Getting started


On Mac and Linux, the easiest way to install jrnl is using Homebrew:

brew install jrnl

On other platforms, install jrnl using Python 3.10+ and pipx:

pipx install jrnl


pipx should be installed through either brew or pip. Missing dependencies and other issues may occur when installing pipx through apt or another package manager. Further installation instructions can be found in pipx's documentation.


Do not use sudo while installing jrnl. This may lead to path issues.

The first time you run jrnl you will be asked where your journal file should be created and whether you wish to encrypt it.


To make a new entry, just type

jrnl yesterday: Called in sick. Used the time to clean, and spent 4h on writing my book.

and hit return. yesterday: will be interpreted as a time stamp. Everything until the first sentence mark (.?!:) will be interpreted as the title, the rest as the body. In your journal file, the result will look like this:

2012-03-29 09:00 Called in sick.
Used the time to clean the house and spent 4h on writing my book.

If you just call jrnl, you will be prompted to compose your entry - but you can also configure jrnl to use your external editor.