Day One is one of those applications where I’ve always known I was underutilizing it. For one, I’ve never had a consistent journalling habit. And secondly, it has a lot of functionality that I simply never put to use.

This has been true from day one (sorry, not sorry), but became even more pronounced with the launch of Day One 2. This version brought multiple journals, better support for images, and many other small touches. And to follow that up, they recently announced support for IFTTT. That option opens up a world of automated journal entries.

Now, automated journal entries sounds like a phrase that is ripe for misuse. One can picture a pipe of content that is never viewed or revisited, meeting no purpose. However, with some careful thought, I think this can be put to good use.

How I’m using Day One today

I’ve slowly been increasing my usage of this powerful app since Paul invited me to the beta of version 2. Here’s how …

A work journal

My first step was creating a second journal titled Wildbit. Every day where I’m working on long term initiatives, I open an entry and keep the app on the side of my screen (using Moom for precise widths and spacing, natch).

Tracking what I do each day

As I go through my day, I jot down what I’ve done and why certain decisions were made. This helps me for a couple of reasons. For one, your future self is always questioning why you took a certain approach. As will my team. So it’s nice to have a trail to review and recall why something was done.

Second, our teams shares monthly reports to the entire company. It’s a lot nicer writing those reports when I don’t have to scour through email, Slack, and Paper.

Good writing

Another way I’ve been using Day One of late is a reading journal. Although it’s possible to archive bookmarks here, I already do that in Pinboard. So I do not feel the need for that type of thing in Day One.

However, I have not had a good place to store all the highlights found in my reading. And so I created a Reading journal, hooked up the Day One IFTTT channel, and created some recipes. Now, any time I highlight text in Instapaper, the words and the details of the quote are stored in a Day One entry.

Tracking quotes

The last thing I did here was create a recipe to have article tagged with “like” in Pinboard to be added to a new entry in Day One. Sadly, news just arrived that IFTTT is removing Pinboard from their list of supported channels (here is Maciej’s response).


Last, one nice addition to my journaling habit has been recording all the great beers I’ve tried. Since I love the care put into the labels as well as each brew, Day One’s support of photos is helpful. Every time I try a new option, I take a picture of the bottle and tag the entry “brews”.

Mmmmm, beer

The nice touch here is that my wife doesn’t really care to see beer bottles mixed into the family pictures. And so I can choose to not have photos taken on my phone in the Day One app added to my Camera Roll.

98% of the photos taken on my phone are done so in the Camera app. And if I ever want to add a certain photo of a child or event, I can add it to Day One. But being able to take a photo directly in the app is helpful in that I can keep my iCloud Photos library in a more clean state.

That sums up my current usage. Have any great use cases yourself? I’d love to hear it!