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Journal Entries Explained - Full Guide With Examples

Saurabh

Creating a journal entry is the process of recording and tracking any transaction that your business conducts. Journal entries help transform business transactions into useful data.

Want to learn how to correctly write journal entries for your business? You’ve come to the right place!

In this guide, we’re going to cover:

What Is a Journal Entry?

Why are journal entries so important, what is included in a journal entry, what are the different types of journal entries, how to use accounting software to document your journal entries.

Journal entries are records of financial transactions flowing in and out of your business. These transactions all get recorded in the company book, called the general journal .

Journal entries are the very first step in the accounting cycle . The main thing you need to know about journal entries in accounting is that they all follow the double-accounting method.

What this means is that for every recorded transaction, two accounts are affected - and as a result, there is always a debit entry and a credit entry.

Before diving into the nits and grits of double-entry bookkeeping and writing journal entries, you should understand why journal entries are so important for a business.

Well, for starters, maintaining organized records of your transactions helps keep your company information organized . Accountants record data chronologically based on a specific format. This way they can easily find information and keep an eye out for any possible accounting errors .

Secondly, journal entries are the first step in the recording process. So you’ll eventually need them to prepare other financial statements . The income statement, cash flow, balance sheet, all of them are based on the initial recordings of journal entries.

Lastly, performance measurement . Auditors use financial reports to analyze how transactions are impacting the business.

What Is Double-Entry Bookkeeping?

As we said above, in every transaction, at least two accounts will change, where one is debited and the other one credited. This is known in accounting as double-entry bookkeeping .

Double-entry bookkeeping isn’t as complicated as it might sound. To understand the concept, think about any purchase you’ve ever made.

Money in exchange for a product, right? In accounting language, this is a transaction that simultaneously affects two accounts . The cash account, which decreases since you’re paying, and the equipment account, which increases from buying the product.

So in simple terms, in the business world, money doesn’t simply appear or disappear. If it goes into one account, it has to get out of another. That’s why it’s called “double-entry”.

This is where the concepts of debit and credit come to play.

First, let’s get some common misconceptions out of the way.

Debit and credit are neither good nor bad . And no, they’re not the same as adding or subtracting .

They are just words that show the double-sided nature of financial transactions .

In brief: debit is money that flows into an account , whereas credit is money that flows out of an account .

Here’s all you need to remember:

  • A credit is always on the right side of a journal entry . It increases the owner's equity, liabilities, and revenue when credited. It decreases them when debited.
  • A debit, on the other hand, is always on the left side of a journal entry . It increases assets and expenses when debited. It decreases them when credited.
  • At the end of the journal entry, the credit and debit balance should be equal to each other . If they don’t, double-check because you’ve probably made a mistake.

Does it all still sound a bit confusing? Don’t worry! We’ve made a cheat sheet so you can easily remember.

Ready to solve an example? Let’s take a simple one and explain the process step-by-step.

Double-Entry Bookkeeping Example

Let’s say the owner of an advertising company decides to invest $10,000 cash in his business.

There are three main steps you have to follow to make the perfect journal entry:

First, figure out which accounts are affected . In this transaction, they are the assets account and the owner’s equity account.

Now, determine which items have been increased or decreased , and by how much .

Since the owner is making an investment , both of the accounts will increase by $10.000. The asset account will have $10.000 more in cash, whereas the Owner’s Equity account $10.000 more in Capital.

Lastly, we have to translate the changes into debits and credits . We learned that debits increase assets, so cash will be debited for $10,000. On the other hand, the opposite will happen to the owner’s equity. Capital will be credited for $10,000.

After this point, the hardest work is done. All there’s left to do now is neatly document the transaction.

Here’s how you do it ...

To make a complete journal entry you need the following elements:

  • A reference number or also known as the journal entry number , which is unique for every transaction.
  • The date of the journal entry .
  • The account column , where you put the names of the accounts that have changed .
  • Two separate columns for debit and credit . Here you will put the amounts that will be credited and debited. Again, it’s important to remember that they must be equal in the end. If you’re using accounting software, it won’t let you post the journal entry unless the amounts match. However, if you’re using manual apps like Sheets or Excel, always triple check the balance.
  • Lastly, the journal entry explanation . This needs to be a brief but accurate description of the journal entry. You may need to refer back to it in the future, so be as clear as possible.

This is what the previous transaction would look like in a Journal:

What are the Most Common Types of Journals?

Businesses are diverse - in size, service, ownership. That’s why there are different types of journals, based on the company you run. Mainly, however, we divide them into two categories: general and special .

We briefly mentioned the general journal in the beginning. To recap, the general journal is the company book in which accountants post (or summarize) all journal entries.

While small businesses and startups might not have difficulty fitting all of their entries in the general journal, that’s not always the case.

For big industries like trading or manufacturing, other journals, called special journals are necessary. Their purpose is to group and record transactions of a specific type. These types depend on the nature of the business. Usually, though, special journals record the most recurring transactions within a company.

Here’s a list of the most frequent types of special journals utilized by companies:

  • Sales - income you earn from sales.
  • Sales Return - loss of income from sales you’ve refunded
  • Accounts Receivable - cash owed to the company
  • Accounts Payable - cash the company owes
  • Cash Receipts - cash you’ve gained
  • Purchases - payments you’ve done
  • Equity - owner’s investment
  • Payroll - payroll transactions such as gross wages, or withheld taxes

Most Common Journal Entries for a Small Business

Some of the most common types of journal entries that a small business will make are the following:

All examples assume tax is applied on sales and purchase. If no tax, then it can be removed as the value will be zero.

Journal Entry for Sales of Services

Journal Entry for Sales Invoice - Goods/Inventory

Journal Entry for Cash Sales

Journal Entry for Receiving Payment for Invoice

Journal Entry for Purchase of Goods

Journal Entry for Purchase of Services

Journal Entry for Making Payments for Purchases

Journal Entry for Only Fulfilling Orders (transfer of goods/inventory out of the system)

Journal Entry for Only Receiving Goods (transfer of goods/inventory into the system)

As you might’ve guessed, a journal entry for sales of goods, is created whenever your business sells some manufactured goods. Since these are self-descriptive enough, let’s move on to some more complex accounting journal entries.

There are three other main types of journal entries in accounting:

Compound Entries

When transactions affect more than two accounts , we make compound entries . These are common when the recordings are related in nature or happen during the same day.

Remember: debits and credits must always be equal. The principle stays the same, there are just more accounts that change.

Let’s check out an example.

XYZ company decides to buy new computer software for $1,000. They pay $500 in cash right away and agree to pay the remaining $500 later.

The steps are the same as in the double-entry bookkeeping.

First, we figure out which accounts have changed and by how much. In this scenario, those are three:

  • Asset account, which increases by $1,000 when buying the new computer software.
  • Cash account, which decreases $500 in Cash from paying.
  • Accounts payable account, which increases $500 from the remaining unpaid amount.

The next step is to translate them into debit and credit.

Assets increase when debited, so Equipment will be debited for $1,000. Expenses decrease when credited, so Cash will be credited for $500. Liabilities increase when credited, so Accounts Payable will also be credited for $500.

This is what the transaction would like in a Journal:

Adjusting Entries

Adjusting entries are used to update previously recorded journal entries . They ensure that those recordings line up to the correct accounting periods. This does not mean that those transactions are deleted or erased, though.  Adjusting entries are new transactions that keep the business’ finances up to date .

They are usually made at the end of an accounting period . The accounting period usually coincides with the business fiscal year.

There are four main types of adjusting entries:

  • Prepaid expenses are payments in cash for assets that haven’t been used yet. Think of insurance. It protects a company from possible losses, like fire or theft, which haven’t happened yet.
  • Unearned revenue is cash received before the product or service is provided. Take your yearly gym membership or Spotify subscription - you’re paying in advance for future service.
  • Accrued revenue is money earned, but not collected. If you take a loan, the interest rate income from the loan will be recorded as an accrued revenue.
  • Accrued expenses are expenses made, but not paid. An example would be not paying your workers their salary until the end of the month.

Let’s put all of this information into a concrete exercise.

On October 2nd, you sell to a client, a service worth $3,000. You receive the payment for the provided service, however, you forget to make a journal entry.

Then at the end of October, you compare the actual cash reserve with the cash reserve shown on the balance sheet.

Since the two sums will not match, it means that there is a missing transaction somewhere. At this point, you need to make a journal entry adjustment .

The journal entry on October 31st would look like this:

Reversing Entries

Reverse entries are the opposite of adjusting entries. When we say the opposite, we don’t mean that the adjusting entries get deleted. No amount previously recorded changes. Reverse entries only simplify financial reports , by canceling out the effect of the adjusting entries.

Since their goal is just to simplify, reverse entries are optional. Some accountants choose to make them, others don’t.

They’re usually done at the start of a new accounting period .

Because adjusting entries are made at the end of the period. So, for instance, if the period ends on December 31st, you would do the reverse the next day, on January 1st.

Now, you can’t reverse all types of adjusting entries: only accrued revenues and accrued expenses .

Let’s see how the previous accrued revenues example would look like reversed.

The adjusting entry in the last section was:

  • Accounts receivable debited for $3000
  • Service revenue credited for $3000

What reversing entries do is switch the places of the two. So now:

  • Service revenue will be debited for $3000
  • Accounts receivable will be credited for $3000

This is what the complete journal entry would look like:

Running your own company comes with many challenges . No business owner has time to write down all of their journal entries by hand.

That’s why most companies record their entries using accounting software.

You might be thinking - isn’t accounting software only for accountants?

Well, most are, but we at Deskera prioritize small business owners. We’ve spent over 10 years working with small business owners from 100+ different countries to create a cloud accounting software that fits any type of business.

Need to create invoices , manage inventory, create financial reports, track payments, manage dropshipping? You can do all of that with Deskera. Our program is specifically built for you, to easily manage and oversee the finances of your business.

Here’s how you can use Deskera Books to record journal entries. 1.  Go to Accounting > Journal Entry.

Add Journal Entries in Deskera Books

Here, you’ll be able to view, create, and manage all your journal entries. The main attributes displayed for every entry here are the journal entry number, the journal entry date, the journal entry type, and the related document number .

List of Journal Entries

To view the details of each journal entry, you can press on the expand all records button. As you can see, the account name, debit amount, credit amount, and description will all appear .

2.   Next, to manually create a journal entry, press on the create button on the top right . You’ll notice two journal entry options: normal or fund transfer. Each option depends on the type of entry you’re making.

Add Normal or Fund Transfer JE

3.   Click JE - Normal . This will take you to the general journal page. The top half of the page contains the auto numbering format, currency, and journal date . There’s also an option that allows you to include the entry on the tax report . Then there’s the bottom half , where you can add the account, description, type, and amount .

Normal Manual JE

4. Fill in all of these boxes with the appropriate information and press Save . Ta-da, you’ve created a journal entry!

how to write the journal entry

What if you accidentally enter the wrong amounts? The software will notice and won’t save the journal entry . That’s what the “unbalanced account” on the bottom right of the page serves for. The exact off-balance amount will show.

Automate Journal Entry Creation Using Accounting Software

Businesses have moved on from the age of pen and paper for a reason. Using accounting software like Deskera will help you automate the entire journal entry creation process.

When your business creates an invoice , the corresponding journal entry is added automatically by the system in the respective ledger for Accounts Receivable, Sales, Sales Tax, etc...

Similarly, when a payment is processed, the bank and the accounts receivable are adjusted automatically by the accounting software.

Deskera , allows you to integrate your bank directly and track any expenses automatically. When you make an expense, the journal entry is automatically created, and it is mapped to the correct ledger account.

You can also create custom invoices using the provided templates, and send reminders to make sure you don’t miss out on any invoice payments .

To top it off, creating financial reports with Deskera is as easy as 1-2-3.

Still not sure? Well, luckily Deskera offers a completely free trial. You can sign up here and try out all 3 Deskera platforms - Books, Sales (CRM), & People (HRIS).

Key Takeaways

Hope our guide to journal entries was helpful!

For a quick recap let’s go through the main points we’ve covered:

  • Journal entries record the financial transactions of a business . They’re the first step in the accounting cycle.
  • Each transaction in a journal entry affects two accounts . One of them is debited, the other one credited. Simply put, debit is money flowing into a company, whereas credit is money flowing out.
  • Never forget: debits and credit should always be equal in the end.
  • To write a journal entry you need to figure out which accounts are affected, which items decrease or increase, and then translate the changes into debit and credit.
  • A complete journal entry is made of 6 elements : a reference number, date, account section, debits, credits, and a journal explanation.
  • You can record these journal entries into either a General Journal or a Special Journal .
  • There are three main types of journal entries: compound, adjusting, and reversing .
  • Use accounting software like Deskera to automate the process of creating journal entries, and save a ton of time!

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  • Journal Entries

Home › Accounting › Accounting Cycle › Journal Entries

  • What is a Journal Entry?

Journal entries  are the first step in the accounting cycle and are used to record all  business transactions  and events in the accounting system. As business events occur throughout the accounting period, journal entries are recorded in the general journal to show how the event changed in the accounting equation. For example, when the company spends cash to purchase a new vehicle, the cash account is decreased or credited and the vehicle account is increased or debited.

How to Make a Journal Entry

Here are the steps to making an accounting journal entry.

  • 1. Identify Transactions

There are generally three steps to making a journal entry. First, the business transaction has to be identified. Obviously, if you don’t know a transaction occurred, you can’t record one. Using our vehicle example above, you must identify what transaction took place. In this case, the company purchased a vehicle. This means a new asset must be added to the accounting equation.

  • 2. Analyze Transactions

After an event is identified to have an economic impact on the accounting equation, the business event must be analyzed to see how the transaction changed the accounting equation. When the company purchased the vehicle, it spent cash and received a vehicle. Both of these accounts are asset accounts, so the overall accounting equation didn’t change. Total assets increased and decreased by the same amount, but an economic transaction still took place because the cash was essentially transferred into a vehicle.

  • 3. Journalizing Transactions

After the business event is identified and analyzed, it can be recorded. Journal entries use debits and credits to record the changes of the accounting equation in the general journal. Traditional journal entry format dictates that debited accounts are listed before credited accounts. Each journal entry is also accompanied by the transaction date, title, and description of the event. Here is an example of how the vehicle purchase would be recorded.

Since there are so many different types of business transactions, accountants usually categorize them and record them in separate journal to help keep track of business events. For instance, cash was used to purchase this vehicle, so this transaction would most likely be recorded in the cash disbursements journal. There are numerous other journals like the sales journal, purchases journal, and accounts receivable journal.

We are following Paul around for the first year as he starts his guitar store called Paul’s Guitar Shop, Inc. Here are the events that take place.

Entry #1 — Paul forms the corporation by purchasing 10,000 shares of $1 par stock.

Journal Entry Example

Entry #2 — Paul finds a nice retail storefront in the local mall and signs a lease for $500 a month.

Journal Entries

Entry #3  — PGS takes out a bank loan to renovate the new store location for $100,000 and agrees to pay $1,000 a month. He spends all of the money on improving and updating the store’s fixtures and looks.

Journal Entry Format

Entry #4 — PGS purchases $50,000 worth of inventory to sell to customers on account with its vendors. He agrees to pay $1,000 a month.

Journal Entry Analysis

Entry #5  — PGS’s first rent payment is due.

Journal Entry Template

Entry #6 — PGS has a grand opening and makes it first sale. It sells a guitar for $500 that cost $100.

Sales Journal Entry Example

Entry #7 — PGS sells another guitar to a customer on account for $300. The cost of this guitar was $100.

Inventory Journal Entry Example

Entry #8 — PGS pays electric bill for $200.

Cash Disbursement Journal Entry Example

Entry #9  — PGS purchases supplies to use around the store.

