If you have an empty notebook and just don’t know how to fill it out, and what to even do with it, here are 65 creative ways to fill it up!
I find myself perpetually surrounded by half-finished projects, toys that have seen better days, and notebooks. Oh, so many notebooks.
Each one was bought with the best of intentions, yet here they sit, gathering dust on my shelves, waiting for their moment to shine.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got a stash of empty notebooks lying around too.
Here are some productive ways to finally put those notebooks to good use.
Let’s Put Those Empty Notebooks To Good Use – Productive Ways To Use An Empty Notebook
1. The Ultimate Planner
Let’s start with the obvious: planning. But we’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill daily planner. No, as a mom of three, I’ve elevated planning to an art form. Use one of your empty notebooks to create the ultimate planner. Include sections for daily tasks, weekly menus, family activities, and personal goals. This isn’t just about keeping track of soccer practices and ballet recitals; it’s about carving out time for your goals and dreams amidst the chaos of family life.
2. A Creative Outlet
Here’s where things get fun. Use your notebook as a creative outlet. This can be anything from sketching your kids’ funny antics, writing poetry about the joys (and trials) of motherhood, or even dabbling in short stories. Not only does this provide a much-needed break from the daily grind, but you might just discover a hidden talent or two along the way.
3. Learning Journals
As moms, we’re always looking for ways to encourage learning in our kids. Why not lead by example? Use a notebook as a learning journal for yourself. Pick a topic you’re interested in—whether it’s a new language, gardening, or even understanding the stock market—and dedicate a few minutes each day to jotting down what you’ve learned. It’s a great way to model lifelong learning for your children.
4. Memory Keeping
In the whirlwind of parenthood, it’s easy to forget the small moments that make up our days. Use one of your notebooks as a memory keeper. This can be as simple as jotting down funny things your kids say, milestones, or even pasting in photos or drawings. Years from now, flipping through this notebook will be like opening a treasure chest of family memories.
5. Goal Setting & Habit Tracking
Here’s where we get serious about personal development. Use a notebook to set goals for yourself and track your progress. This can be anything from fitness goals, reading more books, or even cutting down on social media time. By tracking your habits, you’re more likely to stick to them and see real progress.
6. The Master List Maker
Lists, lists, and more lists. As a mom, lists are practically my love language. Use a notebook to keep all your lists in one place. This can be anything from grocery lists, books you want to read, places you want to visit, or even a list of movies you want to watch. Having everything in one place makes it easier to stay organized and ensures you never forget anything.
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7. Gratitude Journal
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to lose sight of the little things that bring us joy. Use a notebook to start a gratitude journal. Each night, jot down three things you’re grateful for. It’s a simple practice, but it can have a profound impact on your outlook on life.
8. Brain Dump Notebook
Sometimes, our brains feel like they’re on overload. Use one of your notebooks as a “brain dump” where you can jot down anything and everything that’s on your mind. This can be a great way to declutter your thoughts, reduce stress, and even improve your sleep.
9. Travel Journal
For those rare moments when you can sneak away on a family vacation or a much-needed momcation, use a notebook as a travel journal. Document your adventures, paste in tickets or postcards, and jot down your thoughts and experiences. It’s a wonderful way to preserve your travel memories.
10. Reflection Journal
Last but not least, use a notebook for reflection. This can be a space for introspection, where you reflect on your growth, challenges you’ve overcome, and lessons learned along the way. It’s a powerful tool for personal development and a reminder of how far you’ve come.
11. Dream Diary
Keep a notebook by your bed and use it to record your dreams as soon as you wake up. Not only is this a fascinating way to delve into your subconscious, but it can also be a source of inspiration for creative projects. Over time, you might start to notice patterns or recurring themes that could be interesting to explore further.
12. Recipe Collection
Turn one of your notebooks into a personalized recipe collection. Write down family recipes, experimentations that turned out well, or even recipes you want to try. You can also make notes on adjustments you’ve made or would like to make, turning your notebook into a culinary heirloom.
13. Self-Care Journal
Dedicate a notebook to tracking your self-care routines and reflections on activities that make you feel replenished and balanced. Include plans for future self-care, ideas for nurturing activities, and reflections on what works best for you.
