Journals have many different purposes. Some are used for holding your deepest secrets, some for remembering special details from a trip, and some are used to simply record information. I'm often referring to my journals to find info about things like how early in the summer we went to our favorite lake or if it was too chilly when we did that hike last fall.
Two summers ago I got a great book, Weekend Walks in Rhode Island. Slowly, we've been working our way through these hikes in my small state. Rather than having a journal reserved for these walks, I've turned the book itself into a journal and it's become a great reference.
Each hike I write the date, the time we arrived, how long the hike took. I also try to include what we saw along the way. Were the wildflowers in bloom? Were the seals that migrate through the waters visiting? Should we have remembered to bring bug spray, sun screen, binoculars? I also make note of the directions to get there, if the path was hard to find, I note the landmark to look far or the pretty beach we stopped at on the way home.
Seems kind of dry and boring, I know, but it's actually fun. Each time we break out the book to decide which new hike to try, we also read through the little bits of info from past ones. I think a lot of us are probably good at documenting huge events like vacations, but events you do when you're at home are easily overlooked. I've found that using the guide book as the journal is both informative for the practical information we need, but also an easy way to remember some of the adventures around our home state. It also helps you travel light.
(For those of you in Rhode Island, or close by, I highly recommend this book, it's been a lot of fun. For those of you far way, Rhode Island is a great place to visit!)