Use Notepad as a Journal

Written by Eric Wyatt (last updated October 28, 2019)

When Windows 10 launched, it included a feature that has quietly been hiding from most users. This feature is found within the Notepad app, and it allows you to use a Notepad file as a journal. I find this helpful in using it as a journaling tool, or to take notes on a project. While you have always been able to open a Notepad file to quickly jot down notes, this feature adds an additional element to the file. Every time you open the file, Notepad will add the date and time above where you are about to start typing.

To use a Notepad file as a journaling tool, follow these simple steps:

  1. Launch Notepad by pressing the Windows key, typing "Notepad" (without quotes) and pressing Enter. You can also choose Notepad from the Start menu. Either option will start the Notepad app and show you a new, blank note pad file.
  2. Type ".LOG" (without quotes) and press Enter. For this tip to work ".LOG" needs to be all caps. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. Notepad file being set up for journaling.

  4. Save the document wherever you choose. After you have saved the file, go ahead and close Notepad.

Now your file is set up to work as a journaling or logging tool. Every time you open your file, the date and time will be added above where you are about to type. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Notepad file setup for journaling, with entries.

A few important tips for using this feature: As long as the ".LOG" stays at the top of the file, each time you open the file the date and time will be added. If you remove the ".LOG," the file will no longer behave in this manner. If you want a return before each entry you will need to manually enter a return once you have finished your entry. For the date and time to be entered, you will need to close the file and then open it again.

Once set up, you will be able to use any Notepad file as a journaling or logging tool. Having the date and time entered allows you to easily go back and find when you wrote your idea down.

 This tip (13693) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...


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