14. Language Learning Companion
Use a notebook to support your language learning journey. Dedicate sections to vocabulary, grammar rules, practice exercises, or daily entries in the language you’re learning. It’s a practical tool that helps reinforce new language skills.
15. Fitness and Wellness Tracker
Create a dedicated space to track your fitness routines, dietary habits, water intake, and overall wellness. Note your workouts, meals, mood, and energy levels to find patterns and improve your health.
16. Art Journal
Combine your love for art with journaling by creating an art journal. Use it to experiment with different mediums, practice sketches, or collage. It’s a wonderful way to express yourself and document your artistic journey.
17. Professional Development Log
Keep track of your career goals, achievements, and reflections in a dedicated notebook. Use it to jot down insights from professional readings, feedback from colleagues or mentors, and ideas for future projects or improvements.
18. Time Capsule Notebook
Create a time capsule within a notebook by writing down current events, personal milestones, and daily life details. Set a date in the future to reopen it, and you’ll have a snapshot of this period in your life to look back on.
19. Inspirational Quotes Journal
Whenever you come across a quote that moves you, write it down in this notebook. Over time, you’ll compile a personal collection of wisdom and inspiration that you can turn to whenever you need a motivational boost.
20. Mindfulness and Meditation Journal
Use a notebook to reflect on your mindfulness and meditation practices. Record your experiences, thoughts, and feelings during and after each session to deepen your practice and understand your inner landscape better.
21. Personal Finance Tracker
Create a dedicated space to manage your personal finances, including budgets, savings goals, expense tracking, and investment notes. It’s a practical way to visualize your financial health and plan for the future.
22. DIY Project Planner
Use a notebook to plan and track your DIY projects. Include materials lists, step-by-step instructions, timelines, and space for sketching designs or layouts. It’s perfect for organizing home improvement or crafting projects.
23. Plant Care Journal
If you love gardening or caring for houseplants, dedicate a notebook to tracking your plant care routines, growth observations, and any issues or solutions you discover. It can become a valuable resource for your green thumb.
24. Book Club Notes
If you’re part of a book club or just love to read, use a notebook to jot down thoughts, themes, and questions about the books you’re reading. It’s a great way to deepen your understanding and enhance discussions.
25. Event Planning Organizer
Whether planning a big family gathering, a friend’s baby shower, or a community event, use a notebook to keep track of ideas, schedules, guest lists, budgets, and to-do lists to stay organized and ensure everything goes smoothly.
26. Tech Tinkering Log
For those who love to experiment with new technology, coding projects, or electronics, a notebook can be used to log your ideas, project steps, code snippets, and outcomes. It’s a handy reference for troubleshooting or future projects.
27. Poetry Collection
Dedicate a notebook to writing, collecting, and reflecting on poetry that you love or have written. It can serve as a personal anthology that inspires and comforts you.
28. Educational Webinar Notes
Use a notebook to take detailed notes during webinars, online courses, or educational podcasts you attend. It can help reinforce learning and serve as a quick reference for key insights and ideas.
29. Random Acts of Kindness Journal
Keep a record of kind acts you’ve done or witnessed, how you felt, and the reactions of others. This journal can be a powerful reminder of the impact of kindness and encourage you to seek out opportunities to make a difference.
30. Skill Mastery Log
Choose a new skill you want to master, and use a notebook to document your journey. This can include practice schedules, progress notes, challenges, successes, and reflections on what you’re learning.
21. Project Idea Bank
Use a notebook to jot down all your brilliant ideas and inspirations for future projects, whether they be DIY crafts, home improvement plans, or new business ventures. It’s a great way to ensure you never lose a flash of inspiration.
22. Positivity Journal
Dedicate this notebook to only positive thoughts and experiences. Write about things that made you happy, achievements, and moments of gratitude. It can be a powerful tool to uplift your mood on a down day.
23. Budget Tracker
Create a detailed budget tracker to manage your finances better. Use it to note your expenses, savings goals, and financial planning. This hands-on approach can make managing money more tangible and less daunting.
