The Five Minute Journal

What is it?

The Five Minute Journal is a journal created by Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas. The book is a best seller with more than 500,000 copies sold. The book gives a format for you to create a gratitude journal.

Why use it?

Sticking to the practice and creating the habit of continuing it over time has proven to increase happiness, improve relationships, and foster optimism. The practice is not the only journaling practice. Benjamin Franklin proposed a journaling practice associated with his book of virtues, for example.


The practice is arranged in two parts, the morning routine, and the night routine.

Morning Routine, just after waking up, answer these three questions:

  • I am grateful for. List three things that you are grateful for.
  • What would make today great? List three things that would make today great.
  • Daily affirmation, I am. Express who you are. An example could be: “I am clear and focused on my goals.”

Night Routine, just before going to bed, evaluate your day with these two questions:

  • Three amazing things that happened today. List the three amazing things that happened today. The idea is to focus on the positive, as we have a natural tendency to do exactly the opposite.
  • How could I have made today even better? Express the one thing you could have done to make the day better. This part is for reflection and growth.

Further Information


  • Alexis Monville

    Alexis Monville worked in multicultural and distributed environments for years, coming back from the US and now based in the southwest of France. When asked if he misses the work in the office, he usually answers that he spent half of his 30 years of management experience in diverse sectors outside of the office and a lot of that working from home. Alexis is Chief of Staff to the CTO at Red Hat, a long-time hybrid open-source software company with more than 100 office locations in 40 countries, where half of the 20,000 people work remotely. Alexis is a firm believer that change starts with the self. He is the author of two books: Changing Your Team From The Inside and I am a Software Engineer and I am in Charge. Alexis facilitates successful playful collaborations. He designs and builds sustainable and high-impact teams and organizations.