woman writing in a notebook

Tips for using empty notebooks

I love a notebook. However they’re set out – plain, lined or squared, new empty notebooks are just asking to be filled. They can be a thing of beauty, depending on design. I think a functional notebook is more likely to be filled than a pretty notebook.

If you’ve got a stash of empty notebooks on your shelves or desk, then start using them. Otherwise you’ll likely end up with a collection of unused books.

It’s not always easy to get started using a blank notebook or journal. Especially not if you’ve got terrible handwriting like mine, and you know it’ll end up scrawled and ruining the pristine look of them. But notebooks are made to be used, not just to look pretty.

What to write in them? How to use them? Here’s some empty notebook ideas, and what to use them for.

Tips on making use of empty notebooks

Bullet journal – use gel pens, and create different layouts.

Doodle – especially useful in meetings or on when on the phone.

Paint or do art

Meal plan or keep recipes – especially helpful to remember which were successful with family and which were a definite no.

Keep a food diary – track allergies, diet.

woman writing in a notebook

Make travel plans.

Keep a travel diary.

Make notes on favourite restaurants visited.

Keep a gratitude journal – these are really nice to do with children as well. You could even have a family journal.

Play paper games like noughts and crosses, hangman, boxes.

Write your goals and dreams – for short and long term.

Note all your favourite memories – you could categorise by year, people or experiences.

Write fun lists – on all types of silly topics, think like topics that kids would enjoy.

To do lists – rather than using scraps of paper use a notebook, and see your tasks nicely ticked off.

Write on the first or last of every month – look back over the year at your journal and understand your levels of happiness.

Add a photo or drawing to represent each day.

Use it as a time planner.

Track your health – e.g if you get headaches you can track what else happened/what you ate on days leading up to and on the day of migraines

Keep track of your medication taken and any changes.

Track weight loss (or gain, or stability).

Use as a self care journal, tracking your emotions and feelings each day.

Write your baby’s/child’s milestones.

Set your exercise or fitness goals and track them.

Track your running distances and PBs.

Record sports results – your own competitions, or those of your team you follow.

Plan house renovations.

Note your DIY projects that have been completed and costs to help with checks in future.

Track your purchases or savings accounts, with progress towards your financial goals.

Write jokes.

Practice handwriting or try calligraphy.

Write poetry.

Get you book you’ve always wanted to write on paper.

Write a story.

Create a screenplay.

Keep favourite quotes or sayings.

Write your favourite songs down each week.

Keep random act of kindness ideas and actions, and note how they make the recipient feel (if you know).

Write book reviews.

Track the books you’ve read.

Write down new dance moves you’ve learnt.

Keep your favourite song lyrics, or write your own.

Record the songs you’ve heard and want to download.

Create favourite playlists which you can then stream.

Record knitting or crochet patterns you create, and why not add photos of the completed item.

Write blog posts.

Plan a set of podcasts.

Keep a record of your passwords.

Write your bucket list – for life, or for holidays.

Keep track of gifts you’ve bought and received – for birthdays, Christmas and other occasions, to avoid duplication and aid writing thank you letters.

Plan for Christmas – write gift ideas, dinner timings and ingredients needed.

Party planning – decorations, food, costumes, games, locations.

Get your art on and create comic characters and cartoon strips

tips for using empty notebooks blog.

How do you use blank notebooks?

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  1. Wow, so many good ideas here. I don’t have that many spare notebooks as I know I won’t use them but my daughter has LOADS. I’m going to show her this post, hopefully it will encourage her to start using some of them and stop buying new ones at least in the short term!

  2. I love your suggestions. I actually use all my notebooks for quiet many of the uses you also suggested. I use notebooks so much that I seem to always need some more.

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