The 5 minute journal

4 min read

Voor Nederlands, klik hier.

-Do you think keeping a journal takes too much of your time?

-Are you unsure if this will help you with your work or life?

-Or you think a journal is only for the “others”?


This article provides you with a technique to write down valuable insights in journal within 5 minutes.

So many people are starting to write in a journal (diary or notebook) for a variety of reasons. Benefits range from the ability of letting go, to work and life more effective, being more focused and to be more intentional. Writing is a way of reflection. More benefits of reflection of reflection can be found in this article.

In fact, many successful people like Tony Robbins, Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin had a journal. This, despite their busy life.

Recently, I found a technique that doesn’t take more than 5 minutes of your time. It can help you tremendously. It’s called “the 5 minute journal” and it’s from the book “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss.

The 5 minute journal has 2 routines: One in the morning and one in the evening

Morning routine

  1. After waking up in the morning, write down 3 things for which you are grateful. This can range from the cozy warm bed you have slept in, the people around you or an activity you’ve planned to do later that day.
  2. Next write down the three things that will make this day a good day. This can vary from finishing a task, meeting someone new or getting a new job/assignment.
  3. Finally, write down what the 3 intentions (or affirmations) you have for the day. Examples are: I am focused, I live in abundance, I am open to new opportunities or I am listening carefully.

Evening routine

  1. Before going to bed, start by writing down the 3 things that have happened which have made it a fantastic day. This can be the successful event you’ve hosted, the compliment you’ve received upon finishing a project but also the nice meal you’ve had with your friends or family.
  2. Then write down 3 things that could have made today even a better day. Examples are: I could have been more calm and understanding with someone, I should have contributed more to a certain cause or I should have called a certain person.

My findings and an extra tip

  1. Starting the day with gratitude helps me to be more open, joyful and curious. My experience is that where there is gratitude, there’s no room for fear, anxiety or remorse.
  2. By writing down what had could have made the day even better helps me to acknowledge what has gone wrong (I tend to “forget” this). It also helps me to motivate me to do something about it (it will often be on the intention list next day). Finally it helps to let go, because I tend to stay stuck in a negative mindset after failure.
  3. What I do nowadays is to write down my intentions on a post-it (or a Tesla Amazing note) and set a reminder on my smartphone. An intention will not work if you do not consciously take actions. The reminders help a lot!

It’s suggested to review your journal once a month, and especially the things that have happened to make it a super day. I found that this exercise was of great help when feeling down. One forgets easily the good things that have happened that month, and the successful events (even the smallest ones). It gives me strength and confidence to move forward in this adventurous life.

It’s so simple and effective, I invite you to try it for a month!

Do you keep a journal? What do you write down and how does it help you?Let me know in the comment box below. I am looking forward reading from you!

Thank you for sharing this article with your colleagues, friends or family. And please SHARE this article with your network on Twitter , Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn by pressing the buttons below so that they benefit as well and know they can fill their journal with valuable insights within 5 minutes.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments