A colorful diary lays on a round dark turquoise tray that also holds a white mug of coffee with milk and a sprig of dried brown leaves. The tray lays on a matching turquoise bedsheet.
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10 Easy Diary Ideas To Try (That Will Inspire You)

Does your diary need some fresh ideas and inspiration?

Keeping a diary has countless benefits – but sometimes it’s easy to fall into a rut. And sometimes writing feels like a monotonous routine.

I’ve kept a diary since my teens and I still get those days when writing feels uninspired. And I always have an arsenal of ideas for the times it’s hard to get going.

This is my ultimate list of easy diary ideas.

It’s perfect if you’re a beginner and don’t know where to start. And it’s great if you want to deepen your diary writing practice and get fresh inspiration.

This list includes diary ideas to suit all your needs – whether you want to get organized, boost your confidence or combat anxiety.

Here are the best diary ideas to try:

1. Draw flower doodles

A notebook filled with botanical and floral doodles in black ink lays on top of a checkered black and white blanket.

The next time you’re watching TV or listening to music, pick up your diary and make some flower doodles in the margins.

Doodling is a simple and easy pastime. But it actually has many great benefits to your mental health. Doodling engages and calms your mind. And it lowers the stress hormone cortisol and boosts creativity.

This seemingly mindless activity is also very satisfying. It gives you that small sense of achievement when you’ve created something pretty.

Where to find ideas:

A screenshot from Pinterest of various botanical and floral sketches.

If you’re not very good at drawing, use some simple templates from Pinterest as a rough guide.

Just search for “flower doodles” on Pinterest (see above) and you’ll get dozens of flowers, leaves and botanical shapes to sketch.

2. Keep a fitness log

A journal lays open with the word September written in cursive at the top and highlighted in yellow. Underneath, there is a drawn monthly calendar.

Use you diary to track your daily workouts, walks, meditation sessions and any other fitness goals you’re working towards.

How to start: Set some monthly goals that are achievable. Then draw out a monthly calendar in your diary with boxes to tick off each time you complete the activity for that day.

Writing down your goals makes you far more likely to achieve them.

And you’ll be motivated to keep your streak going after you check off a few days.

3. Write about gratitude

A diary lays open on a white desk filled with cursive writing with a pencil and a small paintbrush on top. Nearby stands a vase of greenery.

Write about gratitude in your diary as a powerful journaling technique that reduces stress, boosts happiness and improves your sleep.

Recommended if: you’re feeling depressed, unmotivated, overwhelmed or anxious.

But here’s the key: don’t just make a list of random things you’re thankful for. Take your time and describe what you’re thankful for in vivid detail – whether that’s a good cup of coffee or the roof over your head.

Feel all the emotions – like safety and appreciation – that come with expressing gratitude. Savor the experience and take your time.

Here are 3 easy prompts to get started:

  • What are 3 things you’re grateful for today?
  • What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
  • Describe something you appreciate that’s right near you.

4. Keep a self-care log

A notebook with a highlighted log lays open on a white table next to colored pencils.

Use your diary to track your self-care habits – or to get motivated to spend more time on yourself.

Set yourself a month-long self-care challenge and do one nice thing for yourself everyday. Use this challenge as a reminder that self-care isn’t selfish – and that you can appreciate the little things and small everyday indulgences.

Draw out a calendar in your diary and write down one act of self-care per day. Aim to get them all ticked off by the end of the month.

Some self-care ideas:

  • Spend an evening away from your phone with no social media.
  • Listen to a motivational or inspiring podcast.
  • Do some stretch yoga by candlelight.

5. Track your reading

A novel lays open next to a cup of cappuccino on a festive red and white Christmas blanket.

Use your diary to keep track of all the books, articles and stories you’ve read.

Use it to write book reviews and plot summaries, to-read lists and wishlist. Track books you’d like to re-read and books to buy as gifts.

Your diary is also a great place to collect inspiring quotes, insights and favorite passages you come across in your reading.

