5 Outside-of-the-Box Ways to Keep a Diary

Keeping a diary can be totally exhausting.

Just hearing "diary" might trigger painful flashbacks to cramping hands and repetitive recounts. But guess what? It turns out, there isn't just one way to keep one of these. It's time to get out of the diary recap slump and revamp your personal journal.

Dear Diary written in notebook with pen

(Photo Credit: Bridget Zawitoski via Shutterstock)

Memorializing your days in a notebook is like creating a time capsule to look back on years from now. While some of your past thoughts may seem totally cringe-worthy, you definitely won't regret strolling down memory lane. From swooning over boy bands to laughing with best friends, the past makes for one excellent story.

Get some tips on how to spice up the pages of your notebook with these five alternative diary writing styles!

1. Doodle

For the artistically inclined, doodles can be the best way to remember your days. From a single sketch of the day's most memorable moment to a comic strip animating your adventures, a drawing is a totally awesome way of journaling without the pain of recapping what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Finally caught up on vacation #doodles! We did a lot. ???????????????? #Iceland #travel #megsandbooks

A photo posted by Booki Vivat (@bookibookibooki) on


2. Turn it into Fiction

If you're an aspiring writer, I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "Write what you know." What could we possibly know better than ourselves and our own lives? You are the protagonist of your story and your life is the main plot. Create new names, settings and details to the day you already lived. This will take your diary writing from painfully awful to brilliantly novel! Who knows, after a year you just might have your very first manuscript.

Amazing things will happen notebook! ????

A photo posted by Old English Company (@oldenglishcompany) on


3. Photo Collage

Notebooks aren't just made up of lines to fill with pen and pencil. Paste photos between the pages of your journal to tell your story. Consider picking up a disposable camera from the store and snap a simple memory or create weekly albums on your phone before uploading them to your computer. This way your journal can be on a paper page or a web page. A blog is the perfect place for a photo diary.


4. Daily Calendar

If an entire blank notebook seems a little too daunting, keep your diary in a daily planner. You can fill the day's square with a single memory or pen a tiny doodle of the main event. Another interesting take on the daily diary would be to fill the date with a color that resembles your overall emotion or mood.


5. Scrapbook

Tape everything from movie ticket stubs and coffee date receipts to school late passes and homecoming dance flyers to the pages of your diary. Don't be afraid to add texture with found lucky pennies or brush strokes from the nail polish you're currently wearing. You can section this diary by the week or just let each day flow into the next until you fill up the pages of this memory notebook.


Keeping a diary of your daily activities is a great way to preserve your active memories. But what about your subconscious adventures? Check out THESE tips for keeping a dream journal.