The Five Minute Journal Book and App Review

Around 2 weeks ago when I stepped out of the office pantry, I noticed on the desk of my colleague, this elegant black hard cover book with the words ‘Productivity Journal’ inscribed in gold. After this beauty catching my eye on every trip to pantry, I looked it up on google. I was directed to the Intelligent Change website– the makers of the book. On their products page, I found the even more interesting(to me) ‘Five Minute Journal.’

The Book vs App

I always found the idea of a daily journal very intriguing since my teens. But the thought of my nosy mother reading my very private notes was just horrifying. And in my current situation, having a physical journal isn’t really an option for me as my 4 year old daughter, who is more curious than a cat, would do either or all of the following if she gets hold of this(or any other book): 1. Copy me so she’d want the exact same book 2. Scribble all over it 3. Tear it into shreds.

So as much as I romanticize having a beautiful journal to fill in every day, it isn’t a possibility for me. And I am honestly not very good with routines so I would need a little more coaxing and prompting. The solution!?!?!?! The Five minute Journal App! It seems like the perfect option for me because of the following benefits:

  • It really takes only 5 minutes to fill. At times, it takes even less than that as I am a thinker and type fast

  • Nobody will find out I have horrible hand writing. Just kidding. But yes, my handwriting can look like a doctor’s prescription at times.

  • It has automated reminders you can set as per your preference- for the Morning and Evening entry each day

  • I always have access to my mobile phone so I don’t have any excuse to skips my entries

  • Simple yet effective questions with a clear structure that easily sets off your day on the right tone and then cajoles you to pick the best memories(and even add photos) from your day

  • You can put a password for unauthorized access to the app from detective-like family members or friends, and curious children(I once had my daughter overwrite my painstakingly curated to do list with gibberish, simply by clicking on the app’s seemingly harmless home screen widget)

  • With the app, you can add images to a day’s entry easy peasy

So what is the Five Minute Journal and how does it work?

The Intelligent change website says this about the 5 minute Journal: ‘BECOME HAPPIER & BEGIN EACH DAY ON A POSITIVE NOTE. The Five Minute Journal condenses hundreds of positive psychology articles, books, and research into a structured process of 5 daily questions that focus your attention on gratitude, setting direction for making your day great, and reflecting on good things that happen throughout your day.”

Here is their video to show how it actually works.

What did 4 weeks of using the app do?

Their website and social media says ‘The Five Minute Journal is the simplest, most effective thing you can do every day to be happier.’. I really did help me feel happier over the 4 weeks that I have been using it, in more ways than I could foresee: 

  • It made me feel really good about myself by making me actually stick to a routine. Being creative by nature, I often have a problem with maintaining routines(in spite of alarms and app notifications). I usually keep sifting, sorting and jumping between ideas, thoughts and things- but the 5 minute journal stuck and stuck well, making me feel proud of myself.

  • It helped inculcate an attitude of Gratitude. The simple looking questions make you look at your day ahead and then, your day passed; with a positive and grateful approach. I can truly say it does it without getting boring and the automated reminder prompts you to fill your entry in their easy to navigate interface.

  • Makes you start your day with a self-written affirmation(one of the morning entry questions), automatically making you tune into your day on a positive note.

Any Cons?

I truly don’t see any Cons in the Five Minute Journal, except the slightly steep pricing(especially if it will be shredded by a 4 year old). But you can’t really expect such a gorgeous thing to come cheap. The app is relatively cheaper and you need to purchase the app only once unlike the physical journal that will need replacing once you use up all the pages.

So if you have been contemplating Journal-ing, you have no excuse now with the book and app options of the Five Minute Journal.

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Our rating of the Five Minute Journal

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