Tracking your reading goals will motivate you to read more books. Set some monthly reading goals and then use your diary to mark off completed targets.

6. Write a letter from your future self

A journal filled with cursive handwriting lays open on a white table that's full of yellow pressed leaves, bits of greenery and a wooden bowl full of sliced guava.

Use your diary to draw on your inner wisdom when you’re facing difficult times.

Write a letter from your future, ideal and wiser self to your current self. What advice would you give your current self if you looked at yourself in retrospect?

Free write the letter and don’t spend too much time editing or trying to compose the perfect phrase. Use this exercise to gain perspective.

Compare your current self to the person you’d like to become.

This journaling method puts you in touch with the stores of inner wisdom you didn’t even know you had.

7. Write one line a day

A diary lays open on a wooden desk next to a cup of coffee and a white vase with dried flowers.

Write one line a day in your diary to help you get into the habit of writing everyday.

A single line isn’t too overwhelming so you’ll be more likely to keep this habit going – even when you get busy.

It seems trivial to write just one line a day but the benefits are incredible. Writing a single line a day helps preserve your memory, makes you wittier and lets you notice patterns.

Those brief snippets of your daily life may seem ordinary now. But someday you’ll be glad you captured your memories.

How to start:

  1. Write about the best thing that happened to you today.
  2. Write about what you’re thankful for today.
  3. Write about what you learned today.

8. Make a list of things to do when you’re bored

A notebook lays open on a wooden table next to a lit candle.

Use your diary to concoct your ultimate list of things to do when you’re bored – that don’t involve your phone or the Internet.

If you spend too much time scrolling your phone or watching Netflix, this list will inspire you to cultivate better hobbies and get some deeper rest.

Make a list of easy and practical activities you can easily do in an evening.

And draw on this list whenever you need inspiration to take a digital detox.

9. Document nature

A notebook full of diary ideas lays on a slab of stone with green leaves in the background.

Use your diary to document nature and raise awareness of the seasonal changes that are often easy to overlook.

Writing about nature teaches you to be more observant, to slow down and notice all of nature’s breathtaking details.

Even if you live in a big city, you’ll be surprised how much natural phenomena – from birds to changing colors on the leaves – you can notice.

How to start:

  • Sketch the leaves, animals and trees at your local park. Make some notes about what you observe, and how the seasons change over time. Include reflections on how the nature makes you feel.
  • Make a still life at home with fruits and greenery from your kitchen and sketch the details of a bunch of spring onions or a bowl of apples. Or sketch a vase of flowers or a potted plant.

10. Keep a TV log

A journal lays open with scraps of colorful paper glued onto its pages. One scrap says "Netflix" and another says "movies."

Keep a TV log in your diary that chronicles all the series, films and documentaries you’ve watched.

Use this log to write reviews, jot down notable quotes and make notes on all the content you consume. Use it to get more engaged with what you watch – and to become a more active participant.

A TV log will hone your personal tastes and make you a sharper observer. You’ll also be more eloquent and descriptive about your personal tastes.

Journaling tips for beginners

A woman's hand holding a pen and writing in a journal with a cup of coffee in the background.

Do you want to journal everyday but you don’t know where to start?

Read 17 Powerful Journaling Tips For Beginners (And How To Start) for my ultimate guide to all the best methods, insider tips and prompts to get you writing.

100 journaling ideas

A woman with red nail polish and silver rings opens a journal that holds a small photo of a blue sky and grassy field.

Read 100+ Incredible Journaling Ideas (For Anxiety, Clarity And More) for my ultimate list of journaling prompts for mental health.

These prompts give you clarity and confidence to tackle whatever you’re facing in life.

More resources:

51 Inspiring Quotes About Journaling (To Get You Writing!)

Nature Journaling: An Essential Guide (+8 Tips To Start)

10 Simple And Powerful Journal Prompts For Daily Use

72 Powerful Journal Prompts for Self Discovery (To Inspire You)

24 Inspiring Journaling Examples (To Get You Writing)