Free One Line a Day Journal

As a thank you for supporting my blog, I'm giving you free access to my online One Line a Day Journal template.  I hope you have fun with it.  Read on for instructions and access.

A One Line A Day Journal is a journaling method in which you write a short entry (one line) every day. You can use that one line to briefly describe your day, “Saw Flipturn in Houston for our anniversary”, or jot down something about your feelings, “I’m anxious about my new job that starts tomorrow. Impostor syndrome strikes!”, or respond to a prompt like “What is most important to you today?”.

What makes a One Line a Day Journal special is that they are constructed to show 5 years of entries on one page spread. This helps you see at a glance an overview of how your life has changed in recent years. Here’s an example on Amazon [not an affiliate link]. Use the “Look Inside” to see the layout. This commercially bound book has a nice hardcover and attractive pages. It costs about $15. It’s a nice solution for only $3 a year over the life of the journal. However, I chose not to buy a pre-made book for this. Yes, one reason is because I’m cheap frugal. But the real reason is, although I love printed books, they no longer fit my lifestyle. After moving 5 times in the last 10 years I’m ready to lighten my load and go digital as much as possible.

Digital Journal is Quick and Accessible

I built my One Line a Day Journal as an online tool that I can access from anywhere. Because of its short format, it is not a place that I will be recording deep reflections and dark secrets. I wanted to be able to write in the journal at anytime, from anywhere, even without a pen. At the end of the day I’m often so tired I fall asleep without journaling; dozing off until my phone drops from my hand. I need the writing barrier to be so minimal it only takes a minute to make an entry.

My One Line a Day Journal delivers on all that.

My One Line A Day journal is built using Google Sheets. Here’s how it looks on my phone. To access the journal it takes two clicks. I open the google sheets app and then click on the One Line A Day journal file. Sheets opens the spreadsheet just where I left off. I can click the next cell and make a new entry. So easy!

One Line A Day Journal on iOS

I built this spreadsheet for my own personal use. There were some time consuming bits to building it, so I’m making it available to you here for free to save you the time of constructing it yourself. The template will automatically label the 365 day columns according to the start date of the journal. Read below for how to customize it.

How To Use The Journal: Step By Step

You can use the One Line A Day Journal in a browser on your computer or with the Google Sheets app on your mobile device. The instructions below were made using my Mac, but it should be a similar process for mobile or Windows.

Here is the link to the shared template file. You must make a copy of the file in order to edit it.

If you access the file from your phone without the Google Sheets app, you will only be able to view it. Get the Google Sheets app if you want to use the journal on your phone.


Make a Copy of the Template

Once you’ve accessed the google sheet from the button above, you’ll have a read-only view of the sheet.

ON A COMPUTER, Use the File > Make a Copy menu to make a copy you can edit.

ON A MOBILE DEVICE, Click the “” in the upper right. Then Share & export > Make a copy from the menu.


Set the start date

Open your copy of the journal. It should open on the tab entitled “Welcome”. Switch to that tab if it is not already active.

On the Welcome tab, fill the white box with today’s date.


Make your first entry

Click on the “Journal” tab along the bottom of the spreadsheet.

Make your first entry by typing into the cell for today’s date and year (B3). The start date you entered on the “Welcome” page will update the year rows and day columns automatically.


Keep going!

The 365 days of the year are arranged horizontally across the top of the spreadsheet. Your next entry is cell C3.

Continue with one entry a day across all 365 columns for the year.


The Next Four Years…

Each year has a row. Once you fill in a year’s worth of entries. Scroll back to the far left and start filling in the second row (Row 4, colored green).

This layout allows you to see five years worth of entries for the same day on a vertically oriented mobile screen.

Happy Journaling!

I hope you enjoy using this simple One Line a Day spreadsheet as much as I do. Leave me a comment and tell me how it went for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it really free? Yes, it’s free, I’m not even asking you to subscribe to a newsletter. 😉 Please like and follow my blog. I hope to make more content on journaling and songwriting. Your support means a lot to me!
  2. Can I customize the prompts? Yes! You can edit the prompts anyway you wish, ignore them, or delete them. I wrote a variety of prompts to start you thinking. As this is a music blog, some of them are musically oriented. Tell me what you think of the prompts in the comments.
  3. How do I update the dates in the journal to when I want to start? When you first open the file, the start date will be the day I published the template to the public. You can change this on the Welcome tab. See Step #2 above.
  4. The journal is not editable. How do I write in it? When you first open the file from the link above, Google Sheets will open it read-only. It wouldn’t do for all of us to be editing the same journal, would it? Follow Step #1 to make your own copy for editing. If you are on your phone and do not have Google Sheets app, then you may be looking at the file in the Google Sheets reader. You will need to edit the file from a computer’s web browser, or install the Google Sheets app on your phone.
  5. When is the best time to write in the journal? You do you! Consistency is best for building habits. Reflect on your day by writing in the evening, or set your intentions for the day by writing in the morning.
  6. Leap day is in my journal / leap day is not in my journal. Why? The spreadsheet numbers the columns for 366 days starting with the start date on the Welcome page. If the first year you created the journal has a leap day, then Feb 29 will be represented. If the first year did not have a leap day, then you’ll actually get one extra column for the year. Feel free to delete that column.
  7. Can I share this file with other people? I would love for you to link anyone interested in a free One Line a Day Journal to this webpage so they can download their own copy of the file. This journal template is my work and is protected by copyright.
  8. Who do I contact with suggestions? Contact Me!

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