For those of you who are new to this blog, I will tell you what the other people who’ve been around for a while already know about me: this writing gig? This is my passion. It’s my ambition. It’s what I want to do for the rest of my time on this planet, in this particular incarnation. I want it so bad that I am willing to commit most evenings from the point where I get home to the point where I go to bed to getting better at it, and sometimes, when I’m really in the thick of it, I’m even working on this shit in my nightmares. No lie.
To be perfectly transparent: I suffer the occasional night terror when I’m ultra-stressed or ultra-involved with the manuscript I’m working on. It’s the subconscious manifestation of my commitment, or so I like to think. Monsters! Fuck yeah! Tentacles! Whoo! They’re under my bed and trying to pull me under and oh shit I can’t move because of night paralysis. Weee!
I am periodically exhausted, and that’s largely because on top of “The Writing Gig”, I am also a fancy pants creative professional at a senior level. I’m a designer, and I have been a designer ever since high school. I have been a designer professionally for ten years. That’s my jam. That’s what I do to make the scrud — or whatever kids are calling money these days.
(My birthday is in a week and a bit. Don’t you dare ask me how old I’m turning oh my god you clearly have a death wish if you haven’t brought me a jug of wine or intend to commiserate with me. Here’s a hint: I made a post last year to commemorate every year of life with books.)
I write every damn day.
Every. Damn. Day.
As a writer and a designer, it should follow that the tools I’m using to do the things? They need to be kickass.
Beautiful. Robust. Functional.
Good writing software to me is like getting a nice new journal and pen; the difference between a nice new writing application that fulfils my needs, that I use Every Damn Day and a pen and a journal, is that you can bet your bottom that I am using that app every opportunity I get to scribble. It better work, and it better be a pleasure to use. (Otherwise I magically turn into a troll. Poof.)
I talk about software applications a lot on this blog, because when I find something I freaking love like it was my first born, I am gonna use the ever-loving stuffing out of it. And I’m going to talk about it. And I’m going to squeeze it and give it cuddles.
Four years ago, I discovered one application that rapidly became my second most favourite piece of writing software ever. Second only because Scrivener is first and will always be first — because Scrivener handles my novels.
This is an especially important piece of software because:
- It was the thing that got me writing every day.
- It was the thing that kept me writing every day.
- It was the thing that got my juices flowing whenever I got stuck.
- It was always on hand: on my phone, on my tablet, and on my desktop.
- It gave me reminders to write.
- It gave me a supreme feeling of satisfaction to see calendars jammed with entries, day after day.
- It got me documenting my ideas, hopes, fears, dreams, memories, and wishes.
- It got me recording every single idea for fiction I could come up with.
Because I love writing: Day One App 2
I’m speaking of Day One App:
Day One is a simple way to journal.
It’s easy to quickly enter your thoughts and memories and have them synced and backed up in the cloud.
Day One is well designed and extremely focused to encourage you to write more.
I have used DayOne for… oh… four years now? Last Friday, however, was basically the equivalent of Christmas for my poor little nerd heart: Day One released… Day One… 2.
Granted, the name is a bit awkward, but I’ll forgive them for their stunning interface and the three minutes it took to sync all four thousand journal entries and all photographs into the new application after I bought it. (It’s currently discounted to 50% off as a promo for its first week of life.)
The much-anticipated second version of the software became available for all Mac platforms, including desktop and mobile. And me, sitting at work as the announcement rolled into my inbox, lost my shit promptly.
Since my present incarnation in “design” is as a User Experience designer, this experience blew me away: aesthetically, functionally, and performance-wise.
Shut up and take my money.
New Features in Day One 2 that I heart
- Multiple journals means I can now compartmentalize all my “writing ideas and fodder to kill more characters” into its own distinct collection, separate from my day to day whining about why my head hurts, my back hurts, and what cute stuff Tibby has done lately.
- Multiple photos per entry means I’m smashing multiple “inspiration” pictures into each entry. (Hello, Pinterest raid, much?)
- The upcoming addition of audio recording means I will soon be able to record myself babbling crazy notes and keep them tagged and logged for future reference, especially in those truly dim moments at four o’clock in the morning when I have an idea for something wrought from nightmare that I can’t bring myself to scribble on a piece of paper coherently. Now I can just jibber jabber at my phone with my pillow face and hope for the best the next morning.
- The map functionality in this version is a delight: since I’ve always geolocated my entries, I can see where I wrote things worldwide. I’ve used DayOne every time I’ve travelled, and it’s super fun to see where I had this idea or that idea. The geolocation is wildly specific.
- New colours. My “Writing” notebook is pink. Pink!!
Suffice to say that I’ve been having the Best. Time. Ever. while playing with it. I’ve never stopped using the application over the four years I’ve had it, but when the developers of Day One release something new and shiny, I tend to see spikes in my activity.
Let’s face it: when something is this much a pleasure to use, you want to use the software, which means you produce more words — and lord knows, we’re all shambling towards that word count goal, eh?
Further perks: in the process of reorganizing my notebooks in the application, I’ve unearthed a treasure trove of idea-type entries that fit in nicely with my novel revision notes. I’m starring most of the entries to work them into my latest writing project.
For you, though, you should check DayOne 2 out.
If you’ve been struggling or slacking off a bit, or maybe just want to pick up a daily mindfulness routine, this is the app to do it in.