Are there creative alternative uses for a yearly diary?

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I heart this Hello Kitty yearly diary,  but I don't need it. :(
I heart this Hello Kitty yearly diary, but I don't need it.
I recently received a beautiful page-a-day type diary as a gift. My problem is that I no longer need a physical diary to keep track of my schedule; Google Calendar and my phone take care of this.

I can't stand the thought of wasting a gorgeous gift and I'd really like to find a good alternative use for this diary.

I'd love to see what creative ideas you Offbeat Homies come up with as alternatives uses for a yearly diary. -Alex

  1. Maybe use it as a positive thoughts calendar and every day write something good that happened. Then at the end of the year you have a nice review of all the happy things in your life.

    16 agree
    • I did this during a rough period in my life. I assigned myself: Must write 3 good things from the day each day. Even if they had to be things like: I had a nice cup of coffee, or it was sunny for an hour today.
      I think it would be a great exercise in happy times of life as well. The idea of doing it for a year is great and it could also be like Raven's idea below. 🙂

      3 agree
      • I third this idea. Writing down weekly happy-list things for the past four years (the idea was gotten from blogger Galadarling's Things I Love Thursday list) has really let me think about how great my life is, and when I am feeling down I look back and see what has made me happy.

      • I'm a student therapist, and I am stealing this for my clients. On a related note, as a client in therapy myself, I have been given a similar assignment as homework between sessions. What a positive difference it made for me! I can't believe how I had forgotten about that until this post/comment!

  2. What about using it as a creative journal? A sketch a day, a thought a day, a picture a day. That would be a neat way to document your year. Hmm….Now I kind of want to go get one and do this!

    5 agree
  3. You could always use it to write a sentence or two about what you did that day. Even if you don't need it for scheduling purposes, it could be fun to look back on and remember what you did. You could add tickets from movies or concerts, stick in occasional photographs, or maps from a vacation to turn it into an easy scrapbook.
    I also use my phone and Google Calendar to keep track of my schedule, but I bought a cute little planner from Half Price Books for the aforementioned reasons. If I keep up with it, I thought it'd be cute to have several planners over a period of years to put on a book shelf and look back on from time to time. Could also be fun for people to look through when visiting (if they are into that sort of thing – no forcing, of course) and spark conversation about similar experiences (concerts, trips, etc.) they've had.
    I'm terrible at keeping journals, so something simple and short seems a lot more manageable to me.

    3 agree
  4. You could use it as a guest book, letting people who come to visit that day sign their names or they could write their own thoughts in it.

    6 agree
  5. Try Art Journaling, this is a very free and easy mix of sketch, writing, collage, painting, and even scrap booking or junk journaling all mixed together in whatever proportions you choose. There are amazing sites on line for art journaling and many people use old books they alter or use things like day planners. You can use totally "dry" mediums like pen, pencil, crayons and tape to add thoughts, images and note to a journal.
    Best of all there is no right and no wrong, you set your parameters and you make it solely your own

    9 agree
  6. i would use it as a garden planner, or a planner for something specific i was trying to do, like plan a wedding or renovate my apartment.

    2 agree
    • I tried using my laptop for garden planning… and then water, glare from the sun, dirt, etc got in the way. Having a planner exclusively for the garden is a great idea, especially if you start your own seeds or are trying to keep track of when plants bloom to fill in the flower gaps throughout the season! Thank you!

      2 agree
  7. I use mine to write down little things that I want to remember but I know I'll forget. Example; my mom texts me a joke every day, if it's one I like…in the book it goes! Or a little kid says something funny or sweet that I want to remember. I write poems, a quote, a stray thought, an interesting word I want to start using. I have done this for several years, and I love going back to read the daily things I was thinking.

    3 agree
  8. what about meals you want to make? if you find interesting recipes on pinterest or whatever, you could write them in for a night later that week/month when you have the free time. then you could take the journal with you to the grocery store so you can remember to get all the ingredients you need for the whole week/month at once.

