Skip the journal and start a logbook

7 Jul

logbook journal

Last year my parents moved across the country. Before they left, I was forced to go through a dozen or so “keepsake” boxes kicking around in their basement. I learned two valuable lessons during this process: 1. humans have a tendency to keep way too many things and 2. my favorite keepsakes were the school notes I received from friends that described what we’d been up to all those years ago.

Now I have never been one for journaling or keeping a diary. I’ve always felt so silly writing down my feelings. I have attempted it a few times and luckily managed to capture some important life moments, like my first kiss. But that was pretty much the last time I put anything down on paper.

I got the idea of starting a logbook when I was reading the book, The Happiness Project. Like me, the author wasn’t quite the journaling type either, however she understood the importance of recording memories for posterity.

So what exactly is a logbook and how does it differ from journaling? A logbook is a great way to keep a record of your life without the pressure of writing a long, feelings-driven diary entry.  Similar to how a scientist may record an experiment, each day (or as often as you want), jot down a few bullet points, the who, what, where details. No life tidbit is too small – it’s all about capturing life on a daily basis.

Need some help figuring out what’s worth recording? Here are some writing prompts:

  • Things you’re grateful for that day
  • What you ate – describe the meal, restaurant, who you shared your meal with
  • Where you traveled – errands, day trips, vacations
  • Interesting purchases
  • Funny family moments
  • First impressions of people, places or experiences
  • What you’re reading, watching or listening to
  • Projects or hobbies
  • Important milestones – new car, graduation, lost tooth, etc.
  • Current events
  • Creative ideas

Here are a few other topics to consider recording.

It’s surprising how in a few years time, these seemingly mundane details will paint a very accurate picture of your daily life.

Because keeping a logbook is meant to be fun, pick up some supplies like colorful pens, washi tape, stickers, date stamp, etc. to help customize your pages. You could also tape in a few instagram photos. And don’t forget the most important part of starting a logbook – picking out the perfect notebook. My logbook, a beautiful journal from Paperchase, was a gift from my mom. I love the thick blank pages that are just begging for some doodles. For a great purse-sized logbook, consider purchasing the classic Moleskine leather-bound journal. It comes in a variety of fun colors.

Still not sold on the idea of a logbook? Consider starting one of these five life-changing journals. You could also purchase one of those popular “one question a day” books that poses a question each day, ranging from thought provoking to basics like what you ate that day.

Do you keep a journal or logbook? How often do you write down your memories?



3 Responses to “Skip the journal and start a logbook”

  1. Trish July 7, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    I love this idea! I’m not a great journaler myself, but felt compelled to do SOMETHING to log my life with kids. To capture fun and sweet things that happen or kid-isms that they say, I keep a little stack of papers and a pen near my bedside. Occasionally (I tried daily, but failed) I’ll jot down a little happy thought along with the date and toss it into a memory jar. Mine is an up-cycled, enormous pickle jar.

    • allputtogether July 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

      What a great and fun idea! What do you do with the papers once they’ve filled the jar? I can only imagine the pressure to record memories once you have kids. I’m hoping to get into the habit now, so when we start a family I’ll remember to jot things down.

  2. Beverley jenkins July 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    Great ideas! Thanks 🙂 xx