Creative Journaling Toolkit – What to Journal About: Journaling prompts

Another fun thing you can do in your journal is explore different journaling prompts. A journaling prompt is simply a question, quote, sentence starter or other inspiration to help you get started in your journal.

The best prompts are ones that are open enough to get you thinking – and if you go ‘off-topic’ when journaling with a prompt, that’s ok! The purpose of a prompt is just to get you started and spark some inspiration, so let your journaling go wherever it takes you!

In the past I have offered some free journaling prompts that people have found really beneficial to inspire their journaling. Here are some below.

Single Word Prompts

I offered these prompts a few years ago and people found them a great way to get started in their journal.

These prompts are a single word prompt – here is one for every day of the year.

february prompts

The single word prompts are good because they are really open. You can use them to explore an idea in writing, or to express yourself visually. Really, you can do whatever you like with them. Here are a few ideas:

  • Write/stamp the word at the top of the page and then freewrite underneath, for a set time. Write whatever comes to mind, without censoring yourself.
  • Write/stamp the word in the middle of a spread and do a mindmap/brainstorm of ideas around it.
  • Use the word to spark a visual spread – you could paint it literally or figuratively.
  • Use the word to guide you to other words. List words and ideas underneath the word, then take one of those and write about it or explore it visually.
  • Take the word and find a quote related to it (seach google for ‘quotes about X’). Let that be a prompt.
  • Simply letter or stamp the word, or illustrate it in some way and just contemplate or meditate on it as you work, perhaps noting down anything that comes to mind.

Below are the single word-a-day prompts, in a printable image, month by month. You can print out each month and stick it in your journal, then refer to the prompts if/when you need some guidance or inspiration.

Themed Question Prompts

These prompts are a little more detailed and in-depth.

I offer one prompt for each week of the year, with each month centered around a particular theme. Some people find a daily prompt too much, and like to take their time and go more in-depth around a prompt, so a weekly prompt is better for this.

Each monthly set of prompts is provided on a beautiful printable PDF, with a short essay on the topic, suggestions for how to use the prompts in your journal, and black and white printable prompt cards. I’ve left them black and white so you can add your own touches to them in your journal.

Each month builds on the previous month, so if you start at the beginning of the year and progress with the prompts each week, you’ll end up growing and discovering a lot about yourself! Alternatively, just jump in where you are and go from there, or simply choose a topic you like the sound of and explore that! Use them in whatever way suits you.

For each week there is a quote to inspire you, and a question or series of questions to get you thinking at a deeper level.

Because I provide both quotes and questions to inspire you, these prompts can be used anyway you like – for writing, or exploring visually.

Please note that this set of prompts was originally made based on the 2017 calendar year – this means that some months have 4 weeks and others 5. They might not match up perfectly with the current year, but the prompts are still great to use week by week. Just adapt them to suit the year/month you’re in.

You can access the monthly prompt PDFs here:

Life Lessons and Journaling Prompts

For my 30th birthday in 2015 I shared 30 life lessons I’d learned, and prompts to go along with them.

You can find my 30 Life Lessons and Journaling Prompts here.