Keeping A Logbook

Have you ever kept a diary? Yeah, me too. I never kept it up for long. Diaries seemed too personal… like every day you’d have to pour your heart out, sharing all your inner most feelings. Even if it was just a private diary, it was just too much. And usually a big whinge fest.

At the start of this year, or maybe the end of last year, I came across a post by Austin Kleon about keeping a logbook. And that just made so much sense to me. It’s a daily list of whatever happened that day, big or small. The thing that really clicked for me was this:

Why not just keep a diary?

For one thing, I’m lazy. It’s easier to just list the events of the day than to craft them into a prose narrative. Any time I’ve tried to keep a journal, I ran out of steam pretty quick.

I’m lazy too, and the whole trying to make the day to day sound interesting…well, my life isn’t terribly interesting. But stuff does happen and it would be nice to have a record of it. A record that doesn’t rely on my memory!

Also this:

But more importantly, keeping a simple list of who/what/where means I write down events that seem mundane at the time, but later on help paint a better portrait of the day, or even become more significant over time. By “sticking to the facts” I don’t pre-judge what was important or what wasn’t, I just write it down.

Since late February, I have been keeping a logbook. I used this Star Wars Moleskine Tony gave me a few years ago. I never really knew what to do with the Moleskine, because I don’t like the paper for drawing on and I don’t keep a diary/journal. But it’s been great as a logbook. It’s not too big, but it’s not too small either.

Some days I fill the whole page, some days it’s just a few lines on the page. Anything goes in my logbook. The weather. Books I’m currently reading, especially noting when I start and finish them. Work things I have worked on/finished. Going out to dinner with Tony. Days when Blake has been at doggy daycare. Skypeing with my parents or my sister.

I have missed maybe ten days total since I started doing this, when I’ve been too tired at the end of the day or been ill. But generally I can find those five minutes to write my daily log at the end of the day.

It’s quite nice to have this record, and it’s nice to know that I actually am capable of doing a daily thing – usually I lose steam after a couple of weeks. ;-)

Do you keep a logbook? Or maybe a diary?

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  1. November 8, 2017 / 6:32 pm

    That's a great idea. I can't keep a diary either but maybe a logbook would work for me too. Thanks!

  2. November 8, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    My husband’s grandmother kept a logbook, which inspired me to start keeping one not long after we moved into what had been their home. Like yours and that of Austin Kleon (I like the little drawings), mine is mostly a list of what we did, where we went, who were with, weather, etc. Sometimes, in honor of Gommy and her incredibly green thumb, there are gardening notes; I also keep track of my crochet projects and Bob’s knitting.

    Some of the things that have turned out to be most useful, in the sense of things we have referred to frequently:
    • What was on the menu when it was our turn to host holiday dinners or what we contributed when it wasn’t
    • Lists of the books we read – I started, like you, just writing it within the log but eventually moved it to separate pages (since I get a new book each year) for easier reference
    • Our impressions of places where we stayed on vacations, so we can go back to the good ones and avoid the not so good
    • The same for restaurants – for ourselves and for friends who ask for travel suggestions
    • It has even come in handy when we needed to question a charge on our credit card; we knew where we were and what we did – and what we didn’t do!

    I hope you enjoy your logbook. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas and the interesting links that you find.

  3. November 9, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    I have kept a prayer book and written The Daily Examen ( for the last couple years and generally haven't missed more than a few days here or there. Writing it out helps me notice what to be thankful about & helps me put my worries into perspective and on paper.

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