Type of Garden Journals & Best Choices Compared


Various types of garden journals are out here on the web from digital to hard copy, and each offers its own format (template) with the hopes of helping you stick with consistent journaling!

Whether you’re great at journaling or awful at it, the right type of journal is out there with the power to help you keep solid records of your gardening experience.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced gardener, the right type of garden journal is a seed that grows with you!

Paper and digital are both great types of journals. Pick your preferred path then look at templates and functions: Your question for finding the right journal is: What do you want to record about your garden?

Now before you scour the internet for journals and attempt to compare them all to make sure they have what you want, how about going for something more versatile? Then you can learn what you want without buying a new type of journal every year.

The ability to track and record what you want with a versatile template is the best type of garden journal. While many garden journals have pages you’ll never use, some have designs that show a whole garden season on a single page for whatever element you want to track.

This formatting can be used on both paper and digital. I find a digital spreadsheet to be the least “risky” at least when getting to know yourself and your relationship with keeping a journal. You’ll never run out of room, and it’s incredibly organized.

But before you jump on anything, let’s look at all the types of journals you can choose from, what they all look like, how you can use them, the limitations, reviews, ones that are beyond page-flipping, and so on!

The Ten-Year Chronicle Garden Journal

One of the more popular journals among experienced gardeners is the book that offers ten years’ worth of pages to document your garden experience.

According to reviews, 75% of people love it. The main issue gardeners have had in this journal involves not having enough space for what they would have preferred to include.

It is, however, a very solid hardcover book that you can call home for your personal garden information.

Most gardeners who use this journal, don’t tend to jump around to other journals. The bulky book makes it truly feel like an ‘official’ garden journal.

For others, it doesn’t have what they want so they don’t end up using it.

The Bullet Garden Journal

Bullet Journal / Stephen Oldham / CC BY 2.0

A bullet garden journal is a work of art and it can do anything you want it to, or not!

It’s a complete custom journal where you can create all the space you need for what you want to track.

You start from blank pages, either with nothing at all, with dots, or a grid, and create your own pages and templates from scratch.

But it doesn’t have to be completely hand drawn if this is something you’re unsure about!

A bullet journal solves the issues with the ten-year chronicle but comes with its own.

Starting from a blank might keep you at a blank as to what to do! But if art is something you enjoy, the extra time it takes to create your bullet journal might be a great choice for you!

If you’re a busy artist, however, stamps such as these can help speed up the process.

If intentional journaling is something you struggle with, bullet journaling might help make it a bigger priority. Take 5 minutes a day to follow the bullet journal method, (look at those reviews!) If you resonate with what they’re saying, you can take what you learn and apply it to your daily life and gardening journal.

Journaling about your gardening should be a priority if you want to get good at growing food! You don’t have to be a daily journaler to keep insightful garden records.

The Basic Paper Garden Journal

Endless shops on Etsy offer all sorts of garden journal templates from printables to actual books.

The selection can be overwhelming, but if something stands out to you, make sure you buy it for the functions, not the looks!

They might look like something you’ll want to use, but does it have what you want to use it for?

See: 3 Essentials to Keep a Garden Journal You’ll Use

One of the better journal layouts I’ve seen for general record-keeping is this logbook. The reviewers describe in detail what you’re getting. It has a lot.

If a lot is what you want, you might love it. You might track more than you wanted to track, but that’s not a bad thing.

The Digital App Garden Journal

Then there are Apps designed for tracking your garden! If you have an iPad or tablet these are pretty good.

But the same story, make sure they have the functions YOU want.

Apps tend to leave little room for customizing what you can track, how you can view it, and might feel less personal.

But the good news is you can try them for free. The bad news is, if you use an app, use it for free for a while, and now want something else or they don’t offer it free forever, you need to transfer your data somewhere else or you’ll lose what you’ve tried to keep.

Popular journaling Apps include:

The Digital Spreadsheet Garden Journal

A digital spreadsheet garden journal solves both issues, you can make it as big and inclusive or as specific as you wish without the need for an eraser.

You get complete freedom to customize your journal to your style and desired way of record-keeping.

You can track anything you want on one main template. Once the season is done you can see a visual pattern and gaps.

If you prefer digital journaling then access this journing using a tablet or laptop on Google Sheets or Excel.

If you don’t prefer digital, printable copies work for regular paper.

The Printable Spreadsheet Garden Journal

The printable spreadsheet garden journal has more of the classic journal pages and offers easier access (if you find technology too combersome for the task of jotting regular notes).

The benefits of a printable garden journal is that you aren’t limited to what’s included in a book.

A book has a set nubmer of pages and its usually the main disapointment of any book style garden journal.

The spreadsheet fits on a regular sized page and you can print multiple of any page you want—so you’ll always have enough room for what you want.

Did I miss a type of garden journal? Email me and let me know what this list should include!

Rachelle

While Rachelle's hands are clean for the keyboard, she enjoys writing and designing creative content and resources. You will most likely find her outside planting a cabbage, foraging berries for breakfast, and collecting herbs for year-round tea or making food.

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