I’m a fan of the Day One app, which makes it easy to keep a journal on iOS and Mac, synced to Dropbox or iCloud. The brilliant (and optional) CLI makes Day One extensible, so tools like Brett Terpstra’s logging script really expand the possibilities of how journaling can be used.
I admit I’m not very conscientious about journaling, but I’m slowly getting better, as I find myself thinking “when did that thing happen again?” and it’s always goodness when I can find the answer somewhere. Usually it’s not something that’s in my calendar – like that unexpectedly amazing Zinfandel we had at the hole-in-the-wall burger place.
The Mac version 1.9 update adds some nice goodies and I’ve been putting it through its paces. But the app has a feature that really bugs me. It calls out to mixpanel.com, presumably for activity tracking. I love the idea and wish more tools would do app tracking – products would be a lot better if designed with this kind of data in mind. But whether or not to opt in to activity collection should be my choice, and currently it’s not. In fact, on the Mac, if you turn on the “Day One Reminders” it tries to contact mixpanel every 30 seconds. I have no idea why a reminder process would need to log activity.
I once heard an interview with founder/designer Paul Mayne – he seems like a nice guy who really cares about the user experience. I hope he and Bloom Built are wildly successful. I just wish they’d allow me to opt-in to data collection on how I use the app.
This may seem like a contradiction – that I wish more apps did this, but I want to opt out. The principle here is that I should get to decide, based on what I know is being collected and what it’s being used for. I don’t particularly want Day One sending my photos, GPS coordinates, calendar, contacts etc. to who knows where without my consent.
For now, I have Little Snitch blocking the pings to mixpanel, and the app runs fine. But that only works on the Mac. I can only assume they are sending activity information from the iOS app as well. For the time being, I’ve stopped using the iOS app.