726: Journaling Update: Apple’s New App, Day One Updates & More


I haven’t listened yet but I’m not interested in the Journal app until it comes to at least the iPad, preferably, the iPad AND the Mac. I’m not going to try and journal on a form factor as small as the iPhone.


True. Even apps that do incorporate Apple’s Journaling Suggestions will only do it when creating entries from iPhone (see Day One)


Are you sure? It took nine years for the iPad to get the Health app

I’m certain. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Haven’t listened yet either, but people expecting the journaling suggestions to be helpful are going to be sorely disappointed. If you took a bunch of pictures today, it won’t recommend them until tomorrow (maybe). It will suggest yesterday’s workout, but not todays usually (sometimes the “recent” tab has it). Music suggestions I haven’t paid attention to because that is not something I care about. If you want to journal and not pay for it, you are just as well off using whatever note taking app you use now.

I have been using it along with Day One (which can use the suggestion API), and just ignore the suggestions it at this point. Neat idea, poorly done.

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It is a little bit frustrating, but what I’ve started doing is when I’m out walking the dogs at night, I’ll open the app, and I’ll dictate whatever’s on my mind to it. Alternatively, I’ll draft a journal entry in drafts, let it sync over to my iPhone, and then copy and paste it.

It’s kind of cumbersome, but being able to dictate my messages and journal entries while out walking has been really nice.

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Just the episode I was requesting.

What I like about Day One is the ability to record into it and then have it transcribed with some success. Just talking into it and having it recorded there gives me some satisfaction.

What I don’t like about Day One is the fact that this feature is behind a subscription paywall, which is understandable.

If Apple introduced a recording function into their app new app I would jump at it

I guess we’ll eventually get more and more used to non-typing ways of journaling and mundane writing in general as the tech progresses from screens into the “next thing”. Some AI can really help with these.

Some fields, however, are way harder to get into dictation such (coding, math or even poetry)… I don’t see we moving away from keyboards there anytime soon.

This made me think.

In theory, dictation for coding ought to be EASIER than general text, as for any particular language you have a limited number of meaningful words and such things as variables once defined are added to that. I can imagine dictation linked to something like the code completion/error checking that we already have in many editors. I guess the issue is that you’d need a different and dedicated dictation engine, while all the effort to date has gone into general speech dictation.

I also think that there’s an underlying problem: speaking your thoughts and writing them are not the same thing. One is primarily using speech, hearing and listening and the other is primarily visual. Dictating to a journal is generating speech which becomes visual (text). It would be interesting to reflect on how this changes the process. My guess and experience is that dictating to a journal is “thinking out loud” and can create insights you might not otherwise gain. I also suspect that coding or maths is inherently about structure and that is more inherently visual - I want to sketch code as some sort of diagram or pseudocode (structure) rather than describe it in words. That may be a similar issue with (some kinds of) poetry - structure tends towards the visual.

Just caught up with the episode. The discussion of Apple’s journal was helpful. I’ve only dipped in and this told me (good and bad) what I needed to know about the app. Similarly, the discussion of the suggestions API was very informative.

I know McSparky and Stephen are both committed Day One users, but there are other, in many ways better, journalling apps out there. There are real downsides to DayOne (inconsistent between platforms, slow development, long-term bugs, depending on someone else’s - albeit encrypted - cloud, lock-in, very nearly went belly up and might do so again) that MPU never mentions. Everlog got a mention and it’s a very good app with a responsive developer, better than DayOne in many ways, but Diarly also ticks all the Day One boxes (encrypted, suggestions api, multiple journals, media inserts etc) and has an equally responsive and active developer and I am sure there are others. They don’t get heard about because everyone instantly assumes DayOne or analogue whenever journalling comes up. That’s what being market leader gets you, I guess, but in a power user podcast it would be great to have a more comprehensive overview of the field. Maybe that shouldn’t rely on the hosts’ own experience alone - over time maybe invite more developers as guests and maybe slightly fewer podcasters/creators?


I would reframe the journaling app as an extension of their health apps. There are mental and cognitive benefits of journaling. Apple is not looking to make the best apps. It is looking to reduce barriers to entry so more people are engaged in positive activities. This is a good step in the right direction.


meh - do all my journaling in Obsidian’s Daily Notes, interstitially…


I do really wonder about this. Apple recently spent all that time getting their dev stacks to the point where supposedly it’s easy to release software for Mac, iPhone, and iPad simultaneously - and then they go and release software that’s iPhone-only.

I’ll be very disappointed if it doesn’t make it to at least iPad in the very near future.


Since the Vision Pro will be running iPad & iPad based apps, perhaps Apple is waiting to release both at the same time?

If I didn’t have NotePlan, I expect I would be creating my Daily Notes in Obsidian, too.


That’s the thing with keeping your journal entries in plaintext .md files in system folders. If one app breaks or is abandoned by its dev, you just point another app at them and keep journaling, instead of praying that an export/import process goes smoothly.


The transaction using Apple’s inbuilt keyboard is quite good and as good as DayOne.


This might be more appropriate in a new thread, by MacJournal has returned to the arms of the original developer. I don’t recall ever using this when it was with Mariner Software; anyone have any strong feelings this way or that about it?

Diarly is another solid journaling app. It’s part of SetApp for those that have a subscription. Nice set of features while staying out of the way so I can get to writing.

As a heavy Obsidian user, I did not choose it because of local encryption and storage (I like to attach images to my journals). End-to-end encryption is mentioned in many of these shows, but that’s not the entire story. End-to-end encryption only means it’s encrypted through the sync process from one endpoint to another. Once the files leave my machine, they’re encrypted in transit and on Obsidian servers until they are back on one of my devices. Once on my device, they are stored in plain text.

I don’t want my journal entries stored in plain text locally. If a family member can access my machine, they can access the journals. That’s fine for some users, but I generally journal for myself and have no intention of my family reading my journals. Apps like Diarly have end-to-end encryption and encrypt data at rest on the local device.

Just something to consider. You could still use Obsidian, but it would require, at least in my use case, an additional method to encrypt locally. Not to mention fiddling with Obsidian and plugins to get the same functionality many of these journaling apps have out-of-the-box.