Apple’s much anticipated journal app was released to beta users this week. I downloaded the app immediately. I’ve been looking forward to this app ever since it was announced at WWDC in June.

A little history here. I’ve had Day One for years. I’ve been an off-and-on again journal entry guy. Then early this year I decided to get serious about journaling. I’ve tried using a notebook and that’s my favorite way to journal (I do morning pages every day with pen and paper). But I love the digital aspect of this. I love being able to dictate the journal entry if I’m driving or out for a walk. I love being able to add media to my journal entries like photos or links.

So I was very much interested in the Apple journaling app. Now, I didn’t know what to expect when I opened it. It’s very basic to say the least but that’s ok. Someone new to journaling doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. When you open a brand new notebook, it’s very plain. Just a blank sheet of paper. I’m not sure if that’s what Apple was going for here but that’s the feel I get when I open this app and start a new journal entry. It’s a blank screen.

There are buttons and there are places to add media like you’d expect but it’s a very bare bones journaling app. Now, I also suspect this will change over time. Much like Apple Notes and Reminders. Those two apps were as basic as you could get when they came out but now they’ve turned into some pretty powerful apps. I imagine journal will be much the same. Over time, you may see other features come out but for now, it’s as basic as they come. But, again, that’s ok. Basic isn’t a bad thing. Some times you just need a place to write (or type) about your day. You may just want to write down about how bad (or good) your day was without having to figure out if you’re in the right notebook or what font you want to use.

I’m excited to see where Apple takes this and how the on-device learning will help the journaling process. The ability for your phone to grab information about your workout or music playlist could be a lot of fun.

For heavy Day One users, this isn’t a replacement app. Not by any means. But for other people that just want to journal and to get started, this is a great place to make that happen.