Day One

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.

Best Holiday Sale Apps

This is a great time of year to pick up some apps for both iOS and the Mac at a great discount. Below are a few of my favorite apps that are currently on sale. Don't miss getting these excellent apps while they are discounted!!!

Day One (iOS & Mac): Day One is arguably the best Mac and iOS daily journaling software out there. I use it both as a personal journal at home and a profession journal at work (and keep them in separate databases of course). The Universal iOS app is on sale for $2.99 (normally $4.99) and the Mac App is on sale for $9.99 (normally $14.99). This is an incredibly powerful journaling app with all kinds of "goodies" like the ability to attach GPS tagged photos, location aware text inputs, Markdown formatting, tags and more.

Fantastical 2 (iOS & Mac): Fantastical is a great calendar app for both the Mac and iOS. What it brings to the table over the pre-loaded Apple calendar app is that it does a much better job of quick and painless creation of calendar events. With Fantastical you can just use "natural language" by either typing or using speech to text and Fantastical will take that bit of text and extract what it needs from it to create a new calendar event for you. Fantastical fro Mac is just $9.99 from the Mac App Store (normally $19.99) and Fantastical 2 for iPhone is $1.99 (normally $4.99) in the App Store.

1Password (iOS & Mac): Not much more to say about 1Password other than EVERYONE should own this software! We just have too many passwords we need to keep track of these days to NOT have some kind of secure software to manage it all for us. The Universal iOS app is on sale for $9.99 (normally $17.99) and the Mac Version is $34.99 (normally $49.99).

Launch Center Pro (iPhone): If you spend a lot of time in and out of your iPhone getting things done all day long then this app may be for you. Launch Center Pro is like having speed dialing for your most frequented apps and activities on your phone. You can do things like message a friend, email your boss, search Twitter, create a new OmniFocus item and much more with just a tap of a customized button within Launch Center Pro. This app can really save you a lot of time if you do things repeatedly. It's on sale for $2.99 (normally $4.99) and is an iPhone only app.

Tweetbot 3 (iPhone): Tweetbot is my favorite Twitter client for my iPhone, iPad and my Mac and the new Tweetbot 3 (for iPhone only) is on sale for $1.99 (normally $4.99). Tweetbot 3 is the latest a greatest version of Tweetbot and has been updated for iOS 7. If you have an older version of Tweetbot and like it then it well worth the upgrade price, especially while it's on sale!

PCalc (iOS): PCalc is the best iOS calculator out there if you need a very powerful and professional calculator on your iOS device. Being an engineer myself I grew up with an HP 48GX in my hand and I still use it at work. But now that I have an iOS device with me at all times I needed something with that power in iOS. PCalc is that calculator. It is on sale for $6.99 (normally $9.99).

12 Days of Gifts (iOS) The last app I recommend you pick up right away is the free Apple app called 12 Days of Gifts. Apple has been running this promotion for several years now, but this is the 1st year they have done this here in the U.S. The promotion starts on December 26th (the day after Christmas) and runs for 12 days. Each day Apple gives out a free item through the app (a song, app, iBook, movie, etc...). Pick this up soon and enjoy a free gift from Apple every day for 12 days after Christmas!

Future-Proof Your Writing...Markdown

Markdown is so easy to use that I really do believe that everyone that does any sort or amount of writing at all should be using it. Don't risk not being able to access your writing years from now, future proof it with Markdown!

2013 Resolutions

I don’t typically do the whole New Year’s resolution thing. Generally, if there is something that I want to do or think I should be doing I make the change and get it done. That being said there are a few things that I am going to do this year to help ensure I stay on track with all of the things that I decided long ago to take on as tasks and a few minor changes I am making. What better way to stay honest than to publicly share what I’m doing.