    5 agree
    • I love this idea! I usually print out something similar every month for my meal planning, but having it for the prior months, maybe with notes about what worked or what tanked could be really helpful!

  9. I like the idea of daily affirmations, I also like the idea of a sketch a day. Or free association journaling. I have a similar journal that I use for daily meditations.

    2 agree
  10. With journals like that, I tend to just come back to them randomly. If it's March 6th, I'll flip to the corresponding page and sketch, write, paint or just write about my day and put the year with the date. I'll do this on random days, often over the period of several years. I may never even complete it, but it's an interesting exercise in who I was vs. who I am when I pick it up.

    5 agree
  11. I've been using one of those type for the past five years as an "end of day" journal – there's just enough space to write down the highlights of the day and to note what I'm going through. It's really helped me in going back and finding patterns in my thoughts and behaviors for therapy, as well as to see how much I've changed since that time.

    3 agree
  12. I love these ideas. I actually don't have a daily planner right now but have been thinking about getting one for the very purposes mentioned above – I would love to keep a few notes about each day, outstanding meals, and tarot readings.

  13. I tend to just scribble out the date and use it as a regular notebook… but these ideas are much more interesting, haha.

  14. I would use it as a record of recipes that i cooked on the various days. If you put the year next to the entry, then you can keep starting over at Jan 1 until the entire book is full of tasty food ideas!

  15. I keep a paper diary/calendar simply because I always have it on me. And I like to lie on my bed at night with my favorite pen and write down a few thoughts on the day.

  16. I have this same feeling…..I really REALLY want to get a River Song journal (you know, the blue one that looks like the Tardis)…but I think it will just end up being one of those pretty things that I just look at. I'd be afraid of tainting the coolness of the book by writing something lame in it.

    3 agree
    • I'm a perfectionist, and I have a stash of journals (etc.) given to me over something like 15 years just waiting to be used. I too am terrified of ruining them by making them messy/writing something terrible, so I have taken to pretty much destroying the first page. Writing BAM! in big messy letters with a Sharpie kind of destroying, rather than ripping the page out. Then I feel okay writing in it!

      1 agrees
  17. Aw, man, I totally want to go out and get one now; I think I might do a "awesome thing my kid did today" to share with him when he's older (or when we're tearing our hair out in his older years).

    1 agrees
  18. I have a daily journal that I use for important dates – birthdays, anniversaries, things that happen every year on the same date that I am really bad at remembering (and related info). Now, if only I could remember the place I put it so I wouldn't lose it…

  19. You could use it as a birthday calendar. Often on a regular calendar, there isn't enough space to write down everyone's birthdays. I have four friends and relatives who have May 29th as a birthday.

  20. gonna go get one now and immediately start keeping a daily record of something, anything, that happened in that day, especially as it pertains to my new baby. she's already 4 mo old but it's never too late to start and i think it's something she may enjoy reading when she gets older. plus when she asks "when did i first…" i'll be able to tell her! and if i can find one that does have the year labeled on it, then i'll just keep using it every year until it's filled up! oooo i can put pictures in it too! hazzah!

    1 agrees
  21. I do Google Calendar but have an awesome Day Designer. I use it for notes – just my to-dos, etc. Whatever I need to record for the day, it goes in there. Sometimes I write poems, or draw pictures, but mostly it's nice to have one place to keep all my thoughts.

  22. I have a list of things that, when I do them regularly, I'm feeling my best (exercising, reading, writing, meditating). I have a daily calendar and I jot down when I've done each of these 'core' activities.

    It's very helpful tool. When I hr a rough patch, I have a quick way to see 'oh I haven't read a book in two weeks, no wonder I'm feeling down. Time to make space for more reading' Or 'oh wow, I feel so satisfied in life and look, I've been meditating and running everyday. I guess these things really do help me be my best self.'

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