Introducing Guided journaling

Hi Sober Time users,

I’ve seen great feedback on the journal section of Sober Time ever since it was released. While it is a positive way for people to express themselves and make notes of their days, it has been a bit basic. You would essentially rate your day from 1-10 and add some text.

I wanted to improve this and make the journaling more deliberate and focused on recovery and sobriety. This is especially important in early sobriety, where many lack guidance and direction. It’s also noteworthy that many come to Sober Time when they have no experience with sobriety at all. Those people are looking for information and check to see if an app is out there that can help. In Sober Time, they find tools, motivation and a community.

Since we have many new users each day, I decided to add more guidance and structure to the app. In my opinion, this will be helpful for new users, but also for more experienced users who find value in journaling.

So, I went to work and did research. I found inspiration in programs like AA and NA where worksheets are commonly used. While inspired by ideas used in AA and NA, this is not the same and is neutral. I took what I learned from these sources, and compiled it into a structured list. I further adapted this structured list to be ideally suited to Sober Time as a mobile app. I ended up with guided journaling.

Introducing Guided Journaling

Guided Journaling is a collection of journal prompts organized into chapters. Each chapter has its own theme and they are progressively structured. You’ll be given a new prompt each day. You’ll start off with answering some tough questions (be honest) and you’ll eventually progress into topics like relationships and your purpose in life.

The prompts are brief, usually 1-2 sentences, but they are intended to evoke introspection. Give the prompt some thought, then journal about it when you feel ready.

The first time you open the journal, you’ll see an introduction:

Tap on the Chapters button to open the Chapters view:

After you’ve completed the quick introduction, you’ll be able to start using the guided journal. Every time you visit the journal page, if you haven’t yet completed the day’s prompt, you’ll see a dialog like this:

You can fill out your journal by tapping the edit button or by tapping on the day as you normally would. You’ll see the prompt in the entry page too:

The journal reminder notification will now also include the prompt of the day, instead of just repeating the same message each day:

The details

When is this feature available? This feature is currently being deployed worldwide. It should arrive for everyone in a few days. It is included in version 4.0.83. Keep an eye out for the update.

Do I need Premium? No, this feature is completely free to use.

How do I progress to the next prompt? You don’t need to do anything to get the next prompt. You don’t need to fill in any previous prompts either, so you can skip ones you don’t feel like completing. You’ll get a new prompt at the start of each day (00:00), regardless of your other journal entries.

How do I see my progress? The chapter page shows you all the prompts you have unlocked. It also indicates which of those have been completed. For the locked ones, you’ll see a date for when each becomes available. Finally, a progress bar at the bottom shows how many of the prompts you’ve completed.

I missed a prompt. What now? You can fill in prompts of previous days. Tap on the prompt in the Chapters page, or just tap the day in the Journal. You’ll see the prompt there.

I’ve already been sober for a while. Where do I start? Guided Journaling doesn’t progress or unlock based on your length of sobriety. You unlock a new prompt each day, starting on the first day you open the new version of the app.

What if I want to fill out more than one prompt a day? You can choose to unlock all prompts from the app’s settings, though this is not recommended.

What if I don’t like it? Guided Journaling is enabled by default, but you can disable it from the app’s settings, and the journal will revert back to the old way of working. The notifications will also revert.

Users? To clarify, I’m referring to app users, not substance users :slight_smile:

I hope that this new extension of the journal will help keep your journaling meaningful and interactive.

Good luck with your journey!


I love this! Thank you!! I probably use the journal more than anything else nowadays, so im very excited about this


Wow Robin, what a great addition to the app. Thank you for your hard work!! I do love journaling.


This is cool!


This sounds really great! I am looking forward to the rollout of the new feature.


Thank you :+1:
Life saving app, can’t thank you enough :pray:


What a nice enhancement! Thank you, Robin.


Just like the rest of the journal entries, it’s stored on your device (phone/tablet/etc). Addiction data isn’t stored on servers.

What are you referring to with “also”? The community?


Can’t wait! Thanks so much for all your hard work! :people_hugging::heart::metal:t2:

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It should be available to all Android users in the next few hours. Still waiting on Apple for iOS.


I’m on Android and the update is now available.
I appreciate it much more now that I can click around and experience what you described. Very cool! Thank you!


This feature is now live on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.


I just saw that, I think I’m gonna like this feature a lot! Thanks for adding, Robin! :clap:t2::clap:t2::clap:t2:


Just saw this, how do I order it up. Part of this app or an additional app in my Google play namely called? Thanks!! :hugs:

Part of the app and free. It is on the home/counter page…

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Oh that, I’ve been using it all wrong! Thanks! :relieved:

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Wow, @Robin. That’s a very nice addition!

I wasn’t here in the first days. Have you ever said what inspired you to create the app and the forum? You have great insight into the recovery community.

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I really liked the journaling but it stopped working for me about a month or two ago. Now I can only use the un-guided journal. If I click on the journal it shows my progress and the names of the chapters but I can’t interact with them at all! I uninstalled and reinstalled the app to no avail. Has anyone else experienced this? I’m on a Android (Samsung Galaxy S22). Thanks!

Oh no, sorry to hear that it isn’t working for you anymore. Hopefully the app developer @Robin can assist you.