Be More Productive & Thankful with Gratitude Journals

Why is it important to practice gratitude?

Gratitude is a great way to appreciate the kindness of others, be thankful for what you have and stay positive even when life throws something uncertain your way. Making a practice of daily gratitude can begin a positive cycle where you consciously try to focus on the positive aspects of your life instead of dwelling on the more negative ones.

Along with these personal benefits, practicing gratitude can also have a positive impact on your work life as well. Recognizing the kindness of others can help them feel appreciated and motivates them to be more productive and positive in the future.

However, leading a more grateful lifestyle isn’t quite as simple as just remembering to say “Thank You” more often. Like every new habit, it helps to make gratitude a part of your daily routine so that it can stay on your mind and become a core part of your life. A great way to maintain this sense of thankfulness and appreciation is by creating your own gratitude journal.

Leatherbound gratitude journals sitting on a wood desk with a warm cup of tea, a pair of headphones and various office supplies
Start living your best life with more positivity by creating your own gratitude journal.

What is a gratitude journal?

A gratitude journal lets you regularly keep track of the things that you are thankful for and is designed to help you appreciate positive events in your life. Bullet journals and planners can seem similar, but they are more focused on helping you organize your life and keep track of your schedule.

Whereas a regular diary can be a general log of your daily life, a gratitude journal can be filled with records of positive events that surprised you and made you happy. In fact, just writing three times a week in a gratitude journal has shown to have a noticeable impact on happiness even if you don’t write every day.

How to get started with a gratitude journal

Choosing the right journal for you will be the first step. It’s important that you choose something that speaks to you personally and feels engaging to you. It will be much easier to make a habit of a gratitude journal if you invest in something that feels fun to pick up and write in.

The size of your journal will also be important depending on whether you want to keep your journal at home or if you want something more portable to write on the go. A5 journals are very common at 5.8″ x 8.3″, but you can also go larger with A4 and B5 journals or smaller with pocket-sized B6, A6 and A7 journals.

The aesthetics of the journal you choose will be key to keeping you interested in your gratitude journal. Pick a journal with a cover design that really speaks to you. Or choose a journal with a plain cover so that you can decorate it yourself to make it exactly your style. You can get started with our gratitude journal cover templates or design your own from scratch using Avery Design & Print.

Journals are also available in a wide variety of paper types and weights. Blank pages, lined paper, grid dot paper and graph paper are all great for different uses depending on how you enjoy writing. The paper weight will also be important since it will decide what types of writing tools will work with your gratitude journal.

Standard weight paper is great for ballpoint pens, gel pens and colored pencils while thicker paper (120 gsm or higher) will be great for markers, fountain pens and calligraphy pens. Luckily, stickers and labels will work great with all paper weights.

Gratitude journal lovingly decorated with thoughtful sayings, cute stickers and appreciative memories surrounded with custom-printed labels and office supplies
Stay focused and organize your thoughts during the 30 days of gratitude challenge by preparing an array of writing prompts on oval labels (Avery 22804).

Take the 30 days of gratitude challenge

A great way to challenge yourself and jump-start your new gratitude journal is by making it a habit. The 30 days of gratitude challenge is a perfect way to start by pushing yourself to reflect on something you are thankful for daily for 30 days. All it takes is fifteen minutes a day to write down something that made you feel grateful.

Try to set aside some time on each day and pick a time that works best for your life and your work schedule. If you’re a morning person an earlier time can help kick off your day and sort through your memories. You can also write in your gratitude journal in the evening to unwind and unpack your thoughts. Try setting an alarm on your phone to make sure your gratitude journal doesn’t slip off your schedule and to help turn it into a more natural part of your daily rhythm.

How to use gratitude journal prompts for a 30 day challenge

It can be tough to think of something new to write about every day. Finding or creating a list of thirty prompts ahead of time can be a nice way to avoid writer’s block and becoming discouraged.

Examples of some good prompts to get started include things like “What I like most about my job” or “My favorite part of the work day.” Once you have your list you can then print it out and paste it onto the first page of your journal or you can write your prompts down by hand. Our gratitude journal templates are a great way to organize your prompts and an easy way to get started.

You can also go the extra mile and print out a sheet of labels with all thirty of your prompts so that you can pick and choose which ones to reflect on every day. Whether you enjoy pre-filling your journal, picking a prompt at random or some combination of both, labels are a clean and effective way to keep track of your prompts.