24. Reading Companion
Dedicate a notebook to your reading adventures. Track the books you’ve read, jot down thoughts, favorite quotes, or characters, and list books you intend to read. It can serve as a personal reading journal that enriches your reading experience.
25. Nature Journal
Keep a record of your encounters with nature. Note the different plants, birds, and animals you see, sketch landscapes, or press leaves and flowers. It’s a beautiful way to connect with the natural world and observe the changing seasons.
26. Daily Affirmations
Use a notebook to write down daily affirmations. Focusing on positive and empowering statements can help build self-confidence and foster a positive mindset.
27. Skill Development Tracker
Dedicate a notebook to track your progress in a specific skill you’re trying to improve, such as drawing, cooking, or playing an instrument. Note practice times, progress made, areas for improvement, and inspirations.
28. Event Planning Organizer
Organize your event planning, from parties and dinners to larger gatherings. Track your to-do lists, guest lists, menu planning, and decorations. It’s a great way to keep all your ideas and plans in one place, making event planning more enjoyable.
29. Personalized Address Book
Create a personalized address book where you can keep track of important contacts, birthdays, and anniversaries. It’s not just practical but can also be a meaningful way to maintain connections with friends and family.
30. Idea Incubator
Use a notebook as an “idea incubator” for your most out-there, wild, or creative ideas. This is a judgment-free zone to brainstorm and explore concepts without the pressure of them needing to be practical or immediately actionable.
31. World-Building Workbook for Writers
If you enjoy writing fiction, use a notebook to develop the world your stories take place in. Detail the setting, cultures, languages, and histories that make up your fictional universe, providing a rich backdrop for your narratives.
32. Personal Style Diary
Keep track of your fashion preferences, outfits, and wishlist items. You can also paste in images from magazines for inspiration, note what works for your body type, and plan future purchases.
33. Tech Exploration Log
Dedicate a notebook to exploring new technologies, apps, or gadgets. Write down your experiences, reviews, and how these technologies impact your daily life or productivity.
34. Life Milestones Album
Use a notebook to document significant life milestones and achievements. This can include graduations, career advancements, personal successes, and memorable trips. Add photos, tickets, and other mementos to make it more personal.
35. Reader’s Digest
Create your own reader’s digest by writing summaries, reflections, and critiques of the books you read. This can serve as a personal library catalog and help reinforce your memories and interpretations of the texts.
36. Skill Mastery Tracker
Choose a new skill you want to master and use the notebook to track your progress. This can include practice schedules, progress notes, challenges faced, and achievements along the way.
37. DIY Project Journal
Document your DIY projects, from crafting to home repairs. Include materials used, steps taken, lessons learned, and before/after photos. This can serve as a reference for future projects or to share your experiences with others.
38. Professional Networking Log
Maintain a record of your professional networking efforts, including contact information, where you met, key details about the person, and follow-up actions. This can be invaluable for developing and maintaining professional relationships.
39. Inspirational People Profile
Create profiles for people who inspire you, whether they are historical figures, celebrities, or personal acquaintances. Note their achievements, qualities you admire, and how they’ve influenced you.
40. Personal Branding Workbook
Use a notebook to develop your personal brand, whether for career advancement or personal projects. Include your values, strengths, elevator pitch, visual identity elements, and strategies for promoting yourself.
31. Skill Development Tracker
Use a notebook to track the development of a new skill. This could be anything from cooking techniques, digital art skills, coding languages, or even DIY projects. Include goals, resources, practice logs, and reflections on your progress.
32. Reading Companion Journal
Dedicate a notebook to your reading habits. For each book, jot down key takeaways, favorite quotes, characters you loved or hated, and your overall thoughts. This can deepen your reading experience and serve as a reference for future book discussions or recommendations.
33. Acts of Kindness Log
Keep a record of daily or weekly acts of kindness, both given and received. Reflecting on these moments can increase your awareness and appreciation for the positive interactions in your life, promoting a more grateful and compassionate outlook.
34. Cultural Exploration Diary
Choose a culture you’re interested in and use the notebook to explore it deeply. This could involve studying the language, traditions, cuisine, music, and history. It’s a way to broaden your horizons and appreciate the diversity of the world from your own home.
