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January 23, 2012

Mac App Review – Day One (Bloom Built) £6.99

by Colin Jones

Today I am going to be reviewing one of my favourite productivity apps, the gorgeous Day One, developed by Bloom Built.

Day One can be different things to different people, but basically it’s a simple journal / diary / text logging application that allows you to quickly write down anything you want to, whether it be a thought, a memory or a draft of a new blog entry. The app is available on the Mac, iPhone and iPad and brings you a simple way for writing on a daily basis.

All of the versions are pretty similar, but for this review I will concentrate on the Macintosh version £6.99 (Mac App Store)

The first thing you will notice about the application is the drop-dead gorgeous icon. Already this is a good sign of things to come, as if a developer puts a lot of effort into designing a good-looking icon, you know they really care about the app they have developed.

Fire-up the application and you will immediately see that the aesthetic beauty of Day One is not restricted to the icon. The app has a lovely minimal interface with 5 tabs: New, Days, Calendar, Starred and Reminders.

A nice touch of Day One, is that displayed over where you write, are quotes or prompts to inspire you in your writing – An example of one of these is: “Your story should be written while it is fresh and while the true details are available” – If the prompts are not for you, they can be easily switched off.

How does it work then?

Well if you want to write a new entry, just press the plus button and you are good to go. By default the app will show the current date and time, if you want to change these, it’s as easy as clicking on the calendar icon at the top of the page.

Pressing on the Days icon will enable you to see what you have written in the past – It is easy to scroll through your previous entries and reflect back on your writing.

The Calendar tab is beautiful – Days where you have written an entry will be highlighted in a stylish aqua blue colour. A nice detail is the ability to hover your mouse over a certain day to see a quick overview of your entries on that particular day.

The Starred tab is self-explanatory, it’s where you will find all of the entries you have starred.

The Windows tab is one of my favourite aspects of this app. Pressing on it will bring-up the menu bar app. Day One can run in the menu bar of your Mac, to enable you to quickly write an entry without loading-up the full app. From within the Windows tab, you can set a reminder to pop-up at a certain time each day to encourage you to write on a daily basis. Within preferences a keyboard shortcut can be created to access the menu bar’s quick new entry field.

Other features include the ability to password protect your writing, the capability to work in OS X Lion’s full-screen mode (which looks beautiful) and possibly the best, Dropbox Sync, which will sync your data between devices. Start writing an entry on your Mac and finish it off on your iPad, Dropbox makes it happen.

Day One is not quite perfect yet, the ability to add photos to your writing would be most welcome and the developers have promised this feature in a future update.

In summary, I love this application, it does what it sets out to achieve, the interface is gorgeous and minimal, making writing a joy and not a chore.

If you have any interest in daily writing, Day One is worth a try and if you are like me, it will quickly become an indispensable tool.

For photos, check out the gallery below.

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