I used to be pretty terrible at keeping a journal of any kind, but I once journaled daily for three years straight without missing a single day.

How did I do it? Was I super-motivated? Did I carve out a special time each day to write in my journal? What about holidays, vacations, sickness, and a host of other things that could interfere with writing in your journal?

I was committed to keeping a daily journal in the beginning, but stuff happened, things got in the way, and often I was just too tired to write a full entry. As I lay there in my bed, I had an idea. I grabbed my phone and I just typed three words that summed up the highlights of the day. I figured that these little “cues” would help me remember when I came back to fill in the details the next day.

Guess what? It worked.

This technique of typing in a few “journaling cues” whenever I didn’t have time to write worked amazingly well. I could type a week’s worth of cues and sit down on a Sunday and be able to recall details that I would have surely forgotten if I hadn’t taken a few seconds to jot down a few cues.

An example

Imagine you are lying in bed and just realized that you forgot to write a journal entry. You’re already warm and cozy in bed so you just reach over to the nightstand and grab your phone. Using either the JRNL App or our Email-to-JRNL feature with your Email client you simply summarize your day in as few words as possible and hit Save or Send.

Here’s an example of something that I would do:

Sandwich 🙁
Fire clown

With my example above, the word sandwich and a frowny face would remind me that I made the perfect sandwich for lunch, but as I walked to the table, I tripped and spilled it all over the floor.

The word “Blog” with the ! would remind me that, “Huzzah! I finished the JRNL blog today!” and I could write some details about some of the new tricks I learned.

Lastly, “Fire clown” would remind me of the creepy clown that was juggling fire, knives, and other dangerous implements in the park and who actually told my daughter, “I’d tell you but I’d have to kill you” when she asked about how he did his magic.


So there you have it.

In our busy lives, we can still be great journalers if we get a little creative.

If tonight you just don’t feel motivated or don’t think you have time to journal, then you use our Email-to-JRNL feature to email in your journaling cues. Come back and fill out the details later when you have some spare time, are waiting in line somewhere, or on one of your bathroom trips.

Whatever works, right?

  • butdis

    Simple, but it works like a charm for me.

  • Amanda

    Sounds like a great idea! I’ll give it a try.

Join the JRNL Community

Get articles, product updates, and exclusive promotions delivered to your email inbox.

Follow Us

Instagram @jrnl