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Journaling Challenge Day 2: Schedule it

By | 14 comments

Workspace with coffee cup, note paper and notebook

Challenge 2: Decide on a fixed time of the day when you will journal and schedule it in your calendar.

One of the challenges to making new daily habits is making them stick and keeping them going. It’s easy to get excited about starting a new habit only to fizzle out after a couple of days.

Scheduling is one of the easier ways of way to keep your journaling practice from fizzling out. A reminder in you calendar will act as a trigger to journal until it becomes something you naturally do.

Find your ideal time.

When would be an ideal time for you to journal? Any time where you have the ability to take a few quiet minutes to think and put pen to paper will do.

Avid journaler Kendra Wright enjoys journaling at the end of the day because emotions and memories often change after a night’s sleep.


Find your best time to journal and mark it in your calendar as a repeating event. Remember to take into account where you will be at that time. Do you commute home at [5:30]? Then [5:30] is not a good time for journaling. Do you typically have some free time to yourself after dinner? That might make a good time to set your calendar reminder.

When you repeating journaling calendar event notifies you today, answer the same prompt.

“What did I learn today?

Update: Challenge #3 is now available.

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Posted by Amber  | December 20, 2015 at 1:05PM | Reply

This older article uses the throughout the day method:

Posted by PG  | December 20, 2015 at 8:46AM | Reply

I like journaling after I meditate in the morning as well. And finishing up with a brief entry at night before bed. When I do this I feel most productive.

Posted by Tanya  | December 16, 2015 at 7:13PM | Reply

I’ve done this for two days now, writing in the morning after meditation. It’s made for two amazing work days! It’s another level to the GTD philosophy of getting tasks out of my head – I am able to get goals and objectives out of my head and solidify those ideas on paper. The lists of questions have been a huge help, I honestly didn’t know where to start, but once I decided to go, it was hard to stop!

Posted by Thanh Pham  | December 16, 2015 at 10:25PM

Nice work Tanya!

Posted by Dave  | December 16, 2015 at 9:01AM | Reply

Most often I journal at night. It helps to think through what went well (or not so well) in the day and what needs to be corrected.

Posted by Lynn O'Connor  | December 16, 2015 at 1:02AM | Reply

Unsure. Keeping fixed schedules outside of my appointments with people –which go on, on and off, all day– is never all that successful for me.

Posted by Andrew  | December 15, 2015 at 10:19PM | Reply

Loving Day One Journal. Allows addition of photos and is easy to use. Syncs across a few platforms

Posted by Laynie  | December 15, 2015 at 9:43PM | Reply

I tried journaling at night and realized that my lowest energy is after the work day. It does make sense to do it at the end of the day but I end up skipping it altogether. Now, I journal the first thing in the morning–usually at 5am–right after meditation and so far I’ve been consistent!

Posted by Bob  | December 15, 2015 at 5:29PM | Reply

Definitely end of day for me. It is my way to decompress from the day and reflect on what I have learned.

Posted by Larra  | December 15, 2015 at 4:21PM | Reply

I solved my “time” issue by allocating just 5 minutes to it and to bringing my journal with me. I ditched the electronic journal idea after the first day, lol. My thought was, tiny bits consistently were better than larger chunks of journaling sporadically. I’m looking for the top-line notes of the day to analyze trends over time.

Posted by Norm  | December 15, 2015 at 2:20PM | Reply

I too would be interested in hearing more about the “throughout the day” approach.

Posted by Melissa Haas  | December 15, 2015 at 1:58PM | Reply

7:30 pm (after Jeopardy) :-P

Posted by Stienie  | December 15, 2015 at 1:18PM | Reply

I also battle with finding a “fxed” time and I like the idea of adding throughout the day, but I am worried that when you get busy, one might just skip this….

Posted by Janeira  | December 15, 2015 at 11:20AM | Reply

This is a conundrum for me. I’m away from home 12 hours a day during the week, and my time is not my own at home. I think Aaron mentioned that he adds to his journal throughout the day. I’d be interested in hearing more about that approach.

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