I am a huge fan of Day One, the Mac and iOS journaling app. I like it so much that I started working on a Web app for it myself some time ago, back when the folks over at Day One had not released a beta Web app yet. I think it’s a brilliant app, with a great design, a lot of updates and which proved to be very useful to me in all the months I have used it. The benefits of journaling are now well known, but this is not a psychology blog so I won’t go into any details about this.

The latest news from Day One is that the app will transition to a subscription-based model, as per the latest post on Medium by the company.

Any existing customers who have purchased the app will be able to continue using all of its features as usual and won’t be forced to move to the subscription option. From their official FAQ on the topic:

All 2.0 features remain available for purchasers of the 2.0 apps. Day One Classic users are also unaffected. All Day One users will continue to receive maintenance and non-Premium updates, as needed.

This plan, the one for existing users, is now called Plus. So if you have purchased Day One 2 in the past, you have a Plus plan now, with no subscription necessary. For this users, things will remain the same.

Any new users (i.e. users who sign up after June 19th, 2017) given a Basic Plan instead:

  • One photo per entry
  • One journal
  • No cloud services
  • No access to other Premium features.

What are the benefits of the Premium plan?

This is what is really new. The Premium plan can only be accessed through a subscription, and will offer the following benefits:

  • Unlimited journals
  • Unlimited photo storage
  • 25% off book orders
  • The Mac app ($49.99 value)
  • Exclusive access to all future features including: audio recording, writing prompts, video entries, and more.

How much does the Premium subscription cost?

$49.99 a year. There will be a 30% introductory discount for new users though, bringing the price down to $34.99 a year.

Is there a bigger discount for existing users?

Yes. If you purchased Day One 2 in the past, you will get 50% off your subscription price indefinitely, bringing the price down to $24.99 a year.

The summary

To summarize:

  • If you have paid for Day One 2 already, you now have a Plus plan and nothing will change for you. You can continue using the app and all of its features as usual and subscribing won’t be mandatory. If you want to subscribe to access the additional features, you can do so with a 50% discount on the subscription price (indefinitely);
  • For new users, Day One 2 will be subscription-only, with a free Basic plan available;
  • The Premium plan is optional and will only be available through a subscription.

My personal thoughts

I personally have no issues paying for good software. I know how much work is involved into getting an app+service up and running, releasing new features, updating everything and making sure everything runs smoothly. People who expect upgrades and new features for free should do some unpaid overtime every week and check back in after a few months and see if they have changed their minds already or if they need to work for free some more before they start to understand.

I have no issues with people who only use free software because they don’t want to pay for stuff. It’s their choice, and if they don’t know that their information is up for sale in exchange for the free usage of such software if they decide to go this way, it’s their problem and not mine, ignorance is bliss after all.

What I have an issue with is people constantly complaining about subscriptions and, at the same time, expecting endless updates and new features for free. Sorry to break it down to you folks: that’s not how the world works, deal with it. You want updates, new features, support and everything? You pay. You don’t want to pay? Fine by me, but don’t demand stuff for free forever. You can’t have it both ways.

And let’s be honest, even if companies don’t go the subscription route and release paid upgrades instead, people often complain about that too. A paid upgrade becomes an easy excuse to attack the subscription option because it looks economically more appealing compared to it, but if a paid upgrade is the only option offered, then that’s typically frowned upon too either because of the upgrade price, or because the previous paid upgrade was released not long ago or for whatever other reason.

Most importantly, I am tired to see good software die because of lack of funds, and I much prefer paying for a service that I like rather than using a free service that can do whatever they want with my personal information in order to earn some money.

As usual though, the decision is up to you, and whatever you decide to do, I wholeheartedly recommend Day One. It’s an awesome app. Choose the way you want to use it and start writing.