recommendation for journalling app? Day One? MacJournal?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by wpguy, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. wpguy macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2014
    #1
    I'm looking for a journaling app for my Mac and my iPhone. I intend to make most of entries on my Mac with its keyboard, and less often with my iPhone on the go.

    I’m currently considering several possibilities, including Day One and MacJournal.

    Day One is attractive for several reasons, including its robust iCloud synching and especially its flexibility with tags. It's neat that entries here on MR.com can be tagged with not just one but multiple tags and then queried or sorted using those tags, and I highly value having that kind of flexibility in categorizing and retrieving journal entries.

    On the other hand, Day One's interface isn't particularly Mac-like, and it does not support rich text formatting -- e.g. one can't underline text, or set an arbitrary color. That an app primarily meant to deal with text is (dramatically) less capable than Apple's simple TextEdit app is disappointing and somewhat off-putting.

    Re MacJournal, it has a number of attractive functions, including excellent formatting capabilities and a distraction-free mode in which all graphical elements are hidden/obscured so one can focus simply on writing.
    On the other hand, from what I can see, the program hasn’t been updated in more than two years. This gives me pause, as I’d rather not invest (not just money but also especially time and effort) in an app that doesn’t have a clear future (esp. re compatibility with future OS upgrades, etc.).

    So, wondering if anyone has any experience with either of these two apps, or any advice or thoughts about alternatives?
     
  2. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I have given up on all these apps and journalling in Ulysses. While it might not be the perfect fit, it does provide a great writing environment.
     
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

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    #3
    I still use Day One, but many here have opted for Dyrii
     
  4. arefbe macrumors 6502

    arefbe

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  5. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Dyrii has something going on. They are not going to develop new features for it anymore
     
  6. nnoble macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Dyrii is good, but export options are extremely limited; only HTML and PDF. Migrating to another application would be nigh on impossible if the need ever arose.
     
  7. Tajhad macrumors newbie

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  8. wpguy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Yup. I came across Dyrii and in many respects it looks very attractive. I wish it were viable -- however (as of relatively recently I think??) active development on the app ceased, and the developer isn't responding to emails (pure speculation on my part: the developer tried switching to a subscription model a while back. i'm guessing that didn't work out, and the developer simply hasn't been able to figure out a viable business model. if so this is understandable but very unfortunate).

    On another note, a quick update re MacJournal: I contacted the developer (Mariner Software) and got a rapid reply that the app is in fact in development (despite > 2 years of no updates and a very obsolete interface and feature set) and that "we have updates coming out for both the Mac and iOS later this year." No specifics (on either more precise timing or what kinds of functionality might be expected), but that's a least a small encouragement.

    For now though I remain stuck. Also just discovered that in Day One, entries can only be associated with a single journal. This is horribly inflexible. If I have a thought that corresponds to say both work and personal categories, I'd be able to tag an entry appropriately (i.e. with both work and personal tags), and then easily/rapidly query all entries that have a given tag (or tags). I envision something very similar to "Smart Mailboxes" in macOS Mail or "Smart Playlists" in iTunes. Day One can't do this however, and that's my most important requirement, so that's one more app on the heap.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 15, 2018 ---
    update about Dyrii -- just received this from the developer, in response to an inquiry I sent about its development status:

    "To be frank, we built Dyrii for our personal use. And it was built as a personal side project. So, we are not going to discontinue it at any point. At this point in time, we have paused further development of the app because of our day job priorities. That doesn't mean we will stop supporting it. We will continue to roll out bug fixes but we are at this point not open to adding any new features in the app. We may resume again in the future. I hope this clarifies."​
     
  9. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #9
    Have you considered Notes? Available on both platforms, and syncs instantly. It is not very complex though.
     
  10. wpguy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2014
    #10
    I assume you're referring to Apple's 1st-party Notes app? Yes I have, and use it for some things. It has decent rich text entry and editing, and the synch is based on iCloud and as you say works very well. However it lacks several key functionalities that I need, most especially tagging. I need to be able to arbitrarily assign tags to any entry/note/record, and then retrieve/sort entries based on any combination of tags. Similar to how one can have Smart Playlists of songs in iTunes, or Smart Mailboxes in Apple's Mail app on macOS.
     
  11. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #11
    The search function isn't sufficient? You could just write any keywords in your documents, and then search based on those.
     
  12. stephenschimpf, Jun 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018

    stephenschimpf macrumors newbie

    stephenschimpf

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    #12
    I love Day One. When I heard that Day One won an award for its interface, I checked it out and loved it right away. I used to keep notes about things that happened in my life, places that I travelled, etc., in a big Word file. It worked, but with Day One I can add photos and even music to entries. The time, location, and even weather are automatically added to entries. I can see a map showing everywhere I've made entries. When I use the app it offers to show me entries I made a year ago, two years ago, etc., and I relive a lot of memories that way. You just don't get all of that with a journal kept using a word processor.

    I really liked the idea of also having Day One on my computer, being able to add and edit entries on both my iPhone and my computer, and so Day One is one of the reasons I, a long-time Windows user and developer, did the previously-unthinkable and bought my first iMac.