Supplies Expense Journal Entry Example

Entry #10 — Paul is getting so busy that he decides to hire an employee for $500 a week. Pay makes his first payroll payment.

Payroll Journal Entry Example

Entry #11 — PGS’s first vendor inventory payment is due of $1,000.

Accounts Payable Journal Entry Example

Entry #12 — Paul starts giving guitar lessons and receives $2,000 in lesson income.

Income Journal Entry Example

Entry #13 — PGS’s first bank loan payment is due.

Notes Payable Journal Entry Example

Entry #14 — PGS has more cash sales of $25,000 with cost of goods of $10,000.

Merchandise Sale Journal Entry Example

Entry #15 — In lieu of paying himself, Paul decides to declare a $1,000 dividend for the year.

Dividend Journal Entry Example

Now that these transactions are recorded in their journals, they must be posted to the T-accounts or  ledger accounts  in the next step of the  accounting cycle .

Here is an additional list of the most common business transactions and the journal entry examples to go with them.

  • Depreciation Expense Entry
  • Accumulated Depreciation Entry
  • Accrued Expense Entry
  • Common Journal Entry Questions

What is a manual Journal Entry? 

Manual journal entries were used before modern, computerized accounting systems were invented. The entries above would be manually written in a journal throughout the year as business transactions occurred. These entries would then be totaled at the end of the period and transferred to the ledger. Today, accounting systems do this automatically with computer systems.

What is a general journal entry in accounting?

An accounting journal entry is the written record of a business transaction in a double entry accounting system. Every entry contains an equal debit and credit along with the names of the accounts, description of the transaction, and date of the business event.

What is the purpose of a journal and ledger?

The purpose of an accounting journal is record business transactions and keep a record of all the company’s financial events that take place during the year. An accounting ledger, on the other hand, is a listing of all accounts in the accounting system along with their balances.

What is the purpose of a journal entry?

A journal entry records financial transactions that a business engages in throughout the accounting period. These entries are initially used to create ledgers and trial balances. Eventually, they are used to create a full set of financial statements of the company.

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Shaun Conrad is a Certified Public Accountant and CPA exam expert with a passion for teaching. After almost a decade of experience in public accounting, he created MyAccountingCourse.com to help people learn accounting & finance, pass the CPA exam, and start their career.

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how to write the journal entry

How Do You Do Journal Entries in Accounting: Step-by-step

how to write the journal entry

Learning how to do Journal Entries is at the core of learning accounting. Following these step-by-step directions will help you understand how to do journal entries like a pro.

What is a Journal Entry in Accounting?

A Journal Entry is a method of recording increases and decreases to accounts. A journal entry details the accounts being impacted, and the debits and credits needed to record business transactions in accounting.

Journal Entries use a standard format to record transactions. That format includes the date of the transaction, the accounts being impacted by the transaction, columns for entering debits or credits, and a description line to enter the reason for the transaction.  

In a journal entry, every debit entry must have a credit entry and the debits must always equal the credits. The credit portion of the journal entry is indented to make reading a long line of transactions easier.

how to write the journal entry

The Account Name used in a journal entry must exactly match the Account Name from a company’s Chart of Accounts , an official list of accounts used by that company. For example, if the Account Name in the Chart of Accounts is Supplies Expense, the journal entry Account Name must be Supplies Expense, rather than Supplies or Supply Expense or Supplies Exp.

Examples of Accounting Transactions

To demonstrate the correct method of completing journal entries, we will use the follow sample accounting transactions commonly found in accounting textbooks:

Sample Accounting Transactions Step-by-step

Transaction 1.     Opened a business bank account with a deposit of $55,000 from personal funds.

When a business owner opens a business, they are turning personal funds into business funds. The business now owes that investment back to the business owner. To put it differently, the funds represent the  owner’s equity  in the business and are recorded in an account called “Owner’s Name, Equity” or “Owner’s Name, Capital”. The funds become a business asset recorded in the company’s books under an account called “Cash”.

What to Debit and What to Credit:

Cash has the account type of  Asset . Assets have a normal debit balance. To increase an asset, debit it.

Joe Smith, Capital has the account type of Equity. Equity has a normal credit balance. To increase an equity account, credit it.

In the journal entry, the $55,000 deposit to the bank account goes on the left (debit) side of the account because Cash is increasing.

In the Joe Smith, Capital, the $55,000 deposit goes on the right (credit) side of the account because equity is increasing.

how to write the journal entry

(Notice there are no + or – signs. The debit or credit indicates whether the account is increasing or decreasing.)

Impact on the Accounting Equation:

Transaction 2.     Purchased office supplies on account, $3,300.

Whenever an accounting textbook transaction using the phrase “on account”, it means no money has changed hands. Purchases on account mean that the goods have been received but payment will be made later. When a payment is owed, we record it in a liability account called “Accounts Payable.”

“Supplies” is a tricky part of this transaction. Accounting textbooks use two accounts with the word “Supplies”–  Supplies  (an asset), (sometimes called Supplies Asset), and  Supplies Expense . Supplies (the asset) works like an inventory account. You hold the supplies in an inventory until they are used. When supplies are used, they are moved from the asset account into the expense account.

Supplies (the asset) has the account type of  Asset . Assets have a normal debit balance. To increase an asset, debit it.

Accounts Payable has the account type of  Liability . A Liability has a normal credit balance. To increase a liability account, credit it.

In the journal entry, the $3,300 purchase of supplies goes on the left (debit) side of the account because Supplies is increasing.

In the Accounts Payable T-Account, the $3,300 deposit goes on the right (credit) side of the account because the liability is increasing.

how to write the journal entry

Transaction 3.     Received cash from fees earned for managing rental property, $18,300.

When a business sells to its customers, it receives cash either “now” or “later”. If cash is being received at the time of the sale, the textbook will specify “received cash” to indicate that. If the textbook says “on account”, it means that cash will come later. When cash will be  received later  the account we use to track what the business will be receiving later is Accounts Receivable. In this case, we received the cash at the time of the sale.

When a business sells something to its customers, the business has Revenue . The name of the revenue account is specific to the business. For example, this business could call its revenue account: Fees Earned, Management Fees, Rental Property Management Fees, Revenue, or a hundred other names. Always refer to the company’s Chart of Accounts for the official name of the revenue account. For this business, our revenue account is called Fees Earned .

Fees Earned has the account type of  Revenue . A Revenue account has a normal credit balance. To increase a revenue account, credit it.

In the journal entry, the $18,300 receipt of cash goes on the left (debit) side of the account because Cash is increasing.

In the Fees Earned account, the $18,300 revenue goes on the right (credit) side of the account because the revenue is increasing.

how to write the journal entry

Note:  Revenue increases equity . A business with revenue is more valuable than a business without revenue.

Transaction 4.     Paid rent on office and equipment for the month, $8,300.

When a business has expenses, it pays out cash either “now” or “later”. If cash is being paid at the time of the purchase, the textbook will specify “paid” to indicate that. If the textbook says “on account”, it means that cash will go out later. When cash will be  paid later  the account we use to track what the business will be paying later is Accounts Payable. In this case, we paid the cash.

When a business purchases something, it is either assigned to an Asset account (purchase of a piece of equipment or a vehicle) or an Expense account (utilities, employee wages, insurance.)

Always refer to the company’s Chart of Accounts for the official name of the expense accounts. In accounting, the name must always match exactly for accuracy and clarity. For example, Supplies and Supplies Expense are two different accounts. Insurance could be Prepaid Insurance or Insurance Expense.

Cash has the account type of  Asset . Assets have a normal debit balance. To increase an asset, debit it. In this case, cash is decreasing so we credit it.

The expense account we will use for the rent we paid is Rent Expense. An  Expense  account has a normal debit balance. To increase an expense account, debit it.

In the journal entry, the $8,300 payment of cash goes on the right (credit) side of the account because Cash is decreasing.

In the Rent Expense account, the $8,300 deposit goes on the left (debit) side of the account because the expense is increasing.

how to write the journal entry

Note:  Expenses decrease equity . A business with expenses is less valuable than a business without expenses. (Not that such business exists!)

Transaction 5.     Paid creditors on account, $2,290.

In Transaction 2, we purchased Supplies on account. We said:

In Transaction 5, we are now going to pay part of this bill. We know it is a partial payment because the original transaction was for $3,300 and we are paying only $2,290. When you pay a bill, your cash decreases and the amount you owe (liability) decreases (you owe less).

Once the transaction is posted to the account, we will have a balance due to the vendor of $1,010 [$3,300 – $2,290 = $1,010] which will be paid later.

Cash has the account type of  Asset . Assets have a normal debit balance. To decrease an asset, credit it.

Accounts Payable has the account type of  Liability . A Liability has a normal credit balance. To decrease a liability account, debit it.

In the journal entry, the $2,290 payment goes on the right (credit) side of the account because Cash is decreasing.

In the Accounts Payable account, the $2,290 payment goes on the left (debit) side of the account because the liability is decreasing.

how to write the journal entry

Transaction 6.     Billed customers for fees earned for managing rental property, $30,800.

When a business sells to its customers, it receives cash either “now” or “later”. If cash is being received at the time of the sale, the textbook will specify “received cash” to indicate that. If the textbook says “on account” or “billed”, it means that cash will come later. When cash will be  received later  the account we use to track what the business will be receiving later is Accounts Receivable.

When a business sells something to its customers, the business has  Revenue . The name of the revenue account is specific to the business. For example, this business could call its revenue account: Fees Earned, Management Fees, Rental Property Management Fees, Revenue, or a hundred other names. Always refer to the company’s Chart of Accounts for the official name of the revenue account. For this business, our revenue account is called Fees Earned.

Accounts Receivable has the account type of  Asset . Assets have a normal debit balance. To increase an asset, debit it.

Fees Earned has the account type of Revenue . A Revenue account has a normal credit balance. To increase a revenue account, credit it.

In the journal entry, the $30,800 record of what is due to the company goes on the left (debit) side of the account because Accounts Receivable is increasing.

In the Fees Earned account, the $30,800 revenue goes on the right (credit) side of the account because the revenue is increasing.

how to write the journal entry

Transaction 7.     Paid automobile expenses for the month, $1,380, and miscellaneous expenses, $1,800.

When a business has expenses, it pays out cash either “now” or “later”. If cash is being paid at the time of the purchase, the textbook will specify “paid” to indicate that. If the textbook says “on account”, it means that cash will go out later. When cash will be  paid later  the account we use to track what the business will be paying later is Accounts Payable. In this case, we paid cash.

When a business purchases something, it is either assigned to an Asset account (purchase of a piece of equipment or a vehicle) or an  Expense  account (utilities, employee wages, insurance.) In this case, we are paying two different expenses: Auto Expense of $1,380 and Miscellaneous Expense of $1,800.

Always refer to the company’s Chart of Accounts for the official name of the expense accounts. In accounting, the name must always match exactly for accuracy and clarity. For example, Supplies and Supplies Expense are two different accounts. “Insurance” could be Prepaid Insurance or Insurance Expense.

Cash has the account type of  Asset . Assets have a normal debit balance. To increase an asset, debit it. In this case, cash is decreasing so we credit it. Because we have two different expense accounts, we need to add together the two amounts to find the total amount of cash being paid out. [$1,380 + $1,800 = $3,180]

The expense account we are using are Auto Expense and Miscellaneous Expense. An Expense account has a normal debit balance. To increase an expense account, debit it. In this case, we debit each expense account for the amount of the expense.

In the journal entry, the $3,180 payment of cash goes on the right (credit) side of the account because Cash is decreasing.

In the Auto Expense account, the $1,380 expense amount goes on the left (debit) side of the account because the expense is increasing. In the Miscellaneous Expense account, the $1,800 expense amount goes on the left (debit) side of the account because the expense is increasing.

how to write the journal entry

Because this journal entry has more than two accounts impacted, it is called a complex journal entry. (Look at you doing a complex journal entry! I’m so proud!)

Note:  Expenses decrease equity . A business with expenses is less valuable than a business without expenses. (Not that such a business exists!)

Transaction 8.     Paid office salaries, $7,300.

When a business has expenses, it pays out cash either “now” or “later”. If cash is being paid at the time of the purchase, the textbook will specify “paid” to indicate that. If the textbook says “on account”, it means that cash will go out later. When cash will be  paid later  the account we use to track what the business will be paying later for payroll is Salaries or Wages Payable. In this case, we paid cash.

When a business purchases something, it is either assigned to an Asset account (purchase of a piece of equipment or a vehicle) or an  Expense  account (utilities, employee wages, insurance.) When we are talking about payroll, payroll is an expense.

The expense account we will use for the salaries we paid is Salaries Expense. An Expense account has a normal debit balance. To increase an expense account, debit it.

In the journal entry, the $7,300 payment of cash goes on the right (credit) side of the account because Cash is decreasing.

In the Salaries Expense account, the $7,300 deposit goes on the left (debit) side of the account because the expense is increasing.

how to write the journal entry

Transaction 9.     Determined that the cost of supplies on hand was $1,250; therefore, the cost of supplies used was $2,050.

This is the trickiest transaction in the group. Different accounting textbooks phrase this transaction in different ways. Here’s what we said about it in the Transaction 2:

“Supplies” is a tricky part of this transaction. Accounting textbooks use two accounts with the word “Supplies”– Supplies (an asset), (sometimes called Supplies Asset), and Supplies Expense. Supplies (the asset) works like an inventory account. You hold the supplies in an inventory until they are used. When supplies are used, they are moved from the asset account into the expense account.

In the original transaction, we recorded the purchase of supplies in the Supplies (asset) account:

During the month, we have gone to the office supply closet and taken out pens, sticky notes, and markers. Right now, our Supplies account says we have $3,300 worth of supplies in the supply closet, but this is no longer accurate.

Our job now is to determine what the balance SHOULD BE in our asset account. We want to make sure we are accurately accounting for what we have (asset) and what we used (expense).

This transaction is telling us that what we have “on hand” in our supply closet is $1,250 worth of supplies. Our Supplies (asset) account says we have $3,300. We need to reduce that number to reflect the actual value. The difference between the two is $2,050.

Where did the $2,050 worth of office supplies go? We used it up. We “expensed” it. When you use up an asset, we record the amount as an expense. We move $2,050 out of our Supplies (asset) account and into our Supplies Expense account.

Supplies (the asset) has the account type of Asset. Assets have a normal debit balance. To increase an asset, debit it. We want to decrease our balance so we credit it.

Supplies Expense has the account type of Expense . An expense has a normal debit balance. To increase an expense account, debit it.

how to write the journal entry

The balance in the Supplies account will now be $1,250 [Debit of $3,300 – Credit of $2,050]

Note: Expenses decrease equity . A business with expenses is less valuable than a business without expenses. (Not that such a business exists!)

Transaction 10. Withdrew cash for personal use, $13,800.

In Transaction 1, we said:

When a business owner opens a business, they are turning personal funds into business funds. The business now owes that investment back to the business owner. To put it differently, the funds represent t he owner’s equity in the business and are recorded in an account called “Owner’s Name, Equity” or “Owner’s Name, Capital”. The funds become a business asset recorded in the company’s books under an account called “Cash”.

Now, our business owner wants to withdraw some cash from the business for personal use. When this happens, the business owner’s equity is decreasing. He has less value in his business. Cash is decreasing, as well.

Cash has the account type of Asset. Assets have a normal debit balance. To increase an asset, debit it. In this case, we are decreasing cash so we credit it.

When Joe opened his business, we increased his equity this way:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is JE-1.png

Now, we want to decrease his equity. To decrease equity we need to debit it. But, we don’t do that in Joe’s main equity account. We want to separate out what he has put into the business from what he took out of the business for several reasons (for example, taxes).

Rather than use the main equity account, we use an account specifically for tracking withdrawals by the owner. For this business, the account we use is called Joe Smith, Drawing. You may also see the account called Owner Name , Withdrawals or Owner Name , Dividends.

