How I Use My Physical Notebooks – Ways to Use Your Unfilled Notebooks!

Happy Thursday and if you’re in the US, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are having a lovely and safe holiday :)

Today I want to share how I use my notebooks with you all because I know that I personally used to look up “ways to fill my notebooks” online all the time! This was mainly due to my impulsive notebook buying habits which meant that I had way more than I knew what to do with.

I’ve finally been able to narrow it done to just four notebooks (which may still be a lot to some people, but this works for me). I hope you find this at least a little bit useful & maybe get a new idea from it!

Planner

The first “notebook” I use is my planner. In September, I got a Passion Planner, which I already went over in more detail on here before. BUT, it is truly one of the most important items I own. Basically, the weekly layout I have lets you time block your day, which is the same spread I was making in my bullet journal. It just made more sense for me to switch into a pre-made version in order to save about an hour of time a week.

This is…technically a notebook, right? I just sort of think of it as a new bullet journal, so in a way it is a notebook.

At the end of everyday, I sit down and create my schedule for the following day, and I add/check off any tasks on the to-do list at the bottom. Also, one of the features of the planner is a “today’s focus” box at the top, and I turned that into a daily gratitude prompt. This one notebook just does so much for me, and I would be so lost without it.

Journal

In addition to my planner, another notebook I *try* to use everyday is my journal (big emphasis on try here). I think having a journal of some sort to write out your thoughts at least once a week is so beneficial, not only for your mental health, but for your creativity as a whole. I have found that I’ll start writing about my life and suddenly get an idea for a blog post. Or I’ll be venting and have some sort of life epiphany.

My goal is to write in it daily, though I’d say I usually write in it every two or three days. It’s definitely going to be one of the habits I try to improve on in the new year.

I write anything from some life updates to funny stories I’ve heard recently, as well as any worries I have, things I’m feeling down about, etc. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, it’s really just a way of letting my mind bleed out onto paper.

Commonplace Book

Another notebook I have is a commonplace book. This is where I store my favorite quotes, or I stick in tickets, pictures, or receipts I want to keep. I jot down overheard conversations, and I write in recipes to try. I also have various lists in it, like movies I want to watch and character name ideas.

Basically, I use this as a way to collect anything that inspires me. It is very messy, but that’s sort of the point! I tend to carry this with me when I leave the house so that I can jot down any spur of the moment thoughts. If I don’t have it on me, I will write a note in my phone and later transfer it to here!

Writing Ideas

The final notebook I have contains all of my story ideas. This is where I do a lot of my initial outlining for a new project, and by that I mean writing down a few plot points (or just random bullet points of scene ideas), some character names, or anything else that first comes to mind for that particular story.

This I keep separate from my commonplace book because it is a lot cleaner and easier to navigate. Sometimes I will look through my commonplace book and transfer over any solid ideas from it into this notebook. Usually, though, the commonplace book is just for hints of inspiration, while this notebook has the actual seeds for stories I want to write one day.

I hope that makes sense. I feel like it works in my mind, so I hope the message comes across here, too!

Those are all of the notebooks I use! This system has been working well for a few weeks for me now, after I simplified some of the other notebooks I had.

I would love to know what types of notebooks you have and use, though! And if you have any other tips or comments, leave those in the comments as well :)

19 thoughts on “How I Use My Physical Notebooks – Ways to Use Your Unfilled Notebooks!

  1. I just use one notebook for everything at the moment because I like keeping one constant place to store and find it all. I do have more notebooks but I like going through them one by one. I am considering undertaking a new project, though, so I might make one unused notebook into a specialized one just for that project.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I miss the days when I wrote stories in notebooks, I really used them up back then… I don’t think I can go back though, the speed I can type and the ease of going back and changing things without erasing/crossing out/drawing confusing arrows is so much better for my creativity. So instead I slowly fill up notebooks with to do lists and such. I have a journal too! I’m also bad at remembering to write in it tho

    Liked by 2 people

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