Quick Tips: Using the Daylio app as a Mobile Life Journal

That Helpful Dad
6 min readJan 9, 2018


Daylio can help answer the question — is your life in balance?

Source: Pixabay/StevePB CCO Creative Commons

Tony Robbins is famous for saying “If your life is worth living, it’s worth recording.” If you buy in to that idea, then you’ll appreciate an app called Daylio because it’s essentially a mobile Life Journal.

I’m in love with this little app! It’s honestly changed my life.

In this article I tell you what Daylio is and how I use it to improve my life. My goal in doing so is to introduce you what I believe is a great product (and best of all it’s FREE) — my hope is that Daylio can make a real difference in your life too.

BTW, I don’t work for Daylio and am not being compensated for this article — it’s just a great app I use every day and I wanted to let you know so you can benefit from it to.

What is Daylio?

Specifically, Daylio is an easy to use mobile app that allows you to track your moods and daily activities. With regular use (as little as 5 days) you’ll start getting feedback reports that reveal trends which can help you identify the connection between what activities you do when you feel great and what’s happening in your life when you have bad days.

Screenshots from the Daylio App

Here’s how I use Daylio

I use Daylio for tracking my daily moods and activities. It’s easy to use, it’s free, and you can modify the activities to fit your needs. It allows me to rate how I felt each day (awesome, good, average, not good, awful) AND it lets me get granular with specific activities — would you believe I’m currently tracking 80+ different daily activities? Ha, if you know me at all, this probably does’t surprise you.

Daylio makes it so easy (it takes just a few seconds to toggle on/off what you did that day and/or add/modify activities to suit your own system) and because it’s so easy/quick to use, it provides an efficient way for me to keep an on-the-go de-facto daily journal about life. Add to that the fact that you can also include free text notes for each day (if you want to) and now you’re talking.

What I love about this app is that is shows me trends — for the day, month, and even the year. This allows me to VISUALLY SEE if I am living a life that’s in balance or if I’m too heavy in one area vs another. I’ve used this app every single day in 2017 and the feedback it’s providing is invaluable!

Things I learned about myself

I’ll share a few specific takeaways so that you can really understand the power of Daylio. Analyzing my first year’s (AKA 365 days) worth of data, here’s what I found:

  • Overall my Mood count was distributed as Awesome (3), Good (137), OK (200), Not Good (22), and Awful (3). I tend to be pretty hard on myself so the Awesome days were really Awesome and the Goods were special too. I was happy to see my overall distribution leaned in the right direction (140 A+G days vs only 25 NG+Awful days).
  • The top 5 Activities were Jackson Time (297 days), Seeking Wisdom (290), JeeHo (286), Bella (268), and a tie at #5 for Anne Time and Family Dinners (239). Jax (8) and JeeHo (3) are my sons, Bella is my dog, and Anne is my wife. To see that Family time was the leading activity across the board was validation that my life is being spent on the right things! (Although I’m not sure that Anne was thrilled about being #5 — perhaps we should keep that one to ourselves, neh?)
  • I was also happy to see that I meditated a lot (227), helped Jax with education items (226), drank some good tea (216), worked on my novels (166), and had 108 days where I ate really healthy. Those are all good.
  • On the down-side, I would have liked to have written more (166 should be 266 !), I only did 94 days of cardio and 90 workouts (even combing them is not enough), I felt physically tired too much (92), had too many beers (141), played a lot of video games (131 — although a good bit was with Jax), got into some poor eating habits (late snacking 53 days — usually with a beer while watching Netflix with Anne, ate really poor 52 days, and had fast food 19 times — yikes), had 30 overnights for work (that’s a month of my life totally away from the family), and we only had 7 full days of away-from-home family vacation time (way way way too few). These are all things I need to work on.

Now here’s where it gets really powerful

Daylio allows you to analyze what activities are ‘Often Together’ and this led me to realize that there is a strong association with…

  • Every Awesome day included Jax Time.
  • Awful days were directly correlated with being depressed, working 12+ hours, and also flying on planes (it didn’t help that I experienced vertigo on a 5-hour flight last year — try landing with a couple flight attendants sitting on top of you in the aisle while you lay on the floor because your head is spinning (definitely not the Mile High club I’d always envisioned!)
  • Certain activities pulled my Mood count in the ‘right’ direction where Awesome+Good was greater than OK days. This is important because recall that most of my days (200) were tagged as “OK,” so by identifying the activities that are correlated with A+G days I know that, by focusing on them going forward, I can give myself a better chance to have more great days. These activities were: Jax Workouts, Cardio, Working Out, Jeeho Education, Yoga, Self-Improvement, 14+ Hour Fasting, Jax Meditations, AM Ritual, Ab Workout, Special Events, and Friend Time.
  • Certain other activities pulled my Moods in the wrong direction (more weighted towards Not Good+Awful). These were Working 12+ hours, Driving 4+ hours in a day, Depression, Work Overnights, and Flying.
  • And finally, some activities were so great that doing them was associated with only positive days. These included Swimming, Cooking, Time Off from Work, Anne Time, and Family Vacations. These are all a big focus for me in 2018 because, hey, who doesn’t want to have only great days?!?

Are you starting to see the power of this app?

Imagine what it can do for YOU too. After all, do you know for sure which daily activities can give you a better chance to have a good day? Do you know which will probably cause you to have a bad one? Maybe it’s time you used Daylio and found out for sure.

Bonus Tidbits

  1. Jax is now also addicted to tracking his day with Daylio.
  2. Don’t just take my word for it, check out what the National Institute of Health said about Daylio — an article about Daylio from the NIH.

Want More Wisdom Like This?

Good news — my goal is to help people like you live a better life. I do this by sharing practical tips, life lessons, and action-oriented wisdom that you can use today to live your best life NOW. No BS, just real-world solutions that I can personally verify work. If that sounds like it would be helpful to you, check out my other articles on Medium.

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That Helpful Dad

I’m Mike, “That Helpful Dad.” I share practical wisdom to real life problems. 3x Startup. 5x Books. Connect with me at https://thathelpfuldad.com/