One of my favorite things to do as an adult is to read my diaries from when I was a kid. Because I always knew I wanted to be a writer, I took note of everything . I wrote down everything that happened to me, everything that happened to the people around me, things that I wish were true, things that I believed to be true and also a whole lot of straight out lies — I call those my early foray into fiction. And while these journals are fun to have because, well, they're hilarious and ridiculous, they're also important to have for me to better understand myself.
There are patterns and interests and behaviors I exhibited when I was in elementary school that I can still see remnants of today. There are trips I planned on taking 20 years ago that I still haven't taken. There are things that I wanted out of life that I haven't yet received — or have.
After dropping out the diary game in high school, because life became too complicated to write about and there was Myspace and Live Journal for that, I recently decided to bring back the practice of dairying into my life – for my future self, for my present self, and for continuing to understand my past self. These are 11 types of diaries you should keep in your twenties to remember it all:
Bring this with you to the office everyday. Write reminders to yourself for you job. Have it handy for jotting down advice or interesting things you learn or discover about your professional life.
Use this journal to dish. Keep track of your lovers. Write down that you liked, what you didn't like, what you did, what you wanted to do. You'd be surprised how easy it is to lose track of people by your late 20s. (This way you also don't have to have a "Did we sleep together?" moment with anyone in the sitcom version of your love life.)
Start keeping track of dishes you like. Catalog recipes you enjoy. Eventually you'll start writing down some of your own recipes.
When you travel, it can be hard to stay present. Try to take a few minutes a day on your trip to write down some of your thoughts. Write about what you enjoy, what surprised you, what you learned. It will help cement your travels in your memory.
If you actually write down the things on your metaphorical bucket list, you're more likely to do them. Keep one notebook aside just for the things you want to accomplish in your life. Crossing them off as time goes on will be so satisfying.
Write down every dream you can remember! Best way to do this is to get in the habit of doing it first thing in the morning. You might start to recognize patterns or symbols over time.
After you finish a book, write down your immediate thoughts on it — a mini review, just for you. This will not only help you form an opinion on what you read, but it will help keep the story with you longer. It's so easy to mash together all of our favorite books. This will set them straight.
If you're into exercising, you might want to keep a diary of what you do. Just notes on the type of exercise you did, how it felt, how long you did it, what hurt the next day, what felt good, and how your progress is going.
Remember when we used to pass notes with our friends in grade school? The idea behind a friend book is that you write handwritten letters to each other and pass the book back and forth. Take a step away from your group chat and try something more permanent and thoughtful.
It's always good to have an offline record of your life. Get in the habit in writing down what you do each day and what your plans are for the future and it will just become second nature. It's also easier to flip back to a physical planner when trying to recall what you did on a certain day.
Fill this diary with quotes that inspire you, that make you think or make you feel. Write down things your friends say. Write down song lyrics that move you. Jot down lines from books you love ... basically anything you'd make your away message should be in this book.