A beige notebook for one line a day journaling lays on a wicker chair on top of a beige book of daily inspirational quotes.

One Line A Day Journaling: Tips, Prompts And How To Start

If you’re having a hard time keeping a journal, then try one line a day journaling to kickstart your creativity and get into the habit.

Journaling has been the secret weapon of history’s most brilliant writers and thinkers from Charles Darwin to Albert Einstein and Mark Twain.

And that’s because getting your thoughts down on paper has countless benefits – from improving your memory to fighting anxiety and depression.

But keeping a daily journal – and writing in it every single day – isn’t always that easy.

Our lives get busy and we get caught up in the rush. A slow morning with a fountain pen and a leather journal is an indulgence we can only dream about.

I’ve kept a diary for decades and one line a day journaling is always the journaling technique I return to when I fall out of the writing habit.

It’s simple, achievable and very motivating when you want to establish a daily writing habit.

And it’s also a lot of fun!

One line a day journaling reminds you of the pleasures of writing and the benefits of getting your thoughts down on paper.

Because journaling doesn’t have to be grandiose or time-consuming to be effective.

What is a one line a day journal?

A woman's hand writes in a blank journal laying on a light wooden desk. There is a vase with dried flowers and a white and black cup of coffee nearby.

A one line a day journal is a notebook in which you write down a single sentence every single day.

It doesn’t have to be long and complicated. But you’ll be surprised how motivating and inspiring writing a single line can be.

And you just might be motivated to carve our longer journaling sessions and write more.

How to journal one line a day

Writing even a single line a day helps preserve your memory, makes you a wittier writer and lets you notice patterns.

It’s also great if you’re a parent to track your child’s growth and remember those early years when time flies so quickly.

But don’t try to capture everything. Capture the key moments and record even the mundane in a single sentence (yes, it can be a run-on).

What seems ordinary now will soon be a memory you’ll be thankful you captured,

What do you write in a line a day journal?

A beige leather journal lays closed on a wooden desk next to a circular metal tray full of different perfume bottles.

Write about what happened today, what you’re grateful for or how you feel.

Or you can use journaling prompts that tackle depression, boost your self-confidence or lower your stress.

Prompts for one line a day journaling:

  1. What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
  2. What are you thankful for today?
  3. What was your favorite small moment from the day?
  4. What lesson did you learn today?
  5. Name your biggest task/greatest challenge for tomorrow.
  6. What are you most looking forward to?
  7. What are you most worried about right now?
  8. What is the best thing you watched or read today?
  9. What is something you learned recently?
  10. How are you feeling in this moment?
  11. Draw one doodle a day.

Best one line a day journal

One Line A Day: A Five-Year Memory Book is an accessible intro to journaling that also lets you store memories from the past 5 years.

There are five spaces for each day of the year. So if you write regularly for 2+ years, you’ll also see what you wrote on that same day in previous years.

One line a day journaling tips

A thick burgundy leather notebook lays on a windowsill next to a black candleholder with a single white candle inside.

Start small and stay realistic. Keeping the habit going is more important than writing brilliant prose everyday.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to write something profound in your journal. It can be simple and it’s allowed to be just a simple record of your daily life.

What seems insignificant now will someday be a beautiful, poignant or funny record of these days of your life.

The benefits of journaling one line a day

One line a day journaling helps you get into the habit of writing everyday. It’s not too overwhelming to jot down a sentence a day – so you’ll be more likely to keep at it.

“It makes journaling fun,” writes James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. “It’s easy to feel successful. And if you feel good each time you finish journaling, then you’ll keep coming back to it.”

  • Journaling one line a day puts your horrible days into perspective. And it will remind you that bad times don’t ever last.
  • It tracks your growth and helps you identify your priorities in life. It will make you a more honest observer and a more creative human.
  • Journaling one line a day helps you identify negative patterns in your life and motivate you towards change.

Journaling tips for beginners

A woman's hand holding a pen and writing in a journal with a cup of coffee in the background.

Is handwriting better than typing? Should you journal in the morning or at night?

Read 17 Powerful Journaling Tips For Beginners (And How To Start) for my ultimate guide to writing everyday – and some counter-intuitive hacks!

Journaling techniques

A journal lays open with scraps of colorful paper glued onto its pages. One scrap says "Netflix" and another says "movies."

From affirmation journaling to nature journaling, there are dozens of different journaling techniques to suit every purpose and occasion.

Read 47 Life-Changing Journaling Techniques (And How To Start) for my ultimate guide to finding the perfect method for you.

More resources:

51 Inspiring Quotes About Journaling (To Get You Writing!)

Journaling for Mental Health (And 30 Powerful Prompts)

100+ Incredible Journaling Ideas (For Anxiety, Clarity And More)