Joe Smith, Drawing is a sub-account of the Joe Smith, Capital account. It’s purpose is to reduce an equity account. An equity account has a normal credit balance. It increases on the credit side. In this case, we want to reduce equity so we debit the account.

The impact of this transaction is a decrease to Joe’s equity [$55,000 – $13,800 = 41,200]. If the transaction had been posted to the Joe Smith, Capital account as a debit, that is what the new balance in the account would have been. We are just using the sub-account to track withdrawals.

how to write the journal entry

Complete Set of Journal Entries for Sample Transactions

The chart below shows the complete set of journal entries discussed in this article:

how to write the journal entry

For a video walkthrough of these journal entries, watch this video:

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how to write the journal entry

Accounting Journal Entries: Definition, How-to, and Examples

Janet Berry-Johnson, CPA

Reviewed by

November 1, 2021

This article is Tax Professional approved

Every transaction your business makes requires journal entries. They take transactions and translate them into the information you, your bookkeeper, or accountant use to create financial reports and file taxes.

Here’s everything you need to know about this essential building block of bookkeeping, including what they are, why they’re important, and how to make them.

What's Bench?

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What is a journal entry?

Journal entries are how you record financial transactions. To make a journal entry, you enter details of a transaction into your company’s books. In the second step of the accounting cycle , your journal entries get put into the general ledger .

Every journal entry in the general ledger will include the date of the transaction, amount, affected accounts with account number, and description. The journal entry may also include a reference number, such as a check number, along with a brief description of the transaction.

If you use accounting software or outsource your accounting , your journal entries may not be visible, but they’re being generated in the back end, ensuring your books are accurate and up to date.

What are journal entries for?

Once business transactions are entered into your accounting journals, they’re posted to your general ledger . Think of “posting” as “summarizing”—the general ledger is simply a summary of all your journal entries.

Your general ledger is the backbone of your financial reporting. It’s used to prepare financial statements like your income statement , balance sheet , and (depending on what type of accounting you use) cash flow statement .

Financial statements are the key to tracking your business performance and accurately filing your taxes. They let you see, at a glance, how your business is performing.

Suggested reading: How to Read (and Analyze) Financial Statements

How Bench can help

Going through every transaction and making journal entries is a hassle. But with Bench, all of your transaction information is imported into the platform and reviewed by an expert bookkeeper. No manually inputting journal entries, thinking twice about categorizing a transaction, or scanning for missing information—someone else will do that all for you. Learn more .

Double-entry bookkeeping

There are two methods of bookkeeping (and, therefore, two methods of making journal entries): single and double-entry.

Think of double-entry bookkeeping as a GPS showing you both the origin and the destination. It will show you where the money is coming from and where it’s going to.

Single-entry bookkeeping is much simpler. If you spend money on office supplies, note it down. If you make a sale, note it down. You don’t need to include the account that funded the purchase or where the sale was deposited.

The most common form of bookkeeping today is double-entry . We’ll be using double-entry examples to explain how journal entries work.

If you’re totally new to double-entry accounting and you don’t know the difference between debits and credits, pause here. Then check out our visual guide to debits and credits . It’ll teach you everything you need to know before continuing with this article.

Common journal examples

The precise journals you use for your bookkeeping will depend on what kind of business you run. Broadly, they’re split into two categories: The general journal and the special journals .

The general journal contains entries that don’t fit into any of your special journals—such as income or expenses from interest. It can also be the place you record adjusting entries .

The special journals , also referred to as accounts, are used to record the common, day-to-day transactions in your accounting system. All of your special journals are listed in your chart of accounts . Common examples of account names include:

  • Sales: income you record from sales
  • Accounts receivable : money you’re owed
  • Cash receipts: money you’ve received
  • Sales returns: sales you’ve refunded
  • Purchases: payments you’ve made
  • Accounts payable : money you owe
  • Equity: retained earnings and owners’ investment

Journal entry examples

You’ve got a busy day today. You’re going to meet up with a client, pick up some office supplies, and stop by the bank to make a loan payment.

You get paid by a customer for an invoice

When you’re visiting with your client, they pay the $600 invoice you sent them.

Date lets you know when the entry was recorded.

Description includes relevant notes—so you know where the money is coming from or going to. In this case, it’s the invoice number.

Debit notes that $600 is being added to your cash account.

Credit notes money leaving cash. In this case, there’s no money being paid out.

At the same time you make this entry, you’d make another in the accounts receivable (aka money clients owe you) ledger account.

The money is being removed from accounts receivable—your client doesn’t owe you $600 anymore—so it’s listed as a credit (written in parentheses). Here, the credit amount and debit amount are the exact same.

You picked up some office supplies

On the way back from meeting with your client, you stopped to pick up $100 worth of office supplies.

Cash journal

When the invoice was paid, money entered the cash account, so we recorded it as a debit. But now money is leaving the account, so we credit the account for the amount leaving.

Expense journal

Just as every action has an equal and opposite reaction, every credit has an equal and opposite debit. Since we credited the cash account, we must debit the expense account.

You make a payment on your bank loan

Finally, you stop at the bank to make your loan payment. When you make a payment on a loan, a portion goes towards the balance of the loan while the rest pays the interest expense. This is called loan principal and interest .

This is an example of a compound entry. This happens when the debit or credit amount is made up of multiple lines.

Let’s look at a payment of $1,000 with $800 going towards the loan balance and $200 being interest expense.

For the cash side, we record the $1,000 leaving the account (a credit).

In the expense journal, we record a debit for the amount that went towards interest separately from the amount that reduces the balance.

Loan journal

Finally, we record a debit for the amount that went towards the principal.

Here, the debit was broken up into multiple lines: the interest amount and principal amount.

Closing accounting entries

At the end of the financial year, you close your income and expense journals—also referred to as “closing the books”—by wiping them clean. That way, you can start fresh in the new year, without any income or expenses carrying over.

You can’t just erase all that money, though—it has to go somewhere. So, when it’s time to close, you create a new account called income summary and move the money there.

Here’s a simplified example of how that might look.

First, credit all the money out of your asset accounts . In this example, that consists only of cash.

Sales Revenue Journal

Close Income Accounts to Income Summary

Then, credit all of your expenses out of your expense accounts. For the sake of this example, that consists only of accounts payable.

Expense Journal

Close Expense Accounts to Income Summary

Adjusting journal entries

If you use accrual accounting , you’ll need to make adjusting entries to your journals every month.

Adjusting entries ensure that expenses and revenue for each accounting period match up—so you get an accurate balance sheet and income statement . Check out our article on adjusting journal entries to learn how to do it yourself.

The above information is an overview of how journal entries work if you do your bookkeeping manually. But most people today use accounting software to record transactions. When you use accounting software, the above steps still apply, but the accounting software handles the details behind the scenes.

Some small business owners love making journal entries. Most don’t. If you fall into the second category, let Bench take bookkeeping off your hands for good .

  • Debits VS Credits: A Simple, Visual Guide
  • The Difference Between Bookkeeping and Accounting
  • Adjusting Entries: A Simple Introduction
  • Excel Accounting and Bookkeeping (Accounting Spreadsheet Template Included)

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how to write the journal entry

how to write the journal entry

Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > How to Write Journal Entries

How to Write Journal Entries

No matter what kind of writer you are, journaling can be a valuable tool for keeping track of ideas, developing stories, documenting memories, experimenting with tone in writing , and so much more. Journaling is anything you want it to be—which can make the prospect of starting (or keeping up with) a journal a daunting one.

a person writing notes on a notepad.

Start with this helpful overview of the practice of journal entry writing as it applies to your writing pursuits and some helpful personal journal entry examples, and you’ll find yourself inspired to write in no time.

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All your ideas in one place

Keep your thoughts, content, and lists handy with OneNote

What is Journaling?

Simply put, journaling is the act of documenting information—either for the audience of only yourself, or for other readers (like a blog). It can be done daily to keep a brief record of what you’ve done and thought, sporadically as ideas and inspiration come, hand-written, typed—journaling can be almost any kind of writing you’re inspired to do however you’re inspired to do it!

Some journal writers enjoy selecting fun or fancy pens or pencils and the perfect notebook in which to collect their thoughts; others prefer to use a desktop or phone journaling app to jot down notes and lists and story starts. Both are appropriate approaches to crafting personal journal entries. Try a few approaches to journaling until you find the one that feels right for your writing.

What is a Journal Entry—and How Do You Start One?

When you keep a journal, it’ll be comprised of entries. A single journaling session may yield one or several entries in your personal journal.

So how do you start a journal entry?

If you didn’t approach your journal with inspiration on your side, consider putting down whatever your train of thought is in the moment—it may lead you somewhere interesting and unexpected. Or browse your old entries and see if anything takes your attention and sparks a new idea.

Personal Journal Entry Examples

Sometimes all you need to jumpstart your personal journal entries is a prompt. Here are a few examples of personal journal entries to get your pen (or typing fingers) moving:

  • Lists. Lists are a great way to ease into a journal writing session. You can make lists of anything: favorites, likes, dislikes, to-dos, not to-dos—the list, of course, goes on. Your entry may be the list or lists themselves or spark a memory or story idea you’d like to explore in a new entry.
  • Story ideas. Inspiration can strike anywhere. You can make a note of story ideas and return for fleshing it out in a first draft later on or use your personal journal as a place to brainstorm ideas and experiment with new voices, styles, and genres.
  • Daily logs. Some writers enjoy using a journal to keep a daily log of what they did, who they saw, where they went—but in short, brief entries. There’s no right or wrong in your personal journal entries, though, so a log can expand into something longer.
  • Favorite memories. Those memories you find yourself drifting back to often? Put them on the page! Write down as much as you can about those moments—as truthfully or as fictitiously as you’d like.
  • Wish lists and bucket lists. What would you do if you had all the free time in the world? Where would you go? What hobbies would you take up? Who would you like to have dinner with or what theme park would you like to visit? Your journal is the perfect place to explore and document these wants and dreams.

Studies have shown that writing journal entries has myriad benefits beyond deepening your writing practice, including better sleep and boosted self-esteem. 1 To see how others have approached journaling, see if one of your favorite authors have had any of their journals published—you may discover some new topics to explore in your own personal journal entries.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/25/style/journaling-benefits.html

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Guru99

Journal Entries in Accounting: How to Make Entries (Examples)

Matthew Martin

What is a Journal Entry in Accounting?

A Journal Entry is simply a summary of the debits and credits of the transaction entry to the Journal. Journal entries are important because they allow us to sort our transactions into manageable data.

Consider the following diagram

Journal Entry Diagram

You’ll notice the above diagram shows the first step as “Source Documents”. Source documents are things such as receipts, invoices, bank statements and credit card statements that are collected during the year so that we have all the information we need when the time comes for us do our accounting/bookkeeping. Obviously, in this tutorial, we won’t be asking you to go out and collect invoices and receipts, so we’ll conveniently “skip” that step for now.

Types of Journal Entries

Following are types of journal entries in accounting

  • Opening entries
  • Transfer entries
  • Closing entries
  • Compound entries
  • Adjusting entries
  • Reversing entries

The next step is entering journals . Every time a transaction occurs, it’s recorded using a journal entry.

Journal Entries Example

Everything we do from this point on will be stuff that real accountants and bookkeepers are doing in their offices at this very moment. That means this lesson will be a little more technical than the previous ones. Don’t let that spook you though. You’ll be surprised at how simple it can be! Now would be a good time for us to lay out the steps in the accounting/bookkeeping process:

Imagine having a large stack of receipts and invoices from different shops, suppliers, and customers. All the information you need is there, but it’s useless when it’s all messed up like that! Journal entries help us sort all this into meaningful information.

Format of a Journal Entry

Here’s what a typical journal entry looks like:

Transaction: Pay an expense of $100.

Journal entry:

Let’s take a look at what this means.

First of all, Dr and Cr are simply abbreviations for Debit and Credit.

Every single transaction consists of two movements: a debit movement and a credit movement. Be careful not to confuse this with the debit and credit sides . These are two different things.

Debit and credit movements are used in accounting to show increases or decreases in our accounts. Therefore instead of saying there has been an increase or a decrease in an account, we say there has been a debit movement or a credit movement.

For example, in the previous tutorial we learned to show the above transaction like this:

Now, instead of showing these as pluses and minuses, we will show them in a journal entry as debit movements and credit movements:

The nature of each movement is explained below:

Let’s apply this to our example:

When we pay expenses that means our expenses have increased. Also, when we pay expenses, our bank account is obviously going to go down.

So, in summary, we need to record a transaction that will increase expenses and decrease bank.

Referring back to our matrix, we can see that to increase expenses we require a debit movement.

We can also see that decreasing our bank requires a credit movement:

Hence our journal entry will involve a debit movement to expenses, a credit movement to a bank, just as we saw before:

Now it’s your turn. Have a go at writing journal entries for the transactions we’ve had in the previous lessons. The first one has been done for you.

  • Service Income

You decide to start a business. To start the business off, you deposit $10,000 of your savings into the business bank account.

You buy your trusty iPhone off eBay for $500

You take out a business loan of $10,000.

You put another $5,000 of your own money into the business.

You pay back $1,000 of the loan (no interest).

You purchase a computer for $1,500.

You purchase your Bakemaster Oven for $2,000

You buy some cake mix for your store for $3,000

You pay interest on the loan of $1,000

You sell a box of cakes for $1000.

Exercise 11

You pay your telephone bill of $300

Exercise 12

You sell another box of cakes for $2,000

Exercise 13

Your computer breaks. You pay a repairman $50 to fix it.

Exercise 14

As the owner of the business, you withdraw $1,000 in cash for a personal holiday.

Exercise 15

You purchase a car from Johns Car Shop for $3,000. You purchase the car on credit, meaning you will pay for it in full next month.

Congrats! We’ve just prepared journal entries from our business transactions. Once you do journal entry, the next step is ledgers . In the next lesson, we’ll enter these journals into ledgers

What is the difference between the debit and credit side and debit and credit movements?

Debit Side Vs Credit Side

Debit movements vs credit movements.

For every transaction that occurs, two accounts will change. These two changes are known as a debit movement and a credit movement. The effects of these movements are shown below.

It is important you do not think of debit movements and credit movements as “pluses and minuses” or “good and bad”. This line of thinking is incorrect. Using the above chart, you can see that a debit movement has the ability to both increase and decrease an account, as does a credit movement.

Therefore try and focus on the actual effect each movement has on the different accounts.

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The Write Practice

How to Write a Journal: 6 Tips to Get Started

by Pamela Hodges | 61 comments

Writers are collectors of ideas, and where do we keep them? On scraps of paper, napkins, the notes app of our phones, and sometimes in journals. But as anyone who's started a journal can attest, sometimes it's hard to begin and even harder to keep one going. So how to write a journal? What to write in a journal? Let's look at some simple ways to start capturing ideas. 

How to Write a Journal: 6 Tips

There are a number of ways to capture ideas, from keeping a gratitude journal, to a reading journal, to a project journal. No matter what type of journal you keep, let me share with you some tips from my journaling experience for how to keep a journal and why a journaling habit pays off for writers.

4 Advantages of Keeping a Journal

Julia Cameron, acclaimed author of The Artist's Way and more recently a 6-week program outlined in a book called Write for Life, begins the writing and artistic life with a practice she calls morning pages. In essence, she suggests writing three pages each morning to explore ideas and life, and to clear the mind.

The benefits of journaling this way are numerous. Writers who establish regular journaling time may find it helps them clear their minds and explore new ideas.

There are many reasons why it is a good idea to keep a journal. I want to share four big reasons this daily habit may help you with your writing process and develop your writing skills.

