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My Ponderous Return to Day One

by Kerry Dawson

I had been a Day One user for a number of years (probably since the day it came out) and was more than happy with it. When I decided to get an Android, Day One was ready on that front with an Android application as good as any app in the lineup. However, when they introduced subscription based pricing on a product and not a service, I decided it was time to take a look around.

Immediately I came across a first rate program called Journey and after using this briefly, it seemed more than capable to what I wanted. It was a cross platform product that wasn’t going to wash me down a river. Although some programs are getting too expensive for what you’re getting, it is not one product alone that could do you in but if too many products say went the subscription route, the cost would be burdensome. Thus, my looking around for something to replace Day One.

If what bothered me about Journey doesn’t bother you it is considered the best if not better competitor to Day One. If basically has all the features of Day One and then some such as Dark Mode.

Journey is a Good Product but…

Journey I found to be a good product and I quickly adapted to it. In fact, it is probably the best product next to Day One. It runs on a variety of platforms including Android and has a polished interface. Price wise, it is far more cost effective than Day One which at its top end can be quite expensive.

However, as a long term user of Day One, my price was substantially less (about half of the regular price). With this in mind, I decided to do a rethink of Day One. There were a couple of things that bothered me about Journey that might be no concern to anyone else.

On the desktop, each item was labelled with the date instead of a set of items that have the same date being listed under that date. Journey did this on their mobile products but not the desktop where I would have appreciated this by far the most.

The second thing that bothered me was the font on Journey was not as crisp or as black on white as Day One. When you re-read an item, it is far easier to read when the font is more substantive as was Day One’s. As an example, Day One’s primary line starts out with a larger, bold font making it great as a header.

With careful thought and consideration, I felt this in no way was going to break the bank. It was more of a matter of principal too that I had chosen Journey. I do not think that a product should be priced as if its a service. It’s true that in the analogue world, each year you have to buy a new Journal so how is the software different. Simply, both are merely products. If a journal came with two years of writing I would likely buy that although I suppose it could be too thick. Regardless, a software journal does not have to be the same as a paper based journal. If as an example I was happy with Day One and saw no reason to upgrade then I might just use this one journal to capture ten years worth of journaling. In this case, it doesn’t help the software developer that wants to keep you coming back for more but it might be far more cost and resource productive. You’d certainly get to know your writing environment so well that it would not stand between you and what you want to journal.

The Return

I returned to Day One and for such little things however, I am just happier. It’ll cost me a few more pennies than another approach but in this case it’s worth it to me. If I were to stop writing my journal would this mean though I’d have to keep paying for it to get at the collected information. If this were the case I’d have to stop using it. It’s more than a case of lock in. It’s almost theft. My information is my information. I didn’t ask the question and maybe it’s a question I should put out there before I find I’m so wedded to Day One I’d have no choice but to keep paying. However, for the near term, I had to make a difficult decision as I am very much against the subscription model yet Day One is an excellent product. It’s for these reasons, I think people are getting disillusioned with the technology.

Software developers say they are having difficulties making enough money to support ongoing development and research to keep a product moving forward. Yet, for the history of personal software, it has used the outright sale and upgrade approach effectively. There could come a point in any software developments course of enhancing it that it reaches a natural limit. No where should it be the case though that a person who buys into a product their responsibility to fund the product ad infinitum. That is almost what the subscription based model in proposing. Fortunately, we have choice and thus a way out should that be required.

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