I have 9,698 entries in DayOne across 4,312 days. This is one of my favourite and most consistently used apps. And, yet, somehow I am tempted to switch to Apple’s Journal app. This post is to remind me why that is a bad idea.

So, here’s a list of DayOne features I use that Journal doesn’t have:

  • I use DayOne on my iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and the web. Journal is only on the iPhone.
  • DayOne is my memory archive. I can search for entries with many attributes (like dates), while also organizing with tags and separate journals. Plus, the On This Day feature is great for revisiting old entries. Journal only lets you filter by entry type. There is no search feature.
  • There are many ways to get content into DayOne, including via Shortcuts. Journal is much less accommodating and, oddly, has no Shortcuts support. A related feature in DayOne is templates, which I use frequently and Journal lacks.
  • Given how valuable (to me) content is in DayOne, I appreciate the broad set of export features. Best I can tell, there’s no way to export from Journal.

Given all of this, why am I drawn to Journal?

The primary answer is an appeal to simplicity (which Journal certainly has). I do worry sometimes that my structure of separate journals, tags, and templates in DayOne is unecessary complexity. A secondary answer is my policy of favouring default apps when they’re good enough. Journal is likely quite adequate for many people, especially those that journal to get ideas out of their heads, rather than as a memory archive that they review.

Screenshot from Journal showing a few entries

Having written this down, the answer seems clear: keep using DayOne. Perhaps, though, I should revisit my DayOne structure to get some of that appealing simplicity from Journal.