12 Marvellous Ways To Use Notebooks

If you are reading this, then we have something in common. For I have a confession to make. I am a notebook hoarder. There, I’ve said it. I have more blank notebooks in my house than I know what to do with. I am not even sure how I have managed to get so many, and all with no purpose. I see a pretty one, I buy it. Friends know that I love stationery, so I get them as gifts. I join in with #bringbackpaper stationery swaps, I get sent them. The list goes on, and it only results in more and more notebooks. Without a single thing written in them. Until now. This stops now! I know that you are with me on this, which is why today I want to share with 12 marvellous ways to use notebooks, from the fun to the practical ideas.

Which ones will you try?

Ways to Use Your Notebooks – From Fun to Practical

notebook and pens

How do you start a notebook

This here is always the stumbling block! I can see my shelf full of notebooks from my desk as I write this.

They are empty, devoid of purpose. Unspoilt. Therein lies the problem, as if you’re anything like me, you have notebooks that you do not want to start, as that might ‘spoil’ them.

Yes, as I write this, I see how completely ridiculous this is, notebooks are made to be written in, they are made for notes. But it can be hard to write those first few pages, even the first few lines, which is why I want to help you today.

I want to share a little notebook inspiration, ways to use notebooks that might just tempt you into grabbing one off your shelf and actually writing in it. 

For me, the best way to start a notebook is to give it a purpose, choose a pretty pen, and then go for it… 

What should I write in a notebook?

Start a book of lists

This might well be the easiest place to start and we can all keep a notebook of lists, can’t we?

You could start a notebook purely to use as a daily to-do list, it might be to note down work or business plans, or maybe you have some project planning to do and it would help to jot things down. 

Alternatively, this could be a book filled with fun lists, anything from your favourite books through to the cities you would love to see one day. 

If you don’t use lists, then you might find that these reasons to use lists persuades you to give them a go. 

Give a bullet journal a go

If you love stationery and have too many notebooks, the chances are high that you have at least heard of bullet journals, if indeed you haven’t already dipped your toe. 

If you’re not too sure what they are all about or how to begin one, this getting started with a bullet journal post should help you to get going. My biggest piece of advice would be to just try it. Don’t overthink it and worry about spoiling that notebook. Start and it will develop over time. 


Start a travelling notebook

Have you heard of a travelling notebook? These are brilliant happy mail projects to get involved with. Choose a notebook, preferably a small one to allow it travel more easily, and add a page or two to it. After that, send it on to a friend or pen pal and ask them to do the same and then send it on. 

It could travel the county, the country or even the world, before it gets sent back to you. 

Keep a book journal

I started keeping a book journal a few years ago when a friend bought one for me. 

It seemed like such an obvious thing for me to do, as a bookworm, yet it had never occurred to me to do so until that moment.

Since then, I have used my notebooks to keep a track of all of the books I have read. 

notebook, pen and plant

Start a garden journal

A garden journal is a good way to keep track of your progress out there. 

You could divide it up into months or seasons and use it to make plans, note down what you have been planting, any growth you have spotted and projects you are keen to undertake.

It can be a place for all of your gardening ideas to converge and you might want to add photos of your garden through the seasons. 

Write your own prose or poetry

Have you ever tried writing your own poetry or prose? It’s a great creative pastime and well worth sitting down and attempting if you have yet to do this. 

What will flow from your pen? What is in your mind right now that you could unlock? It could be a snippet of dialogue, an upbeat poem or a character’s musings. 

Keep a memory book

You might want to make a note of a few special memories and occasions, and put together a memory book

This could be about absolutely anything, maybe a holiday, a season or a period in your life that you want to capture. This will probably be in more of a scrapbook layout, and you could include photos, ticket stubs, leaflets and more. 

Create a birthday book

Have you heard of these? I have been keeping a birthday journal for my children since their first birthdays and it’s something that I love to write in every year.

It’s really simple to do, I settle down with mine on the evening of each of their birthdays and write a few pages about their special day and then more of a snapshot of their year.

I like looking back over them and it’s a great way to recall each and every birthday without them blurring into one! 

Use it for budgeting

I know, it’s not exciting. But it could prove to be very useful. Sometimes notebooks are there to help get us back on track, and using it to note down any savings goals, incomings and outgoings and plans to spend differently might be really handy. 

Fill it with your wonderful ideas

This one is so simple. Fill your notebook with your wonderful ideas, which can take any shape or form.

You might choose to doodle, use mind maps or lists upon lists of ideas you have for absolutely anything you want to write about!

Take up a course and learn something new

This is one of my favourite ways to use a notebook as I always enjoy learning new things. When I was studying with the Open University, I enjoyed the start of the modules as I got to gather all of my brand new stationery and notebooks ready for it!

Try a gratitude journal

This is such a positive way to use up a notebook. I shared this post explaining why a gratitude journal is the happiest notebook you will ever own, and it is difficult to imagine a better way to use one. 

You can keep this really simple and just note down a few things at the end of every day that you have been grateful for that day. You will find yourself starting to spot the good in seemingly uneventful days very quickly. 

There you have it, 12 marvellous ways to use notebooks. Surely there is something there that has sparked an idea in your head and got you reaching for that blank notebook? Do let me know if so, just use the #bringbackpaper hashtag on Instagram or Twitter and we will all be able to find it!

If you’re new to Bring Back Paper, you can find out more about it all here. You can join our Facebook group here and you can sign up to join my mailing list below, for all the latest news, updates, ideas and activities. 


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4 thoughts on “12 Marvellous Ways To Use Notebooks”

  1. J, I love how you give people the idea of making lists if they don’t already. ? The thought of ruining the first page of a new notebook unnecessarily makes me think carefully before starting a new one!

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