Do you have a stash of blank notebooks? I didn’t realize that stationery hoarding was a thing, until one of our writers’ group members complained that she had over 100 blank notebooks.
It turns out that several of us had a similar problem, so we discussed ideas for filling our journals.
I’ve got enough blank notebooks lying around to make me feel guilty about not using them. Since I know I won’t stop buying notebooks, I know I should be doing something with them.
Blank notebooks: stop feeling guilty, and use them
Looking for ways to use your blank notebooks?
Archer & Olive, who supply wonderful journals with thick pages (perfect for fountain pen aficionados), offer 50+ Ideas.
They include these clever ideas, for:
- Plein air: outdoor sketching and painting;
- Swatching pens, paints, and inks; and
- Brainstorming: one journal for your brainstorms and creative ideas.
Here are some tips members of our group suggested.
1. Keep your notebooks and supplies together, so you’ll use them
When you have several journals, you need to be able to find them quickly.
Perhaps you have a bullet journal (of course), as well as journals for:
- A current major project, such as a book journal for your novel;
- Your dreams;
- Weekly meal plans and grocery lists…
You can keep your dream journal on your bedside table. However, for other journals, consider keeping them and their supplies in a basket, or on a tray. You can carry the basket to wherever you need it—you may want to sketch while watching a movie with the family, for example.
2. Number pages, and create a contents’ index so you can find what you need
Although some journals are numbered, many aren’t. Number the pages, and leave at few pages at the beginning for a table of contents.
Although this strategy isn’t essential for all journals, it’s valuable for many, such as:
- Your website or blog’s content notebook;
- A marketing notebook;
- A hobbies journal (I keep a sewing journal, in which I list patterns I own, and paste in swatches of materials.)
3. Take a photo of a page you need to remember
The digital world spoils us. We can find anything we need in seconds. The analogue world can be annoying.
Why not combine the worlds? If you’ve created a page in one of your blank notebooks and know you’ll want to reference the page, snap a photo of it. Drag the photo into Evernote or Obsidian, to find it quickly.
4. You don’t need to fill every page, before you archive a journal
Some journals, such as bullet journals, fill up quickly. However, if you use a notebook for a project, what do you do when the project is done, but much of the journal is blank?
Although I have a tendency to be obsessive—I like to FILL all the pages in a journal, I’ve trained myself to be practical. Now I archive half-empty project notebooks without a qualm.
Enjoy your blank notebooks: they’ll get you organized (and will make you more creative)
Have fun with your blank journals. 🙂
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