One of the biggest changes I am making is with my diet. No, I am not GOING on a diet, I am changing my diet. The difference being that this change is more of a lifestyle change instead of something I am just doing to lose weight for a few weeks or a few months. Why? Because my current way of eating is makes it too hard to maintain a healthy weight and enjoy a physical lifestyle. Going to the gym and riding a bike on a regular basis and eating a bunch of processed foods don’t go well together. If last night’s dinner was an indicator, this new way of eating is going to be really tasty! Our family is going to start following the Paleo Diet. This one just makes a lot of sense. The human body doesn’t change overnight, yet the way our food is procossed has changed drastically over the last several decades. These changes and the rise in obesity is no coincidence. So how am I going to keep up a regular cycling training program on the Paleo Diet? Simple...it actually works extreemly well. With just a few tweaks of the paleo diet the very low carbohydrate intake can actually work very well with a heavy physical training routine. The book “The Paleo Diet for Atheletes” by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel explains how the paleo diet can be tweaked slightly for athletes such that the low carb diet can drastically improve recovery times between workouts as compared to a high carb diet.

The next change I am making is with my workout routine and schedule. With my wife in school full-time it is nearly impossible to find time to workout on a regular basis, much less have enough time to make significant progress with increasing my fitness. I did “ok” last year going to the gym and doing indoor bike trainer workouts, but only rode 301 miles outside on my road bike all year. In years past I would generally ride more like 3000+ miles! So this year I am starting off with the Cyclo90 90-day off-season training plan by Graeme Street. I’ve been using Graeme’s CycloClub workouts, especially his 30-minute HIT (High Intensity Training) workouts over the past few years and I never would have made it though some of the toughest days of the Bike Across Kansas segments if it weren’t for his training methods. So this year (starting today) I am going to start and complete the 90-day off-season training program and get back into shape on the bike! The great thing about this program is that you can do it anywhere...outside on the bike, inside on a trainer and at home or a hotel with no bike at all!

Another change I am making is taking back full control of my finances. I’ve always had a budget and stuck to it, but we also use credit cards for all of our purchases and payoff the balance every month in order to take advantage of the points. Not anymore. Credit cards can take 2-3 days before the transactions shows up on my account, so my budget is always several days behind what I have actually spent. How am I supposed to control my spending if I NEVER know how much I have spent so far for the month? So I am moving away from credit cards and moving away from my current bank and moving to Simple. Simple is a tech friendly budgeting solution combined with a banking institution all rolled into one package. I won’t go into a ton of detail, but the main feature for me is that Simple keeps track of everything you spend for you and is always up to date so you know exactly what you have spent. Your budget and savings goals are built right into the banking site and application so you always know how much you have left to spend and how you are doing with respect to your savings goals. It is centered around a debit card instead of the credit cards I have been using, but the way I see it is that I have the potential to save more money every year by making smart and informed decisions then I could ever earn in credit card reward points. So I’m making the switch!

The last change I am making is to make an effort to play piano and guitar EVERY DAY. I’ve been playing the piano since I was a little kid and have been teaching myself slack key guitar for the past couple of years. In fact, I play piano a church every Sunday but most weeks that is the only time all week I play the piano. I have always wanted to start playing more, but something always seems to suck up all my free time. So I am making a goal for myself to pickup the guitar and sitdown at the piano for at least a few minutes everyday. I really enjoy both the piano and guitar, so its not a matter of discipline but rather a matter of getting into the habit of allowing myself to take time everyday to do things I enjoy doing.

The key to keeping myself honest with all of these changes is the last change I am making. A few months ago I bought the Day One journaling app and have used it off an on. It is a great app, but I haven’t been using it nearly as much as I was hoping to. So I am going to start writing in it everyday. I am going to set an alarm for myself that will go off around bedtime to remind me to spend a few minutes writing about my day. When I do this I will also write about what did or didn’t do that day with respect to the changes I just talked about. Nothing will keep you on track more than having to write down every night that you failed to make any progress on your goals once again today. This will do one of two things for me...it will either keep me honest about my goals and make sure I make progress everyday or it will make me realize that possibly one or more of the goals I set for myself isn’t as important to me as I thought they were when I set them. Either way I will make progress and that’s the whole point!

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