Everyone has an obsession of some sort, and mine happens to be cute stationery. Pens, highlighters, notebooks, journals… I’ve got way too many of them.
If this sounds familiar, you might be having the same troubles I had… how do I use up all these hoards of cutec– but seemingly uselessc– stuff? Specifically, empty notebooks?
This is where this post comes in! If you just can’t decide what to put in your empty notebooks, here are 11 practical ideas for you!
Many bullet-journal enthusiasts use their journals as productivity trackers, but you can do the same with a plain/lined notebook, as well!
A lined notebook is just as versatile as a dotted one (a bullet journal), and there are many pages and spreads you can create to track and increase your productivity. Here are some examples:
- Yearly resolutions list
- Master todo list
- Monthly todo list
- Weekly spreads
- Packing lists
- Study session checklist
- Project planning checklist
- Habit tracker
Of course, there is so much more you can do. A lined notebook can do almost everything a dotted notebook can do, so be creative!
As you get older and step into your upperclassmen years in high school and college, more and more large-scale projects will come up. Now, I don’t mean the project where you make a poster and present it in front of the class. I mean adult-ish projects.
My first real project was starting an (unofficial) non-profit organization with a few friends, which took a lot of planning and a lot of energy. Luckily, I didn’t have to do it alone.
Not only did I have my friends to help me, but I also depended a lot on my project-planning notebook. In it, I had planned out the following:
- The objective of the organization
- The name and theme of our website
- My team and each of our roles
- The exact steps before we officially launch
- A calendar with important dates
- How to outreach to recruit volunteers
- Monthly todo lists to maintain the organization
As you can see, a notebook is incredibly helpful for planning large projects with a lot of nuances. So if you have a project coming up (such as starting a club, starting a blog, finding an internship, or finding a scholarship), grab an empty notebook and get planning!
Recently, I’ve started a “collection” of inspirational quotes that I keep in a small notebook. Whenever I’m feeling uninspired, unmotivated, or down, I flip through the notebook and read a quote.
You can find quotes from a lot of places. Here are some examples of where I get my quotes from:
- Something my favorite celebrity said
- A line from a book
- A line from a movie
- Some lyrics from a song
- Lines from poetry
These quotes can be anything and from anywhere; as long as it inspired you and helps you become a better person, write it down!
A diary is a great way to preserve your memories, relieve anxiety, keep your thoughts organized, and allow self-reflection. Not to mention, it will help you fill up your empty notebook!
A common belief is that you have to write in a diary every single day, but that’s not true. There is no set interval that you have to follow; write whenever you feel like you want/need to!
This can be once a week, twice a month, or however often you want. Diaries should be a form of expression, so be free with your journaling!
YOU’LL LOVE THIS POST: How To Take Notes You’ll Actually Use
Notebooks are a great way to store your words for a long time. An amazing way to do this is by writing letters to your future self!
It’s incredibly fun and interesting to wonder what your future self is going to be like, and what would’ve happened in your life. Put all your questions, tips, and random thoughts into a notebook and save it for a certain date in the future.
To-do lists are a holy grail of productivity, and they’re a great way to fill up your empty notebooks.
If a planner or journal is too high-commitment for you, you can simply put your daily to-do lists (or master to-do list) in your notebook. You can keep it super simplistic or decorate it as much as you want.
Not only is this a great way to organize your tasks, but it can also help you keep track of everything you’ve already done whenever you’re feeling bad about being unproductive!
Morning brain dumps
Sometimes, your brain is filled with a bunch of thoughts in the morning, right after you wake up. These could be good thoughts, sudden reminders, stress about the day’s to-dos, or else. This is where a brain dump comes in!
As the name suggests (kind of), a brain dump is where you “dump” all your thoughts and worries onto a piece of paper in the form of writing.
You can write down everything, including:
- Tasks you forgot to put on a to-do list
- Thoughts of gratitude
- What you dreamed about last night
- Affirmations for the day
- Any random, fleeting thoughts
A brain dump notebook/journal is completely private and just for yourself (unless you’d like to share it, of course!), so you can be as random and creative as you’d like.
CHECK THIS OUT: 10 Brilliant Habits To Organize Your Entire Life
If you’re like me, you have way too many usernames and passwords lying around, some the exact same and some completely different.
While I do auto-save many of my passwords on my device, I prefer to be extra safe and write down my passwords for important websites in a notebook.
And for some accounts, I feel safer keeping them offline (in case my computer gets hacked). So if you have some accounts and websites you need to save, grab a notebook and write them down!
As I mentioned in my post, 23 Easy Habits That Will Skyrocket Your Productivity, keeping a distraction list is a great way to stay focused while working and being productive.
Instead of breaking your concentration to do something you suddenly remembered, quickly jot it down in your notebook then get back to work.
Once you’re done with the task at hand, refer to your distraction list and quickly do the things that are listed there. This helps ensure you’re not missing anything important, but are still staying productive.
If you love taking pictures and creating crafts, scrapbooking is for you! And all you need is your regular notebook, some pictures, some washi tape, and any other decorative item you want (like stickers, dried flowers, lace, and more).
Scrapbooking is a great way to preserve memories in a fun and creative way, and another amazing way to use up your empty notebooks.
If you’re a student, then you may know how much paper you have to use for all kinds of scratch work. Whether you’re writing essay drafts, doing math problems, or planning a project, scratch paper always comes in handy.
So if you have an empty (or even half-empty) notebook lying around, save it for scratch work! This way, you’ll be able to keep all your work and thoughts in one place, in case for future reference.
I hope this list was able to help you figure out what to do with your empty notebooks! Leave a comment with what you like to do with your notebooks!
If you’re looking for more posts like this, check these out: