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Do you tend to fall into the cute and artistic trap set by stationary aisles, and have spent more money than you care to mention on things you don’t need? If that sounds uncomfortably familiar, then you must have at least two blank− and lovely − notebooks lying somewhere in your house. We get it, those pages look too perfect to be spoiled by doodles and the nitty-gritty of our day-to-day lives. However, notebooks are meant to be written on and not to be used as decorative pieces, catching dust on your shelves.
You can do many things in a blank notebook include documenting your dreams, creating a personal word glossary, writing down family recipes, and recording a travel journal to name but a few. It might take a little inspiration for you to start using a blank notebook but when you do, it can become something you cherish for all the right reasons.
In this article, we have created a list of amazing ideas to fill up the blank pages of your notebook. Pick one to find out how it allows you to unleash your creativity in the most fulfilling way.
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Using Your Notebooks
One of the main reasons some people may be hesitant to fill up their notebooks is because of their fear of giving up halfway. To use notebooks for personal growth, you need to be consistent. If you feel that’s something you struggle with, setting up simple ground rules can help you overcome that.
Remember, the key is to unleash your creativity, and that can only happen when you make mistakes, make it messy, and aren’t scared to scratch off and start again. Therefore, kill off your inner perfectionist, for the time being, and follow these rules:
|Rules To Follow||Why?|
|Don’t be put off by messiness||Every single piece of art requires some form of messiness. Don’t let it come in the way of your creativity. Your notebook might have some scratched-off words, typos, and sloppy writing. This just adds character|
|Remain consistent no matter what||You can only gain perfection by practicing every day. The top athletes, writers, programmers, scientists, etc. were not born great, they achieved greatness by showing up every day regardless of failure. If you are using your notebook to be productive, use it regularly.|
|Everything is acceptable||Don’t let others’ opinions affect your creativity or your theme. Write anything you want in your notebook, even if others find it cringy or mediocre. If you are struck with creativity, write it down.|
Ideas to Help You Use a Notebook or Journal
When you come across a blank notebook in your home, be excited about the world of possibilities it offers. There is so much you can do. You may even discover a part of yourself that you didn’t know existed. Here are some creative ideas to unlock your potential using a blank journal:
Document Your Dreams
People experience dreams differently; some remember them for a long time, some remember it so clearly one moment, and then it eludes them completely the next, and others can just feel the dream in their grasp but cannot bring it to the forefront of their minds. Imagine if you start recording your dreams immediately in an empty notebook. It can give you an insight into your subconscious or, at the very least, entertain you as you leaf through them.
This habit may also train your subconscious mind to remember dreams more consistently.
Start a Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journals are all about reflection and feeling grateful for what and who you have in your life. It can be a good way to practice mindfulness and recognise your thoughts and feelings.
Expressing gratitude can improve both your mental and even physical health. Choose a time every day (for example just before bed) and let that be your ‘gratitude time’. Write down something or someone you’re grateful for and why you are grateful for it. Writing the why is also important as it allows you to reflect on not just what you have, but how it impacts you.
Some days you might find a lot of things to be grateful for and others you might struggle, but always try to come up with at least one or two to right down. Here are a few prompts to get you started. And remember consistency is key to forming a habit, so if you do start a gratitude journal make sure you write in it every day to get the maximum benefit.
Design a Vision Board Journal
Vision boards are dedicated to everything you want to achieve for yourself. They serve as a reminder and as an inspiration. So, one of the things to do in a blank notebook is to turn it into your vision board journal. Grab pictures from magazines, use washi tapes, printouts, write down your favorite quotes, and add anything else that drives your passion in order to achieve your dreams.
Create a Personal Word Glossary
Do you ever come across a new word or phrase while reading or listening to a documentary that strikes us and makes us appreciate its beauty and accuracy? We quite often forget about such words after a while and never get to add them to our own vocabulary. What if you start writing down these well-crafted words in a notebook?
Once you write it down and make a habit of finding its meaning and usage later, you’d unknowingly enrich your speech and writing without too much effort.
Organize Family Recipes
Once you realize the power of documentation, you won’t ever wonder what to do in a blank notebook again. Today, we are an advanced civilization because of the way our ancestors documented what they had learned. Anything that wasn’t documented is now lost forever. You can preserve your own family’s legacy by writing down recipes carried down through generations. Ask your aunts and uncles, your grandmas and grandpas, your parents, your siblings, and your friends to share their most special recipes. Write them down and see how they’d be valued by generations to come.
