Healthcare Management|Working With Your Doctor|Your Health Resources
Health Maintenance

Creating a Personal Health Journal (Health Diary)

Last Updated August 2022 | This article was created by editorial staff and reviewed by Robert "Chuck" Rich, Jr., MD, FAAFP

A personal health journal (health diary) is a record of your health. It is a journal you keep yourself. The journal helps you keep track of every aspect of your health.

Path to improved health

A personal health journal is an easy way to keep track of your health. Keeping track of your health history helps you to be an informed patient. Knowledge allows you to take more control of your healthcare. A personal health journal also helps you stay healthy. Take your health journal to your doctor’s appointments. This provides your doctor with exact information about your health. Your doctor also can help you keep your health journal up to date.

Below is an example of a personal health journal. You may download the Personal Health Journal in Excel format.

Illness/Injury: Date:
Hospitalizations: Date:
Surgeries: Date:
 Medications/Supplements:  Dosage & Notes:
 Emergency Contacts:  Phone & Relationship:
 Family Medical History:   Additional Details: 
Immunizations:   Dates: 

The journal should track your overall health. You can customize your journal to include any information that you want. Ask your doctor for recommendations of what to include. Some of the things you should include are:

  • Illnesses
  • Injuries
  • Hospitalizations
  • Surgeries
  • Allergies
  • Conditions that run in your family
  • Medicines, vitamins, and supplements that you take. Include how much and how often you take them
  • Vaccines

When you fill in your health history, be sure to include the dates. For example, if you were hospitalized, write down the date that you were admitted and the date you were discharged. You also can include notes on how you were feeling.

Things to consider

It’s best to include as much health information as possible. Contact your doctor’s office to get information from your medical records. This can fill in information about past health issues.

If you don’t have access to your medical records, you can still record general information. If you’ve had surgeries or illnesses in the past, write those down. You don’t need to know the exact dates. Once you’ve filled in as much information as you can, start recording your current health history.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What types of information should I include in my personal health journal?
  • How detailed should the journal be?
  • Can you provide a copy of my medical records?
  • Should I include prescription and over-the-counter medicines?
  • Should I record family medical illnesses?


National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus: Personal Health Record

@media print { @page { padding-left: 15px !important; padding-right: 15px !important; } #pf-body #pf-header-img { max-width: 250px!important; margin: 0px auto!important; text-align: center!important; align-items: center!important; align-self: center!important; display: flex!important; }