    Since then Day One has switched to a subscription model. I wasn't that happy about it at first, but as a developer I understand the need to do this. Considering that I use Day One just about every day, it's not a unreasonable cost. Both the iOS app and macOS app are being actively improved, and every time I contacted customer support regarding a bug, cosmetic flaw, or a suggestion, I've received answers very quickly, sometimes in less than an hour.
     
  13. Lioness~, Jun 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018

    Lioness~ macrumors 6502a

    Lioness~

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    #13
    I use both, for a bit different purposes.
    You take up a few of the reasons.

    Primary, for longer writing, I use MacJournal. More on Mac then iOS.
    I use DayOne for shorter stuff, daily, tweets, notes and such from there. More on iOS but some on Mac too. Their syncing have been less reliable recently, unfortunately, but no additional data loss recently.

    I wouldn’t buy a subscription for DayOne today, though. Hate subscriptions. I bought plus before they got there.
    I wouldn’t worry about MacJournal not being updated so often. They keep it updated with minor updates. Syncing via iCloud or Dropbox. Can mess up via iCloud, don’t know about Dropbox today. Wasn’t good when I used it. But easy to find texts that been lost in the program, especially if you have good backups too.

    Not that easy if texts gets lost with DayOne syncing. They are lost.
    Happened once to me, that their syncing totally screwed up. Was a disaster, long text just poof gone. After that I started to use MacJournal more for longer stuff and things that mattered more.
    It’s reliable to me. Devs are good.
    See if you can get some code or deal on their software. Often sells in bundles, at least earlier.

    All in all, I like both programs, but consider MacJournal more reliable and able to have control over by yourself. Since they are a dev who do a lot of programs, and done so for ages, they are a different dev :) But sure, DayOne is more modern, and MacJournal iOS app isn’t that good. Better on iPad then iPhone though.

    Dyrii I just checked up after the dev contacted me on Twitter when I was really pissed for data loss in DayOne. Nothing that felt interesting to me though.
     
  14. Mockletoy macrumors regular

    Mockletoy

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    #14
    Day One works well for me. Been using it since 2012. Switched from MacJournal.

    The MacJournal iOS apps are so bad.
     
  15. wpguy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2014
    #15

    Thank you Lioness (and also stephenschimpf) for your comments.

    I've been exploring MacJournal for a little bit now. It seems a sturdy, worthy app, and you're (mostly) correct that my concern about not having been updated in two years is not as worrisome as I first feared.

    That said, as many have commented, MacJournal on iPhone just sucks, and perhaps the most glaring bad thing about not having been updated in a while it's synchronization functions (or lack thereof). The developed indicated to me in an email (w/o providing any specifics) that an update is for both macOS and iOS is due later this year -- I very much hope this includes robust iCloud support.

    I do very much appreciate many of Day One's features too (not just solid iPhone support, but also little things like automatically noting the weather, and overall easy of use and entry). For now though MacJournal has what for me is the killer feature while Day One lacks it -- 'smart journals' (à la iTunes or Mail) that can display entries that are tagged in a particular manner (e.g. work, or work + personal, or personal + gym, or gym but not personal).

    If I had my druthers I'd squish the two apps into one and distill the best of both. Perhaps in time both of these apps will continue to mature and gain some of each other's strengths.
     
  16. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

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    #16
    My experience has been a little different from above. I used MacJournal for a good while until it crapped out on me and I lost everything. Everything. I moved over to Day One and have been very happy with it, so much so I haven't considered moving to anything else. I don't have the subscription, but would consider it. I've slowed down on writing lately, so not a priority. But Day One was everything I wanted it to be.
     
  17. wpguy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2014
    #17
    update: an additional very neat, helpful feature that MacJournal has that Day One lacks: Spotlight integration / search-ability (at least on macOS, haven't tried this on iOS). I don't use this every day, but sometimes it can be useful. For example if I'm looking for something with the 'personal' tag and do a SL search, it will return both files in the Finder and MacJournal entries with that tag.
     
  18. wpguy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2014
    #18
    curious what folks think of Evernote as a journalling app? it has robust synching (like Day One, etc.; although unfortunately it uses a private, 3rd-party platform, not iCloud), and flexible tagging (like MacJournal). the interface is not very Mac-like (like...MacJournal!) but it's actively developed and frequently developed (unlike MacJournal).
     
  19. Freddy Fruitfly macrumors member

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  20. Freddy Fruitfly macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2017
    #20
    Is anyone perhaps beta testing the new version of Lifecraft?
     
  21. ales876 macrumors regular

    ales876

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    Munich
    #21
    Hey guys,

    as you already talked about it I don't want to open a new thread.

    I thought also about Day One or Dyrii, but Dyrii is almost 50 bugs and I can't even test it somehow which is a bummer, also the fact that the future is uncertain.

    Regarding DayOne, I heard that security/privacy wise they are not the best. What do you guys think? I know that they introduced E2E Encryptions, which is good, but is this really that safe?

    Can somebody elaborate on this? I dont want any DayOne guy to read my stuff.
     
  22. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    In the middle of several books.
    #23
    Ulysses does a excellent job journaling, as does DayOne and Bear.
     

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