How are you using Day One these days?

I’ve accidentally subscribed to Day One again. And instead of trying to fix the error, I figured I’d give it another chance.

Then! I thought I’d come here to see how people are using the app but also the different features that have popped up since last I journaled…

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I just subscribed a day or so ago and have four entries so far. I want to keep some work information in there, but plan on using it for personal observations too.

I use it in a few different ways. I have a personal journal that I’ve linked all my social media feeds to, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. I add my own random thoughts and feelings to this book in much the same way I used to add them to my paper journals (where I would cut out and paste in interesting articles, photos etc).

I have a journal for my son’s health, so I can keep a track of what he’s been sick with and the medication he’s needed to resolve it. The tags mean I can pull up something like “ear infection” and have his whole history on hand when we visited the specialist last week.

I have a few journals for my son and nieces to record funny things they’ve said or done.

Finally, I have a gratitude journal I use via Reminder/template every night to capture three things I’m grateful for.


I have a few thousand entries in a few journals.

My main encrypted personal lifelogging journal is broken down by year and I archive previous years’ journals - that is, I don’t sync them to iOS. I’ll often include a pic or two in an entry, but that’s about it. My personal journal usually has 1-3 separate entries per day.

I’ve never used the new audio feature. I used to pull in my tweets, but then was before I went on a social media diet and deleted all my tweets. I do like the option to tag where I am on a map for my entries. I used to use #tags but gave up on it and resort to search (which to be honest is pretty rudimentary and the most annoying thing about the app to me).

My other journal is a food/workout journal that gets updated throughout the day, one post a day.

I like Day One a lot and I use it a lot, but I’m not using browser extensions or making books or photo albums (on their podcast one of the employees has a journal consisting exclusively of photos of concert tickets). The Mac app doesn’t get as much move or feature parity as the iOS app (which makes sense, given the sales and use of the service/apps) which is a little frustrating since I use it as much on the Mac as on iOS and I’d at least like to be able to have the same font choices on both apps.

The site has a nice section detailing how users employ the app.

Ultimately, given my modest needs I could probably move to another app (even a non-journaling-specific app, like Notebooks) if I wanted but I’m fairly content with the current setup for now.

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I have a personal journal that I write about work, personal stuff, a random topic and how many steps I had. I have another journal that has a monthly review for work. Lastly I have a journal that has my drawings with a little commentary for each day.

I started journaling yesterday (March 1) with DayOne, so my opinion isn’t worth much. That said, I will probably use it like @bowline - just for daily text entry. Maybe a photo but I rarely take pictures. Therefore, I am not getting the subscription, which will limit my journaling to just my home laptop. But hey, analogue people limit their journaling to a single notebook so it’s not much different.

Writing what happened today and how you feel about it has already been very helpful. I think that’s the heart of journaling, especially for people who rarely talk about their day or daily feelings.

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So far in 2019 I’ve backslid quite a bit on my daily journaling - and I feel bad about it because I usually include little moments I otherwise forget after only a day or two. When I use it I definitely appreciate the iOS version’s activity feed / location history, and the end-to-end encryption was the reason I finally upgraded to the subscription plan in the first place.

I don’t think I’ve attached a photo this year.

I’ve never used Drawing, audio recording, transcription, or Apple Watch features. (Don’t own an Apple Watch.)

I turned off Reminders because the app’s too dumb to only remind me when I haven’t already entered something that day.

I wiped my Twitter account (and I don’t use Facebook) so the social media integrations aren’t useful right now.

I do use the app several times/day for my food journal.

The new version they pushed out went a long way to fixing the biggest problem I had with the app: not being able to search within notes. But it’s clunkily implemented, so that on the Mac I need to first click on the spyglass to initiate a search, then click a potential note in the results, then search again inside the note. It’s a lot better than nothing, but it could stand a lot of improvement.

Ultimately, I’m happy paying for the subscription, and the app is, generally speaking, far ahead of the competition in cross-platform features and stability. But I don’t need most of the features, and there are still issues with the app and niggles (like not being able to choose my font), so I don’t feel locked in yet.

FYI Day One has a podcast in which they discuss the app, speak with people in the company about features, and interview users to see how they use the app.

I don’t subscribe to Day One, but I guess I’ve had an account long enough that I was grandfathered into the “not basic free tier, but not full subscription” plan. I don’t use it daily. Things I have done with it:

  • Attempted a 365 Day photo project (only made it a month)
  • Write down the dreams I remember (I’ve had some really weird ones)
  • Jot down just random thoughts, milestones, weird/funny things that my kids do
  • Work out thoughts about things that are bothering me/taking a major toll on my psyche
  • Keep track of random, unexpected things that made me happy. Recent ones include comments I’ve received in response to appearing on a podcast, compliments on some code I’ve written, and getting my little blog linked by a large community newsletter (this last one is always a surprise - I’ll wake up in the morning to the Wordpress widget on my iPhone showing that I’ve got a few dozen hits already for the day, so I get to go sleuthing to find out where it all came from).
  • Contemporaneous notes about things that I’ll want to write about in depth later. For example, I’ll go to a large, multi-day conference and after a conversation with someone, or at an after-hours event, I’ll jot that down so I can blog about it when I return home. It helps me put together a chronology/travelogue of the whole event to post on my blog, complete with context & proper ordering.
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I’ve been using it a few years. I make note of non-everyday events, and use it to track places I’ve been. I don’t make much use of the photos feature, and I wish search was better because search is my primary use for Day One

At some point I really should find another app — maybe plain text combined with Google or Apple Maps for location tagging.

I make very little use of it to record my philosophy and feelings.

