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  • Creative Writing

    Personalised Diary – What Can It Contain and Does It Have To Begin With January?

    A practical gift for an entire year. A personal calendar with a future outlook. What can a personalised diary look like and what can you include in it? Check out some tested ideas!

    In December, I recommended making a photo calendar for grandparents. Photos of grandchildren (also grown-up) offered in such a practical form will always be a hit. You may also give your loved one a calendar with photos since the beginning of your relationship, and your friend – a calendar with photos from joint parties. All of them will be filled with memories. Today, however, I want to direct your attention to diaries or organisers, which are much more focused on the future.

    My first personalised diary as a gift

    In high school, my best friend used diaries to make important notes. That is why when she was turning 18, and we were looking for a creative gift for her, we came up with the idea of a personalised diary. We wanted her to have something from her best friends always with her during her freshman year after she would move to a different city.

    For this purpose, we bought a thick spiral notebook and divided up the pages between us. Each of us had 10 subsequent days in each month and could include on these pages anything we wanted. In less than a week our gift was ready. Our friend was overjoyed, and since she eventually decided to study in the same city as I, and we rented a flat together, I know that she used the diary until her next birthday.

    What can you include in a personalised diary?

    It should all depend on the recipients: their age, personality, interests. You may start with considering one of the suggestions below:

    – Maxims of famous people,

    – Quotes from the Bible,

    – Inspirational quotes,

    – Food / songs/ sightseeing / events recommendations,

    – Challenges for every day of the year,

    – “I love you” in 365 languages,

    – Pieces of advice for the first year in a new school / at university / of married life / on retirement, etc.,

    – School humour,

    – Fun facts or trivia related to the recipient’s interests,

    – Satirical drawings.

    What can such a personalised diary look like?

    A spiral notebook is just one option. It is definitely easiest to carry with you. Although it may not be the most durable stationery, bear in mind that more robust notebooks rarely have enough pages or space for personalisation.

    Yet if you do not insist on the personalised diary being a reference notebook, you may consider many other possibilities. Especially if your diary is not linked to specific dates.

    For instance, we received a diary with maxims and without any dates from our Swiss friends on our wedding. For a year, we would turn over one page at breakfast to marvel at a new picture and try to understand its meaning, while polishing up our German. Owing to the fact that it didn’t contain any dates, we didn’t feel hurried and had no remorse when we didn’t turn the pages during a long absence.

    I also liked the idea of one of my cousins very much. For the 18th birthday of her classmate, she and her friends collected maxims and inspirational quotes, wrote them on small pieces of paper, rolled them, tied them with ribbons and put them in a box. The birthday girl was supposed to take out and read one each day.

    I have also heard of gifts in the form of Bible quotes, one for each day, written down on colourful pieces of paper, which may be used again and again.

    In the digital era, I can easily imagine kind words sent every day per e-mail or saved in an electronic/mobile calendar, too.

    What do you reckon? Can you think of any other options?

    My advice:

    It is not easy to think of 365 good texts on your own. If you can, share your work with others and start preparing in advance!

    I definitely don’t recommend buying a ready diary if you want it to be personalised. It might look better on the outside, but not all of its content may suit the recipient, and if you want to add something, you may not have enough space. Even if you do, the diary may no longer be functional due to lack of space for notes. You should also remember that a traditional diary always begins with a fixed date (instead of the recipient’s birthday, wedding date, etc.)!

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