The Secret Keeper

Tap to learn how the developer of Day One keeps your journal entries private.

For developer Paul Mayne, journaling is an important ritual, allowing him to reflect in a way he otherwise couldn’t. “For a lot of people, social media is their journal,” he says, “but that’s only the public-facing side of yourself that you’re comfortable sharing.”

The original icon for Day One was inspired by the to-do app Things. “I liked that block style and wanted something similar,” Mayne says.

More for himself than anybody else, he decided to create a journaling app—he called it Day One.

“Before Day One, I had a makeshift way of journaling—a combination of a to-do list, with a daily alert that would pop up, and a basic journaling template,” Mayne says. But when the Mac App Store launched in 2011, he saw an opportunity. He hoped Day One might generate enough revenue so he could afford to continue refining it for his own use—never mind turning a profit.

Day One is made in Lehi, Utah—the fifth-fastest-growing city in the country and a burgeoning tech hub dubbed the Silicon Slopes.

More than 8 million downloads and 200 million journal entries later, Day One has become the gold standard of journaling apps. It allows you to attach photos to entries, create multiple journals, and even order a hardcover copy of your work. Praised for its elegant design and ease of use, Day One was recognized as the Mac App Store’s App of the Year in 2012 and won an Apple Design Award in 2014.

“We all wear a lot of hats,” Mayne says. “The culture here is: You may be expected to do things outside of your expertise.”

What started as a solo effort out of Mayne’s home has grown into a 12-person team. They’re self-funded, which gives them complete control over the safekeeping of Day One users’ entries. And they’ve ratcheted up privacy controls to keep all that journaling away from prying eyes.

For Murphy Randle, who manages the company’s website and encrypted server, Bloom Built’s size has been an asset. “It would be nice to go a lot faster, but being small forces us to make good decisions about the features we’re going to focus on,” he says.

We see Day One as a lifetime app where you capture thoughts and moments that you want to preserve.

—Paul Mayne

One of those features came with the release of the app’s 2.0 version: encrypted syncing. Day One was already one of the first apps to offer free cloud syncing between desktop and mobile, but end-to-end encrypted sync was the most requested feature, according to Mayne.

“People are now starting to discover they are paying for services with their privacy,” Mayne says. “It’s valuable to be able to trust the platform you’re using.”

    Day One Journal

    Your journal for life


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