I put together a garden journal at the beginning of the season that's a three-ring binder with dividers, lined paper, and plastic sleeves:
Earlier in the season, I kept a diary of daily garden activities, including tasks, projects and planting dates. But once the project portion of the season was over and I was primarily watering, weeding and deadheading, I stopped making daily entries. Too time-consuming, repetitive, and not helpful for future years. The journal also has plant lists by garden area, a "To Get" list, a plant wish list for the future and a list of future projects.
I've kept all my plant tags inside a plastic sleeve in the journal. I gathered what remained from last year and also made a 2007 collection. This alone is a great improvement over prior years.
I also use the plastic sleeves to collect articles and photos to capture ideas, inspiration, and plant sample photos.
I had imagined myself sitting out in the yard to write in and review the journal, but I haven't done very much of that. I also thought I'd print out photos of the garden and include those, but I quickly realized that would be way too cumbersome and time-consuming with the high number of photos I've taken. And I can view them on my computer just as easily.
So I'm thinking about what to do for my garden records next year. The options include continuing with a low-tech binder again, using a printed journal book, creating my own computer documents, moving to an online journal, purchasing gardening software, or using this blog as my journal.
Lee Valley offers A Gardener's Journal that is a ten-year chronicle of your garden. For a shorter-term view, still handwritten, there's The New Three-Year Garden Journal. Crane & Co. offers a beautiful Garden Journal with refills available; you can insert your own photo for the cover.
HomesteadGarden.com offers Printable Garden Journal Pages. If I go the binder route again next year, I would definitely use some of these pages.
Garden journaling software is also a possibility -- like Garden Tracker, which offers worksheets, reports, database, and creation of markers and seed packets.
Dave's Garden offers online garden journals. There are currently 4,501 journals on the site, so it's obviously a helpful and worthwhile resource for many people.
Of course, I could always use this blog as my online journal, which I already do in a way. I'm sure it will be helpful to review this year's posts in the future. I just don't think I want to keep all my information on the site, and I know a lot of it wouldn't be of interest to anyone but me.
The bottom line: I'll probably go high-tech next year. The handwritten journals are lovely, but I would need something more rough-and-tumble where I can scribble and customize to suit. I'll create a folder on the computer with spreadsheet(s) for planting & bloom dates, and Word documents for diary entries and lists. I'll include some of the printable garden journal pages and selected photos. I don't know that I'll ever print anything out -- the computer access should be fine. But I'll still need to have a place to collect plant tags.... Anyway, I've got some time to decide. Over the winter I'm looking forward to focusing on planning & design, and that's when I'll take my garden journal to the next level.