Hobby Shortcut: Hobby Journal

The concept of having a dedicated notebook for my wargaming hobby, a miniature hobby journal if you will, to capture ideas, set my goals, and to record my progress isn’t new to me. At the moment, I track everything hobby related in a cheap notebook from IKEA. But feel free to use one of these nice Moleskine notebooks.

Miniature Wargaming Hobby Journal

Why keep a hobby journal?

I’d like to consider my hobby journal as a tool to get things done. Thus, I use it to record my ideas, turn them into projects, and measure the progress

Miniature Wargaming Hobby Journal

What to write in a hobby journal?

So, what should you write in your hobby journal? The simple answer: Everything you want! The less simple answer: Everything hobby related. Really! I’ll give you some examples.

Ideas for hobby projects

All too often, an idea for a new build comes to my mind. Before it evaporates again, I’ll write or sketch it into my notebook. That allows me to record it and even further develop that initial thought into a fully developed concept to execute at any given time. Unless you lose your hobby journal, it’s recorded for future reference.

Miniature Wargaming Hobby Journal

Army concepts

Often, before I write down my army list on the official army roster, I’ll scribble some ideas for army compositions in my miniature hobby journal. This way, I can remove, add, and modify my units until I’m satisfied.

Paint schemes and recipes

Record your color mixes by applying the paint to the paper, together with a note of how you made it and for what you use(d) it for. See my Hobby shortcut on how to keep a painting recipe journal.

Miniature Wargaming Hobby Journal

Accountability and hobby progress

Tracking your painting and crafting steps helps me at least, putting overwhelming projects into perspective. Once this becomes a habit, you’ll likely find more time to paint and craft. It builds consistency over time. #hobbystreak.

Lessons learned and mistakes to avoid

On your miniature hobby journey, you’ll inevitably encounter all kinds of problems and hurdles. Setbacks are normal, and mistakes will be made and help you improve in your craft. Provided you recognize, analyze, and learn from them. Recording your mistakes and how to fix or even better how to avoid them is an extremely powerful tool. And that’s where your hobby journal comes into play.

All kinds of sketches

Whether you are artistically inclined or not, a hobby journal, preferably a paper one, is the perfect medium to record your ideas as a drawing. Maybe it’s a kitbash idea or that special terrain piece you’re designing. The possibilities for drawings are, of course, endless.

Hobby goals and project planning

This helps planning, focusing, and measuring accountability. It’s a routine I’ve been doing for years, and not only for my hobby activities. It serves you as a guideline throughout the year and helps you to concentrate on the things you want to get done in that specific year.

Fluff ideas or fiction

Last but not least, scribbling down stories set in your fictional worlds you game in, is a highly creative and fun activity.


In the end, your journal will become a rich archive of ideas, notes, tips, and much more.

Final thoughts

As the name suggests, a miniature wargaming hobby journal is, simply put, a place you can track and store hobby related stuff. You can do this in classic fashion using a paper notebook or digitally by using one of the countless note-taking apps out there. You might even use a blog or social media posts for this. Just be aware that your notes will be available to the public. In case you don’t want to share your secret paint recipe or hobby goals, you’d better use something personal for your eyes only.

Me, personally, it helped me stay on track with my hobby progress. I used it mainly for accountability to make sure I was doing a little bit every day, if possible, of course. I wanted to get some projects done in the last months. Thanks to my hobby journal, I succeeded.

As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do with a hobby journal. As an avid hobby journal user, I highly recommend you give it a try. It definitely enhances the enjoyment of our hobby.

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