Updated: 05/15/2022 – new tools, and removal of old tools. Original post date: 02/24/2021

When you think of journaling, what comes to mind?

Journaling has evolved over the years. The creator of The Five Minute Journal has been journaling since he was fourteen or fifteen years old.

The days of the diary still exist but in different forms. Developing a journaling habit must be intentional. Over the years, I have had several journals. Most of my journals have centered around travel.

As I have grown in my understanding of journaling, I still appreciate the beauty of a handwritten journal; however, I now use tools that fit my digital workflow.

Journals help us …

  • Process our thoughts and emotions
  • Connect our minds and heart
  • Lead to “aha” moments on a subject
  • Create an environment of growth
  • Show our progress

As leaders, we can benefit from developing a journaling habit. A leadership journal may include:

  • Our personal and corporate vision statements
  • Goals
  • Development strategies for our team and ourselves
  • Our successes and failures
  • New inventions

Five Tools To Help You Journal

  • Day One (Mac/iOS) – this is my go-to journal. I have been using this journal app for several years and have amassed over 650 entries. I use it to collect sermon notes and capture my daily journaling and prayer thoughts. I use the iPhone app to give me a more intimate perspective, especially as I pray through the events of the morning and for the day. I tend to write out my prayers as it focuses on what God wants me to hear. You can use Day One to capture photos from the day or any information.
  • Obsidian (Mac/Windows/Linux/iOS) – Obsidian is part of the growing personal knowledge management systems that are taking shape in an effort to help you connect your ideas and thoughts. I have joined this growing community and use a combination of Obsidian and other tools to help capture my journaling thoughts.
  • Ulysses (Mac/iOS) – Ulysses supports my writing activities – in long and short form. Many of my writings include journal entries that end up becoming blog posts. Ulysses is available on all my digital devices and syncs via iCloud to keep me up-to-date. I can collect research or use the tool to capture my thoughts – it’s that flexible.
  • Drafts (Mac/iOS/WatchOS) – Drafts is a great way to capture your quick thoughts or feelings at a given moment. I use it on my Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Hands down, Drafts on the Apple Watch is the simplest way to get my thoughts out of my head, and into a place where I can process them in one of the other tools, I use for journaling. The text-to-speech functionality is hands down unbelievable.
  • YouVersion – this is the foundation of my journaling behavior. I work through a series of short Bible plans as part of my daily quiet time and then send interesting snippets or verses to DayOne for exploring further. Beginning each morning in this tool helps prepare me for the day ahead.

Journaling can unlock a masterpiece or provide a window to your soul. I encourage you to try it for five days and see how you feel.

Do you practice journaling? If not, will you give it a try for five days?

Featured Listen…

Build a Prayer and Journaling Habit in 2022


Hi, I'm Dave Anthold. I am a small group leader, short-term missionary, and visual storyteller. You can read my story here.

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