1. Remember details

When I traveled to Europe in 1978, I kept a journal of my daily life. I have notes from the trip to Greece where I wiped out on a moped, weeded sugar beets on Kibbutz Reshafim in Israel, and hitchhiked through occupied territory in the south of Israel.

There were several details of my trip that I had completely forgotten until I re-read my personal journals.

Recording the details of your life can enrich your stories. One year when for The Spring Writing Contest at The Write Practice, I wrote a story about when the IRS called me to say I owed money.

In my first draft, I wrote that the amount they said I owed was, $638. After I had completed the first draft I went back to the notes I had written in my journal, and the correct amount was over six thousand dollars: $6,846.48 to be exact. Well, maybe there are some things we don't want to remember.

Thankfully, I didn't send the money. It wasn't the real IRS. But it was even better than a writing prompt for a story idea.

2. Find old friends

Keeping a journal can help you find old friends. One of the women I met on November 26th, 1978, wrote down her address. I found her on Facebook and just sent her a message. (Social media and Google can also help, but the journal did remind me of her name.)

We'll see if she responds to my Facebook message. It has been almost forty years since she lent me a pair of gloves when I scraped my hand on the pavement when I fell off my moped.

3. Help process feelings and ideas

When you keep thoughts in your head it can be hard to know how you think and feel. Writing down how you feel will help you process your emotions , as feelings become words, which can be then be edited.

Processing your feelings and ideas can lead to personal growth and peace, but that's not all. Expressive writing can be therapeutic, but it can also help you flesh out characters later. 

4. Preserve the writer's history

When you are dead and a famous writer, your journals will give your readers insight into your life, thoughts, and process.

You may never sell more than one hundred copies of your book, you may never publish your writing, or your journals may only be read by the mice that crawl through your basement. Or your journals will be read by zombies after the zombie apocalypse, sharing insight into your life and daily routines.

If you don't want anyone to read your journal, keep it in a locked box and swallow the key. (Please don't really swallow the key. It would be unpleasant to have to find it again, and you might choke.) Put the key in a safe spot, and then remember where you put it. 

6 Tips for How to Keep a Journal (and What to Write in a Journal!)

Now you know why journaling can be helpful. But how should you journal? It is very personal, and you should do what works best for you. But I will give you some tips to help you get started on a journaling practice.

1. Choose your kind of journal

You have several options for how to keep your journal.

A book, where you write with a pen or pencil onto paper:  Write in a book that is not so pretty you are afraid to write in it. Keep the size small enough you don't mind carrying it in your messenger bag, and big enough you can read your handwriting. Do not try journaling at night when the only paper you have on your bedside table is a bandaid. The next morning I couldn't read my writing on the band-aid, and the idea I wanted to journal was lost.

The advantage of pen to paper is you can write without having to be plugged into an electronic device. You don’t have to worry about a dead battery, and you can write even when the sun is bright or the airline makes you turn off your electronic devices.

The disadvantage to a paper journal is if you lose the journal and you didn’t make a copy of it, you have lost all of the writing. But either way, the journal writing helps you pay attention and record the moments of everyday life that will fade with time otherwise.

Software: There are several software applications and journaling apps on the market you can use to keep a digital journal. Be sure they sync to the cloud, as you don’t want to lose your entries because you fry your computer's hard-drive. 

Journey and Day One can add photographs and text, and export all of your entries into a PDF. You can also journal in Google Docs,  Microsoft Word, or Scrivener and save your files to a cloud-based program that will keep your files safe if you lose your computer or pour water on your keyboard.

2. Date your entry

You think you will remember when it happened, but without a written date, you might forget. Make it a part of your journal writing routine to date the entry.

3. Tell the truth

The journal is a record of how you felt and what you did. Telling the truth will make you a reliable storyteller.

If you haven’t cleaned the seven litter boxes for a week, don’t write that you clean them every day simply because you want your readers one hundred years from now to think you had good habits. The beauty of journal writing is that you can record things honestly for yourself that you might not otherwise record or share. 

4. Write down details

Record details like the time, location, who you were with, and what you were wearing. Details will help bring the memory alive when you record using your five senses .

To this day, if I smell a certain kind of Japanese soup, I can remember vividly the day I flew to Korea to renew my Japanese visa, only to discover the Japanese embassy was closed for a traditional Japanese holiday.

5. Write down what you felt

What you were thinking? Were you mad? Sad? Happy? Write down why.

6. Write a lot or a little

A journal entry doesn’t have to be three pages long. It can be a few words that describe what happened, a few sentences about the highlight of your day, or it can be a short description of an event from your day, where you describe details to help you remember what happened. What time of day was it? What sound do you remember?

Your journal entry might be a drawing, a poem, or a list of words or cities you drove through. It is your journal, and you have the freedom to be creative.

You can use journal writing prompts or simply tap into a memory that floats into your mind. 

Bonus tip: How to write a journal entry

Aside from the date, you can write your journal entry in a number of ways. You can write stream-of-consciousness, try bullet points written rapid fire, you can use various art materials, or any form that speaks to you.  Try a list or a mix of writing and doodling, or even dialogue exchanges. 

The most important thing is just to take the journaling time and make a regular habit of it, even if it isn't on a daily basis. The words will show up when you do. 

When to Journal

There is no right or wrong time to write in a journal. Write when you will remember to do it. Do you always brush your teeth before you go to bed? Have writing in your journal be part of your bedtime routine. Perhaps put it on your bedside table, or beside your hammock, or on the floor beside your futon.

If you are a morning person, consider keeping your journal on the table where you drink your morning coffee, tea, water, milk, or orange juice.

These are only suggestions. You don’t have to write down your feelings or why you felt a certain way. I hate being told what to do. Even if it is a good idea. But I hope you'll give it a try and see if you find it unlocks your own writing. 

Do you write in a journal? Why is keeping a journal a valuable practice? Please tell us in the   comment s.  

Do you write in a journal? Do you think writing in a journal is a good idea for a writer, or a bad idea? Please tell us why in the comments .

Write for fifteen minutes about some aspect of your day as though you were writing in a journal. Your journal entry might be a drawing, a poem, a list of words, or a list of cities you drove through.

Please share your writing in the Pro Practice Workshop here and leave feedback on someone else’s practice today. We learn by writing and by reading.

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Pamela writes stories about art and creativity to help you become the artist you were meant to be. She would love to meet you at pamelahodges.com .

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  • Journal Writing

How to Write a Journal

Last Updated: September 18, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Catherine Boswell, PhD . Dr. Catherine Boswell is a Licensed Psychologist and a Co-Founder of Psynergy Psychological Associates, a private therapy practice based in Houston, Texas. With over 15 years of experience, Dr. Boswell specializes in treating individuals, groups, couples, and families struggling with trauma, relationships, grief, and chronic pain. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Houston. Dr. Bowell has taught courses to Master’s level students at the University of Houston. She is also an author, speaker, and coach. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 236,422 times.

Journal writing is a creative form of recording your feelings free from the fear of judgement or criticism. Writing in a journal can allow you to work through complex issues in your life, exploring them thoroughly and candidly. It can also be a way of relieving stress, rather than inadvertently taking out your unexplored feelings on someone else. See Step 1 below to start writing your own journal.

Journal Entry Template

how to write the journal entry

Starting Your Own Journal

Step 1 Find something to contain your journal entries.

  • If you're looking at computer-based options for your journal, you might want to consider starting a blog - essentially an online journal that other people can read . A variety of free blog sites exist, some of which allow you to control who can and cannot read your blog.

Step 2 Start your first entry by setting the scene.

  • If you're writing a blog, you may want to begin by addressing your readers.

Step 3 Write!

  • As an exception to this rule, if you're writing a blog, while you'll want to be open with your emotions, consider your audience. You may want to consider censoring your most intense and/or personal thoughts.

Step 4 Develop a routine.

  • Many journal-writers like to add an entry every night before bed. This is a healthy routine because it allows the writer to relax and unwind at the end of the day by "letting out" any lingering emotions. Be sure to write honestly, don't overthink it, and stay focused.

Step 5 Re-read your past entries for insights.

  • Use your past entries to reflect on your life. As you read, ask yourself questions like, "Am I the same person who wrote this entry?", "Is my life going the way I want it to?", and "How can I work to solve any problems that may have been troubling me when I wrote this entry?"

Step 6 Give your journal some personal style.

  • The experiences you have while travelling can be some of the most influential ones in your life. Discovering the beauty of nature, making a friend in a far-off place, and even simply leaving your home can shape you, so document these things!

Step 8 Customize your journal.

  • If you're using a digital journal, like a blog, try adding photographs to your posts, including links, and choosing colorful templates.

Writing Great Journal Entries

Step 1 Think of your journal as a safe place to express yourself.

  • If you're having trouble turning off your filter, try writing "free form" as an exercise - scrawling your thoughts down in a stream-of-consciousness form the moment they come to you, whether they make sense or not.

Step 3 Comment on past journal entries.

  • For instance, were you in a miserable mood when you wrote yesterday, but are now feeling better? Comment on this! By doing so, you may start to understand why you felt this way in the first place.

Step 4 Use writing prompts when you're bereft of ideas.

  • You may find that, by pursuing a prompt, your writing ventures into interesting new areas you might otherwise never have explored. Be adventurous and pursue these new topics to your heart's content!

Step 5 Learn from the greats!

  • The diary of Samuel Pepys
  • The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank's diary)
  • The diary of Jemima Conduct
  • The diary of Franz Kafka
  • Bridget Jones's Diary
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • The Color Purple
  • Flowers for Algernon
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Expert Q&A

Catherine Boswell, PhD

  • Find a secluded and familiar place to write (for example, your bedroom with the door locked), but other secluded places are good too. (Your backyard.) Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 0
  • It's best to write with a pen because pencil can fade. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 2
  • It's best if it is a secret. It's better if no one reads about your feelings and your secrets. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 3

how to write the journal entry

  • Always keep it in a safe no-one-knows box of secrets after writing. It's best if it has a lock. Thanks Helpful 84 Not Helpful 7
  • If this person does and reads it, confront them and tell them you absolutely do not want them to read it. Then take necessary precautions, such as getting a notebook with a lock. Thanks Helpful 76 Not Helpful 7
  • Your secrets may be posted around the net if you don't lock it. (This is for blog authors only.) Thanks Helpful 59 Not Helpful 8
  • Someone could find out about your journal. Thanks Helpful 66 Not Helpful 15

Things You'll Need

  • A cheap but good composition notebook.
  • A working pen or pencil.
  • Colouring in pens or pencils.

You Might Also Like

Write a Journal Entry

  • ↑ https://docs.google.com/
  • ↑ https://psychcentral.com/blog/ready-set-journal-64-journaling-prompts-for-self-discovery
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mindful-musings/201611/3-reasons-let-yourself-feel-your-emotions
  • ↑ Catherine Boswell, PhD. Licensed Psychologist. Expert Interview. 29 December 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/7-writing-routines-that-work
  • ↑ https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/22/how-to-start-journal-writing-drawing
  • ↑ https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/tips/travel-photos-journal-memories-/
  • ↑ https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
  • ↑ https://psychcentral.com/blog/ready-set-journal-64-journaling-prompts-for-self-discovery#the-journal-prompts

About This Article

Catherine Boswell, PhD

To write a journal entry, start by writing down the date, time, and location where you're writing. Then, let your emotions flow and write about your feelings, like your family life, crush, or dreams. Try not to overthink it by writing things down as soon as they come into your head. You can also use writing prompts. To make your entries as useful as possible, get into a routine of writing regularly. Then, review your past entries to assess your feelings with the benefit of hindsight. To see a list of some famous journal writers and get tips on how to decorate your journal, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Brilliantio

How To Write A Journal Entry: Unleashing Your Thoughts with Power and Clarity

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on July 22, 2023

Categories Writing

Whether you’re looking to capture precious moments, explore your deepest thoughts, or simply jot down daily happenings, journaling can be a powerful tool.

It’s personal, it’s therapeutic, and most importantly, it’s yours. However, starting a journal may seem daunting if you’ve never done it before. You might ask yourself: ‘What should I write? How should I begin?’

Don’t worry! This guide will help you understand the basics of journal writing. From choosing your journal and setting it up to developing a regular routine and overcoming common challenges – we’ve got you covered.

So grab that pen and prepare to embark on an exciting journey of self-discovery through words!

Key Takeaways

  • Journaling is a personal and therapeutic practice that helps with self-discovery, mindfulness, and reducing stress.
  • Choosing the right journal medium and personalizing it with decorations and a cover that reflects one’s personality can enhance the journaling experience.
  • Developing a regular journaling routine by allocating dedicated time each day and treating journaling as an important task in the daily schedule is crucial for consistency.
  • Journal entries don’t need to be perfect or lengthy essays; instead, they should reflect thoughts and emotions genuinely and honestly.

N, Blank Notebook Beside A Calming Candle, A Vintage Feather Quill In A Bottle Of Ink, And A Serene, Green Plant On A Rustic Wooden Table, Under Soft, Warm Light

Understanding the Basics of Journaling

You’ve probably heard about journaling, but do you really understand what it means to pour out your heart onto paper, sifting through the noise of your mind and finding clarity in those quiet moments?

Journaling is a key tool for self-discovery and mindfulness. It’s not just about recording events or ideas; it’s more personal, a way of connecting with your thoughts and feelings.

Diving into the benefits of journaling, you’ll find that it can be therapeutic. It allows you to declutter your mind, reducing stress and improving mental health. You get to understand yourself better by reflecting upon your experiences and expressing emotions freely. Additionally, journaling enhances creativity as you explore different thoughts without judgment or fear.

There are many journaling styles to choose from – traditional diary entries, bullet journals for task organization or gratitude journals focusing on positive aspects of life. Your style should resonate with you personally; after all, this is about understanding yourself deeply.

So go ahead, pick up that pen! Start writing without worrying about punctuation or grammar errors. Remember it’s more important to record your raw emotions than aim for perfection!

N, Blank Journal With A Variety Of Different Journals Spread Around It, Varying In Sizes, Colors, And Materials, Under Soft, Warm Lighting

Choosing Your Journal

Don’t fret about the perfect notebook or digital app for documenting your thoughts and experiences; it’s more crucial that you find a medium that suits your style and comfort. Your journal aesthetics should reflect your personality, whether it’s a simple lined notebook, a sophisticated leather-bound diary, or an easy-to-use app on your smartphone. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy—what matters is how much you enjoy using it.

Consider these factors when choosing between traditional versus digital journals:

Material selection is also important in a physical journal. Are you drawn to thick paper that can hold fountain pen ink without bleeding? Or do you prefer thin pages that make the journal lighter?

You’ll realize there isn’t one ‘right’ answer when picking out your journal. The goal here is to create an environment where you feel free to express yourself honestly and openly – this will keep you inspired and motivated to maintain regular entries. So go ahead, pick what feels right for you!

N, Blank Journal With A Decorative Cover, Beside A Set Of Colorful Pens, A Ruler, And A Small, Stylish Desk Lamp, All Arranged On A Neat, Wooden Desk With A Cozy Background

Setting Up Your Journal

Starting your new diary isn’t as intimidating as it may seem, and there’s no ‘right’ way to do it. Let’s dive in with a few tips to get you started on setting up your journal.

Firstly, grab your chosen journal. It’s time for some fun! Journal decoration allows you to personalize it and make it truly yours. Use stickers, doodles, or whatever sparks joy for you. This personal touch can enhance the overall experience of writing in a journal, making each entry more enjoyable.

Next comes the cover selection. While some prefer minimalist designs for a clean look, others might opt for vibrant colors or patterns that reflect their personality—it’s entirely up to you! But remember, choosing a cover that resonates with you will make this journey more inviting.

Now let’s talk about format. You can choose whether to date every entry or not; write long form or bullet points; keep it strictly text-based or incorporate sketches and photos too. The freedom is all yours!

