passion journal

Several years ago, Moleskine released a collection of passion journals that I instantly fell in love with. Out of the whole collection, I picked their book journal, which featured embossed classic titles on the cover and alphabetized tabs along the sides. It was fun to update this with what I was reading while I was in college. However, over time, the habit fell off for me. These original passion journals have been replaced with new ones, but the sentiment remains. Sometimes, you just want a place to file away your favorite things.

In addition to keeping a bullet journal, I’ve decided to recreate my old passion journal to include more than just books. In the past, I’ve saved all my favorite books, TV shows, and video games in my Notes app. But being the avid notebook collector that I am, I thought it would be more fun to keep these notes in a physical journal again.

With that said, let’s take a look inside!

First, the journal

I decided to switch it up a little and revisit an old favorite notebook to use for my passion journal: the Leuchtturm1917 A5 Medium hardcover dotted grid notebook in black. It has 251 numbered 80 g/sqm pages, so plenty of space to work with. I typically go for notebooks with over 100 g/sqm pages, but in this case, I wanted something thinner and lighter for note-taking. I won’t be using colors or collages as much in this journal as I’m using in my bullet journal, and personally, I always favor pages with a lighter feel. It’s just more comfortable when flipping through and taking notes. I also love this notebook because the pages are already numbered.

Four different passions, so little time

I started by dividing this notebook into four sections: Books, Games, TV Shows, and Movies. Since I tend to go through books quicker than the other categories, I gave the Book section 100 pages. I gave Games 30 pages, since I typically only play about five or six different games per year. TV shows and Movies both got 60 pages each. So if you plan on creating a similar passion journal for all your hobbies and entertainment, think about which ones need more space than others. They all don’t have to be divided up equally!

Next, the main collection pages

Top Favorites
Similar to my bullet journal, I gave each section two main collection pages. The first is my Top Favorites, which includes a page for me to list my all-time favorite content. For books, I included a space for the title and the author. For the other categories, I also included a space for the year the show, film, or game was created. I love this page because people always ask me what my favorite things are and I can never remember them all! Now, I can reference this page when anyone asks or is looking for a recommendation.

The Log/Table of Contents
Next, I designated two pages for the log, which also works like a Table of Contents per section. Here, I included space to list the date I started the content, the title, my rating, and the corresponding page number where notes on it can be found. This way, I can see at a glance what I’ve consumed and when, as well as my rating for it. Then, if I want to investigate further, I can flip to the page number in my notebook without hunting for it. Books, TV, and movies all got two pages for the log, while games just got one, since there are only 30 pages in that section and at least 30 lines in the log.

Finally, the template

At last, I created a general template for each section for my notes and thoughts. Generally, I included a space for the title of the work, as well as the author, creator, or director. Below it, I left space for the genre, where I watched it, what I played it on, etc. Followed by this is when it was published, when I started the content, and when I finished it. Finally, I saved a spot for the rating, which will be on a five-star scale.

Underneath this is a space for my thoughts, notes, and quotes. I plan on using sticky notes at first, especially for longer works. Then I will write out my thoughts in pen once I’ve completed it.

At the bottom, I wrote “Would recommend if: ________,” which I plan to fill in and reference for friends. If I had just finished Mad Men, for example, I’d probably write something like, “Would recommend if: you don’t mind watching sexiest, beautiful men lie to their even-more-beautiful wives.” Or, for This Is Us, “Would recommend if: you don’t mind crying after every episode while feeling grateful to be alive.”

Most importantly: keep it simple

If you’re familiar with my bullet journal, you’ll know I’m big on minimalism. I quickly lose interest in voluntary things if they are too much of a hassle. So, I plan on keeping my passion journal simple, since it is just for me. In a few years, it will be so much fun to look back on it and remember how I felt playing my favorite video games, reading new books, and watching new shows.

Do you have a passion journal or a place to document all your favorite entertainment? I’d love to know!