5 Creative One Line a Day Journal Ideas

September 30, 2022

The One Line a Day Journal trend has become a classic and fan-favorite among the journaling community. Years later, Bullet journalers are still creating personalized line a day spreads, planners are adding line a day sections to their layouts, and creative journalers of all kinds are loving the flexibility and generally low time commitment of this journaling practice. I’ve personally been keeping a One Line a Day Journal for nearly a year now, and I have tried a few different ideas. If you’d like to try something fun and interesting in your journal, here are 5 of my favorite one line a day journaling practices:

1. Traditional Daily Reflections with Wellness Tracking

One Line a Day Journals are typically used for building a sustainable journaling practice. The idea is to write just a little bit each day, no more than a few sentences. A few things I’ve enjoyed over the past year include: writing a sentence or list of what I did that day with a mood tracker, tracking sleep and health symptoms (really helpful for mental health symptoms, chronic pain, medication logging, etc.) Personalize your tracking to what would be helpful for you (and perhaps consider taking your journal to appointments with your doctors or therapist)!

2. Photo a Day

This is my absolute favorite thing to do. I love taking photos, but I have also been intentionally reducing my social media time (where I used to store my photos). This has been the perfect solution, and it is really rewarding to see my favorite photos and moments all in one place from the previous year. I am really looking forward to completing the full 5 years (I have the One Line a Day 5 Year Memory Book)! There are some cons to this practice, such as the photos being tiny/not the best quality and having to spend time/resources printing them. I typically decorate my journal with date dot printables, stickers, quotes, etc. daily; then print and add my photos in once every 1-2 weeks to save on paper.

3. Daily Gratitude and/or Accomplishments Journal

This is my favorite mental health self-care journaling idea. Positive Psychology research has suggested that this practice improves anxiety and depression in as little as two weeks of daily practice – and the benefits can last 6 months or more! There have also been studies conducted exploring the more immediate effects of gratitude. However, since the One Line a Day Journal is technically designed for longer-term, sustainable journaling, I think it’s a great idea to use the line a day format for a regular gratitude practice.

One therapeutic practice includes listing 3 things you feel grateful for, and 3 accomplishments or good things you brought into the world that day. Some people end up feeling frustrated that their journaling is repetitive, but I believe that is a helpful thing to notice! For example, if you are writing “I feel grateful for my dog” most days, then that could be a really strong insight that your dog brings you gratitude and joy, meaning that you want to focus more on your dog! It’s not a negative thing to notice patterns in your journal. If you want to get more specific, try exploring more deeply (I feel grateful for the sensation of petting my dog’s soft fur, caring for my dog helps me better manage my mood, I feel grateful for my dog’s habit of greeting me with excitement, for the quality time we get to share while hiking in the forest, etc.) and this can help you lean into the gratitude practice even more.

With accomplishments, try to generate a sense of being proud of yourself by focusing on values-based actions. If you’d like to explore your personal values, check out this post here. These actions can be large or seemingly small, such as accepting a job that you’re really excited about or brushing your teeth. Accomplishments might also include smiling at a stranger, helping someone, creating something, or trying a new recipe.

4. Mini Daily Art Journal

Using a Line a Day Journal can be a fun and super fast way to spend a moment creating some art on a daily basis. This could be used to track progress over time with a specific area of study, such as drawing birds or sketching hands. It could also be used purely for expression and process art, such as scribble journaling. Another fun thing I enjoy is a Doodle a Day practice. You might wish to doodle something from your day, or use a random word generator to prompt your doodle (tip: generate two words for a more interesting doodle session)!

5. Manifestation Journal

The basic idea of a manifestation journal is to set a goal and gain a detailed idea of what it would look like and feel like to achieve that goal. Visualization and clarity is super important, but we also need to take action. I like to create vision boards when I set a new goal, and then track the steps I’m taking toward it in my One Line a Day Journal. In my opinion, the line a day journal is perfect for this because it makes room for taking a little time every day to do something, no matter how large or small, toward your goal.

I’ve used the line a day format to track lifestyle changes, such as celebrating increased plant-based meals and making time for daily mindfulness/grounding practices. I’ve tracked junk journaling challenges to keep myself accountable and motivated. It could also be used to track career goals, such as social media followers, progress in a professional development program or business income. If you have a reading goal for the year, you might wish to create a “to be read” spread and log your reading experiences over time.


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