Your Ultimate Journaling How-To Guide & 20 Prompts for Beginners

Curious about journaling, but not sure where to start? Our comprehensive journaling how-to guide explains everything you need to know, including 20 simple prompts for beginners.

Chances are, you've heard about journaling before.

Everyone from Lady Gaga to that-one-friend-on-social-media-with-their-life-together swears by it as a totally life changing habit.

But it can be hard to figure out all those essential journaling how-tos. You're stuck wondering, What do I journal about? How do I find time for journaling? How often am I supposed to journal?

As a result, like a lot of things in life we know we should do... You don't do it. You've thought about it, but you've still never given it a real try.

Luckily, we have a helpful journaling how-to guide that will help you get started (for real). We'll break it down into super easy steps, and give you 20 simple prompts for inspiration!

Surprising Benefits of Journaling

Before we dive into the journaling how-tos, it's important to figure out the why.

You may think you've heard it all before already, but some of these benefits of journaling may really surprise you!

In addition to being a fun and relaxing hobby, journaling has a whole host of scientifically proven benefits to your physical and mental health.

Learn more about the science behind journaling and all of its health benefits.

Journaling How-To Guide: 5 Steps

Now that you're really sold, let's (actually) start journaling! Here are some of our best journaling how-to tips, broken down into 5 super easy steps.

1. Pick a Medium

First thing's first: have somewhere to write.

Our best journaling how-to tip? Don't limit yourself to pen and paper!

A journaling app like Jour can be used right on your phone, which makes it easier to integrate into your daily routine. This way, you can conveniently journal anytime, anywhere that works for you. And your journal can never get lost!

2. Find the Right Time

When it comes to journaling how-tos, it's all about the timing!

Decide on a designated time of day that's best for you to journal. Some people like to journal first thing in the morning to help set positive intentions for the day. Others prefer to journal at night to help them unwind before bed.

Whichever way you choose, make sure it's a time of day where you can focus in on yourself and tune out distractions.

Learn more about starting a morning journaling routine.

3. Get Inspired

One of the biggest challenges to figuring out how to journal is knowing what to write.

You can try simply freewriting what happened in your day. Or, if you prefer a little guidance, try responding to journal prompts.

Journaling with Jour provides you with unlimited daily journaling prompts personalized to how you're feeling and what you're going through. It's a great way to stay inspired!

Learn more tips for when you don't know what to write.

4. Set Goals

This journaling how-to tip is crucial: consistency is key.

Set small, measurable goals for yourself to maintain the habit - like journaling 5 days in a row, or working up to writing for 15 minutes straight.

A journaling app like Jour will track your progress for you (and celebrate your success, of course!) with valuable insights about your journaling habits and mood changes.

Learn more about maintaining healthy habits.

5. Stay Accountable

Our last, but certainly not least, journaling how-to tip is to keep journaling.

It's easy to fall off the wagon with healthy habits before they become ingrained in your routine. But if you don't journal consistently over time, you won't get to reap all of those amazing benefits.

Try getting a friend to start journaling with you as an accountability partner. Or, let a journaling app like Jour be your guide - we'll send you a daily reminder to write your daily entry!

How to Start Journaling: 20 Simple Prompts

Now that you're equipped with all our essential journaling how-to tips, it's time to start writing!

Here are 20 easy journaling prompts to inspire you.

  1. What have you learned about yourself lately?
  2. Name 3 things you're grateful for.
  3. What motivates you?
  4. When was the last time you laughed really hard?
  5. What's your favorite childhood memory?
  6. When are you at your happiest?
  7. What's something you're looking forward to?
  8. How do you feel today? How do you want to feel tomorrow?
  9. What in your life are you most proud of?
  10. Who is someone you admire?
  11. What do you wish others knew about you?
  12. What's something you've never done that you want to try?
  13. What happened today that made you smile?
  14. What was challenged you today?
  15. If you could write a message to yourself one year ago, what would you say?
  16. Who in your life are you most grateful for?
  17. What's a favor you can do for yourself today?
  18. What is the hardest thing you've overcome, and how did you do it?
  19. What do you want to remember about today?
  20. What's something you really want to achieve?

You Now Know How to Journal!

All the rumors you've heard are true - journaling is an amazing healthy habit to include in your routine.

However, it can be hard to figure out how to start journaling. Luckily, with our journaling how-to tips in mind, journaling is simple and easy.

Start by picking out a physical journal or downloading a journaling app. Find a time of day that allows you to focus, and find inspiration using journaling prompts. Once you start writing, set goals and stay accountable to keep it going!

Remember that Jour is always here to support you on your journaling journey, with unlimited personalized prompts to inspire you and daily reminders to keep you motivated.

Happy writing!