Keeping a Party Journal & What to Put in it

I’ve been keeping a party journal for years! Get a peek inside and find out what information you should be keeping as well. It’s an invaluable tool for any hostess who loves entertaining at home.

keeping a party journal text on black journal

Keeping a party journal is the best way to track your most successful ideas, recipes, guest lists, and more!

Raise your hand if you’re obsessed with parties and entertaining. Me Too!! That’s why when I began hosting too many parties to mentally keep up with, I started keeping a party journal. It has become invaluable to me over the years as I jot down every detail I want to remember.

There are two main reasons I like to keep notes in my party journal. First of all, I don’t like to do the same thing twice with the same group. And secondly, I like to keep a record of what works and what doesn’t.

Want to know what goes in to my journal? Here’s a peek inside…

keeping a party journal, inside pages importance of keeping a party journal tips for keeping a party journal keeping a party journal and what to put in it

I’ve been hosting and entertaining for over 20 years. I’ve been keeping a party journal for all that time documenting what recipes I served, what was a hit and what was a miss. How much alcohol is consumed and what types. Even what dress I wore! I have a closet full of black cocktail dresses and yet still ‘never have a thing to wear’.

Here’s a list of things you’ll want to put in your Party Journal

  • I log each party I’ve hosted, and I have separate sections for our annual Christmas cocktail party, fun theme parties, and ladies nights.
  • For each party I list what the menu was, and where I can find the recipe. I have a ton of cookbooks, binders, recipe cards, and tear sheets of recipes. So writing down where to find it again is crucial.
  • I note how well the recipes were received. A simple asterisk beside it means it was a hit. Serve it again! And I’ll add it to my go-to list of party food.
  • I include the guests who attended each party. I have a 3-strikes rule I like to follow. If I invite someone to a party three times and they don’t come, I strike them off the invitation list. Of course if there is a legitimate reason they’ve missed, I take that into consideration. In general, life is too short and full of friendly faces to be chasing after others who aren’t invested in your friendship and hospitality.
  • I note what I wore. That’s right, any hostess with the mostess knows she can’t be seen wearing the same outfit twice! Haha, I’m only half joking. This really only applies to the Christmas party. I now have a closet full of cocktail dresses that I’ve worn once!

List information and ideas that you want to try out as well as those that you’ve done and were successful or not.

  • List of decorative touches. This includes things like making an ice bowl or an ice bottle cooler, to hanging white string lights for an outdoor party. I have a long list of decorative touches I’ve done over the years, or may want to try in the future.
  • List of go-to menus. This is a handy section that takes the guess work out of planning. For instance, a fail-proof  EASY brunch might include fruit trifle, cheese grits casserole, and bacon wrapped smokies. I also have a holiday meal section that includes classic recipes with a twist.
  • I have a Party Tips section with useful information I’ve collected over the years. Things like how to handle wine spills, pre-cleaning tactics, setting the mood with light and music, etc.
  • I have lists of recipes that I’ve either tried or want to try, from appetizers to side dishes to drinks. Beside each item I list what book with page number, or binder the recipe can be found.

A party journal is a great tool for every hostess and can hold pre-approved menus, perfect wine pairings, favorite party activities, and more.

There’s so much more that you can include in your party journal. I have a whole section on Christmas that includes traditions, classic movies to watch, etc.  I’ve got notes on preparing a cheese plate…a coffee bar…pairing wine and cheese…  The list goes on.

It’s such a great tool to have and I love writing in it as opposed to keeping a computer file, pinning, or texting into an app. As you can see, my journal is old and well worn. There are many beautiful journals you can find in stores like Target, HomeGoods, or online shops.  I hope you’re inspired to keep your own party journal!

I've been keeping a party journal for years! Get a peek inside and find out what information to keep. It's an invaluable tool for entertaining at home.

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One Comment

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE your ideas! Thank you so much for them! You have such a fun job and would love to keep learning from you! 🙂

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