How to keep a diary (private)

My days of pen-and-ink journalling have long passed, sadly. An app as useful as Day One softens the blow

When I returned to keeping a diary last year, it was my first attempt at doing so using electronic means. It was also my first attempt at doing so in many years. The thought of all those lost years has spurred me on.

There are countless journalling apps vying for your money in this arena; I ignored them at first, opting to log simple plaint-text entries in nvALT. But I wasn’t happy with journal entries being strewn among my day-to-day notes, so I switched to Evernote. It wasn’t long before security reared its ugly head. I use Evernote everywhere, on my Mac, my iPad and my iPhone. Family members also use these devices, so my ‘private thoughts’ weren’t exactly private. What I needed was a dedicated app.

Enter Day One

The app that sprang to mind immediately was Day One. I’d read a lot about it. Then, in mid December, it became the Mac App Store 2012 App of The Year. My wallet begged for mercy, but my mind was made up.

Day One
Day One

Day One is available for the Mac, the iPhone and the iPad. The iOS (iPhone/iPad) version is universal, so buy once and it works on both.

Journal entries are synced across all three devices using Dropbox; Day One also has an option to sync using iCloud. Take your pick, but I find Dropbox more reliable. One of the main problems I had with using nvALT and Evernote for keeping a diary was the visibility of my notes to others. In Day One you can set a four-digit passcode. And, if you’re a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ type, you can add pictures to your entries, or even make your entries images.

The best bit of all is accessibility. There’s rarely a moment in the day when I don’t have access to Day One. I spend most of every day sat in front of my Mac; when out, my iPhone is ever present; in the evenings, I spend a lot of time on the iPad, catching up on my RSS subscriptions and reading any long-form articles I’ve stashed away in Pocket.