You can configure the way jrnl behaves in a configuration file. By
default, this is
~/.config/jrnl/jrnl.yaml. If you have the
variable set, the configuration file will be saved as
On Windows, the configuration file is typically found at
The configuration file is a YAML file with the following options and can be edited with a plain text editor.
Backup your journal and config file before editing. Changes to the config file can have destructive effects on your journal!
journalspaths to your journal files
editorif set, executes this command to launch an external editor for writing your entries, e.g.
vim. Some editors require special options to work properly, see
FAQ <recipes>for details.
true, encrypts your journal using AES.
tagsymbolsSymbols to be interpreted as tags. (See note below)
default_minuteif you supply a date, such as
last thursday, but no specific time, the entry will be created at this time
timeformathow to format the timestamps in your journal, see the python docs for reference
true, tags will be highlighted in cyan.
linewrapcontrols the width of the output. Set to
falseif you don't want to wrap long lines.
colorsdictionary that controls the colors used to display journal entries. It has four subkeys, which are:
title. Current valid values are:
colorama.Foreis used for colorization, and you can find the docs here. To disable colored output, set the value to
NONE. If you set the value of any color subkey to an invalid color, no color will be used.
display_formatspecifies formatter to use, formatters available are:
Although it seems intuitive to use the
character for tags, there's a drawback: on most shells, this is
interpreted as a meta-character starting a comment. This means that if
jrnl Implemented endless scrolling on the #frontend of our website.
your bash will chop off everything after the
# before passing it to
jrnl. To avoid this, wrap your input into quotation marks like
jrnl "Implemented endless scrolling on the #frontend of our website."
Or use the built-in prompt or an external editor to compose your entries.
Multiple journal files
You can configure
jrnlto use with multiple journals (eg.
work) by defining more journals in your
journals: default: ~\journal.txt work: ~\work.txt
default journal gets created the first time you start
Now you can access the
work journal by using
jrnl work instead of
jrnl work at 10am: Meeting with @Steve jrnl work -n 3
will both use
jrnl -n 3 will display the last
three entries from
~/journal.txt (and so does
jrnl default -n 3).
You can also override the default options for each individual journal.
jrnl.yaml looks like this:
encrypt: false journals: default: ~/journal.txt work: journal: ~/work.txt encrypt: true food: ~/my_recipes.txt
default and your
food journals won't be encrypted, however your
work journal will!
You can override all options that are present at
the top level of
jrnl.yaml, just make sure that at the very least
you specify a
journal: ... key that points to the journal file of
Consider the following example configuration
editor: vi -c startinsert journals: default: ~/journal.txt work: journal: ~/work.txt encrypt: true display_format: json editor: code -rw food: display_format: markdown journal: ~/recipes.txt
work journal is encrypted, prints to
json by default, and is edited using an existing window of VSCode. Similarly, the
food journal prints to markdown by default, but uses all the other defaults.
encrypt to a different value will not encrypt or decrypt your
journal file, it merely says whether or not your journal
is encrypted. Hence manually changing
this option will most likely result in your journal file being
impossible to load.
Unicode on Windows
The Windows shell prior to Windows 7 has issues with unicode encoding.
To use non-ascii characters, first tweak Python to recognize the encoding by adding
'cp65001': 'utf_8', to
Lib/encoding/aliases.py. Then, change the codepage with
chcp 1252 before using
(Related issue: #486)