50 ways to fill a notebook – part 3

Welcome to part three of 50 ways to fill a notebook. We’re getting to the business end of notebook filling now, so I imagine you’re waking up to do your morning pages and tracking all your habits analogue style. These next ideas should keep you busy on your next notebook shopping trip.

21. Sketch

I love some of the artworks that Moleskine and Leuchtturm fans share on social. Follow both brands on Insta for some truly beautiful drawings and paintings. And then grab your own A5 hardcover, pencils, ink or paint and seek out a beautiful scene to commit to paper.

22. Mood diary

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given is not to analyse your life when you’re having a bad day. But if you’re down in the dumps it can feel as though everyday is a bad day. A mood diary can help. Use smiley faces or assign colours to common feelings and colour in a square or shape for each day. Do this for a while and soon you’ll be able to see what triggers your high and lows. An unobtrusive pocket notebook works best, but make sure to choose one with an inspiring cover quote. N.B. There is a direct correlation between good moods and notebook hauls.

23. Budget log

There’s nothing like writing down what you’ve spent to curb your next splurge. Unless it’s on notebooks of course, in which case it doesn’t count! Choose a dot grid or crosshair format and rule in columns for money in and money out. At the end of each week and month you can see exactly how much your flat white habit is costing you. Painful but effective if you’re on an economy drive.

24. Chores

If you hate hoovering as much as I do, you can conveniently forget the last time you got the `Henry out. Use a notebook to plan out a cleaning regime. I’ve got a dot grid which I’ve turned into one of those sheets you see on the back doors of bathrooms in restaurants and hotels. Instead of an hour-by-hour check in, I sign my initials to show I’ve cleaned day-by-day. Hey – whatever helps you get it done.

25. Addresses

A dedicated notebook works best here with tabs for each letter of the alphabet. Even so I tend to create my own – after all, how many people do you know whose surname begins with an X.

If you do start from scratch, something heavy that you’ll feel disinclined to move from its home is good – otherwise you’ll never find it when you need it. And enjoy crossing out and updating details whenever friends and family move. Years later its a lovely way to look back and remember.

26. Novel fodder

Maybe you’ve got a great work-in-progress, but what about when you’re out and about and her a snatch of conversation that you want to capture. Or maybe you’re people watching outside a cafe and want to note down some interesting mannerisms to build up a new character. Writers should always have a notebook with them for just this purpose. Small enough to be portable, yet big enough to flesh out an idea or two I go for a mid-sized, soft covered exercise book.

Depending on how prolific you are, you might want to chose a favourite brand so over time you fill a notebook with novel fodder, you can move seamlessly to another. Moleskine or Leuchturrm would be my recommendation and then you can do the awesome tower/rainbow thing with your collection and share on Insta.

27. 3AM book

You wake up in the middle of the night with a business idea that will make you a gazillionaire. Make sure you keep a notebook by your bedside table to write it down. This is what Kikki K founder Kristina Karlsson did and the rest is history.

It’s not just business ideas though. If you’ve got something on your mind that’s preventing you from sleeping, writing it down gives you permission to park it for long enough to get some rest and come back to it the next day.

28. Meal planner

Map out breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week ahead. Saves time and money and means that when you g shopping, you don’t end up buying loads of random things just because they were on special offer. I encouraged one of my friends to do this and she notes down the calories for each meal beside it so she can track this at the same time.

29. Goals

With so much going on day-to-day its easy to forget your focus. Keep your goals noted down and carry them with you. I have a micro notebook for this, which I’m using alongside my goals journal. I use it just to write down my three goal words for that day and leave the reflection piece for my monthly review.

30. Research/Fact book

I went through a phase of picking a topic that I wanted to learn more about and dedicating an a couple of hours to it once a week. This can be anything from historical battles and their causes, to philosophical concepts, or even the question you didn’t know the answer to in the pub quiz. Once you leave school it doesn’t always feel like there’s much time to learn new things, but this is a way to keep a track of the things that pique your interest day-to-day.

Before you go…

Start at the beginning is good advice whether you’re in Wonderland or elsewhere, so if you’ve stumbled across this then check out my previous posts, 50 ways to fill a notebook part 1 and 50 ways to fill a notebook part 2. You can find part 4 here. And finally, part 5


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