Write It Down: 15 Great Uses for Notebooks


Last Updated on July 21, 2023 by

Although we spend a lot of our days staring at screens and typing messages with our thumbs, there’s still a lot to be said for stationary. 

In the same way that reading print helps you delve deeper and retain more information, putting pen to paper is a great way to organize your thoughts, boost your learning, or record information. And, if you have an attractive empty notebook waiting to be filled, all the more reason to get writing! 

But what are some of the best uses for notebooks? Keep reading to find out!

1. Appointments Diary

Sure, you can use your phone’s calendar app to log meetings, appointments, and other commitments. But since you’re more likely to remember things that you write down, there’s less chance of double-booking yourself if you put pen to paper.

Not sure how to make a notebook into a diary? The easiest way is to divide each page into three horizontal sections, with the first five representing Monday to Friday. The bottom right section can be for notes or any weekend appointments.  

2. Daily Journal

Do you like the idea of recording your daily thoughts but aren’t sure how to turn a notebook into a journal? If so, there are plenty of different notebook journal ideas out there to inspire you. From free writing to bullet journals, there’s no one method of keeping a journal. Find what suits you best and go with it. 

3. Learning Notes

You don’t have to go to school to learn something new these days. Thanks to online courses, YouTube tutorials, and skill-sharing programs, you can learn anything from cross-stitch to coding from the comfort of your own home. You can then use your trusty notebook to write down reminders, notes, and other key pieces of information to ensure you don’t forget anything. 

4. Sketchbook

Lined notebooks are ideal for journals and making lists, but what can you do on a notebook with no lines? Even if you don’t consider yourself very artistic, doodling and drawing basic shapes and patterns can calm an anxious mind, promote creativity, and encourage problem-solving. 

5. Health Log

If you have an ongoing health issue, keeping track of triggers, symptoms, medications, and other related information could be an excellent way to observe patterns and get a handle on your condition. And, having everything written down will also make it easier to give your doctor precise information, making for a better dialogue when it comes to discussing future treatment options. 

6. Travel Diary

What better way to make use of a beautiful papaya notebook than by turning it into a travel diary? Fill it with notes about the places you stayed, the sights you visited, and the new experiences you had. You could also use it as a scrapbook, filling it with postcards, ticket stubs, and other travel mementos. 

7. Exercise Tracker

Whether you’re training for a marathon or aiming for a personal best on the bench press, using a notebook to plan workouts, record new stats, and devise future challenges is a great way to track your progress. What’s more, tracking your workouts on paper rather than on your phone means that you don’t have to interrupt your workout playlist whenever you make notes. 

8. Poetry Book 

Love the words of Lang Leav? Moved by Rupi Kaur? Inspired by Amanda Gorman? Why not turn that blank notebook sitting in your drawer into a poetry book? If you find yourself stuck for ideas, look to your environment and try to write down what you see, feel, and hear. Or, you could try simple writing exercises such as trying to describe a color or a sensation. 

9. Language Learning Notes

Wondering what can you do with a blank notebook with lines? If you want to perfect your Portuguese or fine-tune your French, a lined notebook is ideal for verb tables, translations, and pronunciation guides. You can also divide your notebook into sections, using the back pages for grammar tips and the front pages for building vocabulary and expressions. 

10. Trip Planner

While your average family vacation doesn’t require that much planning, it’s a whole different story if you’re heading off on a road trip or backpacking expedition. The more stops, flights, trains, and hostels involved, the more you’ll need one place to record all this crucial information. And, with a trip planner notebook, a flat phone battery on the road won’t be as much of a headache. 

11. Recommendations List

It’s a typical scenario. You sit down in front of Netflix and realize you’ve completely forgotten the name of the series your co-worker was telling you about earlier. The same goes for bars, movies, and all those other recommendations you’d love to have on hand. Well, with a notebook full of recs and tips, now you can!

12. Recipe Book

Make mealtimes easier by turning your blank notebook into your one-stop recipe resource. Feel free to include everything from online recipes you love to family favorites. After all, this recipe book doesn’t have to be original or full of culinary masterpieces. But, it will be super handy to have everything in the same place when you’re next elbow-deep in flour. 

13. Expenses Tracker

Whether you’re saving up for something or just trying to rein in your spending, using a notebook to plan out a budget and track your expenses is a great way to get a handle on your finances. Often, seeing your outgoings in black and white can be exactly what you need to cut your expensive takeout coffee habit. 

14. Baby Memories

Children grow up so fast it can be difficult to remember how old they were when they first giggled or the day they said their first word. While you can get ready-made baby memory books, using a regular notebook gives you more control over the memories and milestones you choose to mark, as well as any extra information you want to include. 

15. Unsent Letters

When you’re upset with someone close to you, one of the most cathartic ways to process your emotions is by writing them an unsent letter. Of course, if you use your notebook to write down private thoughts and feelings you’re not yet ready to share, make sure to keep it away from prying eyes!

Great Uses for Notebooks

While this list includes 15 great uses for notebooks, the truth is that there’s no limit to what you or your notebooks can do. 

A notebook full of blank pages offers you complete freedom to write or draw anything you want. And don’t feel you have to use different notebooks for different purposes either!

Want more inspiring lifestyle advice? Be sure to check out our other blog posts for all the latest tips and tricks!

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