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Travel Journal innovative strategies

Starting at the front section of the travel journal, you can use the first page as a title page if the journal is devoted to a single trip. Otherwise, I can ski over that page and then start with the date of the start of the journey and then keep going from there. The travel journal can be a cornerstone of growth and a catalyst for great work, providing a safe container for astonishing discoveries and the life lessons we take away from them. Here are the types of content you can write /draw, along with some of my travel journal examples:

General thoughts

These make up the majority of journals and are what you’d expect in any journal.


If you are still just a beginner, but you’ve committed to one sketch per day, at home or on a trip. Sometimes, these are involved. Others (most of the time) are just quick gestures. But discipline helps improve your skills.

A daily log

At the end of each day, you do a rapid list of summary activities, where you went, who you met, and what you did. You note it like this: so that you can see at a glance what were log entries versus other ideas. For logs, the shorter, the better. Here’s where bullet journal techniques can help: Record a few words as a bullet rather than complete sentences. At the end of every daily log, you record two specific items in addition to log entries, gratitude points and what you’ve read or watched.

Gratitude points

You jot down what you call a Goodness Journal (abbreviated as GJ) entry. This is the highlight of your day for which you are most grateful. On trips, this can often end up being multiple points.


The second additional component is Read/Watched (R/W), where you list any books You’ve read that day or any movies, programs, concerts, etc. that you watched. It can include podcasts and anything else you want to track. Before you started doing this, you’d get to the end of the year and couldn’t recall all the books you’d read. Now, you can refer back to these entries.

Insights and Ideas

Most of your journal at home is filled with these. On trips, these happen more on plane, train or bus rides than every single day. But they could happen any time, so you keep a pocket-sized travel journal with you or at least a note card or your phone so you can write the idea down immediately.


I am writing down how you felt when it happened or shortly after that will mean so much to you later. Go beyond the facts to the feelings. Forcing yourself to put what you’re experiencing in words helps to clarify the experience better. And don’t worry if you can’t.


These are either quick notes on what you are seeing, hearing, and tasting or longer ways to capture the details of a place. See Look Closely for more information on how to do this to learn to see details better or write better based on your travels. You also write down the names of places, people, food, local expressions and anything else you want to write about later. Please don’t assume you’ll remember it or can look it up later. Could you write it down?

The back of the journal

The front of the journal is used for a chronological input of information each day (or whenever you choose). The goal here is to record the idea, insight, drawing or information, just like in a diary. The back of the journal is where you’ll organize it all for later retrieval. Working from the last page backwards, you can set up a series of index or topic pages (see the list below) where you can record anything related to that topic either verbatim (if you have the time and forethought to write it down such as contact info or a quote that came across) or as a page number reference and summary line from the front of the journal (hence the reason these back-of-the-journal pages are called Index Pages).

Contact information

You can keep a separate page to record the names, email addresses, etc., of people you meet along the way. If you are in a hurry, you can write a name and email address in the front-of-the-book journaling section. You’ll later record the page number and contact name on the page here so you can find all your contacts in one place later.

Books and Movies

This, too, is a catchall for any entertainment you want to read. You constantly get book and movie (and even song or podcast) recommendations as you travel that you add here with an open check box. You can also record books you’ve finished to this list, noting those with a checked box.

Know the purpose of your journal

Choose the type of journal based on your intended purpose.

  1. Start with something unpleasant so you’re not afraid to mark it up.
  2. Keep daily entries in the front and a list of index pages in the back of the journal.
  3. Periodically review your journal entries. As you do, number each page and record that page number, along with a brief reminder on the appropriate index page.
  4. Photograph each page at the end of each journal and save it to a secure location. Then, enter the index information into whatever tool you use to track your ideas over time.


We write words in an empty book, and an inanimate object is transformed into a living, breathing memoir. In turn, as we write, the journal changes us. It allows us to instantly process impressions, leading to a more examined layer of consciousness in the present and future. It’s a relationship; let me tell you, it’s no cheap one-night stand.” You might want to consider writing that quote down in your travel journal. Either in the daily entries or on the quotes index page. Or however, you want to do it. It’s your travel journal, and the possibilities are endless. You can buy custom notebooks, travel journals, and bullet journals online from Diagonal Horizon.

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