Friday, June 30, 2017

20 Ways to Fill up an Empty Notebook

If you are anything like me, you have a dozen of notebooks sitting at home. Empty. They look so pretty and you don't want to use them at school. What are you ever going to do with them? If you are even more like me, a lot of these notebooks have been collected when you were younger because you loved stationary since as long as you can remember and never wanted to use those notebooks/notepads. 
I have come up with 20 different ways you can fill your notebooks! 

Don't want to sit and read this entire blog post? Watch my video covering this entire blog post in just a few minutes below!

1 | Travel Journal

You can write about every trip you have been on and add pictures, your flight tickets, anything that's related to that trip and can be inserted in your journal. However, you don't have to go across the globe to be able to make a travel journal. Your journal can have memories and writings of local places you have been to with your family, friends, or loved one. Adding a picture of the map, or drawing the map of the place can also add a nice artistic element to your travel journal. If you don't mind your journal not being completely flat, you can currency of the place (if the place has slightly different currency e.g. quarters of different states, or if your trip was international) like coins and/or bills. You can even add packing lists before you go on the trip to one page and then write about the journey and the trip on the next pages.

2 | Collections

Nail Polish Collection
This is inspired from the famous YouTuber, Ann Le (Anneorshine). You can make a book of collections of different items you own in different colors/types. For example; nail polishes, eye shadow shades, eye makeup, different pens and highlighters you own (if you love stationery), and so on. All you have to do is basically make small swatches on the page and you can write the shade, company, etc below or beside the swatches (as shown in the picture). If you own plants you can even draw the different plants you own, the nutrients they need, how often you need to water them, etc (especially if you are a new "Plant Mother"). If you want to up it a bit, you can even take pictures and add them to the pages instead (e.g shoes you own, etc). If you buy a lot of stuff from shops like Etsy that you need to keep buying every now and then (e.g. planner stickers), you can make a collection of that too and write down the shop name so it's easier to find when you need to order the item again. It's your own collections journal so you can add as many collections you want, no one is judging, darling! 

3 | Assignments Tracker

If you are in high school or college (or simply want to track any important assignments) dedicate your empty notebook to writing down your assignments so you don't forget to complete and submit them before the deadline. It's a great idea to also write down what chapters/modules were covered in class so it's easy for you to know what to revise that day and/or what to go through next for the next day's lecture. A great way to remain organized and on-time for everything! You don't have to have a table like shown in the above picture, you can have a simple layout with headers like a planner too.

4 | New Language

If you are learning a new language, whether on your own or in class, it's a good idea to dedicate a notebook to it so you can write down the basics (especially stuff you are likely to forget) like regular and irregular verbs and their conjugations, pronouns/possessives, etc. (Also, if you are learning a new language, it's a good idea to learn beginner phrases and phrases like "could you please talk slower, I don't know much [language name]"). You can even make a list of common nouns and adjectives. Create a page for the contents at the beginning. Dedicate 2-4 pages (depending on how big your notebook is) for the index at least so you know where everything is in your notebook and you have enough space for your contents page.

5 | Lists

This is a very broad topic, so you can literally make any kind of lists. Lists of what items you want to save up for, where you want to travel, a bucket list, grocery shopping list, whatever list you need to make! I suggest using a notepad for this one so you can easily tear off lists you don't need anymore (like when you are done buying the groceries, for example) and also to save space since the lists won't normally be very detailed, but at the end, it all depends on what you need. 
(The notepad in the picture above is a random notepad, this post isn't sponsored)

6 | Bullet Journal

If you have been to my blog before or seen any of my YouTube videos, you know I love Bullet Journals. If you love to plan and add various elements to your book to make it more than just a "planner" then you should definitely try making a Bullet Journal. You can visit the official Bullet Journal page and find out the basics and you can also click here to see my bullet journal setup or watch my June and July monthly set up videos below to get an idea of what a Bullet Journal can look like:

7 | Dream Journal

If you like keeping track of your dreams, or like the idea of doing so, you should consider having a Dream Journal. You can write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. You can do this if you just dislike the feeling of forgetting a good dream after a few minutes of waking up or want to decipher your dreams in a way if you believe the have some hidden meaning(s). You could also just do it for fun. You can record your dreams every day or when you want to, it's up to you.

8 | Brainstorming

I love brainstorming. It really helps me come up with a lot of ideas and helps me evaluate those ideas or add ideas to those ideas if that makes any sense. If your job or hobby (or whatever it is that you do) requires a lot of creativity and coming up with ideas, then a Brainstorming Notebook should be your buddy. 
You can make spider diagrams, flow charts, anything you like. I recommend you use a dotted or grid notebook for this one but if you have an empty lined notebook it won't stop you from brainstorming, I promise.

9 | Gratitude Journal

If you don't know, a gratitude journal is basically a journal full of things you are grateful for. Thanking God/the universe/any force you believe in (if you believe in one) for the privileges you receive every day. If you have read or watched "The Secret", you know exactly what this is. It's simple to do. You can choose a number of things you want to write down that you are grateful for every day (e.g. 5 things per day) and write why you are grateful for each of those things/people/events/etc. Writing regularly about what you are grateful for will make you happier...I guess because you are saying out loud that you are happy with everything you have.

