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How to Start a Diary – Easy Tips To Follow

Keeping a diary is a great way to track your emotions and log important memories from your life. You can log everything including the best and the worst moments of your day. Journaling enables you to figure out how you are doing mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. 

how to start a diary

To start a diary, you need the right tools at your disposal. Decide between a digital diary or a notebook, then schedule a routine that will allow you to sit down to reflect on your life and document your journey.  

A diary allows you to keep track of anything that happens in your life. It helps you work out challenges, concerns, unravels ways to achieve potential goals and helps you process complicated emotions. If you are looking for a guide to help you figure out how to write a diary, you’ve found it.

Get the Right Supplies

The tools needed for a traditional paper book diary include:

  • A paper notebook – use a simple spring notebook or opt for a pricier, leather notebook.
  • A marker, pen, or pencil – this is a personal preference, but most like to use a variation of all three

Alternatively, a digital diary can come in the form of a blog, website, or digital book. Consider:

  • Protecting your digital diary with a password
  • Purchasing anti-hack software for security
  • Cloud back-up for your site or digital book
diary tips

Make It a Routine

To reap the most benefits out of your diary, you must make it a habit. Ensure that you write every day.

Schedule Time

At the same time, each day, take a moment to write something in your diary. It doesn’t matter how long or short your entry is as long as you write SOMETHING of value. Choose a time when you are least distracted and document an emotion, memory, or feeling. You can choose the morning, before you head out, the afternoon during your lunch break, or the evening before you go to bed. 

Consider setting an alarm on your computer, smartphone, or watch to remind you of your new writing schedule. 

journaling ideas

Set a Limit

At first, writing in your diary will seem awkward. On some days you will feel more inspired than others. This is to be expected. To avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, consider setting a time limit. You may decide to set aside 10 to 30 minutes daily to decompress.

When you are bursting with inspiration, do not limit your creativity. Write until you feel empty.

Find the Best Location

Identify a comfortable, quiet, and serene spot to write in your diary. Writing in the same spot every day can play a huge role in keeping you committed. Though it isn’t necessary. There are plenty of people who like to take their diary on the go with them and choose to write when desire fills them. Consider locations like:

sitting at cafe
  • The coffee shop around the corner
  • Your bedroom
  • The secluded armchair in your living room
  • A park in your neighborhood
  • Inside your car, and so on

Decide What to Write About

If you find yourself struggling with what to write each day, don’t despair. A diary should not be something that causes additional stress. Here are some thought-starters:

  • Things you are grateful for today
  • Positive affirmations over your life
  • What brings you happiness
  • Changes you should make to live healthier
  • How to tackle different challenges
  • Express feelings like love, sadness, joy, disappointment, anger, and so on.
  • Foods you’d like to try
  • Movies you hope to see
  • Ways you’ve felt loved this week

Date your Dairy Entries

A time will come when you will want to look back at your diary to see how you’ve progressed over the year. The best way to keep track is by dating your entries. At the top of every page, consider writing the time, day, month, and year. Remember, your grandchildren might come across these books one day. What a wonderful find it will be!  

sketching ideas

Identify the Best Writing Format

Writing in paragraphs is the most common format people prefer using. But, on those days you feel uninspired to write consider getting a little creative. Other writing formats you could try include,

  • To-do lists
  • Sketching
  • Drawing
  • Doodling
  • Poetry
  • Writing lyrics
  • Stories, and so on.

A diary should be a judgment-free place where you can express yourself. No need to commit to a writing format you find boring and monotonous. Feel free to mix it up and try out different writing formats. You never know, diary-keeping may help you discover one of your hidden talents in singing or poetry.

Keep it Short

Shorter entries tend to be more straightforward and precise. When you have little time frame and barely have enough time to fill out a page on your diary, write short entries. One or two paragraphs that sum up how your day was is enough.

This only applies when you are starting out the diary-keeping routine. As you get used to it and when you have plenty of free time you may end up writing pages upon pages at a time.

Adopt an Honesty Policy

Diary writing is incredibly helpful in improving mental and emotional health. Provided you are bold enough to dig deep and explore yourself, there’ll be no end to the benefits that come with keeping a diary. 

This requires a high level of honesty and openness with yourself. Here, there’s no holding back. Aim to be as honest as possible, forgetting all judgment. Write down your deepest secrets, worries, and concerns without mincing your words. Editing yourself is the surest way to fail in diary-keeping.


Many are the times you will feel like giving up. But, if you lose track, getting back to writing in your diary is as simple as opening your notebook and writing a paragraph. Avoid pressuring yourself to be picture perfect. When you need to take a break, a day or two will suffice. 

Once you realize the benefits of keeping a diary, everything will fall in place naturally. 


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