A Month with Day One

Journaling. It’s something we all know about. It’s something we all know is good for us. It’s something we always tell ourselves we need to do. But unfortunately, most of us don’t keep a journal, at least not consistently. I have personally started a journal several times only to find that I quickly forget about it or don’t have anything to say when I do decide to write. But I’m proud to say that with the Day One app, I have overcome these issues, and I’ve successfully journaled every day for over a month straight.

I have been using the Day One app for a little over a month now, and I must say I am impressed. The interface is super-slick. The sharing options are handy. The ability to add context through time, location, weather, and photos is just wonderful. But most importantly, Day One does what a journal app should: It gets me to write in my journal meaningfully and consistently.

The app is so cool and easy to use, it just makes you want to use it. It erases the barrier between your busy life and your desire to write about it. Whenever you get the urge to write a journal entry, just open up the app, hit the giant “+” button, and start writing. There is no limit to how long or short your entries can be. I’ve personally found that writing just one or two paragraphs seems to be sufficient. When I tried to journal before, I would sit down at the end of the day and try to write it all out at once. This seemed intimidating, and the result was never very good. With the Day One app, you can journal whenever and wherever, as often as you like. In the 35 days I’ve been using the app, I’ve written 97 entries, so about two to three per day. But you can write as many as you like.

Often, I get the urge to say something negative in response to a certain situation. And when this happens, I’m tempted to go to social media sites like Facebook or Twitter with these complaints. However, as we all know, comments like these can be very destructive when put in the public eye. One of the ways I use Day One is to vent these negative messages into a private place. I get to express my emotions without having the negative effects of hurting or angering anyone else. Of course, I also write entries when I’m in a good mood, but these usually end up getting shared with others in some way.

But journaling isn’t just about venting anger or expressing joy. Writing about what happens to you and how that makes you feel is a good way to sort through your emotions in a constructive way. Writing about your emotions forces you to think about them and analyze them in a way that you wouldn’t normally do. This has been very helpful to me in understand why I react in certain ways to certain situations and possibly finding better ways to deal with them.

Expression isn’t limited just to words in Day One. You can add a photo to an entry to add a little flair and context. If you’re writing about a significant event that happened to you, you can attach a photo (or take one if you’re writing the entry in real time) to keep forever along with the journal entry. I’ve personally used this feature a few times to remember key events such as a video shoot or a special gift from a loved one. Another way to customize your entries is adding a location, which automatically includes accurate weather information, a very neat feature. Day One also supports Markdown, a very simple coding language used to customize text (bold, italics, etc.), add links, and more. Basically, your journal entries can be just as expressive in the way the words are presented as the words themselves.

And with Day One, journaling isn’t a chore. You can write entries on your own time on a device you always have with you: your phone! Day One is also available for iPad and Mac, if you’d rather journal on those devices. Honestly, using the app is a joy. I wish more apps were built like this one so that I would want to use them more. Day One just makes journaling fun. And if you’re trying to make of a habit of journaling and need a little help, Day One has a built-in reminder feature that can be configured.

Everyone wants to keep a journal, and everyone should keep a journal. If you’ve found a way to journal that works for you, great. If not, you need to give Day One a try. Day One is a fantastic journaling app that makes journaling fun and easy. Plus, it’s created by a great group of people who are constantly updating it (entry tags and search coming very soon!) and love to interact with users. Give Day One a shot, and start journaling today.

Day One is available on the App Store and the Mac App Store.