wikiHow to Use a Diary

Three Methods:Using a Diary For The First TimeRecording Memories Into Your DiaryWriting About Your Goals in Your Diary

Writing in a diary is an excellent habit for people of all ages to get into and it can serve many useful purposes. If you’ve never written in a diary before, starting one might seem a bit intimidating. Don’t let that stop you! Getting started is usually the hardest part. Once you get the hang of using a diary, you’ll start to really enjoy writing in it.

Method 1
Using a Diary For The First Time

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    Choose the type of diary you want to use. Some people like to use notebooks for diaries. Others prefer to use computers to write instead. Both methods are just fine, so choose the one you are most comfortable with.
    • If you want to use a computer to write, you can use a text document to write or you can use an online journaling website or diary app.
    • If you want to use a physical diary, choose one that’s easy for you to write in. Make sure it's a good size for you and get one with lined paper inside.
    • If you can't decide if you want to use a computer or write in a notebook, go with the one that makes you feel the most creative.[1]
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    Carry your diary with you every day. Keep your diary close to you if possible. If it’s always within reach, you’re more likely to use it. Start by writing details you want to remember and even random thoughts as they strike you in your diary.
    • If you’re using a notebook, make sure you choose one that easily fits into your backpack or purse.
    • Keep your diary safe. Diaries are very private so if you carry it with you, keep an eye on it. If you leave it at home, be sure that it can't be easily found.
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    Date the entries in your diary. One of the best things about diaries is reading them later, so be sure to date your entries. That way you know exactly when things happened.
    • Make putting down the date the first thing you do when writing a diary entry so you won't forget.
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    Get in the habit of using your diary every day. Put aside time for writing first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed and hold yourself to it. If you’re very busy, even 10 minutes every day will help to get you in the habit of writing in your diary.
    • Choose a time when you know you won’t be interrupted by friends or family members.
    • Write to pass the time when you're riding in a car or on a bus.These trips are a good opportunity to jot down your thoughts and ideas.
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    Avoiding worrying about writing everything perfectly in your diary. Don’t feel that you have to write long paragraphs and perfect sentences in your diary, or even sentences at all. [2] If it’s easier for you to get down short phrases or bulletpoints, go with that.
    • It can be tempting, but avoid editing yourself in your diary. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar either.
    • No one is judging what you put in your diary and it’s for your eyes only.
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    Use your diary for drawing and art. Feel free to write poetry, put down song lyrics, and record quotes from others that are meaningful to you. Some people express themselves best through art, and that is a completely valid way to use your diary, too.[3]
    • Experiment with drawing, painting, collecting found objects and creating collages in your diary, especially if you find that the words aren’t flowing.
    • Mix it up! Write when you're in the mood to write, and draw or make other art if you're more in the mood to do that.

Method 2
Recording Memories Into Your Diary

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    Write down major life events in your diary. No matter how memorable an experience may be, some of the details will fade over time. Use your diary to write down major life events in great detail so that you can look back on them later.
    • One day you will be able to look back at your old diaries entries and recall these important moments in vibrant detail.
    • Think of your diary as a gift to your future self.
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    Write down things about ordinary days.[4] The big stuff is important, but don’t forget to write about the small things that happen in your daily life, too. You'll find the big stuff and the small stuff interesting in the future.[5]
    • What seems ordinary today could very likely seem extraordinary to you in the future. Nothing you write in your diary is boring.
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    Collect photos and keepsakes for your diary. Use glue or tape to place mementos and keepsakes into your diary. You can write text to go with the items if you want, but it’s not necessary.
    • Great examples of these types of items are ticket stubs to events you’ve attended, photos, leaves and pressed flowers, found objects and even completely random things that caught your attention on that particular day.
    • You can get even more creative and arrange these items into an artistic collage.
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    Write down your dreams in your diary. Keep your diary close to your bed and use it to record your dreams. Try to write down the details of your dreams as soon as you wake up, since they can be incredibly fleeting.[6]
    • You can keep a separate diary just for dreams, or you can enter them into your regular diary.
    • If you enter them into your every-day diary, it might be helpful to write them down in a different color of ink, just to keep them entirely separate from other entries.

Method 3
Writing About Your Goals in Your Diary

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    Write down your goals.[7] When you put something down on paper, it suddenly feels more real and solid. Putting your goals into words in your diary allows you to focus more easily on those goals, and often makes them feel more achievable.[8]
    • Not all goals have to be lofty ones. You can use your diary for goals both big and small, short-term and long-term.
    • The main objective is describing clearly what those goals are. Once you do that, developing a plan of action comes much more easily.
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    Create to-do lists and plan things in your diary. You can make daily lists of simple things you need to get done, or you can create to-do lists for more long-term goals. Whether you’re trying to accomplish a certain goal, solve a particular problem or simply plan out your day, they are all much easier to tackle once you’ve broken them down into smaller tasks.[9]
    • If you’re trying to make a tough decision, try creating a list of pros and cons in your diary to help you.
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    Create a schedule for yourself. Use your diary to map out your day, organize your thoughts and making time to do the things you need to do, like homework or chores.
    • Your diary is also a great place to set reminders for yourself, especially if you are using it daily.[10]
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    Track your success in your diary.[11] Sometimes it feels like you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to getting something accomplished, especially if it’s something big. Your diary is a written account of what you’ve done along the way and functions as an excellent log of your progress.
    • Progress can be hard to measure objectively and sometimes it's easy to forget successes you’ve already had.
    • Looking back at older entries can help you put things in perspective.

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Categories: Diary and Secrets