You see? Setting up your journal doesn’t have to be daunting at all! With these simple steps, you’re ready to start crafting those entries now! So go ahead—dive into the world of self-expression and exploration that is journaling.

N, Blank Journal With A Fancy Pen Poised Above It, A Light Bulb Overhead Symbolizing Ideas, And A Beginner'S Guidebook In The Background

Tips for Writing Your First Entry

Embrace the blank page before you—it’s your canvas to pour out thoughts, dreams, and everything in between. When writing your first journal entry, remember that it doesn’t need to be perfect. You’re not being graded or judged—this is your personal space for reflection.

Start by defining an Entry Structure. Whether it’s a recap of your day, a reflection on something specific, or thoughts about future plans—it’s up to you. But having some sort of structure can help guide you through the process and keep your thoughts organized.

Next, breathe life into your entry with Personal Voice. Your journal is an extension of yourself; it should reflect who you are and how you feel.

Don’t get too hung up on grammar or punctuation—concentrate more on getting your ideas down on paper. Make sure each entry feels complete in its own right—like a mini story within the larger context of your life.

Most importantly, let go of any expectations and just write what comes naturally to you. This is where honesty meets creativity—your journal entries should be genuine expressions of yourself without any filters or pretenses.

Over time, these pages will become invaluable snapshots of moments from your life—a testament to who you were at different stages along the way.

N Leather-Bound Journal With A Pen, A Steaming Coffee Cup, And A Daily Planner Showing A Scheduled Journaling Time, Placed On A Cozy Writing Desk With Morning Light Streaming In

Developing a Regular Journaling Routine

Cultivating a habit of daily musings and reflections can seem like climbing a mountain at first, but remember, even the mightiest Everest was conquered one step at a time—a metaphor for how consistency in your routine will gradually build up to an enriching narrative of your life.

How do you go about developing this regular journaling routine? Here are some steps that may help:

First, identify the right tools for journaling. This could be as simple as pen and paper or more complex like digital apps and software. The key is to find what works best for you—remember, comfort is king.

Secondly, dedicate specific times each day to write in your journal. This helps create consistency and turns it into a habit over time.

Lastly, don’t fall into the perfectionist trap! Your entries don’t have to be lengthy essays—they just need to reflect your thoughts.

Time management plays an essential role here. Allocate dedicated slots in your daily schedule exclusively for journaling. Treat it with importance—it’s not just another task on your checklist but rather a rendezvous with yourself.

Remember, this journey isn’t about achieving literary brilliance—it’s about self-discovery through candid expression. Keep going at it every day—you’ll soon see how rewarding it can truly be!

 An Image Featuring A Leather-Bound Journal, A Vintage Fountain Pen, Polaroid Photos, Pressed Flowers, And A Coffee Cup On A Rustic Wooden Table, With Soft, Warm Lighting

Making Your Journal Personal

Breathe life into your daily musings by making them truly yours, as unique and intricate as the thoughts swirling inside your mind. You’re not just jotting down random notes, you’re infusing a piece of yourself into each journal entry. Personalizing Techniques are significant tools to make this happen.

Start by choosing a theme that resonates with you. Are you passionate about travel? Then make every page an exploration of places you’ve been or wish to visit someday! If cooking is your thing, use the pages to record recipes, describe tastes and aromas. For those who find tranquility in nature, paint vivid landscapes with words; let the chirping birds fly off your page!

Emotional Expression is another critical aspect of personalizing your journal entries. Don’t shy away from expressing feelings – joy, sorrow, confusion, or excitement – they all add depth to your narrative. Pour out your heart on paper and let it be a cathartic release.

Remember to be genuine and authentic in each entry. This journal is yours alone – it should reflect who you are and what matters most to you. Be creative, be expressive but above all else – be true to yourself when writing these personal narratives!

 An Image Featuring A Frustrated Writer At A Desk With A Blank Notebook, Crumpled Papers Around, A Quill Poised Mid-Air And A Glowing Light Bulb To Symbolize An Incoming Idea

Dealing with Writer’s Block

As you continue to make your journal more personal, you might encounter a common issue: writer’s block. Don’t worry, it’s normal and happens to everyone at some point. But what do you do when the words just won’t flow?

There are several methods that can help get those creative juices flowing again. Engage in activities that provide creative stimulation such as painting, photography or even cooking. These endeavors can spark new ideas and perspectives for your writing.

Utilize unblocking techniques like freewriting where you write continuously without worrying about grammar or punctuation. This method helps clear mental blocks by letting ideas flow freely.

Change your environment. Sometimes, a change of scenery can inspire fresh thoughts and ideas.

Remember, it’s crucial not to pressure yourself too much – stress often contributes to writer’s block. Keep in mind why you’re writing this journal – for self-expression and reflection, not perfection. And sometimes, stepping away from your journal for a short while can also be beneficial. A little break revives your mind and when you come back to it later, you’ll have a whole new set of experiences to share!

Ique Journal With A Lock, A Shield Emblem, And A Feather Quill, Placed On A Wooden Desk With A Dim Lamp Illuminating The Scene

Maintaining Privacy and Security

Just because you’re pouring your heart out on paper doesn’t mean it has to be an open book for everyone. As a journal writer, maintaining privacy and security should be top priorities. You wouldn’t want your deepest thoughts and feelings falling into the wrong hands.

Start by considering physical security. Keep your journal in a safe place where others can’t easily access it. For instance, consider using a lockbox or even a locked drawer to store your journal when not in use.

Digital safeguards are equally important if you’re keeping an electronic journal. Use strong, unique passwords that can’t be guessed easily. Consider encrypting your entries or using password-protected documents. Regularly update your software and devices to ensure they have the latest security updates.

Remember, the confidentiality of your journal is paramount. These steps will help protect it from prying eyes. The key is to take proactive measures towards ensuring both physical and digital security of your journal’s contents without compromising its accessibility for you. After all, this personal record serves as an emotional outlet. Let it remain private and secure just like the thoughts within it.

 An Image Featuring A Leather-Bound Journal Open To A Page Filled With Handwriting, A Pen, And A Rear View Of A Person Thoughtfully Gazing Out A Window, Reflecting On The Written Words

Review and Reflect on Your Entries

While keeping your journal entries secure and private is crucial, it’s equally important to take time to revisit what you’ve written. This brings us to our next key area: reviewing and reflecting on your entries.

Reflective techniques are a great tool for this. As you read through past entries, consider the feelings and thoughts that prompted those words. Do you notice any recurring themes or patterns? Has your perspective changed since writing them?

This process of entry analysis helps you understand yourself better over time. Take note of significant growth points or shifts in thinking; they can serve as guideposts in your personal journey. It’s like having a conversation with your past self, lending insights that might have been overlooked otherwise.

Don’t rush the review process. Let it be an opportunity for introspection, learning from past experiences, and acknowledging progress made. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to reflect on your journals; what matters most is that it resonates with you personally.

So as you flip through old pages filled with scribbled emotions, remember – each word tells a story about who you were at that moment in time. Embrace this chance to connect deeper with yourself through reflection.

N Journal, A Flourishing Tree In The Pages, Roots Penetrating Words, A Hand Holding A Pen Poised To Write, And A Metamorphosing Butterfly Hovering Over The Journal

Encouraging Growth and Change

In the garden of your self-awareness, each penned thought is a seed, sprouting over time into patterns and insights that encourage personal growth and transformation. Your journal entries are more than just words on a page; they’re glimpses into your soul, an exploration of who you truly are.

Embracing vulnerability in your journal can be one of the most empowering things you do. It’s about stripping yourself bare and confronting all aspects of your being – the good, the bad, and everything in between. This openness with oneself encourages inner growth.

Here are some tips to encourage this change:

  • Approach each entry with honesty: don’t shy away from difficult topics.
  • Write regularly: consistency helps build momentum for change.
  • Reflect on past entries: see how far you’ve come.
  • Make note of lessons learned: use these as stepping stones for future growth.
  • Chart progress: keep track of your evolution over time.

With every word written down, every emotion expressed, every reflection made – you evolve bit by bit. Your journal becomes a testament to this evolution. So keep writing, charting progress along the way; not because it’s easy but because it’s worth it.

N Vintage Journal With Colorful Bookmarks, A Classic Fountain Pen Resting On It, A Sand Hourglass, And A Thriving Potted Plant, All On A Rustic Wooden Table With Soft, Muted Lighting

Tips for Long-Term Journaling

Maintaining a long-term record of your thoughts and experiences can be quite the challenge, but with some practical tips, it’s more than doable. Journaling rewards you in countless ways, including promoting self-expression, emotional release, and memory improvement. It’s like having a conversation with yourself that also sharpens your mind.

To start with, set aside dedicated time each day for your journaling routine. This doesn’t have to be an hour; just five or ten minutes will do. Find a quiet space where you can focus on your writing without distractions. Also, remember that there’s no right or wrong way to journal; write what feels natural and true for you.

Continuity is key in long-term journaling. Even if life gets busy or throws curveballs at you, keep up the habit. You may find shorter entries during tough times are manageable and still beneficial.

Embrace the evolving nature of your entries as they reflect changes over time in perspectives and personal growth. Make it fun by using colorful pens or stickers — make the process enjoyable so it never feels like a chore.

The essence of long-term journaling lies not only in recording facts but also capturing emotions and thought processes – moments that enhance memory improvement and create rich records of personal history over years to come.

Ze A Peaceful Setting With A Person Journaling Under A Tree, Sunlight Filtering Through Leaves, A Brain Icon Glowing Above The Journal, And Calming Colours Symbolizing Tranquility And Healing

Therapeutic Benefits of Journaling

You might not realize it, but your pen can be a powerful tool for managing stress and improving mental health. When you pour your thoughts onto paper in the form of journaling, you’re actually practicing an effective form of self-care.

You’ll find that this simple habit can serve as a free therapy session, helping you navigate through life’s ups and downs while keeping your mental well-being on track.

Stress Management

Feel the tension melt away as you scribble down your worries onto the blank canvas of your journal, transforming them into tangible words rather than overwhelming thoughts. Journaling can be a powerful stress management tool, helping you unmask stressors and their physical manifestations in your life.

To make this process more effective, consider these tips:

Identify what causes you stress: it could be work-related issues or personal matters.

Pay attention to physical signs of stress like headaches, digestive problems, or sleeplessness.

Write about your feelings openly and honestly without fear of judgment.

Explore possible solutions to manage or eliminate these sources of stress.

Reflect on what you’ve written over time to track any patterns or improvements.

The act of writing helps untangle complex emotions and brings clarity.

Improving Mental Health

Navigating life’s ups and downs is no easy feat, but penning your thoughts can be a beacon of hope in those stormy times. You’re not alone; many individuals struggle with their mental health, often due to societal stigmas.

By acknowledging these harmful stigmas and embracing the benefits of journaling, you’ll see vast improvements in your mental well-being over time. Keep writing; it’s one step closer to better mental health!

N, Leather Bound Journal Under A Warm Desk Lamp, A Fountain Pen Resting On A Page Filled With Doodles Of Lightbulbs, Quills, Stars, And Coffee Mugs

Inspiring Journal Entry Ideas

Ready to elevate your journaling routine? Let’s dive into some inspiring journal entry ideas.

From intriguing writing prompts that’ll ignite your creativity, to themed entries that let you explore different aspects of your life, these are sure to make every journaling session a fulfilling and rewarding journey.

Writing Prompts

You’re probably wondering where to start with your journal entry, so why not try some writing prompts to unleash your creativity and thoughts? These prompts can be categorized into different themes for easier selection.

Selecting a prompt based on your mood or interest can stimulate deep self-reflection and make your journaling experience more meaningful and engaging. Create an environment that inspires creativity, grab a pen, and let your thoughts flow freely!

Themed Entries

Moving on from writing prompts, let’s dive into another interesting and creative approach, known as ‘Themed Entries’.

This method revolves around the concept of thematic exploration where you pick a specific theme or subject matter to write about in your journal. It could be anything from love, travel, self-improvement, to even seasons of the year.

It’s not just about words though; consider incorporating visual elements too. Include drawings, photographs or any image related to your chosen theme for added depth and personal touch.

This way, your journal becomes more than just a diary; it transforms into an artistic chronicle that visually represents your thoughts and experiences pertaining to the chosen theme.

Remember, themed entries can make your journaling journey more engaging and insightful!

Of A Person Triumphantly Holding Up A Journal, With Crumpled Paper Balls Around, A Discarded Pen, A Dim Lamp, And A Serene Night Landscape Seen Through An Open Window

Overcoming Common Journaling Challenges

Facing common journaling challenges can be tough, but don’t worry, you’re not alone; many people struggle with finding the time to write, maintaining consistency, or even knowing what to say.

One of the most daunting hurdles is overcoming your journaling fears. It’s natural to feel anxious about expressing yourself freely on paper. Remember though, this space is just for you—there’s no judgement here.

Emotional vulnerability can also be a barrier in journaling. You might find it hard to confront and articulate your feelings. But consider this: allowing yourself to be honest and open in your entries helps you understand yourself better and promotes emotional growth.

If time is an issue, start by setting aside just five minutes a day for writing – you might surprise yourself with how much you can express in such a short span! To maintain consistency, try making journaling part of your daily routine – perhaps first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

Bear in mind that there’s no right or wrong way to keep a journal; it’s all about creating space for self-discovery and reflection. So shake off those challenges and let your thoughts flow onto the page!

 A Serene Image Featuring An Open Journal, A Lit Candle, Handwritten Pages, And Scattered Confetti, Symbolizing Celebration, All On A Cozy, Softly Lit Wooden Desk Background

Celebrating Your Journaling Journey

–v 5.2 –ar 16:9

Embarking on your personal voyage of self-expression and introspection is truly a cause for celebration. Journaling has the power to transform your life, one entry at a time. As you continue on this path, it’s important to stop now and then, acknowledging your progress and celebrating your journaling journey.

To make it even more fulfilling, consider these four steps:

Set Journaling Milestones : They can be as simple as successfully writing for a week or filling up an entire journal.

Celebrate Achievements: Whenever you hit a milestone, do something special for yourself—maybe buy a new journal or take time out to read through past entries.

Share Your Journey: If comfortable, share some aspects of your journey with trusted loved ones—it may encourage them to start their own.

Recognize the Rewards: Acknowledge how journaling rewards you—from stress release to improved clarity of thought.

Remember that every entry adds value to your life story. You’re not just penning down thoughts; you’re creating an intimate memoir filled with reflections, dreams, and experiences unique to you alone. So celebrate every word written—each one signifies growth in this enriching practice called journaling!

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How to Write a Journal Entry

how to write a journal

Have you always wanted to express yourself but you just would not like to share it with somebody? Then writing journal entries can be of great of help to you especially if you want your thoughts materialized into words. Plus, you do not have to be worried about having another person knowing about it.

  • 19+ Travel Journal Writing Examples
  • 5 Reflective Writing Examples & Samples

how to write a journal

Understanding Journal Entries

Journal entries are pieces of writing, which come individually, that will take and fill up a journal or even an ordinary notebook. It is in a journal entry where you will be able to express yourself, your personal growth, your interests, your opinions, and even the mundane things you have done and encountered in a day.

Journal entries usually come in between 500–1000 words. A journal entry may not be connected or related to a previous or the following entry unless stated. Journal entries are considered as something that is private since it is where you can be able to write with no holds barred.

When it comes to content, a journal can contain anything and everything. You can include a chronicle of what happened in your day, the summary of your deep thoughts, and you could even include your to-do tasks for the next day or tasks that you have already completed within the day.

When you would decide to write journal entries for the first time, you may want to consider starting with writing even the most ordinary events that happened in your day, the secrets you want to spill but could not spill to others, and even your most random train of thoughts.

