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Day One (For the Journal and Me)

by Kerry Dawson


Hi everyone,

I’m Nathan. Kerry has generously invited me to contribute to his blog. I’m really excited for this opportunity to be a part of the Daily Mac View ecosystem. I’m excited to help you unlock your Mac’s full potential and to learn from you as well along the way.

By way of introdution, I’m a student at Brigham Young University studying Human-Computer Interaction. I’m mostly interested in web design (HTML and CSS) and mobile app design. I previously wrote at ScriptComposer, my personal blog.

I’m a huge nerd (not physically. I like the gym). I like all those geeky things like Sci-fi, time travel, and microwave burritos, but mostly I just like learning about computers and how to get them to make our lives a little bit easier.

See, I was born in the 90’s and grew up on old Window’s machines. Being a bit of a nerd, I naturally like to play games and do other stuff on the computer. But the stuff I wanted to do only really worked in the owner’s manual, commercials, and futuristic movies. Programs that were supposed to run on my machine rarely did in reality.

Computers of both flavors (Windows and Mac) have come a long way since then, but my computer at work runs Windows 7 and my Macbook is still better. It’s fluid, portable, and each piece of software is a new, seamless experience. I can do my work anywhere. Whether I want to work on my Macbook, or my iPad or even my iPhone. I can run the same app that has the same functionality on any devices. For example. I started this article in Byword on my Mac and am finishing it in Byword on my iPad.

My nerdy childhood dreams are coming true and I’m taking full advantage of them (often times my bank account screams that I shouldn’t be, but how can you resist when you see the cool things people are coming up with, like this app that takes a panoramic picture using your phone’s vibrator?).

I’ll let you read the rest of my bio on the About Me page, but one other thing about me that I wanted to mention was that i’ve fallen in love with writing.

I’ve sort of always liked to write, but just never realized that part of me that was always itching to get out (I attribute this to the educational system that made me write essays about things that I never really cared about. I suppose that now that I don’t really have English classes anymore, writing finally feels liberating). I’ve started several journals over my lifetime along with a few blogs.

Introverts Are People Too

It’s not that Introverts don’t like people, it’s just that they get their energy from another source (remember this, because this is the tie-in), or a smaller source, than extroverts. For example, being in large groups is exhausting for me. I like being around them for awhile and like to participate, but it’s not energizing for me. Smaller groups are ideal for me. Sorry for the digression.

Remember that “another source” up there? Well one of the sources that I receive a lot of energy is from writing. And the best place to write is in a journal.

There Are a LOT of Different Journals


It’s true. There’s a lot of different types and ways to keep journals. Each person is different and will have their own preferences. For the purposes of this article I will refer to my journal workflows that I use using Day One Journaling Software.

You may have seen a similar post about my journaling on my personal blog, here. The same post was reblogged by Kerry, here. In this article I will just expound on that with a more in depth approach focused on Day One and how it fits into every day life.

Does Your Journal Fit, or Sit?

You know what i’m talking about. Somebody brings up journaling and your mind silently calculates how long it has been since your last entry. You promise yourself that you’re going to catch up on it.

And maybe you do catch it up. Maybe you do put in a bunch of filler words mixed with the key events of the last 5 months. Hey, it’s better than nothing right? Well sure it’s better than nothing, but so was The Green Lantern movie. What if instead of sitting on your nightstand collecting dust, your journal became something that was so easy to use that it became a daily habit just because it was so fun and easy?

This is what sets Day One Journal for [Mac][day1mac] and [iOS][day1ios] apart from other journaling apps. Day One quickly gets you into the app, writing a thought, maybe taking a picture and your done. Who said journaling has to be a lengthy essay every day? What if you just let the sum of little moments tell your life story?

The Sum of the Small is Great

In addition to being a quick and easy way to write a quick journal entry, Day One offers powerful features that everyone can enjoy. Some of my favorites are:

  • iCloud Sync
  • Location
  • Weather
  • Tags
  • Music
  • Activity Monitor

iCloud Sync

iCloud Sync is great in any app. It makes sure that your data is the same across all your devices, taking away the worry of lost data or the hassle of making sure your data is where you are. This is especially powerful in journaling because it allows you to carry your thoughts and memories with you anywhere.


Besides being fun to open the map view and see all the places that you’ve made entries, location services in journaling make it quick and easy to find that new favorite restaurant or park again.


Now, I don’t usually do a weather report in my journal, but I feel that this speaks to Day One’s ingenuity. I never really felt that I needed this in journaling software, but the fact that it’s there is pretty cool (literally. It’s only like 30 degrees here).


You’ve probably heard a lot about tags from any number of tech news feeds. Tags seem to be popping up in every kind of software. Personally, this isn’t something i’m good at, but it’s something i’m working on and am getting better at, especially since OS X Mavericks came out.

Tags work the same in Day One as in pretty much any other program. It’s especially important in Day One because Day One doesn’t really have a way to separate entries, so if you wanted to find details from your wedding day and hadn’t tagged the entry, you’d have to scroll down the list to find the entry (then again, hopefully you know what date you got married and could look it up by date).


Again, this isn’t something I ever felt I needed in my journal, but it is pretty cool. Just hit the music icon in the bottom left and Day One will grab the currently playing track.

Activity Monitor

The Activity Monitor is a new feature that released with the iPhone 5s. You can modify the type of activity you are doing at any time, but the step counter will only work if you are running the app on the iPhone 5s.

At the time of this writing, my step counter still isn’t working (i’ve never been able to successfully implement it). So I submitted a service request and will hopefully be able to use it soon. Has anybody else had this problem?

Make It Fit

Journaling is a powerful way to record your life story. It becomes even more powerful when it becomes a daily habit that is easy (and even fun!) to do. Day One fits this bill.

Day One for Mac can be found here, and for iOS here. For more information about Day One and it’s features, go to their website and tell them I sent you!

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