Day One Journal

[update on 12/14/2012: Apple has named the Mac version of Day One their App of the year]

There was a time when I was keep a lengthy journal using a word processor.  Over the years that I found it took much effort and the entries became few and far between and that kind of journal gave way to blogging.  But blogging required some dedicated time and I would end up missing a lot of things I want to record so blogging mostly gave way to Facebook, or what some term as micro blogging.  What I now realize is that Facebook is not a good way to keep track of what has happened in your life and not all things that are important should be posted for others to see.  I was looking for a journal application that I could use on my mobile devices, iPad and iPhone and also on my computer.  After looking at some reviews I decided to use Day One Journal.  There is a universal version for the iPhone/iPad  and a separate version for the Mac.  Both are paid applications and currently about $5 for the mobile application and $10 for the Mac version.

Entries can be made on any of these devices and will sync, using either iCloud or Dropbox, to all the other devices.  I find this very handy.  You can attach a single photo to each entry.  When using the mobile versions it will look up your location based on where you are, use the GPS data from the photo, or allow you to search for a place.  It will then look-up the weather for that time for that location, and include that in your entry.  If your photo has location data, you can start with an older photo, and from it not only get the date/time, but also the location, and have those used for your journal entry.

On the iPhone

Using the iPhone is very convenient since I have it with me all the time.  Take a photo with your phone, use Day One to make a quick journal entry and attached the photo.  It will use the data/time from the photo for the entire and look up your location and weather and also enter that into your journal entry.

On the iPad

The iPad version has several different views, this is being the Timeline view

You can use the Photo View quickly find a prior entry using the photo view, or use the Calendar View.

On the Mac

There are times I still want to use my Mac, which is much easier to type on.  The Mac version, even though priced higher, does not seem to be as developed as the iPhone/iPad version.  It might better to start with the iPhone/iMac version and see if you are really going to use the application, then buy the Mac version (available on the Mac App Store) later if you find you need it.  Here is what the timeline looks like on the Mac version.

The entries are stored in an XML format so even if this application should cease to exist, it would be easy enough for another application to import your data and photos.

Journal One also supports Markdown, allowing it to store rich text using plain text format.  The mobile version supports tags but that has not yet been incorporated into the Mac version.  You can currently export to Twitter, but not yet to Facebook. Based on the reviews, the developer is doing a good job of continually improving the application.