The downfall of iDoneThis and the rise of Day One


When my buddy Matt told me about iDoneThis, I was pretty excited. I had been looking for a decent way to track my accomplishments, large and small, in a simple way.

I tried bullet journaling which is awesome, but I just couldn't work a physical book into my life. I kept putting off entries. Cause you know... pens. I even tried to bolster my interest by investing in a fancy Lamy fountain pen and attempting to increase the legiablity of my handwriting. Which I assure you, I haven't even been able to read since 2nd grade.

But in came iDoneThis. A simple, easy method for entry.

Basically, at a specified time each day iDoneThis sends you an email and you respond with your completed tasks. One per line.

While this is perfect for most people, the good folk at iDoneThis anticipated the needs of those like me, who want to log throughout the day. Not just all at once. So, they give you an email addy that you can send items to at any time. I crafted a quick Alfred workflow to sporadically add items during the day.

Things went wonderfully in productivity land once again. Except for this whole bit about all of my data being stored offsite.

Now I wouldnt say that I fequent the Huxleian stylings. But I do get a bit antsy when I imagine my data in some-out-of-my-control place.

But, even outside of my concerns about personal data, there is the concern of data that is sensitive to my business. I found that I could not log all of the things I wanted to as I could not mention things like customer names, or specifics on projects.

That is not to say that iDoneThis is not an awesome product... It was just not the best one for my use case.

day one

I, more often than I should, spend time looking into toys tools to make my workflow more enjoyable efficient. One of these productively unproductive diversions in research led me to Day One.

Day One at its core is a journaling app. Just like you would think, you create entries to chronicle your thoughts, emotions, events or what-have-you. But there is something that sets it apart from some other apps that I have seen. It encourages not only your typical long diary/journal entry, but also quick entries. Like 'this is what i'm thinking right now' kind of behavior. Combine that with killer tag and search features and it is possible to recreate the functionality of iDoneThis with a local datastore.

Additionally, the Day One app also integrates well with other productivity tools. This is a topic that could fill an entire blog series... and has. But the most interseting, from my point of view, is integration with one of my other current favorites, TaskPaper.

A functionality I am not normally a fan of in apps is actually a neat feature of Day One: location. Day One keeps track of where each entry takes place and what the current weather was. This, in theory, helps you remember details of the day and the events being logged. Also, it gives you a cool map of the world with little bubbles that indicate where your entries were made. I especially dig this because I frequently find myself traveling and it's neat to have this type of view into my life.

My only real disappointment with Day One is its lack of an Android app. For now I have solved this by using Day Journal. Which is able to export to Day One and for the most part mirrors the same features.

by Phil Jackson

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