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Daylife review: Slick Mac journal software isolated from a connected world

J.R. Bookwalter | July 29, 2016
Daylife has a great look and feel, but is quite limited in its present form.

daylife entry info

You can change the date and location of existing entries, but there’s no way to manually override the time when it was created or edited.

Mobile dilemma

Daylife is also better at displaying multiple images as square thumbnails in a scrolling horizontal grid for a cleaner layout, but you’re out of luck if you want to take a closer look—there’s no way to Quick Look or view images larger. The app also can’t add or edit the entry time, and ignores GPS information embedded with imported photos, instead geotagging the current location of your computer. In the latest update, the location can be manually updated on a per-entry basis from a searchable map.

The biggest hurdle facing Daylife is mobility. Unless a MacBook is your constant companion, there’s no way to pen entries on the go from an iOS app, or easily sync journals between multiple Macs, since the database is buried deep inside the user’s Home folder. This shouldn’t be surprising, since Chronos offers little in regards to mobile, or cloud sync for that matter. (The company’s lone iOS app, NoteLife ($5 in the iTunes Store](, hasn’t been updated in nearly three years.)

Daylife is also largely an island unto itself. Users can import or export text data, but there’s no way to share entries other than to print or save as PDF files, which omit images and maps. Although real-world diaries tend to be private, the fun of having a digital version is the ability to selectively share entries, something you can’t do here.

daylife encryption

Since there’s no cloud sync or mobile connectivity, Daylife is great for privacy, and all journals are protected with AES-256 encryption.

On the plus side, Daylife is well-suited to privacy advocates, because journal entries are secured with AES-256 encryption. Chronos is pushing out frequent updates, so I’m hopeful there will be improvements on some of my concerns. In the meantime, there’s a 30-day trial version available from the company’s website, so I’d recommend giving it a spin before committing to purchase.

Bottom line

Daylife has a lot of potential with a great look and feel, but is quite limited in its present form compared to rivals like Day One.


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