One of the goals of the Journal for Recovery is to make it easier to work a 12 step program for recovery. The principles of the 12 step program were first outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (or the Big Book) in the mid 1930s. The Journal for Recovery provides tools for working a recovery program along these lines, taking advantage of the capabilities of desktop computers for organizing, searching and securely storing your writings.

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Download the Windows full version of the Journal for Recovery

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Download the Mac OS Alpha version of the Journal for Recovery

Prompt Manager

The Prompt Manager has built-in questions for each step in a 12 step program, and the ability to filter questions by category or step number. Browsing through the questions lets you pick those questions that seem most relevant to your life and recovery. Once you choose a question, it is easy to insert the question into the Journal Editor and record your answer. Because it is easy to import and export prompts, you can freely trade prompts with others who are also working a program of recovery using the Journal for Recovery.

Journal Types and Subtypes

Journal types and subtypes can help you organize your journals according to step number. The Journal for Recovery contains a journal type of 12 Step and then subtypes for each one of the steps. In the Journal Explorer, you can sort the journal entries according to step. The preview pane at the bottom allows you to preview any selected journal entry to see if it may be useful to you at the time.


Using the categories gives you a tool for finer-grained organization. For example, you can associate certain journal entries to a category for those times for which you need to make amends, or for journal entries that you may want to share with your sponsor. Once you have your journal entries categorized appropriately, then you can use the category filter in the Journal Explorer (View >> Filter by Categories menu item) to filter the journals that pertain to the step that you are working at the moment.

Export and Import

You can easily export selected journal entries to a Personal Exchange (.pxh) formatted file that retains all of the journal content and metadata (the categories, journal type, etc.). If you have a sponsor or someone similar whom you can trust with your journal entries, then you can give them the exported file and they can easily import it into their own personal copy of the Journal for Recovery. In that way, if appropriate, you as a sponsee or you as a sponsor can work the program together. Since this provides a more permanent record of deeds, it is good to be discreet about sharing this information, as in all 12 step programs.

These features have been set up to make it easier to work the 12 steps, but you should feel free to use what works and discard what doesn't work for you, remembering one of the common sayings in recovery groups (and elsewhere) - Keep it Simple!