CallitADay: Keeping a Beautiful Mac Diary

Keeping a diary may not be half as popular as it used to be, but the habit of maintaining a record of events across your life is certainly not gone. It’s a great way to reminisce, and look back at where you’ve come from.

CallitADay is a great app from Expersis which lets you keep a daily diary on your Mac. This review will cover CallitADay’s winning features and flaws, and see what else is out there in the way of diary apps.

Interface

When you open up CallitADay, a large window reveals itself. This consists of a calendar in the upper left, an index of all your diary entries below, and the editor on the right.

Adding an entry is performed by selecting the date you wish to write on, whether that be today or another date. This actually took me a short while to figure out. I kept searching for a plus button of some kind which wasn’t there, and I think that CallitADay would be more straightforward if there were other more obvious ways to add new entries. The editor will then present a blank canvas for you to type out your diary entry. Diary entries, or ‘notes’ are grouped into ‘Topics’ that you create.

CallitADay has a very clear-cut purpose, allowing you to have only one note per topic, making the app much more like a diary. However, I would like the freedom to be able to enter more than one note per topic, which would increase the use for the app. I suppose it’s about finding that balance between not offering enough, and defining exactly what the application is designed for.

Creating an Entry

Creating an Entry

Adding Media

CallitADay has a wonderful support for importing media into your notes. It has full drag and drop support allowing to drop pretty much any file. Images, audio, and movies work as expected, and you can even place files and folders which will open when clicked on. Images and movies within CallitADay can be resized instantly, causing any text to wrap around.

But a real strength of CallitADay is an in-built audio and video recording feature. This allows you record audio while at your computer, which means you can simply leave yourself audial notes. You can also record footage from the built in iSight camera or take photos.

Inserting Media

Inserting Media

Other Features

CallitADay includes a few clever features which really boost productivity. One neat idea is the way in which you can drag and drop files in an ‘Exposé-like’ fashion. This is done by hovering over a topic while dragging a file, which will blink twice and then open up thumbnail previews of all notes within that topic. Hovering over a specific note for a few seconds will open up that note, ready for the file to be dropped in!

This feature is great when it works, however it has stopped functioning for me for a reason I can’t seem to track down. It’s a little buggy from time to time.

Entry Thumbnails

Entry Thumbnails

CallitADay uses the same yellow, eye catching search feature that came out with Safari 3 for searching content within notes. It also has a great search function when searching through all notes for content and embedded files, displaying them as thumbnail previews arranged by topic.

Another feature worth mentioning is that you can set CallitADay to autosave your work every five minutes or so.

Searching

Searching

Alternative Diary Apps

CallitADay is not alone in the field of diary apps for Mac. Here are a few competitors for you to have a look at:

MacJournal – A fully fledged diary entry application, MacJournal doesn’t have the same page formatting flexibility seen in CallitADay, but it does have a huge range of other features. You can go full screen for isolated concentration, password protect journals, and some advanced text formatting features are included. But what really sets MacJournal apart from the rest is its ability to upload directly to blogs such as WordPress. It’s priced at $39.95.

Mémoires – A very minimalistic app with a clean interface, Mémoires is great for those after a straightforward simple place to record your diaries. It’s not filled with loads of fancy features, but it does what it does superbly and is a pleasure to use. This one comes in at $29.95.

myDiary – A relatively simple diary app but with a few more tricks than Mémoires. myDiary keeps page formatting to a bare minimum but lets you import images and files, and record video diaries to add to your entries. It also has print and export functions, however these felt quite buggy when I tried to use them. myDiary is slightly cheaper at $19.

viJournal – Like CallitADay, viJournal gives you only one entry per day to replicate the old fashioned page-a-day diary. It does also include a notes feature separate from entries and a ‘scratch pad’ for jotting down bits of information. It costs $26.95.

Conclusion

Personally, I don’t write diaries or enter notes on a daily basis, however if you do, I would definitely be suggesting that you download CallitADay and try it out for yourself. It has the odd hiccup but overall it contains great features and is easy and efficient to use.

CallitADay is available for a very reasonable $14. Let us hear your thoughts on this app, or others such as the ones listed above. Do many of you keep a digital diary, or do others prefer the good old-fashioned paper book?


Summary

CallitADay is a digital diary, into which you can enter your experiences, thoughts and notes on a daily basis.

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  • http://www.aliceralph.com Alice

    Downloaded the trial and it looks pretty interesting – definitely quite intuitive, although for me without the ability to export and upload your diary online or share it in someway then it doesn’t really compete with Macjournal. Of course if you only want to write the diary to keep private then that’s fine but personally even then I would still rather upload and store it online (but set to private) just so that I don’t risk losing all of my work stored on my computer. Still a pretty cool app at a much cheaper price!

    • Filmqueen

      I have macjournal, and I can not find where to add pics or video! Is it possible?

  • http://ipadinterfaces.com iPad Interfaces

    Noooooh! You don’t think that this app looks nice, do you?

  • Link Dupont

    The app’s name needs some rethinking. “CallitADay” is a messy title, but it seems to be in line with the rest of Expersis’s products, so I guess if that’s their “theme.”

    • Filmqueen

      I agree a better name should be matched with such a cool app!

  • Eripoll

    I have to agree on the name. The app is pretty nice looking.

    However, I find a few things annoying:
    1/ You can set Topics, which is fine, but there is no way to view ALL your notes for one day grouped together, or all your notes on a particular topic grouped together either.
    Even though I like separating various aspects of my life in topic, I think it would be nice to view all your entries for one day on the same page regardless of topic, or view all your entries for one topic on one page as well…

    2/ I agree as well on the Export issue. I’d love to be able to export my date per day, month or topic and save that as text or as a blog entry…

    So, nice design, interesting “topic” idea, but the app gives me the impression of being “locked in” by the way the data is stored.

    • Chaitanya

      1/ Just double click on a date in the calendar and you’ll see all the notes for that date in all the topics

      2/ If you say Print > Save as PDF, it will export the selected notes to a PDF file and also add the Note Name, Topic, Date in the header, and optionally page numbers as well

  • http://meerzography.wordpress.com Meerzography

    Hmm, I’ve been using Macjournal for ages now and I’m really comfortable with it. But this one looks so neat! I’m going to give it a try.

  • concerto

    agree on the name thing, a little bit mess..
    but the interface is nice and it is easy to handle

  • Chaitanya

    There is a nice way to export btw, if you say print and save as PDF, it will nicely export your notes with their name and date in header.

  • Helena

    I have using CallItADay for two months now and really love it. It has beautiful interface, its function is easy and intuitive, and it makes inserting visuals in the dairy pages a snap. I also love the video and voice recoding function, which means you can have a writing, audio, and visual diary all in one place. No complaints at all. great app.

  • Ron

    Not a bad app at all.
    Been using it for 3 days.
    But how do you stop it hyphenating words over lines?

  • SETHU BALAJI RAO

    I want to try CallitAday, but could not download dmg file i could only download pkg file with this i could not install the application or software.

    Help needed

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