Tentatively gravitating back to Day One... is it a mistake?

I rage quit Day One a year ago ( Absolutely fed up with Day One (warning: rant) ), fed up with its erratic sync and clunky E2EE, but as I’m slowly moving towards Craft and losing Obsidian’s E2EE, I’d be looking again at journaling apps and therefore, warily, at Day One. I’m grandfathered with the Plus account (almost everything unlimited) so that would be one less subscription.

Some testing seems to indicate that the devs have done a lot of work ironing out much of the clunkiness, and it looks much more friendly and polished to use than it was 1-2 years ago.

Am I right in that impression? Do you have notably good or bad experiences to share you’ve kept up with it? I’d be willing to give it a second chance. Thanks! :whale:


My big problem with Day One was the search interface. It was easy to put stuff in, and to keep it secure, even to organize it somewhat, but discovery or browsing was very difficult for me. (I haven’t looked at it recently.)


I think DayOne’s current incarnation (v6.1) has got search done right. We can search for a string (say, a name, or phrase). DayOne’s view options (Timeline, Photos, Maps, Calendar) is then filtered based on the search result.

(With the recent updates to DayOne it might be timely for MPU to do a small update to the 2019 episode Journaling with DayOne (#478).)

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I get bothered that Day One essentially closed off access to an earlier version. That’s why I stayed with an even earlier version! (There was likely some indication they might do that).

But I think the main reason I didn’t upgrade was because it wasn’t being backed up in iCloud but rather their server although I think they did eventually move to using iCloud. At this point that’s not what I’m concerned about.

I just find it disconcerting that they would cut you off as something as important as a journal. In fact, I’m thinking of not even using that early version anymore. I’ve been using Agenda instead most of the time.

IMHO, their subscription fee is too high for what you get. If they lowered it I might bite.

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Can you suggest an alternative to Day One? Thank you

I abandoned Evernote a while back and have tried a lot of alternatives, none of which have been completely satisfactory replacements. So, guess who’s giving EN another look?

IMO if you have been considering giving Day One another chance, you may have already made up your mind.

Thank you all, @luhmann , @quorm , @Katie , @WayneG ! :slightly_smiling_face:I was curious as to any dealbreakers, before making the effort to attempt going all-in and see how I fare – none raised, so I guess I’m safe to go. Thank you :+1:

I agree Day One is expensive, but I’m lucky to be grandfathered for free in a plan providing mostly all features (I’m just limited to 10 photos / entry, can’t add video or PDF, can’t do voice entries, but I can really live without all that). So not only do I get a potentially (now) good app but one I don’t have to keep paying for, which is always nice in the era of subscriptions. :slightly_smiling_face:

@Yaakov There’s Diarly. Or even Obsidian!

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The thing that keeps me with Day One, over just doing it in any old notes app, like Obsidian, Bear, etc, is the “On this Day” feature. I really enjoy that, especially since I have been using the program for 9 years now and built up a history. I am grandfathered for the free version as well, not sure I would use it if I had to pay, but since it’s basically free at this point, why not?


Yep! Exactly my thoughts (provided it does work as I expect it to, which seems much better now)

Interesting thread! I’m in a similar position–grandfathered in.

My question relates more to privacy. I ditched online journals as journals are private and the thought of personal thoughts being read or exploited by others caused me to avoid online journals.

How secure are entries in Dayone from access by anyone else other than the owner?

They have rolled out default E2EE in a very transparent and ingenious way, which I find very attractive. So: by default, I think only you can access them.

Thank you! That sounds very good. Will need to take a look. Last time I used them was when they turned subscription.

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I upgraded from Classic to subscription-based Day One a few years ago but find myself rarely using the extra features.

Having read the discussion here I’m contemplating dusting down my old Classic app and letting the sub expire.

However, I can’t figure out how to export/import my entries back into Classic. It doesn’t seem to accept the JSON export file so I’m wondering if anyone else here has managed it and, if so, how?

Are you still on DayOne? With the grandfathered Plus tier, we get updates but are just limited in features right? Since they removed TE support, I findmyself using it less and less as I prefer the option of an external keyboard. Im not sure I can justify the $25/year now.

I find the app much easier and polished so yeah, I’m currently using it (but I still have to make a final decision as to where I’ll land – either in a journaling app or collating everything in my PKM system). If I stay on a journaling app it’ll be this one, yeah (the ease of entry is really the added value). I have almost all features – especially E2EE – and am just limited in a few things (don’t have voice dictation – don’t care – can’t attach more than 10 pics to an entry – don’t care – and so on). The Plus tier is extremely usable, and since I have it, figured that would be worth using.

While they churn out a lot of updates Day One still feels dated to me. One example is something as basic as the missing mapping of CMD + F to search within all entries on macOS. It is too expensive for what it offers for me and I keep reevaluating it every year. The only reason I’m staying is the trouble to find a different tool.

I honestly would not pay the full subscription they ask. I would use Diarly. But since I have it free and almost full-featured…


The “On this Day” feature was one of my favourite features as well. Last year I switched to Obsidian and by now I’ve tried multiple ways to replicate that feature there. It’s a bit of work in the beginning but I’ve much flexibility of how to display it here. I tried first showing it at the bottom of today’s note. Later gave that idea up since I’d rather use Shortcuts/Launchbar to append to the end of the daily note throughout the day for quick capture. Now I use a separate note which is linked to the date in the heading and I usually just hover over it to view previous years transcluded.

With Obsidian available on mobile as well now (private beta) combined with URL schemes, one can even use Siri Automation to get daily notifications which could open the “On this Day” note for today.

So far the only things I miss (but not as much) are the location tagging and media view. But the benefits of using Obsidian with the ability to link (especially people) and to log things (aggregated by a Dataview table) far outweighs those Day one features.


I admit I loved having my diary in Obsidian. And I would love to have everything in one place. I hope this can be replicated in time with Craft… the call of native is too strong!

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They say,

We like someone because; we love them despite.

I loathe electron apps on my Mac but I’ve learned to ignore that part with Obsidian. It does help that they’ve optimised it so well. But even otherwise, I love it despite its limitations for the value it does add to my life compared to most other apps I use.

In some other universe, it’d be a native app as pretty as Things, with AppleScript support as well implemented as in Omnifocus and a graph view as nice as that of MindNode and all the native bells and whistles like Services support but a lot of us would reject it because of it’s proprietary file-format or no plugin support or even for it’s subscription model.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m grateful for the present universe and I’d vote to let Day One go(I still keep mine around as an archive since I’m also grandfathered). And when I think of how long it might take to import back just the year of entries from Obsidian into Day One, I shudder. You might not have that problem but in the future, Day One is still more difficult (not impossible) to export/import from/into.

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