10 | Doodling & Sketching

I find doodling/sketching very therapeutic. I'm not that good at drawing but I like to believe I can draw decently (kinda) but that doesn't stop messy doodling from helping me de-stress. You don't have to be good at art to have a doodling/sketching/drawing journal. Just try to create new stuff, designs, cartoons, whatever you want to and let your creativity take over. If it helps you become relaxed and enjoy your "me-time", then who cares if you can draw or not? 

11 | Study Notes

If you are serious about studying and create your own notes, then use that empty notebook lying around to make a notes-book. Since it isn't being use at school, you can take your time, make it neat and add extra information if needed. Make it proper in one go so you can always rely on the notes for upcoming exams and don't have to sit in between 2 textbooks and a study guide and your school notes to study for one test.

12 | Year Overview

You can write about how the previous year was, you can write about the month and your feelings and what happened in that month, like a monthly overviews. You can then sum up the entire year in the end and add any thoughts, reflections, etc. You can pictures, news articles, etc. depending on what you are writing about and what you want to capture and remember from the year. It could be kind of like a rarely written in diary.

13 | Memories

I love the idea of adding Polaroid pictures and text together. To me it seems kind of like the perfect combination for a journal. What's better is when you can write about memories and have pictures that can be associated with them - so you never forget it. Polaroids are back in trend and I ain't mad at it. In fact, I absolutely love it. You can make a cute, vintage looking (or not, you can add normal printed pictures cut to size) journal with loads of memories and pictures to go with them. You can write about events, trips, people, etc. There are so many good events that happen in your life even when you are going through a rough time. You should find those even if they are hard to find. Write them down so you can feel how lucky you are and look back on those memories, know exactly when they happened, and re-live them.

14 | Recipes

Love cooking/baking? Make your own homemade recipe book out of your notebook. Make sure to have a table of contents in the beginning and rate all the recipes as you write them down on each page. You can also add other elements like a sign for whether the meal is non-vegetarian, vegetarian, or vegan or if the meal is healthy or not. You can dedicate a section of each page for these indicators so you can quickly spot the "meal type" and decide on what to make. You can even divide the notebook into sections for example; Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner or Meals and Desserts, etc.

15 | Personal Diary

I don't really need to explain this, it's pretty self-explanatory. Pour your emotions onto the empty pages!

16 | Vision Board/Inspiration Board

You can create a vision board and/or inspiration board notebook! You may have different goals every month and different inspirations depending on your life. You can keep adding stuff to your notebook as and when you finish reading a magazine and want to add images from there or when you develop a new interest/passion.

17 | Statistics/Budgeting

If you want to be more budget-conscious but spreadsheets are just not your thing, use your blank notebook for it! You can start out with a page of your monthly budget goals followed by pages for your expenses and earnings. Make sure to create a table if you want all your numbers to be organized. An alternative idea would be to use it for statistics. If you are on social media and trying to make or have a business on it, you can use a notebook to record your weekly or monthly statistics, whether it is the increase in your followers/subscribers or any other insight. You can have a regular log made in your notebook. You can even plan what your goals for the month are in terms of growth and compare that to the end of the month statistics.

18 | Quick Notes/Ideas

If you have a small notepad/notebook, this is probably the perfect use for it. Take it with you on the go for any sudden bursts of brilliant ideas or if you need something quick to write on if you are meeting an adviser, for example. I always have random ideas at the most random times and I usually forget about them even if I write them in my phones' memos. So if you are like me, a small notepad would be great for this.

19 | Cathartic Writing

Everyone has their tough times and everyone has something they want to express/say but you can't always say everything to someone or sometimes you don't have someone to say the things too. Cathartic writing really helped me through some of my toughest times and if you are going through something you should definitely consider writing it down. I always heard people say that you should write down your feelings when you are sad or going through something but I never considered it till a teacher I'm close to suggested it to me when I sort of opened up about something I was going through. I gave it a try and it helped me so much. Ever since, whenever I'm upset about anything, I write down, very quickly every thing I'm feeling, in the messiest handwriting ever and get it all out. That's just how I do it. So if you have any suppressed or built up emotions, try cathartic writing (or maybe even painting/drawing). Find what makes you calm and peaceful and if this is what it is, then do it.

20 | Secret Compartment

If you honestly cannot think of anything to do with your notebook either because you've already tried the above 19 methods (or for that matter any other ideas from other websites), then my fellow reader, get your X-acto knife/cutter out and make a secret compartment out of your book (You can even use an old reading book you don't care about, actually). Even if you don't have anything important (but not too important) to keep in that compartment, it's still sort of fun to pretend like you have something to hide.


  1. This is really awesome and beautiful.
    Thank for this sharing.
    Custom office notepads

  2. Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites! notebook printing in Singapore

  3. Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I'm happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us,I too always learn something new from your post. get more info about notebook printing