Journaling Part III

I keep journals for different purposes to help me get organized. I have several that might only get written in every few months. Many I only write a few sentences or paragraphs in. Some of the types of journals I keep are:

Cooking Reference for Brandings/Working Cattle Days:


This is a hard cover, spiral bound notebook that I write down which recipes I used, what quantities I made, and dishes that went over best or not so good. I also record the names of all the neighbors who helped and stayed for dinner and write up a summary of how the day went.

Kid quotes book:

I keep track of the funny things my kids have said  in a special book. Each year, I add the past year’s quotes to my family Christmas letter. Sadly, I don’t write as many as I used to, because my kids are getting older.

Family Favorite Recipes:


After always wasting time looking for a favorite recipe, I decided to put them all in one spot. I’ve since added recipes from friends and relatives that I really liked because they usually become a favorite too. I always handwrite the recipes in my special recipe book and it’s become something my kids want a copy of when they grow up.

Gardening journal:

I record different seed or plant varieties that I’ve put in my vegetable and flower garden in this one. I paste clippings from the front of seed packets; sketches of flower bed plans, lists of gardening ideas and flowers I want to get seeds for, and photographs of my yard and vegetable garden.

Reading journal:

I keep a list of all the books I’ve read as well as a list of people’s book recommendations, names of authors to check out, books I that I see that I want to read and favorite passages from books. This journal helps me remember authors and titles I’ve read in the past. It’s fun to see how many books I’ve read, and recall books I’ve forgotten that I read.

Poems journal:

My mom gave me a leather-bound journal that I use to write down all of the poems I’ve written.

Famous quotes book:

This is where I write down all of the famous quotes I’ve come across and liked. It’s easier than trying to find the quotes I wrote down on scraps of paper that would otherwise get lost.

Gratitude journal:

I got this one as a Christmas gift from a girlfriend–also named Amy, for recording 5 things I love everyday. It’s become a wonderful record and reminder of all the things I’m grateful for.

Jeep journal:

I keep a small notebook that fits in my jeep’s glove box for recording all my jeep adventures (so far I’ve had some good and some bad adventures) and the fun places I taken my adventure/recreation vehicle.

The next two are my newest journals. As of late, I’ve been spending spare moments transposing odds and ends notes I’ve written down over the years from different sources and filed away in a folder or misplaced and re-found, and transfering them all into a “reference” journal. I made covers for my bargain buy composition books–the same kind of book covers we had to make for our text books in high school–and added inside pockets to hold all my hand-written notes.

Photography: I want to learn more about taking better pictures, how to use the features on my camera, and how get the most out of it. All of the camera and photography notes and tips I’ve written down on pieces of paper are in here.

Notes on writing:

As a writer, I am constantly studying ways to improve my craft. I decided to make a reference book for the grammar and punctuation rules I always struggle with, notes for writer’s I’ve jotted down from reading books, free-writing topic ideas, ideas for writing inspiration, conferences, guest speakers, and other helpful tips I’ve come across. By consolidating all of my notes from various notebooks, I won’t have to waste my time searching through piles of long-lost notes to find aspecific one . As you can see, I’ve still got notes in my handy-dandy inside pocket I need to transfer into the pages of my writing reference book.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I also have a regular journal for writing my thoughts, and a pocket size journal I use like Post-It notes or scratch paper and carry with me everywhere. I keep track of people’s cell phone numbers I seldom call and aren’t in my cell phone, addresses, websites, appointment reminders, business hours of places I can never remember, book recommendations, lists, to dos, blogging or column writing ideas; basically anything floating around in my head that I would typically put down on scratch paper.

There’s probably something you do in your life regularly that could use some organization. Putting it in a journal or notebook is an ideal solution.

Since I started carrying around a pocket-size “everything” journal, I’ve been amazed at how handy it’s become. You could call it a miscellaneous journal. It’s a place for all of my homeless notes. Shortly after I decided to start an everything journal, I spent an afternoon going through a pile of paper scraps with notes I scribbled things down and had saved, and transferred them to my little notebook. Everything I’ve written down in it has made my life a lot easier. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s tired of trying to find or remember something.

I hope these give you some ideas for organizing your life.

3 responses to “Journaling Part III”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dawn Herring, Dawn Herring. Dawn Herring said: Runner UP!! #Journaling Part III (blog post w/ many different journals w/photos) Love this! #JournalChat […]

  2. Linda Avatar

    Hello Amy! I’m so glad you sent me a message about this– I want to refer my writers to it, and also — you reminded me of THREE of MY journals I forgot to mention at the WIA conference. I, too, have a gardening journal in which I paste clippings from the seed packets, and write information on how well the plant did — or did not!– do. And I have a journal of books read, just a list, with a black mark if I didn’t like the book or author. And I have a library journal where I write books I’m looking for to read, recommendations by friends, etcetera. I hadn’t considered my recipe folders as journals– but they are because I keep favorite recipes, write comments on how I change the recipes– Keep up your writing– you are doing beautifully.

  3. Paulene Yard Avatar

    hi, solid web log, just I don’t see how to add your site in my rss reader. Could are Assist me please?

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