A few weeks ago I transferred what felt like my whole life from my old journal into a brand-new one. (I almost did this in late December, so I could start the new year with a new journal, but I had plenty of pages left and didn’t sweat it too much when I didn’t get around to it.)
I keep a bullet-ish journal; it usually takes me 10-13 months to fill one up. I start with a blank journal and lightly customize it to suit my own needs. (My favorite are these dotted Leuchtturms, though I gave my daughter one of these journals for Christmas and I’m jealous of her thicker pages!).
When I set up the new journal, I tried to give myself ample room to record the things that have proven to be helpful to have handy, giving particular thought to how I want to organize my book stuff.
I gave myself lots of space—thirty pages—to record what I read in 2021 (and yes, I did go on and copy over my January 1-19 reads so I could have all my books for the year in one place!). I allowed multiple pages to keep all my Summer Reading Guide notes together. (That’s a peek at a previous year’s version, above.) Based on how many pages I’ve used in the past, I allocated a dozen for my To Be Read log.
Books are a big part of my life, and I wanted to get that part of my journal right. But I also thought about what else might be helpful to capture here, like notes from various meetings I participate in, a place to keep ideas I’m contemplating, projects I may want to work on one day. I like to keep frequently-referred to information in here, because my life runs smoother when my notes are easy to find.
With that in mind, I decided to create a new log for the first time. This year, I’m keeping notes about what we have for dinner right here in my journal.
This may seem like a silly thing to track. Honestly, I’m surprised it even occurred to me to do so! But this year more than most we’ve been forgetting our favorite meals—even the ones we had just a few weeks ago. It’s hard to please everyone in a family of six, and during weeks when we feel pickier than usual, we struggle to remember what we all actually enjoy eating. I’d love to have our history on the page.
Now I’ll have one. My new log says “What We Ate” at the top and that’s exactly what it contains: a super simple list of our dinners. Not what we planned to eat, or thought about eating, but what we actually ate.
Much like my “Books I’ve Read” log, I just write down the recipe, the source if applicable, and put a little star next to meals we loved.
I allowed myself enough pages to capture a year’s worth of meals, and I look forward to seeing how often I actually refer back to our dinner history, and how it changes our meal plans (or doesn’t).
(It occurred to me how fun it could be to keep a dinner log in a five-year journal. Has anyone tried something like this? I’ve had this nearly-empty journal for years, just waiting for such a purpose!)
My dinner log is new to me, and it’s a log I never imagined I’d want or need. But I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s tried this or a similar experiment, or who captures sometimes surprising details of daily life in their journal pages.
My own new log got me wondering: what do you journal about? what do you find helpful to record?
I’d love to hear—and based on our readers’ enthusiasm for anything journal-related, I’m sure the rest of us would, too.
What do you journal about? What do you track that others might find surprising? What is the one thing you track that’s most helpful to you? Tell us in the comments section!
P.S. If, like many of us, you have a slight obsession with finding the perfect pen, check out my favorite journaling supplies.
P.P.S. New to book journaling? We have a whole class devoted to setting up your book journal in the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club. And here’s a simple trick for your TBR list.