Day One, Dynalist, and Ulysses

Hi all,

I’m currently using Ulysses, Day One and Dynalist, because I love all three applications… I’ve whittled down all my writing apps after having tried and used OneNote, Evernote, Notion, MindNode, iAWriter, ByWord, Sublime and other Markdown apps. However, I’m having trouble figuring out what would best belong in each application. Below are my main uses for each service:

Day One:
More permanent notes (sermons, lectures, etc.)
Drafting Emails

Outlines, meeting notes
Food Diary
General lists and todos

Multimedia notes (videos, photos, code).
serious writing

In essence, I love Dynalist’s search/filter features, and I don’t think they can be replicated due to its outline structure. Day One is more for recording stuff… less temporal and more journaling, as intended. Ulysses has my favorite writing environment (typewriter mode, distraction-free, fonts, etc.), but it’s not as user-friendly on mobile.

Is anyone else in this situation? If so, how did you end up reconciling between other writing apps and Dynalist? I’m fine with using each of these apps separately, but I can also see myself export/importing items between the two apps in the future if I find a more efficient workflow. Money isn’t a big issue, even after Day One converted to a subscription model (waiting for those audio notes!!).

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It’s interesting to raise the issue of writing with Dynalist. I’m on Windows and have experimented with Scrivener for longer writing projects. But the bells and whistles weren’t useful enough to warrant opening up a separate program.

Structuring an argument is one of the main uses for Dynalist. I generally develop the outline in Dynalist and then start writing in Google docs using split screen on the Chrome browser.

Journaling is one of the few remaining functions of Evernote for me. I just feel more confident in the card structure of Evernote for entrusting important records.

Generally I love having everything under one roof, so I will put up with quite a large degree of non-optimality to have as much as possible in Dynalist. There are some places where the optimality is too low so e.g. I use evernote as a repository for dumping articles, anything with a lot of images and anything else with advanced formatting that dynalist couldn’t handle but otherwise even if the journalling features are a bit better in another program I think having everything in one place (under one search box) is worth a pretty large loss in function … of course this balancing act will be individual for everyone … :slight_smile:

lol you sound just like me. A different application for every specific purpose. I’ve looked into ulysseus but its a macOS only app, I use a crossplatform app called that is similar.

I use it to mostly have distraction free writing for wordpress blog posts in markdown format

I actually wrote a blog post about this (my wordpress blog site is horribly outdated theme-wise, still working on it)

Also, this is currently what I use my lists of apps for:


Everything I use dynalist is extremely heavy on reference / note material for learning new things / complex subjects I don’t comprehend that well

  • Course notes
  • Code snippets (I replaced gistboxapp from this)
  • Idea generation
  • Short journaling (in 4 sentences / day at most summarizing important things /events i did throughout day)
  • Project Notes
  • I integrate some handwritten notes in dynalist too using images Workflow for adding picture / handwritten notes to dynalist
  • Outlining / Ulysseus / discourse forums / reddit /

This is where I express thoughts and stuff

  • Markdown based writing. I cannot express my thoughts clearly in dynalist that well, all my notes in dynalist are very logical / methodical, so I use a seperate app for this
  • Serious writing

Google Calendar

This is where I manage my long term events I need to remember at least 2 weeks out

Everything else is in stickynote format + kanban / sprints

Agendas Meetings outline notes To-Do List / General ToDoList

Surprisingly I don’t take a lot of these, so I just stick with a stickynote/legalpad+ paper +pen.

It really depends on what your job is though, this is highly dependent on that

If I had a choice I would use either dynalist or a dedicated group app like trello/asana/slack

A lot of small todolist / tasks I kind of am too lazy to write it in dynalist and check it off, I prefer old school methods here

Sublime / Atom / Visualstudio Code/ repl / Cloud9 ide

Whatever gets the job done, in the end it I just use git and push it to github anyways, so it doesn’t matter what my IDE looks like

I did do blog notes using a nodeJS platform called hexo using sublime text as my editor… it worked out okayish. Rather have a dedicated app like ulysseus though or

if I’m not sure where to put my code snippets at, I just dump it in dynalist. I use this code syntax highlighter that @piotr wrote Multi-line code blocks

if I need lots of revisions / commit logs / git branches and stuff I use github

onenote/evernote/ everything else

If I had existing notes elsewhere already like onenote for my contacts sheet, I don’t feel like porting it in dynalist so i just update it in onenote

evernote I only look at old notes only, but I’ll put longer personal journal entries here that span several pages , normally when I’m frustrated at something and want to vent about it

Email drafting

I don’t really do a lot of email drafting honestly, I try to get it over with as quickly as possible. I never dwell on professionalism with emails because I try to maintain a high standard across every email I send

In summary

I forgot I actually also wrote a blog post answering your question as well

Anyways, thats what I use all the apps for


I moved everything to DL.
Evernote, Scrivener, Notion, Org mode - nah, DL is the most flexible tool


My man.

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Thanks all!!

I dream of a one-size-fits-all writing app, but maybe that doesn’t or shouldn’t exist. IDK.

Thanks for all your suggestions, and guides - it’s exciting figuring out (and hopefully not wasting too much time) the workflow that fits my needs.

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my workflow triggered by anything interesting. i noted so far, could be from web articles, youtube video, daily activity, live conversation with friends.
those entries phase is kinda delicate, requires something fast booting, for quick capture, not too worry about its place in structures. for web articles, i settled with pocket. youtube video also pocket, for daily activity, i used dayone, live conversation use apple voice memos or google keep.
those pieces then filtered manually, written using outline method, to capture the flow, the steps, the train of thoughts, boil the ideas. :grin: like colliding them all. so far, several of eureka. those epiphany moments are the best feeling.
then at the end of the day, anki decks.
anki decks also helps train my memory to filter those raw entries before written into dynalist. since several of those ‘raw entries’ apparently not so raw, sometimes things i had figured out before and shrinked into models.

i learn lots of dynalist user use it as taskmaster.
for task, i settled with things3.1

ps. those idea boiling phase, i used to use outlinely, bear,
i am sucker for great UI. and avira next or kinfolk or monocle font and their themes. just so enjoyable.
but i go for dynalist, because the user base community & relation of those passionate founders and the users. almost same as bear, but bear doesnt have outline. :grin:

pps. those wasted times, figuring these flows, researching apps and keep changing them, are the best time spent. wont you agree??

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I’ve been using Day One since July 8, 2013. Along the way I’ve tried different journaling apps, including Ulysses. But I’ve kept coming back to Day One. At one point I experimented with using Dynalist’s note capability to journal, but I always wound up copying and pasting it back to Day One.

I just whittled down Ulysses - Dynalist is good enough, unless I plan on continuing heavy blog-publishing. Day One stays because of its intuitive journaling UI.