65 Journaling Ideas for Adults: Daily Simple Journal Prompts

65 Journaling Ideas for Adults

journaling ideas for adults

Have you heard about journaling? 

If you have already tried your hand at it, you may have faced trouble coming up with journal topics every day. You may set aside 10-15 minutes or even 30 minutes for journaling in your busy schedule but spend most of it thinking about what to write. 

What a waste of time! 

Have you heard about daily journaling prompts? These are simple ideas, mostly in the form of questions that will trigger a particular line of thinking. It prompts you to think about one topic relevant to you.

Once you get started, the words will flow easily and you can make your daily journaling session productive.

This article offers you a comprehensive list of easy journal prompts for adults. These are specifically meant as journaling prompts for beginners.

How to use daily journal prompts for adults?

  1. Get any container – a jar or a pot – that is no longer in use. This is called a journaling jar.
  2. Take a printout of the prompts. Or you can write them on slips of paper. 
  3. Fold each one of them separately and put them in the container. 
  4. Each day at the beginning of your journaling session, reach into the container and pick one slip of paper with a prompt.
  5. Read it and give yourself enough time to understand it. Don’t think too much.
  6. Start writing. You don’t need to worry about the arrangement of the content, grammatical errors, or spelling mistakes. This is exclusively for your eyes. However, you may choose to share it with others. 
  7. Keep writing until the time is over. You can use a timer to avoid feeling anxious about the time available. 
  8. You can begin journaling with 10-15 minute sessions and move on to 30-45 minutes. It depends on how much time you want to spend on this exercise and how much you can.

Which prompts are the best?

Writing prompts for adults are not all the same. There are writing prompts for adults about life and emotions evoked by the memories of certain people and incidents. Then there are all-too-common ones that prompt you to make lists. These can be about anything in your life.

There are also fun journal prompts for adults that will give you pleasure as you write about it. There are journaling prompts that persuade you to confess something you have done, seen, or experienced. Or it can be about things you love the most, or “what if” prompts, or about your dreams or memories from your growing-up years.

The scope of prompts is unlimited. 

You can have all kinds of prompts in your journaling jar if you want to. Or stick to only one type that you are most comfortable writing about. The decision is entirely yours to make.

As far as the effectiveness of the prompts goes, all are equally good if you are comfortable with the ideas and they do their job of triggering your mind to think about something specific. 

Simple journal prompts for adults

These daily writing prompts for adults are listed under different categories to make your choice easy. In each category, a few samples are given to give you an idea. You would be able to come up with similar ones.

About feelings and emotions

  • Describe something that makes you happy.
  • Describe something that makes you irritated and angry.
  • Describe something that makes you feel sad and depressed.
  • Do you find it easy to forgive and forget?
  • What is your strategy to deal with anger?

Creating lists

  • Make a list of people you admire the most.
  • Make a list of places you loved visiting.
  • Make a list of things you thought you couldn’t do.
  • Describe your bucket list.
  • Make a list of skills you want to acquire.

Your confessions

  • Write about your well-guarded secret.
  • Describe something about you that no one knows.
  • What is the worst thing you have ever done?
  • I feel guilty about ….
  • What is the biggest lie you have ever told?

The “most” prompts

  • Write about the happiest moment in your life.
  • Write about the most depressing moment in your life.
  • Describe the most terrifying incident of your life.
  • Describe the most anticipated event of your life.
  • Describe the most disappointing incident in your life.

The “three things” prompts

  • Write about your three favorite fictional characters.
  • Write about three things you cannot live without.
  • Write about three things you want to try.
  • Write about three people you love the most.
  • Write about three things you are unwilling to compromise in life.

Your favorites “ten things”

  • Write about ten activities you love the most.
  • Write about ten books/writers you love to read.
  • Write about ten restaurants you love to visit.
  • Write about ten quotes that influenced your life.
  • Write about ten places you would love to visit.

Your views

  • Do you think you need to plan everything?
  • Do you think soulmates exist?
  • What is your take on the climate crisis?
  • Do you think you can achieve anything by worrying about it?
  • Do you think it is important to know your future?

Using quotes and sayings as prompts

  • “Never lose a chance to say a kind word” – William Thackeray
  • “I can’t go back to yesterday; because I was a different person then” – Lewis Carroll
  • “Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself” – Richard Box
  • “Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success” – Joyce Brothers
  • “History is written by winners” – Alex Haley

Visual journaling prompts

  • Flip the pages of a magazine and find an image that inspires you.
  • Turn the pages of your old album and pick a photo to write about.
  • Run your eyes over the bookshelf and choose one at random.
  • Look around you and see what catches your fancy.
  • Look out from your window and write about your neighborhood.

Traditions and rituals

  • What is your favorite weekend activity?
  • What is your favorite holiday tradition?
  • Do you believe in religious rituals?
  • Do you look forward to festival time?
  • Write about a ritual your parents insisted you participate in.

Imaginary scenarios (what if)

  • If you can choose your date, who would it be?
  • If you can be anyone, who would you like to be?
  • If you can live anywhere, where would that be?
  • If you can do anything, what would it be?
  • If you can change one thing in your past, what would that be?

Memories from the past

  • Who was your best friend?
  • Who was your favorite teacher?
  • What was your favorite subject?
  • What did you want to be when you grow up?
  • What was your favorite activity?

The week that was

  • What did you learn last week?
  • What was your dominant emotion last week?
  • What was the highlight of last week?
  • Did you set any goals last week? Did you achieve it?
  • Describe a funny incident that happened last week.
Final thoughts

There are more ideas for your journaling entries. Such as describing defining moments in your life, writing a letter to someone, and describing how you are unique and stand out among the rest. Your dreams, your memories, or even what you were thinking a moment earlier can be used as inspiration for daily journaling. 

Of them all, fun journaling prompts are the most popular for obvious reasons. While many of the prompts, especially related to sad or disturbing incidents of the past, can make you feel angry or depressed, fun journal prompts bring a smile to your lips. You feel happy and enthusiastic and will look forward to the activity every day.

Whether you choose fun writing prompts or any one of the others, journaling is an activity that you should consider doing. There are myriad reasons why you should consider keeping a journal.

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