You could also get assigned to write a journal entry for school, you may have to read the stated instructions properly as it could contain only the necessary items that you have to write for your journal entry assignment and that it could also save you some time from writing irrelevant content.

Starting a Journal

Before you would step into the world of journal writing, you just have to have the will to write in the first place. Without the will and the desire to write a journal entry, you will surely not reach even to the half of your journal. You might get discouraged at first especially if you are not confident with your writing, but do not worry because you do not have to be a renowned author to start a journal.

Keep in mind that when in writing a journal, you just have to be honest with yourself. Once you are assured that you really are willing to start writing a journal, here are the steps that can guide you:

1. Decide a comfortable space to write.

There are two spaces to consider when writing a journal. First, you have to consider where you are going to sit when writing a journal and the second is where you should be writing your journal entries.

For the first space, you have to decide on a place where you are at your most comfortable state that you would not be worrying that someone is standing behind you reading your journal entry. You would not want that, right? Additionally, you might want to remember some things that happened during your day and that you could not do so if there will be background noises and distractions as you write.

For the second space, you have to decide on a writing space where you would be writing your journal entry. Do not write anywhere and choose a kind of writing space, be it a notebook or a journal, where you will be able to write comfortably as well. You could also opt for a digital journal where you can easily add, edit, or delete some parts easily without having to deal with the mess; plus, you could easily add other elements, such as photos, that could make your journal entry more detailed.

2. Reflect on your day and ask yourself questions.

Once you have found a perfect place to write and a perfect writing space to write your journal entry on, you should now have to reflect on what happened during your day and what are the events that are journal-worthy for you. You do not have to write on this step.

If you are a newbie at journal writing, do not be too hard on yourself and just write what you can manage to write since your journal entry can just be about anything you want. If you want to write down the moments in your day that you want to have a keepsake out of, you can totally do it even by just closing your eyes and reflecting on what happened throughout your day, including what you may have felt about it.

If you find it hard to reflect, you can just start on basic questions that could help you generate content for your journal entry.

3. Start writing!

You already have what you need so that only means that the only thing left to do is the actual writing of your journal entry.

Again, if you are a beginner at writing journal entries, you can start with simple sentences that start with  “I feel,” or “I think,” or “I wonder.”  Also, do not be afraid to have a central topic for your journal entry and do not be afraid to exclude some parts of your day that you don’t feel recording, most especially if it is just too mundane and basic, such as taking a bath. Unless something remarkable happened during your bath, then you might find it important to write it down. Make sure that you make your journal a space where you can feel at your most comfortable state.

However, if you are to write a journal for an assignment in one of your classes, be sure that you will be able to follow the instructions given by your teacher or professor.

4. Re-read and add.

When you would get into writing your journal writing, there is a tendency that you might forget some things, this is why it is advised that you should go back and re-read your journal entry right after writing it. It is not really necessary for you to check whether grammar, especially the spelling and syntax, is done right and flawless, but if you see the need to edit it since it can affect the message you want to convey, then, by all means, do so.

However, if it is a journal assignment, make sure that you would also check up on your grammar and syntax since your journal will be graded by your teacher.

Additionally, add and enter any missing details on your journal entry once you notice it during your re-reading period. Write it down immediately for it may be difficult to try and remember about it the next time.

Tips for Writing Journal Entries

If you are just getting started to write your first batch of journal entries, it could get difficult for you at some point. However, once you would finally get the hang of it, your journal entries would just easily flow. Here are some tips you can make use of should you want to get better at this activity:

1. Be creative.

Journal entry writing has no limits. You do not have to stick to words and long paragraphs if that bores you. You can make use of any visual material, such as an artwork or a photograph that would make your journal writing even more memorable.

2. Write a dialogue and a memory

In your day, you might have gotten yourself into a conversation so striking you want to have a record of it and you can freely do so on your journal entry. If there was a significant moment that happened to you on that day, write it as a memory on your journal entry. When you find starting to write an entry journal difficult, you can always go these basic things to write and start from there.

3. Set a schedule.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, setting a schedule is a great first step. Decide how many times you want to write and set a schedule. Whether it be once a day, or once a week, decide on a time you want to write and don’t skip it.

4. Have fun.

Of all the things that have been written above, the only thing that you should always stick in your mind is to have fun while writing your first batch of journal entries. It is in having fun that you would just let go of anything that holds you back from writing what you want to write and just let your pen, your hand, and your thoughts do all the action.

Journal entry writing is not a chore or a requirement (unless it’s a given assignment) that you should feel so much pressure from. Free yourself from doubts and just write.

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What is a Journal Entry? How to Capture Your Life and Memories

How to use a journal entry to capture and preserve your thoughts, feelings, and experiences at a particular moment in your life..

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February 15, 2023

Home » Day One Blog » What is a Journal Entry? How to Capture Your Life and Memories

When it comes to keeping a personal journal, journal entries are like the building block of your self-expression and self-discovery. Each journal entry adds to the foundation of your story, painting a picture of your experiences, thoughts, and emotions. As you continue to journal, the entries accumulate, forming a rich tapestry of your life that provides insights into your growth and personal journey. Whether you’re exploring your feelings, recording important events, or simply reflecting on your day, journal entries are the key to unlocking the power of personal journaling.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the definition of what is a journal entry. We’ll also cover how journal entries can be used to capture the essence of life, from your memories to your thoughts and reflections. From the elements of a personal journal entry to examples of journal entries, we’ll explore all you need to know about how to use a journal entry as a tool for self-expression and reflection. Whether you’re a seasoned journaler or just starting out, we hope this post will give you the information and inspiration you need to start capturing your life and memories in a meaningful and authentic way through your journal entries.

What is a Journal Entry?

A journal entry is a record of personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences kept in a personal journal or diary. A journal entry is a single entry within a larger collection of entries, which is known as a personal journal . A personal journal is essentially a collection of journal entries, usually organized chronologically, that document your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and personal growth over time.

The length of a personal journal entry can vary greatly, depending on your writing style and the purpose of your journal. Some people prefer to write just a few sentences or bullet points, while others may write several pages. There is no set rule for how long a journal entry should be.

A journal entry is a record of personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences kept in a personal journal or diary. A journal entry is a single entry within a larger collection of entries, which is known as a personal journal.

What’s important is that you feel comfortable enough to express yourself in a way that feels meaningful to you. Some people may find it helpful to set aside a specific amount of time each day or week for writing new journal entries, while others may choose to write a new entry whenever the mood strikes.

In general, the goal of a journal entry is to provide a safe and private space for self-expression and reflection. Depending on what works best for you, a journal entry’s length and format can vary widely. Whether it’s just a few sentences or several hundred words, the most important thing is that a journal entry is an honest and authentic reflection of your thoughts and experience.

a scene of a desk with an open journal notebook and journey entry on a computer

Telling Your Story One Entry at a Time: How Journal Entries Build Your Journal

Think of a journal entry as a snapshot. Just as a snapshot captures a moment in time and freezes it for later recollection, a journal entry captures and preserves your thoughts, feelings, and experiences at a particular moment in your life.

Your journal serves as a collection of these snapshots, offering a glimpse into your personal history and the evolution of your thoughts and emotions over time. Each entry provides a window into your soul and a record of the journey of your life as you tell your story one journal entry at a time.

As a result, journaling can help you reflect on your past experiences and understand your current emotions, thoughts, and experiences in a new way. The journal serves as a record of this process of self-reflection and growth.

“A good journal entry—like a good song, or sketch, or photograph—ought to break up the habitual and lift away the film that forms over the eye, the finger, the tongue, the heart. A good journal entry ought to be a love letter to the world.” — Anthony Doerr

Personal Journal Entry vs Journal Entry in Accounting

It’s also worth noting that there are two types of journal entries:

  • A personal journal entry
  • A journal entry in accounting

In accounting, a journal entry is a record of a financial transaction in a company’s books of accounts. These types of journal entries are used to track the movement of money in and out of a business, as well as to document changes in the value of assets and liabilities. Journal entries typically include the date of the transaction, a description of the transaction, the amounts involved in the transaction, and the account or accounts affected by

Unlike a financial journal entry, which focuses on monetary transactions, a personal journal entry is a form of self-expression and reflection. Personal journaling can serve as a therapeutic tool to process emotions and experiences, track personal growth, and reflect on life experiences. Personal journaling can also be used as a creative outlet to express thoughts and ideas in a private and safe space. The frequency and format of personal journaling is completely up to the individual, as some people choose to write in their journals daily, while others write less frequently.

How Journal Entries Help Capture Your Life and Memories

Capturing life and memories is an important aspect of journaling. A journal can serve as a time capsule of your experiences and memories, providing a record of your life that you can look back on in the future.

Writing down your experiences and memories in a journal can help you reflect on your life and cherish the moments that have shaped you. A journal entry provides a way to preserve memories and moments that may otherwise be forgotten, especially as memories start to fade.

Keeping a journal can help you preserve your life story and the memories that make up your personal history. If you choose to share your journals some day, family members and future generations can read about your life and gain insights into your personality, values, and experiences, providing a unique and personal connection to the past. In this way, capturing life and memories is not just an important aspect of journaling, but it’s also a gift to future generations.

20 Common Elements of a Journal Entry

The elements of a personal journal entry should reflect your preferences, writing style, and what you hope to gain from the journaling experience. Here are a few common elements of a journal entry:

1. Today’s Date

Recording the date of each journal entry can help you track you progress and reflect on your growth over time.

2. Thoughts

The core of a journal entry are your thoughts at any given moment or on any given topic. Thoughts can take many forms, including ideas, opinions, beliefs, images, feelings, and memories.

3. Reflections

Reflections refer to the act of considering or contemplating your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Reflection can take many forms, including introspection, self-analysis, and self-assessment. Reflections are often a central component of journal entries, as they allow you to process and make sense of their experiences

4. Gratitude

Many people choose to focus on gratitude in their journal entries, as a way to cultivate a positive outlook and focus on the good things in their lives.

5. Mood or Emotion

The writer may choose to document their emotional state at the time of writing, which can help them reflect on the connection between their emotions and experiences.

6. Positive experiences

Many people use journal entries as a place to document positive experiences, rather than dwelling on negative experiences or stressors. Regularly focusing on positive experiences can cultivate a more positive mindset and increase overall well-being.

Personal journaling can also be a space for setting and reflecting on personal goals, as well as documenting progress or setbacks as you work toward a goal. Here’s a bit more on journaling goals .

A journal entry can be used as a space for making plans for self-improvement.

9. Creative Writing

Some people use their personal journal as a space for creative writing, such as writing poetry, fiction, or personal essays.

10. Drawings or sketches

Some people incorporate drawings or sketches into their journal entries as a way to visually represent their thoughts and feelings.

Including photos in a personal journal can add a visual component to the written words, helping your remember and reflect on specific moments and experiences.

Videos can be a powerful tool for personal journaling, allowing the writer to capture the sights and sounds of their experiences, as well as their thoughts and feelings in the moment.

13. Audio recordings

Audio recordings can also be included in personal journal entries, providing a new way to capture thoughts and emotions. This format can be especially useful for individuals who struggle with written expression, or for those who prefer to express themselves verbally.

14. Weather info

Some people may choose to include information about the weather on the day of the journal entry, which can provide context and serve as a reminder of the conditions on that day.

15. Location info

The location info of a journal entry can be helpful for documenting your travels and your location as you write a new journal entry, reminding you of your environment or surroundings.

16. To-do List

While some people like to keep their to-do lists out of their journal, others embrace their journal as a place to keep track of their daily or weekly tasks.

Including quotes or lyrics that resonate with you can add depth and meaning to your journal entries, and serve as a source of inspiration or motivation. (Just check out these 101 quotes about journaling if you need inspiration.)

If you enjoy keeping track of your dreams, you may choose to include dream journaling as a component of your personal journal. Recording and reflecting on your dreams can provide insight into your unconscious mind and serve as a tool for self-discovery.

19. Mindfulness and meditation

If you practice mindfulness or meditation, you may choose to include reflections on your practice in your journal entries, documenting any insights or breakthroughs as you progress in your journey.

20. Physical sensations

Some people choose to include notes about physical sensations, such as hunger, fatigue, or pain, in their journal entries. This can provide a more holistic picture of their well-being, and help them identify patterns or connections between physical sensations and other aspects of their lives.

Journal Entry Examples

Having a few journal entry examples on hand can be a helpful resource if you’re needing more guidance on how to write a journal entry of your own. Perhaps these example journal entries can provide inspiration and guidance on what to include in your own entries, as well as how to structure and format your writing as you explore more journaling ideas .

Here are a few journal entry examples:

Traditional Journal Entry Example

This example journal entry shows a more traditional approach to journaling, recapping the day, how the writer felt, things they enjoyed, and other details from their day.

Today was a pretty good day. I woke up feeling well-rested and energized, which was a nice change from the past few days. I started the day with a cup of coffee and some time for reflection and meditation, which helped set the tone for a productive day.

At work, I had a meeting with my team to discuss our new project and things are really starting to come together. I feel confident in our abilities to succeed and make a difference with this project.

After work, I met up with some friends for dinner and we had a great time catching up and laughing. It was a much-needed break from the daily grind and it felt good to connect with them.

Before bed, I took some time to reflect on the day and write down my thoughts and feelings. Overall, I feel grateful for the opportunities I have and the people in my life. I am looking forward to tomorrow and all that it brings.

Templated Journal Entry Example

Using the common elements of a journey entry from above, here’s a more templated approach to a journal entry:

Date: May 5, 2022

Mood: Inspired

Today was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and there was a light breeze. I went for a walk in the park and felt so grateful for the warm weather and all the beautiful sights and sounds around me.

Thoughts: I’ve been feeling really inspired lately, and I’ve been thinking a lot about my future and what I want to achieve. I’ve been feeling restless and like I want to make a change, but I’m not sure exactly what that change should be.

Reflections: Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my values, my passions, and what brings me happiness. I’ve been considering different career paths, and what kind of work would align with my values and give me a sense of purpose.

Gratitude: Today, I’m grateful for the beautiful weather, for my health, and for my family and friends. I’m also grateful for the opportunities that are available to me and the support I receive from those around me.

Positive experiences : Today was a great day. I got to spend some time outside, and I had a wonderful conversation with my friend over lunch. We talked about our dreams and aspirations, and it was so inspiring.

Goals: My goal for the next few weeks is to continue exploring different career paths and learning more about the opportunities available to me. I also want to focus on cultivating gratitude and finding joy in the little things in life.

Plans: My plan for the rest of the day is to read a book, do some yoga, and meditate. I also want to spend some time brainstorming and writing down my thoughts and ideas about my future.

Weather info: Today was a beautiful day, sunny and warm with a light breeze. I only saw a few clouds in the sky.

Location info: Today I went for a walk in the park near my home.

Today’s To-do list:

  • Call Grandpa
  • Fold the laundry
  • Mail Chrissy’s Thank You note
  • Work on essay for writing class
  • Finish meal plan for the week

Gratitude Journal Entry Example

A gratitude journal is a type of journal that focuses on the practice of gratitude. Gratitude journaling simply involves regularly writing down the things you are thankful for, expressing appreciation for the good things in your life, and reflecting on how they contribute to your overall well-being. Here’s a simple example of a gratitude journal entry:

June 14, 2022

Five things I am grateful for today:

  • The warm sun on my face as I walked to work this morning.
  • The delicious breakfast I had with my family.
  • The kindness of a stranger who complimented my new shoes.
  • The laughter I shared with my coworkers during our break.
  • The fact that I have a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in tonight.

It’s always easy to focus on what’s not going well. But taking time each day to reflect on the things I am grateful for helps me keep things in perspective. It reminds me that even on a difficult day, there are still many things to be thankful for.