35. Creative Project Workbench
Dedicate a notebook to brainstorming, planning, and tracking progress on creative projects like art installations, music compositions, or crafting endeavors. Include sketches, lyrics, patterns, or any inspirational material that fuels your creativity.
36. Personal Branding Workbook
Create a notebook that focuses on developing your personal brand. Include your values, strengths, goals, and strategies for showcasing your unique skills and perspectives, whether for career advancement or personal projects.
37. Life Milestones Memory Book
Use a notebook to document significant life milestones and achievements. This can range from graduation, career advancements, personal achievements, or memorable trips. Include photos, tickets, and other mementos that can be pasted in or stored in attached envelopes.
38. Tech Detox Diary
In an effort to balance digital and real-life experiences, use a notebook to plan and reflect on tech detox challenges. Document activities that replace screen time, insights gained from disconnecting, and tips for maintaining digital wellness.
39. Philosophy and Ethics Journal
Dedicate a notebook to exploring philosophical ideas and ethical dilemmas that interest you. Write about personal beliefs, societal issues, and moral questions, exploring different viewpoints and reflecting on your own stance.
40. Seasonal Bucket Lists
Create a notebook for seasonal bucket lists and activities. Each season, jot down things you want to do, see, or achieve, such as autumn leaf-peeping, winter snowshoeing adventures, spring gardening projects, or summer road trips. Reflect on these experiences at the end of each season to appreciate the fullness of the year.
40. Technology Detox Diary
Use a notebook to document your experiences during a technology detox. Plan your detox period, set goals, and reflect daily on the challenges and benefits you encounter. This can help you understand your tech habits better and encourage more mindful use of technology.
41. Short Story Collection
Dedicate a notebook to writing short stories. Whether you stick to a theme or genre or let your imagination run wild, this can be a rewarding outlet for creative expression and a way to hone your writing skills.
42. Skill Mastery Tracker
Choose a new skill you want to master, and use the notebook to track your progress. This could be a musical instrument, a new sport, coding, or any other skill. Set practice goals, jot down tips and resources, and reflect on your learning journey.
43. Personal Branding Workbook
Use a notebook to develop and refine your personal brand. Include your values, strengths, goals, and how you want to present yourself professionally and personally. This can be invaluable for career development, networking, and online presence.
44. World Building for Writers
If you’re into creative writing, particularly fantasy or science fiction, use a notebook to build your world. Detail the geography, cultures, languages, and histories of your fictional world, providing a rich backdrop for your stories.
45. Mind Mapping Space
Mind maps are a fantastic way to organize thoughts and ideas visually. Dedicate a notebook to creating mind maps for various aspects of your life, such as project planning, personal goals, or brainstorming sessions.
46. Life Milestones Album
Create a written record of significant life milestones. For each event, you can write a detailed account, how you felt, who was there, and why it was important to you. This can be a beautiful way to remember and reflect on your life’s key moments.
47. Book Club Notes
If you’re part of a book club, use a notebook to keep detailed notes on each book you read, including plot summaries, character analyses, thematic discussions, and your personal reflections. This can enhance your reading experience and discussions with your book club.
48. Innovation Journal
Keep a notebook specifically for jotting down innovative ideas, inventions, or improvements to existing products or services. Whenever inspiration strikes, you’ll have a place to capture your thoughts and potentially develop them into something tangible.
49. Positivity Portal
Dedicate a notebook to all things positive. Fill it with positive news stories, uplifting quotes, success stories, and personal achievements. Turn to it whenever you need a boost of positivity or inspiration.
50. Faith Journal
A faith journal serves as a deeply personal space where you can explore and document your spiritual journey. Use this notebook to write down prayers, reflections on religious texts, personal revelations, and questions you’re pondering about your faith. It can also serve as a record of your conversations with God, moments of gratitude, and how you see His influence in your daily life. Consider dedicating sections to specific studies of scripture, sermon notes, and inspirational quotes that resonate with your faith. This journal can become a cornerstone of your spiritual practice, helping you to grow in your faith, understand your beliefs more deeply, and find comfort during challenging times.
