And everyone loves it!

By Priyanka Aribindi
Penguin Random House

Shopping for presents can be hard, especially when it’s for someone who’s important to you. You want to get them a thoughtful present that's fun, functional, and, ideally, affordable. 

That is certainly a tall order, but The Happiness Project One Sentence Journal ($14, amazon.com) fits the bill for all of those requirements—and then some.

The concept is so simple: you write down one sentence a day, every day. What’s unique about this journal is its format. Every date has a page, and each page has five separate sets of lines. The journal is meant to last five years, so once you’ve written your one line a day for a full year, you continue onto the second set of lines on the same pages, and so on.

With a space to designate the year before all five sets of lines on the page, you can easily note when exactly you’re writing, which means there’s no reason not to start whenever you receive the journal, rather than having to wait for the beginning of a new year.

But that’s not why I choose to give this gift to my closest friends. This journal, when completed, is like a five-year time capsule, letting you look back at your highs, lows, and everything in between, with much more ease than rereading every entry in a traditional journal. Because you’re limited to one sentence to sum up each day, you’re forced to distill your thoughts and experiences to the most important ones. And, best of all, it doesn’t as much time as traditional journaling does.

From personal experience, looking back at where you were in your own words even one year ago is a trip. I purchased this journal for myself at the beginning of my senior year of college, and now have a record of one of the biggest transitional periods of my life—from the happiest times in my college career, to a big move to a new city, to the beginnings of my career and a life in the “real-world”—and it’s made a similarly meaningful gift for others approaching times of change in their own lives.

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