Photo Journal Entry Example

Photo journaling is a journaling technique that utilizes photos as a way of documenting experiences. Many photo journals also include descriptions or captions of the photos, like in this example:

April 9, 2019

Today was a beautiful day and I wanted to capture some of my memories from it. I started the day by taking a walk in the park and it was so peaceful. The sun was shining and there were so many flowers in bloom. I took a few photos of the flowers and of the lake. The water was so still and it was the perfect place to sit and reflect.

how to write the journal entry

After my walk, I went to have lunch with a friend. We had a great time catching up and I took a few photos of our food. We both love sushi, so we ordered a variety of rolls and they all looked so delicious.

how to write the journal entry

In the afternoon, I went to a museum and it was so interesting. I took a few photos of some of my favorite exhibits, including one of the newer installations of digital artwork.

how to write the journal entry

Before heading home, I took a walk through the city and I took a few more photos of some of the buildings and the people. It was such a busy and vibrant place, and I felt so lucky to be a part of it.

how to write the journal entry

I’m so grateful for all of the experiences I had today, and I’m happy that I was able to capture some of them in photos. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

Travel Journal Entry Example

A travel journal is a type of journal that documents your travels, experiences, and observations as you explore new places. Here’s an example travel journal entry:

Date: August 10, 2022 Location: Paris, France Weather: Sunny and warm, with a high of 25°C

Today was my first full day in Paris and it was truly magical. I started the day with croissants and coffee at a quaint café near my hotel. The flaky, buttery pastries were unlike anything I’ve ever had before. As I sipped my coffee, I took in the bustling city and people-watched for a while.

Next, I headed to the Eiffel Tower. The iconic landmark was even more beautiful in person. I took the stairs to the top and was rewarded with breathtaking views of the city. I felt so small and humbled by the sheer size of the tower and all of Paris spread out below me.

After some more exploring, I stopped for lunch at a small bistro recommended by my hotel concierge. I enjoyed a delicious meal of steak frites and a glass of red wine. It was the perfect way to fuel up for the rest of my adventures in Paris.

Later in the afternoon, I visited the Louvre Museum. I was completely in awe of the masterpieces housed within its walls. From the Winged Victory of Samothrace to the Mona Lisa, I was constantly amazed by the talent and creativity on display.

As the day came to a close, I headed back to my hotel, exhausted but also exhilarated by all that I had seen and experienced. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings in this beautiful city.

Example Journal Entry: Using a Journal Prompt

Many people utilize journal prompts as a way to write in their journal. Here’s an example of a journal entry that uses an example journal prompt.

What is a memorable moment from my childhood?

As I sit here with my journal, I can’t help but think back to a memorable moment from my childhood. I remember it was a sunny summer day and my family was on vacation at the beach. We were playing in the water, building sandcastles, and having a great time. Suddenly, a big wave came and knocked me over. I was scared and started to cry, but my older brother was there to pick me up and carry me back to the shore. He hugged me and told me everything was going to be okay.

This moment has stayed with me for all these years because it was a defining moment in my relationship with my brother. He showed me that he cared for me and would always be there for me, even when I was scared. As I think back on this moment now, I am filled with gratitude for having such a supportive and loving family. I am also grateful for the memories that I have from this day, which I will treasure forever.

Example Freewriting Journal Entry

Many people find that freewriting in their journal is the easiest way to complete a new journal entry. Freewriting is simply the a writing technique in which you write continuously without stopping, without concern for grammar, spelling or punctuation.

October 17, 2018 – Wednesday

Today I woke up feeling refreshed after a long night’s sleep. I made myself a cup of coffee and sat down on the couch, ready to start my day. As I took my first sip, I couldn’t help but think about all of the things I wanted to accomplish today. I have a meeting with my boss, a doctor’s appointment, and I want to get some work done on a project I’ve been putting off. But before I dive into all of that, I just want to take a moment to write and let my thoughts flow.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately with all of the responsibilities I have on my plate. It seems like there’s always something that needs my attention and I find myself constantly rushing from one thing to the next. But in the moments when I slow down and take a deep breath, I feel like I can handle it all. I just need to remember to make time for myself and focus on what’s important.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what success really means to me. I used to think it was all about money and status, but now I’m not so sure. I think success is more about finding happiness and fulfillment in what you do, and making a positive impact on the world. That’s what I want for myself, and that’s what I want to focus on moving forward.

Well, time to get going. I feel a little more focused and at peace now that I’ve taken the time to write in my journal.

Digital Journal Entry Example

Some people find that keeping a digital journal is easier than writing in a notebook. A digital journal has several advantages, such as the ability to add video, audio recordings, photos. Digital journals can also be searched more easily as many journal apps like Day One have search and sort functionality. Your journal can also be accessed on multiple devices, such as your desktop computer and your mobile phone.

Here’s an example of a digital journal entry made in the Day One journal app :

how to write the journal entry

Journal Entry Prompts

For your next journal entry, here’s a list of some common journal prompts to jumpstart your journal writing on a daily basis:

  • What’s on my mind today?
  • How am I feeling today? What emotions can I identify?
  • How is my body feeling today?
  • What am I grateful for today, and why?
  • What happened today?
  • What made me happy today, and why?
  • What made me feel proud today, and why?
  • What did I learn today? How can I apply that knowledge to my life?
  • What challenges did I face today?
  • What is one way to make today better?
  • Who has made my life better recently?
  • What is a memorable event from my childhood?
  • What are my hopes and goals for the future?
  • What am I looking forward to in the near future?
  • What is one way I’d like to grow or change?
  • What is something I’m curious about, and how can I explore it further?
  • What are some of my favorite quotes, and how do they inspire me?
  • What is something that I’ve been putting off, and what steps can I take to get it done?
  • What is something I can do to show kindness to someone else today?
  • What are three things I can do to take care of myself today?

Wrapping Up: Journal Entries and the Essence of Life

Keeping a journal is a meaningful way to reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Whether you prefer to write about your gratitude, your goals, your travels, or just your day-to-day life, journaling can help you process and make sense of your journey.

With its many elements, techniques, and forms, there is no one “right” way to journal. The key is to find what works for you and to make journaling a regular part of your life. So go ahead, start capturing your life and memories today in your next journal entry!

Start Your Journal Entry Today in the Day One Journal App

The Day One journaling app makes it easy to build and maintain a daily journaling habit. Daily journaling reminders , writing prompts , and journaling streaks are designed to help keep you motivated and consistently journaling.

About the Author

Kristen Wright is the author of three books on journaling. With a passion for writing and self-reflection, Kristen uses her experience with journaling to help others discover the benefits of documenting their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. In her role at Day One, she helps to promote the power of journaling so people from all walks of life can experience the transformative power of journaling.

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How To Write A Journal Entry

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Updated on: 01/04/2021

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Create a form in Word that users can complete or print

In Word, you can create a form that others can fill out and save or print.  To do this, you will start with baseline content in a document, potentially via a form template.  Then you can add content controls for elements such as check boxes, text boxes, date pickers, and drop-down lists. Optionally, these content controls can be linked to database information.  Following are the recommended action steps in sequence.  

Show the Developer tab

In Word, be sure you have the Developer tab displayed in the ribbon.  (See how here:  Show the developer tab .)

Open a template or a blank document on which to base the form

You can start with a template or just start from scratch with a blank document.

Start with a form template

Go to File > New .

In the  Search for online templates  field, type  Forms or the kind of form you want. Then press Enter .

In the displayed results, right-click any item, then select  Create. 

Start with a blank document 

Select Blank document .

Add content to the form

Go to the  Developer  tab Controls section where you can choose controls to add to your document or form. Hover over any icon therein to see what control type it represents. The various control types are described below. You can set properties on a control once it has been inserted.

To delete a content control, right-click it, then select Remove content control  in the pop-up menu. 

Note:  You can print a form that was created via content controls. However, the boxes around the content controls will not print.

Insert a text control

The rich text content control enables users to format text (e.g., bold, italic) and type multiple paragraphs. To limit these capabilities, use the plain text content control . 

Click or tap where you want to insert the control.

Rich text control button

To learn about setting specific properties on these controls, see Set or change properties for content controls .

Insert a picture control

A picture control is most often used for templates, but you can also add a picture control to a form.

Picture control button

Insert a building block control

Use a building block control  when you want users to choose a specific block of text. These are helpful when you need to add different boilerplate text depending on the document's specific purpose. You can create rich text content controls for each version of the boilerplate text, and then use a building block control as the container for the rich text content controls.

building block gallery control

Select Developer and content controls for the building block.

Developer tab showing content controls

Insert a combo box or a drop-down list

In a combo box, users can select from a list of choices that you provide or they can type in their own information. In a drop-down list, users can only select from the list of choices.

combo box button

Select the content control, and then select Properties .

To create a list of choices, select Add under Drop-Down List Properties .

Type a choice in Display Name , such as Yes , No , or Maybe .

Repeat this step until all of the choices are in the drop-down list.

Fill in any other properties that you want.

Note:  If you select the Contents cannot be edited check box, users won’t be able to click a choice.

Insert a date picker

Click or tap where you want to insert the date picker control.

Date picker button

Insert a check box

Click or tap where you want to insert the check box control.

Check box button

Use the legacy form controls

Legacy form controls are for compatibility with older versions of Word and consist of legacy form and Active X controls.

Click or tap where you want to insert a legacy control.

Legacy control button

Select the Legacy Form control or Active X Control that you want to include.

Set or change properties for content controls

Each content control has properties that you can set or change. For example, the Date Picker control offers options for the format you want to use to display the date.

Select the content control that you want to change.

Go to Developer > Properties .

Controls Properties  button

Change the properties that you want.

Add protection to a form

If you want to limit how much others can edit or format a form, use the Restrict Editing command:

Open the form that you want to lock or protect.

Select Developer > Restrict Editing .

Restrict editing button

After selecting restrictions, select Yes, Start Enforcing Protection .

Restrict editing panel

Advanced Tip:

If you want to protect only parts of the document, separate the document into sections and only protect the sections you want.

To do this, choose Select Sections in the Restrict Editing panel. For more info on sections, see Insert a section break .

Sections selector on Resrict sections panel

If the developer tab isn't displayed in the ribbon, see Show the Developer tab .

Open a template or use a blank document

To create a form in Word that others can fill out, start with a template or document and add content controls. Content controls include things like check boxes, text boxes, and drop-down lists. If you’re familiar with databases, these content controls can even be linked to data.

Go to File > New from Template .

New from template option

In Search, type form .

Double-click the template you want to use.

Select File > Save As , and pick a location to save the form.

In Save As , type a file name and then select Save .

Start with a blank document

Go to File > New Document .

New document option

Go to File > Save As .

Go to Developer , and then choose the controls that you want to add to the document or form. To remove a content control, select the control and press Delete. You can set Options on controls once inserted. From Options, you can add entry and exit macros to run when users interact with the controls, as well as list items for combo boxes, .

Adding content controls to your form

In the document, click or tap where you want to add a content control.

On Developer , select Text Box , Check Box , or Combo Box .

Developer tab with content controls

To set specific properties for the control, select Options , and set .

Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each control that you want to add.

Set options

Options let you set common settings, as well as control specific settings. Select a control and then select Options to set up or make changes.

Set common properties.

Select Macro to Run on lets you choose a recorded or custom macro to run on Entry or Exit from the field.

Bookmark Set a unique name or bookmark for each control.

Calculate on exit This forces Word to run or refresh any calculations, such as total price when the user exits the field.

Add Help Text Give hints or instructions for each field.

OK Saves settings and exits the panel.

Cancel Forgets changes and exits the panel.

Set specific properties for a Text box

Type Select form Regular text, Number, Date, Current Date, Current Time, or Calculation.

Default text sets optional instructional text that's displayed in the text box before the user types in the field. Set Text box enabled to allow the user to enter text into the field.

Maximum length sets the length of text that a user can enter. The default is Unlimited .

Text format can set whether text automatically formats to Uppercase , Lowercase , First capital, or Title case .

Text box enabled Lets the user enter text into a field. If there is default text, user text replaces it.

Set specific properties for a Check box .

Default Value Choose between Not checked or checked as default.

Checkbox size Set a size Exactly or Auto to change size as needed.

Check box enabled Lets the user check or clear the text box.

Set specific properties for a Combo box

Drop-down item Type in strings for the list box items. Press + or Enter to add an item to the list.

Items in drop-down list Shows your current list. Select an item and use the up or down arrows to change the order, Press - to remove a selected item.

Drop-down enabled Lets the user open the combo box and make selections.

Protect the form

Go to Developer > Protect Form .

Protect form button on the Developer tab

Note:  To unprotect the form and continue editing, select Protect Form again.

Save and close the form.

Test the form (optional)

If you want, you can test the form before you distribute it.

Protect the form.

Reopen the form, fill it out as the user would, and then save a copy.

Creating fillable forms isn’t available in Word for the web.

You can create the form with the desktop version of Word with the instructions in Create a fillable form .

When you save the document and reopen it in Word for the web, you’ll see the changes you made.

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Teacher arrested for assigning class to write ways to kill a student

A classroom is shown.

A teacher surrendered his license after getting in legal trouble for an assignment he agreed was inappropriate.

A teacher has been arrested after giving a Virginia middle school class an assignment to write about killing a student, according to court records.

The incident occurred in January 2022 in an English class at Crestwood Middle School in Chesapeake, but Scripps News Norfolk's investigative team recently learned about the arrest after a Freedom of Information Request to the Department of Education regarding teachers who lost their license in the state.

The class assignment was to write "ways to kill" one particular student in the class, according to court records. The records state that the idea for the assignment came from another student in the class, but that the teacher went along with it.

The students reportedly pulled out their tablets and began to write various ways to kill the selected child in the class. Documents outline how the ideas from the students included chopping him up, throwing him out the window, burning him alive and feeding him to a dog.

That night the child told his parents, and authorities got involved.

When asked by authorities why this happened, records state that the teacher said it was hard to engage the class, and the student at the center of the assignment didn't appear upset. But the teacher agreed it was an inappropriate assignment and told police it was an error in judgment.

The teacher pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Teacher arrested after hitting 4-year-old student who has autism

The Florida educator, who teaches students with disabilities, was charged with child abuse over two incidents.

According to a statement from the Chesapeake School District after Scripps News Norfolk reached out for comment, the teacher "was employed as a teacher at Crestwood Middle School from August 31, 2020, through April 8, 2022. Our practice is that we do not comment further on such situations involving personnel. The safety of our students is our top priority, and Chesapeake Public Schools expects all employees to act with the utmost professionalism to provide a positive learning environment for all students."

The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) is a clearinghouse that helps identify red flags when teachers are applying for licenses across the country. It reports that approximately 6,000 of the 3.5 million public school teachers have adverse action taken against their licenses for a wide variety of issues, and in many cases those teachers do not lose their licenses.

The teacher involved in this case did surrender his license.

NASDTEC, which offers free online preventative and corrective courses for teachers and leaders nationwide, thinks there should be more emphasis on preventing problematic behavior before it happens.

The group's executive director, Jimmy Adams, said he believes every teacher should have to undergo a refresher class about professional ethics every five years. But the group stresses that the vast majority of teachers are phenomenal people, who never get into trouble and are working to educate and inspire the children of America.

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2024 daytona 500: lineup, start time, race preview, picks, predictions, how to watch nascar's opening race, 40 drivers are set to write another chapter in the history of the biggest and most prestigious race in nascar.

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- There are a few select places in the entire world that are unmistakably associated with pushing the capabilities of the automobile to their absolute maximum. Say the word Daytona, and the sights and sounds that come to mind are etched into the American canon. More than a century's worth of racing started on the beach and later turned into one of the most famous racetracks in the world, and its greatest race of all.

This year marks the 66th edition of the Daytona 500, the sport's kickoff to the season and the biggest event of the year. The 40 drivers competing will race 500 miles over 200 laps to determine this year's champion.

