a lady in a peach plaid shirt holding a journal and a pen in the motion of writing.

Grab a Coffee and Let’s Talk About Morning Journaling

When you wake up in the dark mornings of winter, there’s something special in that quiet time before the hassle that comes with daylight.  For me, it is a time of serenity and clarity.  As I wrote in my spiritual journaling prompts post, I always start my day the same way, until recently.  Recently, I began incorporating morning journaling and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with you all!

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morning journaling pinterest image

What is Morning Journaling?

Morning journaling is the routine of writing in the morning.  It can be the first thing before getting out of bed or the first thing you do when you get to the office.  The point is to write and let your subconscious flow from dream to reality. 

What are morning pages?  Is it the same thing?

Morning pages is a sub-category, or form, of morning journaling. Made popular by Julia Cameron in her book “The Artist’s Way“, morning pages is the practice of writing the moment you wake up. You go directly from dream to writing.  The process is to write non-stop without distraction until you’ve written 3 pages.   

What Should be included in a Daily Morning Journal?

When thinking of what to write in a morning journal, you need to consider your reason for journaling in the first place.  Your reason might actually produce the topics of your entries.  A lot of people like to follow morning journaling prompts, but if that’s not for you, here are some common focal points for morning journalers.   

What should I journal in the morning?

  • Gratitude
  • 3 Priorities for the Day
  • Recap of the week so far
  • Progress on Goals for the week
  • A Note to Self
  • Thoughts or Emotions
  • Dreams
  • Task list
  • Prayer
  • Devotional or Scripture notes
  • Yesterday’s wins

Morning Journal Example

As you can see from the photo above of my own journal, your morning journal entry can be very casual. I usually try to make the journal be about 1 topic.

So an example might be:

Good morning! I can’t remember the last time I heard birds in the morning. It’s always the best sign of Spring ahead. And I’m ready. I created a Garden planner and bought a few small herb plants to see if I could get things going. Last year’s garden didn’t go so well, maybe because I didn’t plan much in my garden journal. But I am confident I can grow potatoes, onions, and these herbs this year.

How to fit in Morning Journaling when pressed for time?

There are 2 main problems with morning journaling. First, are you even awake enough to journal in the morning? Second, once you are awake, do you have any time for it? Journaling could take an additional 20-30 minutes out of your morning routine. 

Now within that routine, you could try to add a morning journaling routine

For me that was right after my Bible time and prayer I would take my journal, as seen above, and make some notes.  This worked for a few weeks but then the time crunch was too much.  So how do you fit in morning journaling?  

Here are some options:

  • Set a timer
  • Use voice notes
  • Minimize the amount you write
  • Cut out another part of your morning

Final Words on Morning Journaling

The best morning journal is one you create.  Don’t try to imitate anyone else’s style or reflections, just do you.  If you like writing in the morning and it’s convenient for you, do it.  If you don’t, don’t.  Personally, I think keeping a morning journal is super fun for us early risers, however, it’s not plausible for me at this stage of life.  Most of my mornings are hectic and, well, full of writing for my businesses.  However, on the occasional slow week, if I can fit it in, I will.  

If you find this intriguing and are ready to get started, I have some good morning journaling prompts that you will enjoy.


Should you journal as soon as you wake up?

You don’t have to do this.  For some, it will be the least distracting time and the period of most clarity and creativity.

How long should you journal in the morning?

If you follow the morning pages practice, 30 minutes.  But for the rest of us, I think a good 10-15 minutes will be the most productive.

Is it OK to journal in bed?

It is totally ok to journal in bed.  I think most of us would prefer that.  It’s cozy and has the least barrier of entry (punny).

What to do with old morning pages?

There is always the question of what to do with old journals.  In this case with morning pages, you can gather them into a binder, or if you don’t see the immediate future value, shred and recycle.

Is it better to journal before bed or in the morning?

The best time to journal will be the time you can write unhurriedly.  If you have more time at night and you won’t fall asleep in the middle (like I do), then before bed is just as good as in the morning.

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  1. Love this. I will make it my goal over the next week to morning journal devotional scriptures or motivational quotes!

  2. I use to journal all the time but don’t think I have since my last pregnancy two years ago! Think I need to get into it again thanks for the inspiration

    1. Definitely Susan, and it doesn’t have to be even every day, little periods of rest and reprieve can be shaped into your week.