How Journaling Changed My Life

Abhimanyu Sharma
5 min readMay 3, 2022


Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Journaling is like meditation but in writing. You can document your thoughts and choose to stay empty; that's the highest form of freedom.

Why I Started Journaling

When I started the productivity journey, I started following Tim Ferris. He introduced me to the five-minute journal. I made a Microsoft Word template, as the original journal was very expensive.

I was very excited to document my life. As never before had I recorded any memory, I thought it would be fascinating to note what happened in my life. I was also introduced to being productive, so I thought I could document what I was doing differently in my day. What works for me and what doesn’t.

That time in my life was of struggle. I was done with my graduation and was preparing for the competitive exams. I was sure that I would get out of this situation but wanted my future self to remember every bit of my journey. So I started the five-minute journal. Below is the page that I made for myself.

My first Five-Minute Journal entry

How I Started…

I started on a paper. It was a typical Five-Minute Journal. I would write one half in the morning and the other half at night. It went on like that for 7 to 8 months. My first entry was on 13 July 2017, and I never looked back. I have switched to digital format for many reasons, which I will discuss later.

After starting on paper, I realized it would not be easy to manage and store all the documents if I thought of making it a lifelong habit. So I switched to One line a day Journal. The format of this journal is simple you write 4–5 lines about the day and community for five years; all of that will be stories in one journal only no need to change the journal.

A-One line a day diary page from Amazon

Has it Benefited me?

The one-word answer would be yes in every possible way. I started documenting my whole life on Day one. Using all of its features to their full potential has made it possible for me to enter any idea at any moment and keep it for later.

I can write my workouts and meditation thoughts everything in one application. I have noticed that I take way less stress than I used to because I trust myself and my system that whatever I remember or is bothering me, I will document there, and it will be private forever.

Making The Switch

In the meantime, I tried many journals, some I liked, and some didn’t. After introducing digital journals, I tried Dayone, Journey, and Five-minute journals.

They all were fine, but they didn’t work for me at that time. I was using an android phone, and none of them had all the features I wanted. The five-minute journal could add only one picture; the day one application was outdated, and it’s still outdated for android. The journey application is also good but doesn’t have multiple journal features.

I only liked the Dayone application. I used it for many months and forgot about it. After I switched to I phone, I started using the Dayone app because, for apple, it’s the best application for journaling.

How I am Using The Journaling

I use many features in the application, but these are my favorites.

  1. On this day
    I love to go back to memories and see what happened that day and what I was thinking. This had made me understand how life works in me and how I behave when I am presented with a situation — back to the days when I was frustrated and had no hope that things would be better or not. Now seeing those thoughts after many years, I am sure that things have changed for the better.
  2. Adding pictures
    This feature made me switch from paper to digital format. Now that life has started at a good pace, I want o document every day with pictures or videos about the day that I can see later and remember.
  3. Using templates
    This is the best feature. I have made templates for almost everything I document in the day. From fitness, about the day, morning journal, done list. Everything has a template, so I don’t have to make it from scratch every day. I can start it by writing my thoughts.
  4. Multiple journal feature
    Instead of keeping seven journals, I can have all of them in one application with their digital spaces different. I have a separate journal for,
My Dayone Journals from the application
  • Morning Motivation(I write intentions and how I can make the day better).
  • Daily Insights (Daily random thoughts).
  • One line a day (where I document the significant events in the day).
  • Done list (I recently started documenting my done tasks. It’s helping my mind to stay calm and remember that this day has been productive).
  • Fitness and Meditation (I document my workouts and thoughts after meditation).
  • Creativity (I write poems, songs, any creative thoughts that I want to expand on, daily prompts).
  • Appreciation hub (I keep the pics or messages of all the applications I get in any form for any work).
  • Ideas hub (All the ideas I have for blogs and stories I write here).
  • Quotes and inspiration (Any quote or inspirational thought goes here).
  • Relationship and love (Any thought related to my relationships goes here).

Journal writing, when it becomes a ritual for transformation, is not only life-changing but life-expanding.
— Jen Williamson.