The Day One App Goes Premium

I've written about the iOS app Day One before. It is a very powerful yet simple and elegant digital journaling app and I have been using it daily now for almost 5 years now (it will be 5 years in September). With 3 kids and a very busy life I have really enjoyed writing in my journal on a daily basis. Plus, it really helps me keep track of things I have done, places I have been and people I have met and interacted with. As I get older my memory fails me more and more so any help I can get is a win.

The folks at Day One have recently announced a new "premium" subscription service. Actually, saying they have introduced a new service isn't the best way to describe the change. Day One's revenue model has changed. Day One used to get their revenue from the sale of their apps (iOS and Mac) as well as their optional physical book printing service. But like many developers these days they have been struggling to make enough money to keep developing the application and to take it where they want to go with it. I have actually been worried about this for a while now. Since this is an app I use daily I really didn't want to see it go away and just the other day I was wondering how much longer the app would be around. Now, hopefully, I won't have to worry so much. Maybe...

The Day One ratings on the iOS and Mac app stores have taken a bit of a beating. There are obviously a vocal group of users out there that feel that an app like Day One should not be going down the subscription service path. I couldn't disagree more. Today's app landscape makes it very difficult for developers to create and continue to develop quality apps and at the same time afford to feed themselves. There have been way too many apps over the years that I have come to depend on that just vanish because their revenue dries up and they have to move on.

The Day One Premium subscription for me makes sense. In fact, right before I starting writing this article I subscribed to the service. I have nearly 5 years of memories locked away inside my Day One app I want to continue using the app for many years to come. I also currently use the app at work as well to keep track of accomplishments throughout the year so I have a record when it comes time for my annual performance reviews and I use the Mac app for that purpose. However, when version 2 of Day One came out I really didn't need to upgrade the Mac app. The Mac app is a bit more expensive and at the time I wasn't using enough features on the Mac at work to justify the expense. But now that I am a premium subscriber I get the $50 Mac app for free. And I have another future use for the Day One app as well. I intend to start using it as a beer tasting journal. I love trying new craft beers and I had originally been using Tap Cellar for that, but Tap Cellar couldn't bring in enough revenue in today's app environment and it stopped being developed. So I moved over to Untapped, but I have never been all that happy with the app/service. So I plan to start logging my beer tastings in a dedicated Day One journal. So between my daily personal journal, my work accomplishments journal and my soon to be beer tasting journal it is well worth it for me to subscribe to the premium service.

So how does this new revenue model for Day One work? Day One has a great FAQ page that explains all the details, but in summary here are the 3 main options for using Day One going forward:

Basic: This is for anyone that downloads the Day One after June 29, 2017. They are limited to a single journal, one photo per entry, no cloud services and no access to future app features. So this is essentially a demo or trial app.

Plus: This is for anyone who had already purchased the newer version 2.0 of the Day One app (back before it went free on June 29, 2017). Those users will continue to have access to all of the features in the existing Day One app. The app will also continue to get maintenance updates but you won't have access to new features as they are rolled out in the future.

Day One Premium: This is their new subscription service and is the main focus for the company going forward. With the monthly or yearly subscription service you get the following:

  • Unlimited number of journals
  • Unlimited photo storage
  • 25% off all physical book orders
  • The Mac app (a $50 value) for free
  • All future app/service updates like the ability to add video to your journal, audio clips and eventually Day One Web which gives you a web-based access to all of your journals.
  • If you are already a version 2.0 Day One owner you get a discount on the Premium Service (it is only $24.99 a year)

This new premium service won't be for everyone, but I think there are enough users out there like me that truly appreciate a full-featured and well polished app like Day One that they will get enough subscribers to keep the lights on for a long time to come. At least I certainly hope so.

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