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Review: Day One 2.0 – the best journaling and diary app for iPhone

A huge update for the iPhone’s best journaling app

Price: $9.99
Version: 2.0
Size: 41.6 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Developer: Bloom Built, LLC


Day One is the best journaling app for the iPhone, and the latest version manages to introduce and even wider range of compelling features. Journaling on the iPhone is itself a terrific idea: your phone is alway with you, and you can set up notifications to prod you to write. Even better, you can add photographs, location information and weather details as well as simple words.

Writing about your life helps you get to know yourself better; keeping a diary reduces stress, and it helps you solve problems. There’s even evidence that maintaining a journal improves your physical health. So it’s a superb habit to pick up.

Day One 2.0: best journaling app for iPhone

Day One remains the best journaling app for the iPhone

What’s new in Day One 2.0? New journaling functions

So, what’s new in Day One 2.0? Well, it’s a pretty big update that introduces a range of new features. First up is the ability to add up to ten photographs with each journal entry. It sounds like a strange oversight, and even now we’re not sure why there is any limit (perhaps the original intention was to focus on words), but now you can treasure events by adding multiple photographs alongside your words.

Sitting alongside multi-photos is an allowance for up to ten journals at once. We found this made Day One 2.0 a much more functional life tool. We set up separate journals to record work activity, and others for education and learning. Updating multiple journals increases the commitment though, and it’ll be interesting to see how long they last, but it’s a good way to turn journaling into a part of your working life.

The app now offers custom reminders for you to write your journal, and are useful when you have multiple journals. However, we were slightly disappointed to find that reminders did not sync across different devices.

Journaling on the iPhone with Day One 2.0

Day One 2.0 makes journaling on the iPhone easy with images and automated functions

Day One 2.0: automatic journaling on your iPhone

Diary entries automatically record the location you’re writing from and if you start an entry with a photograph; it’ll switch the date and time to match the image: this enabled us to add retrospective journal records with exact time and locations information.

A new map view allows you to see journal entries based on the registered area, and Day One 2.0 automatically adds weather and activity information (determined automatically, although you can add activities such as walking, running, biking and eating).

It’s pleasing to see the map fill up over time as you move around and the automated activity, weather and time information all combines to add extra memories to your words.

One of the more controversial features is a bespoke sync service that replaces Dropbox and iCloud. However, Day One claims the bespoke service will be more reliable – we found it easy to set up, and didn’t experience any sync issues.

Day One 2.0 sync service and settings

Day One 2.0 has a bespoke sync service

Journaling is at its best when you can do it securely and keep your reputation intact. Day One 2.0 include Touch ID support, enabling you to set up a passcode (separate from your iPhone’s passcode) and use Touch ID to unlock your diary.

At $9.99, Day One 2.0 isn’t a throw-away purchase (though it’s currently on sale at half price so it’s worth grabbing now for $5). However, it’s a timeless app and one we use on a daily basis. The interface is slick, the new features are welcome, and the sync functionality is much more powerful than previous versions.