If you have a garden or want to start one, a gardening journal is a great way to use a blank notebook. Write down the plants you have and how often they need watering, fertilizer or trimming. You can also write down when they flower or go dormant or any special requirements they have.
If you want to plant veggies or herbs, use a gardening journal to keep track of the seasons and the best time of year to plant and pick.
Create An Extra Space for Your Brain
A lot of parallels are drawn between creative minds and mental disorders. Although journaling is not a treatment, it can help the mind relieve some of the stress and agitation by putting thoughts on paper. It can be used as an extra space for your brain so it isn’t overwhelmed with millions of thoughts at a time.
Use a blank notebook to declutter your mind by writing down a to-do list, schedules, thoughts that disturb you, ideas that are going around in your head, and everything that you need to remember for the next day.
Create a Travel Journal
We take lots of pictures when we are traveling and then we go back to those pictures years later and remember like it was yesterday. However, there’s a lot that we don’t remember and it’s because it wasn’t captured by pictures. You don’t remember how you were feeling in that moment as you stood under a waterfall or that story of missing your train by a minute and running after it. What if we were to tell you that you can find all that within a travel journal?
Take one of your empty notebooks with you, the next time you go travelling, and document everything, from that day, before bed. Or write it down immediately after things happen, if you have the time or inclination. It will become a cherished travel log for years to come. You could also attach receipts, pictures, tokens, and souvenirs next to the entries.
If you need a creative outlet, a blank notebook can be fantastic. Use if for sketching, doodles, jotting down ideas or even practicing lettering or another artistic skill you want to learn.
This is a great use of a notebook with no lines or grids, however any notebook can be used for this purpose.
Things To Do Lists
Create lists of the things you want to try or do. Hobbies, books, tv shows, restaurants, anything you see and think that would be great to try/see/visit/do/watch etc. This is the place to write down everything you see or have been recommended but then forget.
Then when you’re looking for a book to read, or somewhere new to eat, or a place to go on holiday just go through this book for inspiration.
Capture Dialogues and Conversations
If you are an inspiring writer, this journaling habit will help you finesse your dialogue-writing skills. When you are starting out as a writer, all the ‘he said, she said’ can start sounding unnatural and disrupts the flow. To write like your role models, start observing them. It is easier said than done when you are too deep into reading and stop seeing words entirely because your imagination takes over. A notebook next to you will encourage you to read actively and start noting down dialogues that you find interesting.
When you observe and write it down, you’ll naturally start to mimic the professional writing style.
A notebook is a perfect tool for a health log. This is particularly useful if you have any type of health condition but can also be used to track your general wellbeing. Keeping track of your general health can lead to a quick realisation if anything changes, allowing you to keep on top of any issues.
Some things you can track are water intake, headaches, sleep, exercise, periods, your mood or any medical condition symptoms. If you do have something that is pre-existing, you can also create logs to track triggers such as a food log for migraines or ulcers.
Have you been wondering where all your money went at the end of the month? In the digital age it is so easy to use your card to pay for things and then suddenly realise you have no money left. Using a notebook as a finance tracker is a great way to keep an eye on where your money goes, and be more conscious of your spending.
Use can also use it to track savings goals, or paying off debt. Create something visual that allows you to track your progress.
Start a Bullet Journal
Of course one of our favourite things to do in a notebook is start a bullet journal. Bullet journals are a great way to help you organise your time. Your can take notes, complete tasks and remember appointments all in one planner.
The beauty of a bullet journal is it is completely customizable to your needs. You can even incorporate a few of the other ideas in this article into your bullet journal. If you’re completely new to bullet journaling, check out our ultimate guide for beginners.
Empty pages have never made history, taught skills or come up with life-changing ideas. It was when people put thoughts, ideas, plans, and inspirations down on paper that it turned into something bigger. The fact that you are using lovely-looking notebooks for it is even better as this will encourage you to take it with you, wherever you go, and write in it more often.
Pick any one of our amazing ideas to start utilizing your empty notebooks and journals. Alternatively, just pick one up at the end of every day and write down everything that is going on inside your head. Empty your minds onto the paper and enjoy the creativity that comes out.