How to journal quickly: daily journalling for beginners

Can you daily journal quickly?

Journalling has been part of my life for over three years now.

Granted, not every single day – there have been times when it’s fallen by the wayside, for sure.

colourful pencils
photo: Dee Copper and Wild

Like most things we know are ‘good for us’, it can be hard to find the discipline to do them, even if the results are positive – it’s all that delayed gratification that can leave us so stuck.

There have been times over those years when I felt like I was too busy (or sometimes just too lazy) to get to it, even though I knew the consistency made the world of difference.

colourful journals
photo: Hope House Press

Nowadays, I try to make sure I do it more often, even if that means I only journal quickly.

When I am journalling on the reg. I’ll feel in more control of my thoughts, be sleeping better and have a more positive outlook.

The pressure to journal everyday can be off putting for beginners, but there is nothing wrong with doing it daily-ish or only journalling quickly.

How long does it take to journal, can you journal quickly?

You can journal quickly – there should be no time pressure around it. Some days, when I’m tired, I’ll just write one line, but other days I might fancy writing a couple of pages.

The easier you make it for yourself, the easier it will be to make it into a routine.

photo: Jess Bailey

How to journal daily for beginners:

When I’m trying to implement a new habit into my daily routine, I use a technique called habit stacking, a method from the Tiny Habits programme created by BJ Fogg, where you link the habit you want to a habit you already have.

When it comes to journalling, I journal right before I go to sleep; to begin with, I put my journal on my pillow to jog my memory. Fast forward a couple of months and the cue of getting into bed reminds me to journal, I no longer need to physically see my notebook.

Maybe you want to journal first thing in the morning as you have your coffee – could you put your journal next to the kettle as a cue?

I often get asked what I write in my journal – most people want to know if they’re getting it right – but there is no right or wrong; just jot down whatever comes to mind. Sometimes this could be a huge stream of consciousness or you could just jot one line down in your journal really quickly.

how to journal quickly: daily journalling fro beginners
photo: Dee Copper and Wild

If this is too overwhelming though, try the following journal prompts:

  • What are your strengths?
  • What went right today?
  • What did you enjoy today?
  • How can you support your loved ones?
  • How does work fulfil you?
  • Do you have any needs that aren’t being met? Why do you think that is and could you do anything about it?
  • Are there any boundaries you need to put in place?
  • 3 things you love about yourself and why

How long does journalling take to work?

For me, the effects of journalling work almost instantly; if I’m worrying and overthinking then writing it down helps get it off my chest. In the long run it can help you develop better mindful skills and process emotions easier.

Read more: fear of moving house (how to get over it, now!)

Is it healthy to journal everyday?

Journalling everyday can be healthy, but it shouldn’t stress you out if you can’t get around to it. Another item on a never ending ‘to-do’ list could do more than harm than good. You don’t want to feel like a failure if you skip a day.

how to journal quickly: daily journalling fro beginners
photo: Dee Copper and Wild

Should I journal in the day or at night?

This is totally up to you; there are no rules. I like to journal my thoughts down in the evening and then do some positive affirmations in the morning to set me up for a good day, but some might want to do it all in one go.

What should a daily journal look like?

Again, it’s your daily journal so it can look however you want it to look; whether that’s a pink notebook, a bullet journal or some A4 paper – you decide.

how to journal quickly: daily journalling fro beginners
photo: Estee Janssens

What is a daily gratitude journal?

Gratitude journaling is when you focus on the positive moments of your day, most focus on three, but you can write more. This rewires your brain to focus on the positive rather than the negative and in turn, changes your outlook on life.

This is the best way to journal quickly – each day, write three very specific things you’re grateful for. It’s also a great journalling technique to start with as a beginner.

Catch the latest weekly edit here from me, Lindsey Isla.

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