Finding the Right Diary Format for Your Daily Life

Whatever the goal is, it always helps to have the right diary format.

Diaries are not a new concept. People have been writing in their diaries for centuries. According to the New York Times, its history can even be traced back to the 10th century. Some may say diaries have been in existence since ancient Egypt, specifically with the discovery of the Diary of Merer, a logbook describing the author’s limestone transportation from Tura to Giza.

People have different reasons for keeping a diary. Benjamin Franklin used it as a tool to write down things that he could do well on a specific day. Others use a diary to improve self-awareness, manage their schedules, take note of important or exciting ideas, and analyse how they think. Whatever the goal is, it always helps to have the right diary format.

This blog lists the popular diary formats so you can select the best one that will work for you.

1. Undated Diaries

If you’re looking for flexibility, an undated diary may be for you. It’s exactly what the name implies: a diary without pre-printed dates on each page. Ordinarily, diaries come printed with dates, so you can just add your entry for that particular day, which many people prefer. However, if you skip days or even weeks writing in your diary, an undated one can be a good option.

You can write on it anytime without the pressure of completing the whole page. Some don’t like the idea of writing the dates every time they have an entry. If you often forget to put the date on a page, even though it may help, make sure to factor it in when determining if this diary format will work for you.

A diary without pre-printed dates on each page.

2. Daily Diaries

This diary format requires you to allocate a page for one day. Also known as “day to page,” a daily diary is a good choice if you need to plan your tasks or write daily. You can use this format to see how your entire day looks. It’s a great tool to help you plan how to go about your day, especially if you write your tasks in advance.

Usually, daily diaries have one page for every weekday, whilst Saturdays and Sundays share a page. You may also want to customise your weekends if you have a hectic weekend.

3. Weekly Diaries

Just like daily diaries, a “week to page” format or a weekly diary lets you organise your entire week. You can either have it vertically or horizontally. In a vertical layout, you write down all the days of the week, Monday to Sunday, each with a vertical column. You can add timed appointments, which can assist you in getting through a rigid schedule.

Meanwhile, a horizontal weekly diary often does not require the addition of timed appointments. If you have a relaxed schedule but want to ensure that you do not miss any event or activity, this weekly diary format may be a good option. For example, you want to write something every day, but you do not have a set schedule for each task.

A weekly diary lets you organise your entire week.

4. Monthly Diaries

Usually, a monthly diary is bigger than daily and weekly diaries. Otherwise, you will be scrambling to fit your notes in tiny boxes. A monthly diary is an excellent choice if you wish to get a bird’s eye view of how your whole month looks. Many diaries in this format also offer a few pages for your thoughts after all 12 months in a year. Sometimes, there is a small space where you can write additional notes for each month.

Monthly diaries are often considered planners where you plan for the next month more than a diary, although you can always use them for both purposes.

5. Mini, Mid-size, or Large

Pocket-size diaries let you make minimal notes. They offer the advantage of portability so that you can carry them around. There are even smaller diaries called micro diaries if you do not want to deal with the bulk that comes with larger diaries.

Mid-size diaries are exactly what you picture them to be. They provide enough space for you to write down your thoughts but are still discreet. Some can be put in your pocket or briefcase without adding more weight or bulk.

Finally, we have the large diaries, which are often kept on desks. You can carry them around, too, but they are quite big and often heavy, with several pages for your notes, appointments, and other entries. A large diary can have blank pages where you can do some doodling. Because of their size, these diaries often come with daily or weekly (or both) pages, as well as monthly views.

Mini, Mid-size, and Large Diaries

Which Diary Format is For You?

The best way to find out which diary format is suitable for you is to experiment. Often, a daily diary suits those who have daily tasks. A weekly diary may work better if you have an established daily routine. Consider the layout, whether you prefer a horizontal or vertical format, as well as the size of your diary. If you want a flexible diary, especially if you have a unique set of daily or weekly duties, an undated diary may be what you are looking for.