51. Spiritual Journal
While similar to a faith journal, a spiritual journal focuses more broadly on your spiritual journey, regardless of a specific religious affiliation. In this notebook, document your experiences with meditation, mindfulness, and spiritual insights. Write about your feelings, epiphanies, dreams, and the ways you connect with the universe or your higher self. You can also include reflections on spiritual texts that inspire you, practices that ground you (such as yoga or meditation), and the progress you’ve made in your spiritual goals. This journal offers a sanctuary for exploring your inner world, understanding your place in the universe, and nurturing your spiritual well-being.
52. Funny Moments
Dedicate a notebook to capturing all the humorous and laugh-out-loud moments in your life. Whether it’s funny things your children say, amusing incidents at work, or just those odd, quirky moments that life throws at you, this journal will be a go-to for a good laugh and a mood lift.
53. Goal Planning
Use a notebook to set short-term and long-term goals. Break down each goal into actionable steps, deadlines, and progress trackers. This structured approach can help you stay focused and achieve more of what you set out to do.
54. Morning Pages
Inspired by Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way,” use a notebook for morning pages—a daily practice of writing three pages of stream-of-consciousness thoughts right after you wake up. It’s a powerful tool for self-discovery, creativity unlocking, and finding clarity in your thoughts.
55. Holiday Planning
From meal planning and recipes to gift lists and decorations, a dedicated notebook for holiday planning can make the festive season less stressful and more enjoyable, ensuring you don’t miss any details.
56. 5 Year Goal Planner
Think long-term and outline where you want to be in five years. Use the notebook to document your aspirations, the skills you need to develop, and the steps you need to take to get there, including personal, career, and family goals.
57. Motherhood Journal
Reflect on your journey through motherhood with a dedicated journal. Note down the joys, challenges, milestones, and everyday moments that define your experience as a mom. This can be a beautiful legacy to pass down or look back on.
58. Garden Planner
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, use a notebook to plan your garden layouts, plant wish lists, care schedules, and observations about what works and what doesn’t in your garden.
59. Bullet Journal
Adopt the Bullet Journal method to organize your entire life in one notebook. From daily to-dos and habit trackers to monthly calendars and personal reflections, it’s a customizable system that can adapt to your needs.
60. Work Journal
Keep a dedicated notebook for work-related notes, ideas, project plans, and accomplishments. Reflecting on your professional growth and challenges can enhance productivity and career satisfaction.
61. Wish Lists
Create a notebook full of lists for everything you dream of—books to read, places to visit, lifestyle changes, personal achievements, and even the small indulgences you wish to treat yourself to someday.
62. Vacation Planning
For each trip you dream of or plan, dedicate sections for research, itineraries, accommodation options, must-see attractions, packing lists, and budgets. It’s a great way to get excited about and thoroughly enjoy your travels.
63. Gratitude Journaling
Beyond listing things you’re grateful for, dive deeper into why you’re thankful for them and how they impact your life. This practice can enhance mindfulness and contentment.
64. To do List
Transform a notebook into the ultimate to-do list organizer. Divide it into sections for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, including personal projects, household chores, and everything in between.
65. Study Notes
If you’re learning something new, dedicate a notebook to study notes, summaries, and reflections on the material. This can be for formal education, online courses, or self-directed learning on topics that interest you.
As moms, we wear many hats and juggle countless responsibilities. But amidst the chaos, we also have the opportunity to use our creativity, set goals for ourselves, and capture the precious moments of family life.
So, dust off one of those empty notebooks and start exploring the myriad ways you can use it to enrich your life and the lives of those around you.
And remember, the next time you’re tempted to buy yet another notebook, you’re not being indulgent; you’re investing in your productivity and creativity.
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- Kerr, S. P., Kerr, W. R., & Xu, T. (2017). Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs: A Review of Recent Literature. Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.
- Heskett, J. (2017). What Are the Real Lessons of the Wells Fargo Case? Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.
- Gino, F. (2013). Sidetracked: Why Can’t We Stick to the Plan? Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.
- Amabile, T. M., & Kramer, S. J. (2011). How Small Wins Unleash Creativity. Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.
- Silverthorne, S. (2010). Connecting Goals and Go-To-Market Initiatives. Harvard Business School Working Knowledge.