across devices. You can also only add one picture to each entry and no videos or audio entries.

This might sound limited, but you get advanced features like:

  • Auto-tagging
  • On This Day 
  • Templates
  • Daily reminders

This free plan is a practical option for anyone looking to try Day One without spending money.

However, the Premium Plan costs $34,99 annually, and you can access all Day One's features. Videos and audio records are available. You can create unlimited journals and add unlimited pictures and videos.

Premium also has a voice-to-text transcription feature that's helpful if you're on the go.

Why Trust Us?

After struggling to journal for years, I decided to give Day One a shot, and it helped me build the habit of journaling. I've been using Day One for a few months now, and I'm starting to experience the benefits of daily journaling. 

I feel mentally clear, I rarely overthink decisions, and I'm more grateful for the things I have.

It's one of the best journaling apps available and I can't wait to get to a point where I'm receiving On This Day notifications regularly.

Day One's On This Day feature surfaces old entries

The criteria I used to review Day One look at syncing, security, automation, and flexibility. I feel like Day One does a fantastic job with all these. 

For example, when you add a photo to Day One using your smartphone, it's immediately available on your desktop. 

Your information is also secured with end-to-end encryption. 

Is Day One Worth It?

If you struggle with daily journaling, then Day One is worth it. Day One allows you to capture your life story in a fun and vivid way. It's one of the best apps available. Their design is polished and has more features than other journaling apps.

However, they don't have an app for Windows, and their Android app isn't the best. If you're an Android or Windows user, I recommend using Journey instead.

But if you're comparing Day One to Journey, Day One is the clear winner.

Final Word On Day One

Journaling is one of the most important habits to build. It clears your mind, allows you to record creative ideas, and increases overall levels of happiness. But it isn't the easiest habit to build. Luckily, the Day One app makes journaling fun and easy since you can record your life story with a click of a button.


Journaling Resources

The Best Journals to Buy

How to Write a Journal

Diary Vs Journal: What's The Difference?

The Best Writing Apps

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Author

  • Yaseen is a personal trainer turned professional writer and he’s obsessed with everything health, fitness, and business-related. If he isn’t at the gym, you can find him playing video games or spending time with friends and family.

Day One App: Is It Worth It?

Day One App is a great tool if you want to take journaling more seriously. It's quick, easy to use and secure. We use it and recommend it.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Pleasing user interface
  • Secure sync
  • Supports multiple journals and multimedia content
  • Gallery format is engaging and makes journaling easy to stick to
  • On This Day feature evokes nostalgia

Cons

  • Not available on Windows
  • Some odd quirks when copying text from one journal to the next
  • Android features are limited
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