How to Journal in Five Minutes

Want to keep a journal, but just don't have enough time? Try this...

A five-minute journal is a thing. UK Ramdas has been a long-term advocate for the power of journal writing. Describing his 30-minute writing practice during a long walk with Alex Ikonn in 2013, led to the idea of distilling the process into a quick and simple journal. After many late nights and numerous revisions, The Five Minute Journal was born in June 2013.

Tim Ferriss, the author of ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ is a fan and shared how he uses the five-minute journal to start his day. The word spread and a Five Minute Journal movement grew.

Based on positive psychology research, you’ll notice all the essential ingredients are incorporated in the journal process – gratitude, goal setting, affirmations, celebration and reflection. The printed journal also has inspirational quotes or a weekly challenge at the top of each page.

Co-founder Alex Ikonn describes the journal as a toothbrush for the mind.


Start each day with the inspirational quote. Then work through the three questions.
1. I am grateful for…
2. What would make today great?
3. Daily affirmations. I am…


There are two questions to answer at the end of every day.
4. Three amazing things that happened today…
5. How could I have made today even better?

The Five-Minute Journal is an ideal tool for time-poor educators to feel rewarded in their work, practice mindfulness and achieve work-life balance.

There are three ways to start a five minute journal.

  1. Purchase the Five Minute Journal online from
  2. Use the Five Minute Journal app available in Android and iOS versions.
  3. Keep a regular journal and use the three question prompts in the morning and two in the evening.


  1. Keep the journal right beside your bed, so it’s the first thing you do each morning and the last thing at night.
  2. If you use the app, set notifications to get a reminder.
  3. To mix it up, focus on different categories of your life for different days. For example relationships, health and work. Tim Ferriss does this.
  4. Take a moment to ‘feel’ what you are grateful for, not just ‘think’ of things to list. Science shows the benefits came from ‘feeling’.
  5. Trial two different approaches for affirmations. The hammer approach, of writing the same thing over and over to hammer it into your subconscious. The butterfly approach is writing what you are feeling at the time.


How to Journal in five minutes

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