Day One provides several options for backing up your data. Whenever you're uninstalling Day One, changing syncing services, changing devices, updating iOS, or doing anything that could potentially cause data loss, we recommend that you back up your Day One journal.

PDF Exports

Both the Mac and iOS versions of Day One allow users to export some or all of their journal to beautifully-formatted PDFs. In the iOS app, entries can be filtered by tag and/or date range. The Mac app allows users to filter by calendar year and/or tag. You can export single entries to text format or PDF in both apps. The Mac app also allows you export the full journal to text format. (Please see Exporting Entries for more details.)

It's important to note that PDF exports cannot be used to rebuild a journal within Day One. Fortunately, there are several options available for backing up the raw journal files and attached photos. These backups can be used to re-populate Day One if data has been lost.

Day One Mac: Auto-backups and Time Machine

Day One Mac provides the benefit of scheduled auto-backups (enabled by default) which virtually guarantees that you will never suffer catastrophic data loss. You can set the frequency and retention of auto-backups in Preferences > Backup. The optimal frequency really depends on how often you write in Day One. We strongly recommend that all users retain at least 20 backup files (each of which contains the entire journal at the time the backup was created).  

Please note that for a backup to be created, Day One must be open. If you write most of your entries on your mobile device(s), and rarely open the Mac app, make it a practice to open the Mac app on a regular basis. You can keep it open for 15 or 20 minutes to allow an auto-backup to run, or you can tap File > Back Up Journal to force the creation of a backup.

Mac OS X's Time Machine feature is another great option for backing up data. For more information about Time Machine, see Mac Basics: Time Machine backs up your Mac.

Dropbox Syncing

Syncing your Day One journal with Dropbox provides a very safe environment for your entries. It is almost unheard of for files to go missing when using Dropbox. Day One data synced with Dropbox is immune to potential data loss caused by an iOS or OS X update.

Dropbox also retains deleted files and file version history for 30 days. To find entries that have recently disappeared or been accidentally deleted, Dropbox's "version history" may be useful. According to Dropbox's website, "Dropbox is like a time machine. It keeps snapshots of every change in your Dropbox folder over the last 30 days (or longer with the Extended Version History feature). So even if you saved a bad change or find that one of your files has been damaged or deleted, you can restore the file to an older version with just a few clicks." For more information, see How do I recover old versions of files?

If you'd like to manually backup your Day One data stored on Dropbox, navigate to Dropbox > Apps on your computer, select the entire Day One folder, and save it elsewhere. It's fine to save it in Dropbox, just be sure to save it in a different folder than the Apps folder. The contents of this folder and its sub-folders contain all raw text entry files (one for each entry in the app,and one for each photo in the app) and can be used to repopulate Day One should you suffer catastrophic data loss.

iCloud Syncing and Macs

Regardless of whether you own the Mac version of Day One, when iOS users use iCloud to sync their journal data, these files are also stored on your Mac as long as you use the same iCloud account on your Mac. Your files are stored in a hidden, but accessible, folder on your Mac. This folder is also included in Time Machine backups.

To access your Day One journal files on your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Click Go in the menu bar.
  3. Click Go To Folder.
  4. In the dialogue box that appears, paste this text: ~/Library/Mobile Documents/5U8NS4GX82~com~dayoneapp~dayone/Documents/Journal_dayone

To create a backup of your content, simply copy the journal_dayone folder, and save it elsewhere. The contents of this folder and its sub-folders contain the text and photo files in your journal and can be used to repopulate Day One should you suffer catastrophic data loss.  

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