Heyday: A wonderful, well-designed personal journal app for iPhone

Heyday for iPhone

As I get older – and I'm already older than dirt compared to most of my fellow TUAW-ites – I find that it's more important to me to capture memories of what's going on in my life. I've been an avid journalist (one who writes a personal journal) since the early 2000s, and Day One is one of my favorite apps both on iOS and OS X. But I've often wished for a way that my daily travels and photos could be automatically captured for posterity. That's the idea behind Heyday, an iPhone app that's billed as a "Smart Photo Organizer and Collage Journal/Diary". The app was first reviewed on TUAW back in January 2014 by Kelly Hodgkins; I thought I'd take a look at the app again.

Now that app subtitle is a long description, but it describes some of the functions of Heyday quite well. When you first launch the app, you're asked to create a free account or log in via Facebook. Heyday then grabs images (with your permission) from your Photo Library to provide a history of things that you've done in the past... It also begins to track your location (with your permission, of course). When Heyday notices that you've been in a location for a bit of time, it notes that in the app's timeline.

Heyday is a good-looking app. From the moment you launch it, you're pulling up memories of things that have gone on in your past. The top of the launch screen is a ever-changing slideshow (done with filters and the ever-popular Ken Burns effect) of images from your photo library, while below that is a daily timeline of where you've been. If you have more than one image for a particular day or stop at a location, they're automatically placed into a collage -- with a tap, you can drag the images into another collage format if you like.

The slideshow effect may transfix you. I spent about thirty minutes last night just looking at the app's slideshow, remembering where I was when I had taken some of the images. They're tagged with the date as well as with the location as taken from geolocation information stored in the EXIF data for the photos.

It's possible to turn off the automatic photo filters, and easy to drop a passcode lock on the app if you're concerned about others seeing what you've been up to. You can also have the app remind you to add photos or location entries once a day - I think it's easier to just let the app do its job.

Editing your entries is a snap, too. It's possible to "fix" a mistaken location, add your own notes, or take additional features to add to an entry. If you decide that you'd like to share a moment with friends, just tap on the images and you can send it out via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, iMessage, or email. Each collage that Heyday produces can also be saved to your photo library, so if you really like the way that it filtered and laid out the images, you can keep 'em for posterity.

Is there anything I'd like to see added to Heyday? Yes - I would love it if the developer got together with the Day One team so that each day's Heyday memories could be automatically added to my Day One entries, which tend to be a daily written discussion of what's going on. Each app is amazing; the two together would be the perfect personal journaling duo. Kelly had also worried about the longevity of her entries, and I think that being able to move the information from Heyday to Day One or at least be able to export it as a large PDF file would be the perfect solution.

Heyday's free, so go out and get it. I hope you like it as much as I do.