ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Keep a Five-Year Journal

Updated on February 8, 2015

Write in a diary only a few minutes a day, and you can create a record of your life

Wouldn't it be great to remember all the important details of our lives? It can be hard to remember details after a year or two have gone by - when we had that huge snowstorm, what month it was when we went on that amazing vacation, or when the cousins last came to visit.Sometimes it's even hard to recall what we did last week.

Keeping a five-year journal is a simple solution. It's the ideal life record for people who don't have the time or motivation to write long entries in a diary, or don't want to go back and wade through volumes and volumes of journals to find out when something happened. Keeping a five-year diary is fun, and sometimes quite enlightening, as you see on the same page what you did last year or three years ago on this date.

All photos on this lens were taken by the author.

Memories are important
Memories are important

Why a five-year journal?

A simpler way to keep your memories

As much as I am a fan of journaling, I can't say I was ever very successful at it in the past. I am inspired by beautiful blank books. I buy them, but I don't want to start writing in them. Beginning a journal and then neglecting it would spoil it. I am reluctant to write in it because if I don't fill it up, the beautiful, pristine book would be wasted. You have to admit that six pages of writing in a 120-page book is not a success story.

Then one day, my brother commented on how often he has noticed that he does the same activity at almost the same time every year. I wondered how on earth would he know that. He told me he's been keeping five-year journals for a long time. He can see how the weather is behaving compared to other years, when they went on that family vacation and the last he time he organized a neighborhood barbecue.

Right away, I knew that this was a journal style that would work for me. I can always find time to write a paragraph a day. What's more, it would mainly be factual. No space to waste on emotional venting or soul-searching (so embarrassing to read six months later!) No, it's just a quick day by day record of my life.

Five-Year Diaries from Amazon

Be sure to read the reviews and check the size of the five-year journal before you buy it. Some are very small, and you may be disappointed with the amount of space available for each day. Others may have detailing that would not suit you. Everyone's preference is a little different so the ideal diary for one person will not be right for another.

Journal: Five Years - Day by Day
Journal: Five Years - Day by Day
"Eight lines to write in for each year with additional blank pages at the end of each month. The unique format of this journal allows you to start on any day in any year."
5 Year Diary
5 Year Diary
"This charming, pint-sized and extremely well-designed diary lets you keep track of your life with just a few lines every day for five years. Each page of the diary is devoted to one day of the year and subdivided into five sections-so that as time goes by, past entries can be read as new ones are written.
The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-Year Record
The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-Year Record
"This journal helps you to make a fascinating and revealing time capsule of the next five years of your life. Simply turn to today's date, reflect on the quote at the top of the page, and jot down just one sentence. This daily ritual is highly do-able and provides a striking sense of accomplishment, and as the years go by you can see how your entries evolve."
Mom's One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book
Mom's One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book
"For the busy mom-on-the-go, this memory keeper offers a quick and easy way to capture the everyday moments of motherhood. With enough space to record a single thought, a family quote, or a special event each day for five years, this beautiful keepsake makes sure those precious memories will last a lifetime."
Jane-a-Day: 5 Year Journal with 365 Witticisms by Jane Austen
Jane-a-Day: 5 Year Journal with 365 Witticisms by Jane Austen
"The gold gilding of this tiny book is classy, and the quotes are great flashbacks to any Jane Austin fan. There is space to write nuggets from your day."
So many journals
So many journals

The Search for the Perfect Diary

For the next four years, I kept an eye out for a five-year journal for myself. I looked in all the usual places, but had no luck. Finally in November 2010 I got serious and started scouring the internet. I found a few, but not what I wanted. It had to be big enough to write a decent paragraph on the same date for five years. I didn't want the pages to include someone else's thoughts, quotation choices, or even artwork. I wanted a book that was simple and classy, durable but not costing a fortune.

My search did not go well. At that time there didn't seem to be many options. The one I wanted to buy had gone out of print. So I began to look for printable journal templates, but I didn't have any luck with that either.

My five-year journal file is available on this webpage.
My five-year journal file is available on this webpage.

My Journal at Last

In the end, I created my own. I'm a graphic designer, so it was a logical solution. I designed a simple, clean, unembellished journal page with space for five years, each year having seven lines. I printed my file on good quality paper with a laser printer, then took it to my local copy shop to have it coil bound with a textured black cover.

FREE - you are welcome to download the PDF file for my printable five-year journal at:

On this webpage, you will find tips for creating your journal, and links to both the A4 and 8.5"x11" (letter) size files to print.

I am happy to report that this life journal is exactly what I was hoping for. What's more, I've been able to keep my commitment to keeping a record of my days and now am in my fourth year of my five-year diary. Success at last! It's been interesting, and at times helpful, to glance back and see what was going on at this time in previous years.

Using these files you can create your own Five Year Diary for the coming year. While you're making one for yourself, keep in mind that this could be a perfect gift for someone else too!

Poll: Do You Keep a Journal?

Do you keep a journal of your life?

See results

New Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • MVKilgore profile image

      M. Victor Kilgore 

      7 years ago

      Neat lens. I started a journal with an iphone app...too bad I haven't continued.

    • Art-Aspirations profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @anonymous: You're welcome, Pamela. I'm happy to know it was helpful for you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Glad I found this. Thanks for posting the printable journal.

    • Art-Aspirations profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @Marelisa: You sound like me. I think you'd find the five-year journal very satisfying.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a fantastic idea. I, too, want to think of myself as someone who keeps a journal, without actually writing pages and pages each day. A few sentences sounds very doable.

    • profile image

      aka sakabato 

      8 years ago

      I love writings. You gave me a great idea.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      8 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Good advice. I mainly document vivid dreams, prayers, decisions, or particularly weird experiences.

    • Art-Aspirations profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @Linda BookLady: Thanks, Linda. I'm appreciate you saying so. I have so many plans for it!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I have to say... you have a lovely website!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have tried many times but just can't keep at it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Keeping a journal is such a great idea

    • plrang profile image


      8 years ago

      eww... I woudln't like to read it later I suppose. It was hard enough for me to keep my 365 project so 5 years would kill me ;)

    • jethrosas profile image


      9 years ago from Philippines

      At first, while reading this lens I had no idea what a five year journal is. What is the look of it.. Then, because of curiosity, I tried to download your five year journal pdf and see what it looks like. Now I get the idea of it and I really like it. Thanks for reminding us to keep and write a short meaningful events into journals. Keep it up! :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This sounds like such a good idea. Thank you for this information.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I've never been able to keep a journal... but I've always loved the idea. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      I use a page-a-day journal, but have been lazy this past month. Thanks for the reminder to get back to journaling.

      I can see where the style you use would appeal to many.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      There are so many benefits to journaling - I can't imagine not doing it. Thanks for writing about it.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      very nice and well written lens

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      nice lens

    • emmaklarkins profile image


      9 years ago

      Huh. What a great idea for a journal! I never thought about keeping the days together by year like that, so you can look back and review how far you've come. I might just have to try this!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      great advice and insight to a good topic that your readers will take a hold of I hope, earned a 'thumbs up' from this reader.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)