Use Notepad as a Journal

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. ...


Changing Where New Media is Saved

You can specify where Windows 10 saves new media. This quick change will allow you to better control how your media is ...

Discover More

Defining Words Quickly

When reading a webpage, e-book, or PDF, Microsoft Edge can quickly show you the meaning of a word that you might need to ...

Discover More

Turn Off/On Window Snap

Windows allows for a system window to "snap" to certain areas of your screen. You can easily turn this feature on or off.

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Tagging with Photos

Memories are an important part of our lives. Keeping track of those memories is important, too. The Photos app within ...

Discover More

Capturing a Screen Shot

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to capture screen shots. This tip shows how easy it is to do it.

Discover More

Keeping Track of Time with Timers

Often it is necessary to be notified when a set amount of time has gone by. With the Timer tab of the Alarms & Clock app ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.