This five-year diary is my new favorite thing

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I’m going to stick with brown paper packages tied up with string. After all, until opened, they might contain a five-year diary.

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“I frequently walk into a room and forget why in the hell I’m there.”

There is a reason for this.


I’m in year 2 of this 5 year naturalist’s notebook and it’s been really fun.
The first year it was kind of hard to get into the habit, but now this year, seeing what was blooming or which animals I’d seen or notes on the weather from last year, it’s cool to see the comparison.


As much as I enjoy putting pen to paper, the thought of flipping pages trying to find something I wrote drives me right back to tech alternatives. I don’t like apps, either - all my files are on a laptop so no Internet is involved. Basic word processing software works (Notepad, Write, etc.), as long as it has a search function. All entries begins with the date, followed by whatever stuff I want to remember later.

Depending on file size limits, I might scale up to something larger if there is a real need to keep multiple years of data in one file. If there’s something better kept organized or categorized (like financial or project information), that can be copied into a spreadsheet or note-taking software. It’s not flashy, but it is cheap and has worked well for decades. The real challenge is finding a good way to digitize/transcribe the stuff I wrote down before starting down the electronic path. :nerd_face:


I tried a beautiful product from Leuchtturm. I loved it. My compliance however sucked, and so it became a multi-year reminder of how poor I was at keeping a diary.


I really like this. Unfortunately- I can no longer read my own handwriting.

Sorry Sister Mary Elizabeth🤷‍♀️


That is a super clever format for that type of note taking, since there is direct correlation between what kinds of things one sees based on the time of year. That is good design at its best.


I’ve been using one for just over a year, and throughout COVID, I keep thinking, “wow, I wonder what my entry next year will be.” I guess maybe that’s better than being nostalgic for what I was doing last year. I’m hoping that by year four of my entries I’ll be looking back and thinking, “wow, glad that’s over.”

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I’ve been writing in a “Jane-a-Day” 5-year diary for almost 4 years now. The little quotations from Austen’s various writings (her novels and letters) are interesting, year after year. I’m looking forward to choosing a new 5-year diary at the end of next year, because I like this format as an end-of-the-day summary of things I wish to remember.

So getting hit in the head doesn’t help. But some of what you describe sounds like it could be an ADD type of thing.

Yeah, I knew that going in, but it’s something else to experience it first hand. Like, this spring I was complaining that it was extra wet, or a super late frost or something, but in the journal I had notes about all the rain and a late-season snow right on the same week from the year before.
And some things bloomed a week or two earlier this year, which coincided with the earlier “ice out” on the lake, signaling warming temperatures. Cool to see it all laid out

My favorite thing is still my cat, Isabel ^^’. I certainly hope she lasts more than 5 years, though…

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