We all have things we need to keep track of. Whether it be important conversations, or tracking our exercise, we benefit from recording important information.

Bullet journals are great, but what about the stuff you want to track over a long period of time? Something you reference quickly?

This article covers four types of records you need to keep, and how to use a style of note taking called the Diary Note.

A diary note is simply a singular note that I keep adding to with dated entries. This is in contrast to separate notes on the same general topic.  

Benefits of a Diary Note

  • I don’t have to search through multiple notes to piece together information
  • I can read a history of information easily and track a story
  • It lets me know where I left off on a project or conversation
  • I can use it to link to additional content and provide context to other notes

Now that we’ve established what a diary note is, here are four examples of how to use it (IRL).

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Quick Note
We love Evernote for note taking. Get started using Evernote.

School Notes for a Single Class

You are so excited because you just signed up for Advanced Aerospace Engineering!  

The class is notoriously difficult and the last thing you want is to drop any balls while you are balancing the rest of your course load of Symbolic Dance of Native Cultures, Post-Modern Scottish Literature from 1943-1952, and Russian.

To keep everything organized, create a note and title it with the name of the course, course number, and quarter/semester you are taking the class.

Advanced Aerospace Engineering – AERO 445 – Spring 2019

Include the following information:

  • Class Schedule
  • Copy of the Syllabus
  • List of all homework and projects/tasks
  • List of exam dates and expected material
  • Lecture Notes
Access Class Notes on Evernote for iPad

Notes Template

Keep your lecture notes and class assignments in one place with this Evernote template.

Landlord Communications

It doesn’t matter how great of a relationship you have with your landlord – this is a CYA protocol.  You never know when something might go south and the “we’ll get to those repairs” turns into 6 months of deferred maintenance and you have to file a legal complaint.  

Having detailed records goes a long way toward helping your position as a tenant. 

Here’s how to track these conversations:

  1. Start each entry with a date and topic or subject line
  2. Write a description of the interaction.  Include the name(s) of those you spoke with and all details you can remember.  Especially include any conclusion or decision made.
  3. Include a link to any supportive documentations, like an email or maintenance request receipt.

This note type can be used for any important communications, such as with debt collectors, lawyers, accountants, or important and repeat customer service.  

Health Records

Many health care delivery systems and HMOs have complete health records for individuals.  

If you live in a country without single-payer insurance programs (like the United States) you may find yourself with disjointed health records.  

A health record note is one way to keep a lifelong diary of your health.  It provides you with a helpful overview of your medical history. That can be helpful for your doctors as well!

Follow the same instructions as above for logging descriptions and dates. Include copies of prescriptions and links to notes with doctors.

Hiking (or tracking exercise)

Like millions of other individuals around the globe, I enjoy outdoor recreation from time to time.

My Hiking Diary note will be a list of all the hikes I’ve accomplished.  

I create a new entry (same note) as such:

Date – Trail/Park Name – Miles Covered

Description should include the following:

  • Route taken (trail head started/ended and any changes in trails)
  • Start time and end time of the hike
  • Elevation gained or lost
  • Conditions of the trail (muddy, washed out, crowded, closed in parts)
  • Wildlife spotted
  • Opinions of trail and whether you would return or recommend

I also upload maps of trails to Evernote and link to them from the diary – creating an easy reference to where I’ve trekked.

And now you know how to create a diary note and how it is a great tool in Evernote.

How do you use a diary style note in Evernote?  What do you track? Leave your comments below.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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Posted by Amanda Parsons

Amanda has always had an appreciation for writing instructions that are easy to follow. When not curled up with her laptop trying to figure out why Word on the Mac is so weird, she can be found kayaking in the Pacific Northwest.

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