15 Ways To Use Empty Notebooks

How many empty notebooks do you have lying around? If you’re anything like me, the answer is: A LOT. I tend to buy/receive notebooks much faster than I use them and they end up sitting on my shelf, untouched for months or even years. Sometimes when I flip through the countless blank pages, I feel inspired to fill them with my thoughts and ideas. However, more often than not, I end up staring at the pages with no idea what to write or how to fill them.
So, I’ve decided to compile a list of creative ways to use those empty notebooks. Hopefully this list will help you (and me) to finally pull out one of those gorgeous notebooks and start filling those pages. 

1. Personal Diary

I’ve decided to get the most obvious and basic use of a notebook out of the way first, since you’ve probably already considered this. The idea of writing down your deepest personal thoughts can be scary, but journalling has been one of the most important habits I’ve developed over the years and I couldn’t recommend it enough. 
2. Taking notes for your learning
This is one of my favourite ways of using notebooks because I absolutely LOVE to learn new things. The options of things you could learn are absolutely endless, whether or not you are still a student. There are plenty of free resources you can use to develop your skills in photography, learn about historical events and so much more. My favourite places online resources include: Skillshare, KhanAcademy, Udemy, Wikipedia and even YouTube. Reading books (especially self-help or non-fiction books) is another great way of learning new information. Writing down what you learn is a great way of making the information easy to refer back to and remember in the future. 
3. Use it as a planner (Bullet Journal)
You’ve probably heard of Bullet Journalling, which is essentially a way of using a plain notebook as a planning. I’ve used this method as part of my planning routine for years and it has been a game-changer for me in terms of productivity and creativity.
Of course, a notebook can also be used as a planner without applying the structure of a bullet journal i.e. with a future log, weekly and daily logs etc. The beauty of using a blank notebook is that you have full freedom to create the exact layouts that suit your lifestyle. You can use only monthly layouts combined with short daily to do lists, or draw out elaborate weekly spreads with sections for you tasks and habits. 
4. Dream Journal
‘I remembered my dream when I just woke up, but I’ve forgotten it now’. This is a common phrase I’ve heard many people saying about the dream they had the previous night. Dreams are fascinating and can often be used as a source of inspiration. Writing them down will help you remember what you dreamt about and will allow you to reflect on them. Maybe there’s even something to analyse? A consistent pattern? 
5. Brain dump notebook
This is exactly what it sounds like: a place for you to dump all of the thoughts and ideas that are taking up precious space in your brain. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, this notebook can be the perfect place to write out your to-dos or brainstorm the next step in your project. It’s also a great place to record all the incredible ideas that pop into your head at random times throughout the day. However, with a notebook like this it’s very easy to write things down and forget about them, so it’s vital that you designate a little bit of time each week to look back at what you wrote and act on it. 
6. Learn a foreign language
Whether you’re learning a language in a class or teaching yourself from online resources, it’s a good idea to have all of your notes in one place. Having a single notebook for all your vocabulary, grammar notes etc. will be very useful for you to refer back to in the future. 
7. Travel memories
Keeping a record of all your memories while travelling is one of the best ways to document all the adventures you go on. Having a physical notebook, rather than just taking lots of photos, has the advantage that you can stick in your tickets and other things you collect throughout your trip. 
8. Document your progress with a skill 

Whether you are learning how to code, play an instrument or a new language, it’s useful to have a place to document your progress and set goals to continue improving. 
9. Reading journal

Before I discovered Goodreads, I used a single notebook to write down all of the books I wanted to read, what I thought of each book as I was reading it and my overall review. I also had a list of all the books I had read in a given year so I could see them all at a glance.
10. Make lists
Lists can be a great way to reflect on topics and spark creativity. You can make lists about absolutely anything and everything, whether it’s your top 20 travel destinations or a grocery list. If you’re stuck for ideas of what to write lists about, here is a blog post I wrote with 33 ideas. 
11. Collect quotes that you like
This type of notebook can be an incredible source of inspiration at times when you are lacking in ideas and creativity. Keeping a collection of motivation quotes (and maybe throwing in some inspirational pictures) can help you to stay on track to achieve your goals. 
12. Sketchbook
Many people think that they ‘can’t’ draw or that they aren’t creative enough to have a whole notebook dedicated to drawings. However, having a notebook where you can express your creativity in whatever form it comes in can be a new source of inspiration. 
13. Password book
With the number of websites that require accounts and complicated passwords, it’s important to have a way of remembering them without keeping a note on your computer that could potentially be hacked into. Be sure to keep this in a safe space and avoid making it easy to spot i.e. don’t write ‘PASSWORDS’ on the front. 
14. Recipes or Meal Planning

With the abundance of good recipes from a variety of sources available, it’s a good idea to have a single place to store all of them for easy reference. Writing them out in a notebook allows you to add notes about certain steps or tweak the ingredients slightly. 
15. Fitness tracker

Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain weight or just live a generally healthier lifestyle, having a notebook to track your progress is a great way to stay on track. Just like having a gym buddy, this notebook can help you to stay accountable!

Let me know how you like to use your empty notebooks!

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