A gratitude journal sitting on a wood table along with custom-printed stickers, permanent markers and a cup of tea
Decorate your gratitude journal with fun preprinted planner stickers (Avery 6785) or your own custom-printed planner stickers in various shapes and sizes.

Decorate your gratitude journal pages with inspirational sayings

You can also use labels and stickers to express your creativity and inspire yourself to keep writing with motivational messages. Planner sticker packs are great for an instant collection of inspirational designs but you can also print your own planner stickers with some of our predesigned templates for round labels, square labels, oval labels and rectangle labels.

You can even create your own designs from scratch with Avery Design & Print Online. Follow our helpful instructions for creating DIY planner stickers for your gratitude journal to really make it your own with personal quotes that are meaningful to you. You can also start with some of these motivational gratitude quotes.

7 powerful gratitude quotes for your journal

  1. “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Anonymous
  1. “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” – Alfred North Whitehead
  1. “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” – Anthony Robbins
  1. “Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” – Aesop
  1. “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus
  1. “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson
  1. “Gratitude for the present moment and the fullness of life now is the true prosperity.” – Eckhart Tolle
A glass gratitude jar filled with slips of paper with positive messages and appreciative thoughts sitting on a wood desk
Create your own gratitude jar with predesigned gratitude cards, a pen and a decorative label (Avery 22855)

Keep it going! How to practice gratitude beyond your journal

A gratitude journal is a great way to focus your thoughts and tune your mind to think more positively but you can also practice gratitude with others in various ways. Sharing your gratitude can be an enriching way to spread your positive mindset with your coworkers to create a healthier and more productive environment.

For example, a gratitude jar is a wonderful way to collect kind thoughts and grateful messages from the people around you. Just set out a jar with some slips of paper and a pen and ask people to submit something they’re grateful for once in a while. Whether you have your gratitude jar at home or at the office, sharing all of these positive thoughts can be a great way to help everyone feel closer to each other and stay motivated.

You can also send cards and thank you gifts to your clients or show that you’re grateful for a new team member by giving them a gift during their new employee onboarding process. You could even take some time to thank your mail carrier, essential workers or anyone else in your community that could use the support.

Gratitude can take some practice but it’s nice to take some time to appreciate all of the things in your life that make it worthwhile. Whether it’s the people around you, the world you live in or the job that supports you, there’s always something to be thankful for.

More resources for journals and planners

Looking for more ways to improve your life with planners and journals? Take a look at some of our other articles with neat tips and ideas for organizing the perfect planners and bullet journals.

The Art of Personal Organization: How to Decorate Your Planner

3 Expert Ways to Use Color in Your Personal Planner

Products Used in This Article

Planner Sticker Variety Pack (6785)
8-1/2″ x 11″ Matte White Sticker Project Paper (3383)
8-1/2″ x 11″ Matte Clear Sticker Project Paper (53203)
¾” x ¾” Star Labels (94610)
¾” x ¾” Heart Labels (94601)
1-1/8″ x 2-1/4″ Oval Scallop-Edge Labels (22855)
2″ Round Glossy White Labels (22807 / 94501)
2″ Square Labels (22806 / 94107)
1.5″ x 2.5″ Oval Glossy White Labels (22804 / 94051)
2″ x 3″ Glossy Clear Labels (22822 / 94237)
2″ x 3.5″ Business Cards (5371 / 8371)
Hi-Liter® Pen-Style Highlighters (23545)
Marks-A-Lot™ Ultra Fine Tip Permanent Markers (9231)
eGEL® Retractable Pen (49988)

Templates Used in This Article

Decorative Gratitude Journal Templates

“Give Thanks” Floral Wreath
“Gratitude Journal” Cover
“Be Grateful” Journal Cover

30 Days of Gratitude Reflection Templates

2″ Round Label Templates
2″ Square Label Templates
2″ x 3″ Label Templates
1.5″ x 2.5″ Oval Label Templates

Templates for Your Own Inspirational Sayings

¾” x ¾” Heart Label Templates
¾” x ¾” Star Label Templates

Gratitude Jar Templates

1-1/8″ x 2-1/4″ Oval Scallop-Edge “Gratitude” Label Template
2″ x 3.5″ Gratitude Card Template