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How to Keep a Diary

Keeping a diary of your thoughts, feelings, and ideas can soothe the spirit.


  • Step 1: Identify yourself Write down information that describes who you are. One of the main purposes of a diary is to connect with yourself.
  • Step 2: Write your contact info Let other people know how they can find you if your diary is lost by putting your phone number or e-mail address on the outside.
  • TIP: Choosing a diary with a key can help keep your secrets safe. Be sure to keep the key in a secure place.
  • Step 3: Decide on a schedule Decide whether you want to write in your diary every day or less often. Once you have set a schedule, stick with it.
  • Step 4: Date each entry Date each entry so you can keep track of when you wrote it and what you were feeling and thinking at those times. This will be helpful if you re-read your diary months or years later.
  • Step 5: Write it all Let your thoughts flow. When you write in a diary, feel free to let it all out – negative feelings, good feelings, new ideas, events in your life – everything.
  • TIP: Playing music, meditating, or doing some other soothing activity before you write may help free your heart and mind.
  • Step 6: Put in mementos Consider pasting in mementos, such as photos, theatre tickets or programs, and other items that will help you remember an experience.
  • Step 7: Get creative Get creative by drawing in your diary, pasting in collages or flowers, or spraying a scent on a page. Express yourself any way you like. Writing is only a beginning.
  • TIP: You may elect to keep a computer or online journal, but a study has indicated that writing by hand may provide greater emotional benefits.
  • Step 8: Read it over Read through old entries to give yourself perspective. You may be surprised at your own growth and development.
  • FACT: Did you know? Anne Frank's diary has been translated into more than 50 languages.

You Will Need

  • A diary
  • journal
  • or notebook
  • A pen or pencil
  • Mementos
  • Paste
  • Collage materials
  • Flowers
  • Perfume
  • A lock and key (optional)
  • Soothing music (optional)
  • Meditation (optional)
  • A computer with internet access (optional)

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