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For the past few months, I’ve been able to “take inventory” (as my grandmother would say) of what I’m doing, and how I’m using apps. One thing is for sure: If you are not careful, your devices can take up a LOT of your time, so it’s best to come up with a plan on just “how” you plan on using apps. There’s over a million of them available nowadays on both iOS and OS X combined, and many of them are very, very good; however, you can easily find yourself becoming over-worked, or doing double work for a task which, in essence, can cause you to waste the one thing that you can’t take back: Time…..

So, below are a few thoughts when it comes to using both Evernote and Day One, as I have been using “the daylights” out of both apps, not just one by itself! As a result, both apps have proven to be a “boost” for me in productivity, and they definitely help when it comes to organization of activities, whether personal or professional! Here goes:


The Experience

Over the past month or so, I’ve been thinking from time to time about how to properly use both Evernote and Day One. Evernote ( is a free app which you could easily use to both write and take notes. Day One ( on the other hand, is very, very good at allowing you to easily “write” about something, and its interface (which was just updated in February) is beautiful, and very functional. Best of all, both apps are available on Mac and iOS, so you can easily sync your data across your devices via iCloud or (exclusively) Day One’s own servers.

Both apps have their strengths and weaknesses; for instance, Day One’s strength is its beautiful and functional interface. All your journals (up to 10 of them) are shown in the colors you desire on the left side of the app. Then, in the “middle left” side are the “Entries” themselves that you have written. If you take a picture, and begin an Entry with a picture, it shows a thumbnail of the shot you took at left. Then, if you wrote a title of your Entry, followed by text, it will easily format the title, automatically making it bold. If you post links to pages, you can easily click on them later. Thus, whenever I am looking at an article on any iDevice, I save them in Day One. I usually 1) take a picture of it (which is a screenshot most times), then 2) open up Day One and begin a “new Entry with Picture”. When writing, its formatting is pretty basic (i.e. you can bold, italicize, bullet, and a few more features). You can also use OS X’s built in Sharing options to easily begin writing something from the Photos app, as that’s something I do all the time!

On the other hand, Evernote’s strength is, well, note-taking. The key to getting the most out of Evernote is by utilizing the “Stacks, Notebooks, and Notes” strategy. In other words, you organize your stuff in a big “Stack,” and within that Stack is your Notebook(s), and within the Notebooks are your Notes…. So, after using both for a while now, here’s a few “rules” I’ve come up with when it comes to using both apps: (and by the way, this method isn’t fixed; please let me know how you organize your stuff in the Comments below!)

If I am taking any notes, I use Evernote. This would be for all business-related stuff, and for any notes that I would take, whether at church, during service, or while I’m out with a client. For instance, if I’m chronicling what I’m doing for a client during the course of, say, a website creation, I can write them out in Evernote as a series of Notes. See the picture of how this is coming together?
On the other hand, if I’m literally “writing” about something, I use Day One. For instance, this blog that you are now reading was initially written in Day One, within my “Work Thoughts” journal. I then created a “UC Blogs” tag with this Entry so that later on, if I wanted to know what I wrote, I can easily search for it using the tag above, which also gives me a number of how many blogs I’ve written thus far too….

Regarding organization: This is absolutely key, or else you won’t know where things are! It’s best to go in with a plan before using either app, or any app for that matter. Take advantage of creating Tags in either (or both apps) for properly chronicling things. Here’s an example: In Day One, because it now allows for up to 10 journals, I now use 9 of them, and reserve one of them as an “INBOX.” That way, if I’m not sure what “journal” that Entry (that’s what posts are called in Day One) would go in, I can easily leave it there until the Wisdom comes forth. As for the other 9, they are broken down into a series of “general” topics that I would like to talk about, such as Sports, Movies, Politics, Ministry, Life, etc.. Then, if I really need to properly break down those Entries in Day One, I use their tagging system to create whatever things I need to track. The good thing is that most of the time, I already know what I’m about to write, and the journal it’s supposed to go towards….



All in all, both apps are very, very good at what they do. The best thing is to invest in Day One for any personal journaling (as that can definitely prove to be a “release point” for you, as it has been for me!!), and use Evernote to chronicle any business-related stuff that you do. Use both as “strengths” for your overall daily activities, and to release whatever stuff is in your head!

More is to come, ladies and gentlemen, so stay tuned!!