THIS YEAR I decided to keep a logbook, thanks to Austin Kleon.
At the end of 2013, I ordered a one page per day Large Moleskine diary in yellow, starting the process of logging on January 1st, 2014. Now that the year is over, my weathered logbook as a treasured item, full of memories.
I've already started a new logbook with a Hobonichi Techo from Japan, with a slightly smaller size and thinner paper than the Moleskine. I'm loving it.
A Logbook is Not Necessarily a Diary
Trying to sustain a year-long logbook was a bit of a risk. I’ve never been great at consistently keeping a traditional "dear diary" book. I’d start hot for a few weeks or months before flaming out.
The shift away from a "dear diary" to fill at the end of the day, to a book where items are logged as the day unfolds is a key difference. My logbook is a living document. I fill it as the day progresses, rather than working to create a narrative of the day from memory.
Of course that doesn't limit me from adding thoughts after the fact. I’ve made use of empty pages to sketch out concepts and ideas. On one occasion, I sketchnoted a TV documentary as an experiment as I worked on The Sketchnote Workbook — it worked great!
A Space for Tasks and Ideas
Along with logging daily activities, I use my logbook to set key tasks for the day, using hand-drawn checklists. Sometimes I'll add icons with notes and comments to log entries. I manage my detailed tasks in Things, but it's helpful to keep 2-3 key tasks in my logbook as a reminder.
I'll often sketchnote experiences, like visits to restaurants or cities. It's great to freely use pages to capture whatever strikes me.
Capturing ideas is another great use for my logbook. I use space to draw something I'm thinking about to work out the details, like this image of a pinewood derby car my son wanted to create.
That's the beauty of a logbook — it's your space to capture whatever you'd like. There is no correct way — whatever you want to log is fine.
Try a Logbook!
Experimenting with logbooks has been an enjoyable and valuable experience. I challenge you to start a logbook, even if you're starting late. Think of all the free pages in January you'll have for sketching ideas!