Hmmm… I need to think more about why I journal and then work backward to find the best tools and workflows to achieve that purpose.

I do enjoy looking back on what I was doing on this day in previous years I was journaling.

I should also do a better job of journaling how I solve particular problems — what I tried that did not work, what eventually worked. Problems do have a way of recurring.

FYI it was just announced that MacJournal’s dev, Dan Schimpf, has taken the app back from Mariner software, which has distributed it (for a decade?), and is beta-testing a new version that syncs with the iOS app. From what I’ve heard the new Mac app is still very much a beta product, but even the current version might be the most full-featured Mac competitor to Day One.

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Is anyone using the new’ish templates in Day One?

I already cooked up, with a little help from you guys, a lot of Siri Shotcuts that does al to of the same stuff as these templates, but with more space for advanced functionality.

But I’m curious if anyone is using them a lot?

Does DayOne support ApplePencil?

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yes it does. which makes it an even better app.

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I’ve used Day One everyday since 2011. Even if I only write a sentence as long as I put something in it. I lost my nephew in April of last year. I’ve never wanted children and he was the closest I’ll ever be to having a son. With it’s book printing feature I was able to print out a book of all posts and instagram posts since you can now directly import them to remember him. I was also able to print one for my 15 year old Chocolate Lab Lucy who passed away this past May. It’s these types of things that make me a user for life. It’s like getting your first Fracture print and getting addicted because they look so damn good.


I don’t use tags, because I like the color separation by creating journals for rough categorization, which results in the following separation:

  • Diary – Random entries, mainly photos that I share with myself as some sort of “private social media timeline”. Sometimes I group longer vacations or weekend trips into one entry.
  • Gratitude – Whenever I feel thankful for something/someone I add a quick note
  • Movies – I have a Shortcut that takes an IMDB share URL and retrieves the movie poster via the OMDb or TMDb API and adds the movie’s title and year with the IMDB link to the entry. It also queries me for a rating. After the DayOne entry is created it opens the Letterboxd app with a search for the IMDB movie ID and hands over the rating.
  • Music – When there is a track or album that I really find impactful, I add it with its cover image to DayOne. Usually as a Spotify link and artist/title mentioned somewhere.
  • Books – I usually keep track of direct quotes of books with the app Keypassages, because I do not use a kindle exclusively (a lot of library PDFs, physical books or audiobooks) , but I’ll usually quickly add the cover, title, author and some rough notes or key take aways to DayOne. I still need to write a Shortcut to consolidate both and store it in DayOne.
  • Whisky & Spirits – If I drink a fancy whisky, spirit or wine, I’ll usually add it with a picture to this. I usually write down 1-2 lines of tasting notes and whether I can compare it to something I’ve previously tasted and if I like it or not.
  • Made & Done – Little maker log of stuff that I build and fix, both digital and analog.
  • Quotes – A collection of quote that I stumble about. The good thing is that it keeps showing up in the “on this day” section every year so I get to review them regularly.
  • To-Don’t – I stole that idea from @RosemaryOrchard :ok_hand: I keep track of some missteps. The only wish that I would have is to be able to exclude this journal from the “all entries” view and the “on this day” review. It can sometimes be a drag to see those unhappy moments mixed in with your good memories. But still sometimes it is worth going back and taking a look at them.
  • Instagram – I’ve linked up DayOne to my Instagram to automatically crawl posted images. All story entries I manually save and also add them to that journal.
  • Questions – A new journal that I just set up is dedicated for questions from books that i read that need some deeper thinking. An example would be the book “Five – Where Will You Be in Five Years from Today” by Dan Zadra, which was recommended in the forum. But this journal is still in the making. I’ll probably come up with a Shortcut to input those questions and pick the book title and author from a list.

Generally my journaling habit is very visual. Besides the journals for quotes and questions I will always add a photo or brief video clip. They don’t always have to be taken by myself. For whiskys/spirits I will sometimes search for a generic image of the bottle, which also increase recognizing it in stores. A photo taken of the glass in a bar wouldn’t help me with it. I still often add a quick snapshot to help me remember the situation.

Generally most of my entries are there to help me to quickly get back into the mindset and feel of the time of the entry.

What my journaling habit lacks are some deeper reflections and also consistency when it comes to those habits. But I am not that type of person that sits down daily to write for 10min. I hope the new questions journal will maybe spark some interest in that field.


I do now.

I was using MarkDown tables (created by Launch Center Pro, using an URL scheme), but template (sections) look much better in Dark Mode.

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Journal - Daily entry, each morning, recapping the day before, always accompanied by a photo I took on that day.

Dream Journal - Daily entry, each morning, recapping details recalled from dreams, along with guesses about the meaning of key symbols and the overall message.

Instagram - I love, love, love pulling all my Instagram work into a journal, and just had one of the books created (cost: about $40) incorporating all my 2019 photos.

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I don’t subscribe but I’m grandfathered into the (Plus I think ) legacy plan.

I use it for my daily journal using templates that vary a little based on the time for day.

The templates are like "what happened yesterday, what did you do today, what do you plan on doing? and area dedicated to whatever is on my mind at the moment. World events, issues in my live. girls I am dating, whatever is in the forefront.

I went off the Day One Premium subscription as I wasn’t using it enough. But I still want to share audio recording to Day One as new entries. This is a premium feature.

But is it possible to do it otherwise, perhaps from Voice Memos or Drafts and then put it into Day One from that?


I have a Productivity Journal.

It’s where I brain dump and then organize my week. I know some people will scoff at this but it makes Day One more like a Bullet Journal for me. (I’ve tried physical journals and calendars, they don’t do it for me.)