Lately, I’ve been using an app for iOS called Day One Journal, made my Day One and available for both iPad and iPhone as a single, universal app. (It is also available for the Mac, although I haven’t used that version.) I’ve found Day One a convenient tool for recording personal card readings, and I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

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As with many iOS apps, it has a clean interface. There is a timeline available to view past entries; and these are searchable. I’m going to focus on entering readings (or any journal content, really.) This first screenshot shows basic text entry. Click any of the screenshots for a zoomed view.

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If you look right above the keyboard, you’ll see several icons. The first two are for weather and location: the app can include your location and the current weather conditions if you wish. This next screenshot shows the weather and a location, which can use Location Services if your device supports is, or it can be searched — which is any place of interest; for example, “Dunkin’ Donuts in Boulder.”

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The above screenshot also shows use of the tag feature. Entries can be tagged with an arbitrary label. For example you can group personal readings with tags for “reading” and “personal.” This is useful for searching later; in this case, for all of your entries that are personal readings.

The entries also let the user add photos, via the photo button in the middle of the button row (above the keyboard). It is possible to take a photo on the spot, or to use a pre-existing photo. The next screenshot shows that a photo has been added, if you look at the camera button closely.

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There is a ‘+’ for creating a new entry at any time. The calendar button allows you change the date. The ‘X’ will delete the current post — something I had to do when I was learning the app, because I kept thinking the ‘+’ did something other than a new entry!  You can also star favorites.

My final screenshot shows what an entry looks like when viewed after editing. (Please note that if these screenshots don’t look crisp, it’s because they are compressed to keep size and space down.)

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The app has a convenient feature that allows the user to save to an iCloud or Dropbox account. This means you can sync across devices. For example, I use this so that I can work on my iPad and iPhone, and both have all entries via this cloud sync.

It is possible to export entries. They can be sent as an email, a PDF or even printed.

The weakest part of this app is the photo handling. One photo is allowed per entry. I think that is reasonable; Day One is a journal app, not a photo editor or album. However, if you take a photo from within the app, then what you see is what you get. If your photo is rotated, there is no way in the app to adjust the orientation. And I’ve found that when I take a picture of a reading from within the app, it does usually appear rotated. The photos will also be large in terms of size — they are the images straight out of your device camera — which can be an space issue if syncing to the cloud regularly.

This is remedied easily by using the app to journal as it’s designed, and preprocess a photo outside of the app. I find that if I take a picture with the iOS camera and crop it, the image saves to a reasonably small size. I use Filterstorm to process the image if I want something even smaller.

Overall, I think Day One is a good journal app for iOS, and I’ve used it to capture my readings on both an iPad and iPhone. I really like how the app syncs between both devices. I find that the user interface works well for me. When I’m done I have a record of my question; the actual cards as spread out; and any notes that I care to make. The PDF and email features are a plus.

If the features described sound useful to you, then check Day One out in the iTunes Store, or via the developer website linked above.

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