The race was moved from its typical Sunday afternoon slot to Monday because of heavy rain. Weather has been a big issue all week as the Xfinity Series race scheduled for Saturday was also pushed to Monday. The rain has played a big factor in this race of late with three postponements happening since 2012. 

Joey Logano sits in pole position this year after coming up just short in 2023 to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He previously won the race back in 2015 and hopes to kick off this season with a bang. Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin, who is a three-time winner of this competition, starts eighth. Plus, Jimmie Johnson, who won in 2006 and 2013, returns and starts 23rd . 

"There's only so much a driver can do, so I'm really proud of them. It's a big win for our team," Logano said after winning the pole on Wednesday. "Finally, someone else wins the pole -- that part feels good. I've never even been close to a superspeedway pole before, so my first pole on a speedway couldn't be at a cooler event than the Daytona 500."

Let's take a closer look at what fans can expect once the green flag waves Monday before getting to a prediction and expert pick on who enters the winner's circle.

How to watch the Daytona 500

Date: Monday, Feb. 19 Location: Daytona International Speedway -- Daytona Beach, Florida Start time:  4 p.m. ET TV: Fox Live stream : fubo ( try for free )

What to watch

  • The foundation of the prestige of the Daytona 500 is the names of auto racing greats who have been skilled and fortunate enough to take the checkered flag through the years: Lee Petty, Junior Johnson and Fireball Roberts in the early days, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and David Pearson later on, Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. more recently -- and many, many more. But just as it has been hoisted by legends of stock car racing -- as well as international racing icons like Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt -- the Harley J. Earl Trophy has also been held aloft by humble and unlikely heroes. Historically, that meant the occasional upset win by drivers like Pete Hamilton, Derrike Cope, Michael Waltrip and Trevor Bayne. But that subset of Daytona 500 winners that only saw a new addition every so often has quickly proliferated over the past three years. Each of the last three Daytona 500 champions have come from out of the pack, with longtime journeyman Michael McDowell and rookie Austin Cindric taking their first career NASCAR Cup Series wins in this race in 2021 and 2022 respectively before Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took the checkered flag last year to earn only his third Cup Series win and his first in six years. One of the consequences of that has been that it has several of NASCAR's biggest stars and former champions from adding Daytona 500 crowns to their resumes: Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson are all winless in this race, with Busch and Truex on the cusp of nearly 20 years of trying to win and never succeeding. Likewise, defending Cup Series champion Ryan Blaney is also seeking his first Daytona 500 win after several close calls before. Blaney has finished second in this race twice -- including by inches in 2020 -- and has come off Turn 4 with a shot to win three times since 2017. Blaney is among the favorites again this year, and he is looking to become the first driver to win the Daytona 500 the year after winning the Cup championship since Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett did so in 2000. But he and several other contenders will have to come from the back after a massive accident in Thursday night's Duel qualifying races destroyed Blaney's primary car and forced him and others like Busch and William Byron to backup cars.
Trouble in the tri-oval! @Blaney climbs from the vehicle safely after this crash in Duel No. 2! pic.twitter.com/oKffQcU4Zp — NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 16, 2024
  • The early results of Speedweeks in Daytona have offered a considerable glimpse into the performance of two new body types in the Cup Series this season, the Ford Mustang Dark Horse and the Toyota Camry XSE. The new version of the Mustang got everyone's attention in time trial qualifying on Wednesday, with Joey Logano and Michael McDowell taking the front row starting spots and ending a streak of more than 10 years of Daytona 500 poles for Chevrolet. The single-car speed of the Camry XSE seemed much more suspect, as not a single Toyota managed to qualify inside the top 20. However, the performance of Toyota in racing conditions suggested that concerns following qualifying were overblown: Toyota swept the Duel qualifying races on Thursday night, with Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell winning their respective races with last-lap passes. Those developments have somewhat overshadowed the performance of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the lone returning body style from the 2023 season. However, the bowtie brigade boasts the defending Daytona 500 champion, as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. looks to become the second driver to win back-to-back 500s in the past five years.
  • Some of the other storylines in the field center around NASCAR's biggest stars and all-time great drivers who have a stake in both the Daytona 500 and NASCAR history at hand. Denny Hamlin is looking to become only the third driver in history to win this race more than three times, and a fourth victory would tie him for second all-time with Cale Yarborough. Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who is becoming the first driver to ever make a Cup start after being named to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, can also move out of a tiebreaker with Yarborough for sixth on NASCAR's all-time wins list should he earn his third Daytona 500 win and the 84th of his Cup career overall. Either accomplishment for Hamlin and Johnson would be a fitting tribute to Yarborough, one of NASCAR's greatest drivers ever, who passed away during the offseason at the age of 84. Another driver with something at stake is Joey Logano, the 2015 Daytona 500 champion and this year's polesitter. Should Logano earn his second Daytona 500 win, he would become the first driver to win the 500 from the pole since Dale Jarrett in 2000.

Daytona 500 starting lineup

  • #22 - Joey Logano
  • #34 - Michael McDowell 
  • #45 - Tyler Reddick
  • #20 - Christopher Bell
  • #9 - Chase Elliott
  • #2 - Austin Cindric
  • #48 - Alex Bowman
  • #11 - Denny Hamlin
  • #77 - Carson Hocevar (R)
  • #42 - John Hunter Nemechek
  • #43 - Erik Jones
  • #21 - Harrison Burton
  • #99 - Daniel Suarez
  • #71 - Zane Smith (R)
  • #54 - Ty Gibbs
  • #6 - Brad Keselowski
  • #5 - Kyle Larson
  • #24 - William Byron
  • #17 - Chris Buescher
  • #14 - Chase Briscoe
  • #1 - Ross Chastain
  • #51 - Justin Haley
  • #84 - Jimmie Johnson
  • #23 - Bubba Wallace
  • #41 - Ryan Preece
  • #36 - Kaz Grala
  • #19 - Martin Truex Jr.
  • #16 - A.J. Allmendinger
  • #7 - Corey LaJoie
  • #4 - Josh Berry (R)
  • #38 - Todd Gilliland
  • #12 - Ryan Blaney +
  • #3 - Austin Dillon
  • #8 - Kyle Busch
  • #47 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • #15 - RIley Herbst
  • #31 - Daniel Hemric
  • #10 - Noah Gragson
  • #62 - Anthony Alfredo
  • #60 - David Ragan

Failed to qualify: B.J. McLeod, J.J. Yeley

Pick to win

Brad Keselowski (+1200) -- The last five Daytona 500s have all seen Keselowski be a factor late in the race, and in each of the past three in particular he has been at the front with a chance to win in the final laps. He has also led the most laps in this race two years in a row, and his RFK Racing team has only gotten better since last year's 500 – As evidenced by last August's race at Daytona when Keselowski pushed teammate Chris Buescher to the win.

There is always a focus on which veteran drivers are still looking for their first Daytona 500 win, but compared to Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., I think Keselowski is best positioned to finally win "The Great American Race" and end his winless streak dating back to Talladega in 2021.

So who wins the 2024 Daytona 500? And which longshot has the potential to stun NASCAR?  Visit SportsLine now to see the 2024 NASCAR at Daytona picks and best bets from a NASCAR insider who called Chastain and Suarez's breakthrough wins in 2022, and find out.

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The Boston Globe

Sports Museum is accepting entries for the 2024 Will McDonough Writing Contest

T he Sports Museum at TD Garden is accepting entries from students in Grades 4 to 12 for the 2024 Will McDonough Writing Contest, an annual event held in honor of the late Boston Globe sportswriter.

This is the 20th year of the contest. More than 1,000 students participated last year.

Students may choose to submit a fiction or nonfiction essay about a sports topic of their choice, or write using one of the following prompts: great moments in sports, game changers, sports rivals, or looking back on the past 20 years of sports coverage and how it has changed.

Entry deadline is March 6. Winners will be announced March 18.

The Sports Museum and Boston Globe sports reporters and editors judge the contest.

Winning essays will be featured in the Will McDonough Exhibit in The Sports Museum. First-place winners will receive a Kindle and be invited to participate in an award ceremony with Boston Globe writers and editors, members of the McDonough family, and other special guests.

Online entry forms can be found on the contest’s web page , or printed entries can be mailed to Caroline Flynn at The Sports Museum at 100 Legends Way Boston 02114. Full guidelines for the contest are also available on The Sports Museum’s website .

McDonough was a sportswriter at the Globe for 41 years, covering everything from high schools to Boston’s pro teams, before retiring in 2001. He died in 2003 at age 67.

Will McDonough's photo hangs in the sports department at the Globe's downtown Boston office.

IMAGES

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  2. How to Write a Diary (with Sample Entries)

    how to write the journal entry

  3. How To Write a Journal Entry

    how to write the journal entry

  4. 5+ Daily Journal Entry Templates

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  5. 5 Ways to Write a Journal Entry

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  6. Diary entry writing how to write in english

    how to write the journal entry

VIDEO

  1. How to Write a Journal Entry

  2. How to prepare "Journal Entries"

  3. Create a Journal Entry in the Original Course View

  4. Recording a Journal Entry

  5. 💯 An Ultimate Guide to Writing a Journal Entry

  6. Journal Entry Examples

COMMENTS

  1. 5 Ways to Write a Journal Entry

    Method 1 Choosing a Topic Download Article 1 Write about what's going on in your life. This includes things like the activities you're doing, events that happen, and accomplishments you make. Use your journal to record what your life is like right now so you can look back on it later. [1]

  2. Journal Entries Explained

    Creating a journal entry is the process of recording and tracking any transaction that your business conducts. Journal entries help transform business transactions into useful data. Want to learn how to correctly write journal entries for your business? You've come to the right place! In this guide, we're going to cover: What Is a Journal Entry?

  3. Journal Entries

    How to Make a Journal Entry. Here are the steps to making an accounting journal entry. 1. Identify Transactions. There are generally three steps to making a journal entry. First, the business transaction has to be identified. Obviously, if you don't know a transaction occurred, you can't record one.

  4. Academic Guides: Common Assignments: Journal Entries

    Although somewhat less formal than essays or other course writing assignments, journal entries should still construct a coherent narrative, use complete sentences, be grammatically correct, and be scholarly in tone. Below are some tips for writing a successful journal entry.

  5. How Do You Do Journal Entries in Accounting: Step-by-step

    Written by Caroline Grimm in Accounting Basics, Financial Accounting Learning how to do Journal Entries is at the core of learning accounting. Following these step-by-step directions will help you understand how to do journal entries like a pro. What is a Journal Entry in Accounting?

  6. Accounting Journal Entries: Definition, How-to, and Examples

    To make a journal entry, you enter details of a transaction into your company's books. In the second step of the accounting cycle, your journal entries get put into the general ledger. Every journal entry in the general ledger will include the date of the transaction, amount, affected accounts with account number, and description.

  7. How to Write a Journal Entry

    Learn how to write a journal entry with this guide from wikiHow: https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Journal-EntryFollow our social media channels to find more i...

  8. How to Write Journal Entries

    Lists. Lists are a great way to ease into a journal writing session. You can make lists of anything: favorites, likes, dislikes, to-dos, not to-dos—the list, of course, goes on. Your entry may be the list or lists themselves or spark a memory or story idea you'd like to explore in a new entry. Story ideas.

  9. How to write an accounting journal entry

    There are several best practices related to writing journal entries, which are: Always provide a complete narrative of why you have created the journal entry. Otherwise, someone reviewing the books at a later date will have no idea why the entry was created. Do not include too many line items.

  10. How to prepare a Journal Entry: Examples & More

    More #JournalEntries help: https://floqast.com/blog/what-is-journal-entry/00:00 Introduction00:18 What is a Journal Entry?01:23 How do you write a journal en...

  11. How do I write a journal entry?

    How do I write a journal entry? Browse: Journal entries are often, though not always, meant to be reflective. To write a strong journal entry, take the following steps: 1. Read the prompt carefully. What is the required mode of reflection? Are you supposed to be comparing ideas? Asking a question? Presenting information? Highlighting thoughts?

  12. Journal Entry Examples

    Transaction #4: On December 7, the company acquired service equipment for $16,000. The company paid a 50% down payment and the balance will be paid after 60 days. This will result in a compound journal entry. There is an increase in an asset account (debit Service Equipment, $16,000), a decrease in another asset (credit Cash, $8,000, the amount paid), and an increase in a liability account ...

  13. How to Write a Journal Entry: 14 Examples

    How Do You Make a Journal Entry? There are three basic steps when making a journal entry, and writing the actual entry itself comes last. 1. Specify the Transaction Entered While this may seem like the easiest step, it is also one that is commonly overlooked. You have to structure your business in a way that identifies each applicable transaction.

  14. Journal Entries in Accounting: How to Make Entries (Examples)

    A Journal Entry is simply a summary of the debits and credits of the transaction entry to the Journal. Journal entries are important because they allow us to sort our transactions into manageable data. Consider the following diagram Journal Entry Diagram You'll notice the above diagram shows the first step as "Source Documents".

  15. How to Write a Journal: 6 Tips to Get Started

    Bonus tip: How to write a journal entry. Aside from the date, you can write your journal entry in a number of ways. You can write stream-of-consciousness, try bullet points written rapid fire, you can use various art materials, or any form that speaks to you. Try a list or a mix of writing and doodling, or even dialogue exchanges.

  16. How to Write a Journal: 13 Steps (with Pictures)

    To begin writing in your journal, label your first entry with the date, time and, optionally, location. For instance, you might start with "Monday, January 1, 1.00p.m., Bedroom". Next, if you'd like to, write a salutation.

  17. How to Write a Journal Entry? Meaning, Format, Types & Examples

    How to Write a Journal Entry? Follow these steps to create a journal entry, #1: Note down the date of the transaction. Example: James & Co. made a transaction (paid salary to its employees) on 1st November 2023. #2: Determine which accounts affected the transaction as well as their type ( asset, liability, etc.)

  18. How To Write A Journal Entry: Unleashing Your Thoughts ...

    Tips for Writing Your First Entry. Embrace the blank page before you—it's your canvas to pour out thoughts, dreams, and everything in between. When writing your first journal entry, remember that it doesn't need to be perfect. You're not being graded or judged—this is your personal space for reflection.

  19. How to Write a Journal Entry

    1. Decide a comfortable space to write. There are two spaces to consider when writing a journal. First, you have to consider where you are going to sit when writing a journal and the second is where you should be writing your journal entries.

  20. Example of a Journal Entry (With Definition and Tips)

    A journal entry is a summary of a company's financial transactions, which it publishes in its official accounting record book. Creating a journal entry is typically the first step in the accounting cycle, which is a process that allows organizations to document and report their financial transactions. Journal entries typically include the date ...

  21. What is a Journal Entry? How to Capture Your Life and Memories

    Recording the date of each journal entry can help you track you progress and reflect on your growth over time. 2. Thoughts. The core of a journal entry are your thoughts at any given moment or on any given topic. Thoughts can take many forms, including ideas, opinions, beliefs, images, feelings, and memories. 3.

  22. How To Write A Journal Entry (B1 (Int.))

    In this ESL lesson plan for adults and teens, students watch an instructional video about how to write a journal entry. It includes discussion questions and other speaking activities about journaling and writing. Students also learn some important vocabulary terms and phrases from the video. The post-viewing section includes an activity on vocabulary context usage and a grammar point and ...

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  27. Sports Museum is accepting entries for the 2024 Will McDonough Writing

    The Sports Museum at TD Garden is accepting entries from students in Grades 4 to 12 for the 2024 Will McDonough Writing Contest, an annual event held in honor of the late Boston Globe sportswriter ...

  28. 2024 Will McDonough Writing Contest: Entries now being accepted

    The Sports Museum at TD Garden is accepting entries from students in Grades 4 to 12 for the 2024 Will McDonough Writing Contest, an annual event held in honor of the late Boston Globe sportswriter.