Ideas of what to write in a notebook

10 Ideas to Help You Fill An Empty Notebook

The possibilities are pretty much endless. Throughout history, notebooks have been used to record all sorts of things. 

If you opened up one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks, the Codex Arundel, you’d see a variety of things including ideas for mechanical objects, observations on how water flows in a river, studies of celestial objects, and theories of bird flight.

In his Renaissance contemporary, Michelangelo's, you’d find this hand drawn grocery list for a herring, tortelli, two fennel soups, four anchovies and “a small quarter of a rough wine.” 

A notebook can hold anything you can imagine

If you are staring uncertainly at the empty pages and wondering what you should fill them with, here are ten ideas to get you started. Maybe you’re the next Leonardo da Vinci? (Or maybe you just need to keep track of your food.) Starting can be intimidating. It needn’t be. We’re here to help.

10 ideas to help you fill an empty notebook

1. Start a diary
One of the most famous uses for a notebook is for keeping a diary. A diary is a lens for truth. It’s where you can be honest about the things you observe going on in your life. It can be as detailed as you want, touching on whatever you decide, because it’s a tool tailor-made for you. We all need to unload, and doing it in a diary can have a positive effect on how you see things. Getting your thoughts down on paper can clear your mind. For more on this, here is out ten step guide to starting a diary.

2. Start taking notes
According to Itamar Shatz of self-help website Effectiviology, “research shows that taking notes by hand allows you to remember the material better than typing those notes on a computer.” This is because the act of writing by hand forces you to actually process the information. “People tend to give more consideration to which parts of the material they should write down. ” If you want to attain a more thorough understanding of a subject, open up your notebook and get writing. As a bonus, you’ll never have to carry around a charger or hunt for a wall plug.

3. Plan your life
You might immediately be thinking, “whoah, wait a minute. That’s a bit of an undertaking.” And you’d be right. You don’t have to plan out every single activity but having a plan for some of the things you want to achieve is helpful. At the end of the first chapter of Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul, author Shawn Askinosie says to “step away from the book” and start writing. He charges you to write down defining moments in life that gave you pause or charged you up. Considering those events and how you felt about them is the first step on the lifelong journey that is your life. We highly recommend the book, if only so you can put it down and start writing.

4. Start a travel journal
There’s an old Icelandic proverb - Heimskt er heimaalið barn - which when translated means “a child needs to leave the shelter to learn. ” It contains the Icelandic word for stupid - heimskur - which isn’t so much about a biological defect as it is about the notion of willful ignorance, of “never having sailed away from home.” Travel gives you a greater understanding of the world. This doesn’t mean you need a passport and a plane ticket. It means getting a little bit out of your comfort zone and seeing someplace new and maybe meeting different people.

5. Record your dreams
Your brain is always on. During the day it’s working more or less under your control. But when you sleep it’s still going. Ever sleep on a problem? You wake up the next day and the solution that eluded you 24-hours ago appears before you clear as day. Dreaming is the way your brain works out problems and attempting to recall them can be pretty interesting. Recording dreams and reflecting on them can be fun and may inform you of new ways to tackle problems during the day. Note: some dreams are just kooky and leave you scratching your head. That’s OK too.

6. Set life goals (daily ones count)
What do you want to achieve in a year? In a month? Even a day? Setting various goals and achieving them can give you a real sense of satisfaction. Maybe you want to write a novel. "Start setting goals. Maybe you want to get healthier (more on that later). Start setting goals. A big goal is great but smaller readily achievable ones are just as helpful, probably more so." Shawn Askinosie quoted above was a high profile defense attorney before he gave it up to start a fair trade chocolate company. He set and changed goals. It’s OK for you to ditch old goals for new ones too. Do what’s right for you.

7. Start a quote collection
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” That’s by the American author and satirist Mark Twain, and we put it here to reiterate the importance of (sustainable) travel along with the usefulness of having a good quote at your disposal.

8. Collect aha moments
Ever come up with a clever turn of phrase or fun idea? “Oh, I’ll remember it later,” you thought to yourself. And then when you went to recall it, blank. Write it down! Our stone paper pocket diaries are great for this particular use.

9. Exercise tracker
Record how many miles you walked, sets of weights you’ve lifted, or the number of protein shakes you’ve drunk. If you bite it, write it, food diaries are the best way to help you maintain a healthy weight. Throw in a little activity and you’re on the road to health.

10. Pass down wisdom to your family
I will share with you a bit of wisdom I gained at a young age. Do not microwave an egg that is still in its shell. But if you do, do not open the door until after it explodes. Not as enlightening as the Family Sagas of the Icelanders, but a useful pearl of wisdom nonetheless. You are sure to do better.

In the end, fun is what counts. Enjoy the task! 

Whatever you decide to do with your new notebook or journal, we ask only one thing, that you do not use it to prop up a crooked table. I mean, we’re proud of our products and want you to use them. Not so that you eventually have to buy another one but because our products are meant to be used and will last you a long time besides.

    For further reading

    Check Your Local Library
    (Outgoing Links to Books go to Amazon)

    The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Guevara

    Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul by Shawn Askinosie

    Keeping a Dream Journal - Psychology Today

    Sagas of Icelanders - Wikipedia Entry

    Hrafnkel's Saga and Other Icelandic Stories is a good entry point into saga literature. This translation also contains the story of Hreidar the Fool which isn’t a saga but is a hoot to read.

    100+ Ideas for Any Blank Notebook — WRITING MINDSET

    Got a blank notebook around the house you don’t use? Have a half-filled notebook that you love that you don’t want to ignore any longer? Find a use for any blank notebook using this giant list of 100+ ideas. Any blank notebook will work for any of these activities. Some of these notebook ideas may travel with you throughout your day, some notebooks will stay at home on the shelf. If you need a notebook recommendation, check out the product review page on the blog. One of the main messages on the Writing Mindset blog is that “you are what you write.” However, even more so, you are all of your dreams, goals, and habits. All you need is a blank page.

    If you don’t know where to start with a journaling system, start with the post “Choose a Journaling System That Works For You.”

    Mental, Emotional, and Physical Self-Care
    1. Morning Pages

    2. Braindump Worries/Negative Thoughts

    3. Anxiety Journal

    4. Nightstand Thought Tracker

    5. Date Night Ideas

    6. Fitness Journal

    7. Pregnancy Journal

    8. 4th Trimester/Postpartum Recovery Journal

    9. Habit Tracker

    10. Therapy Journal

    11. Inspirational Quotes (Divide by Theme or Type)

    12. Dream Journal

    13. Sleep Tracker

    14. Affirmations

    15. Mediation Scripts or Mantras

    16. Routines

    17. Sunday Scaries

    18. Hygge Journal

    1. Diet or Food Tracker

    2. Meal Planner

    3. Child/Baby Meal Planner

    4. Baby Tracker: Bottles/Diaper Changes/Pumping/Napping

    5. Grocery List

    6. Recipe Book

    7. Exercise Tracker/Fitness Routines

    8. Allergy Tracker

    1. One sentence a day

    2. Gratitude Journal

    3. Scrapbook

    4. Baby’s First Year Scrapbook

    5. Child’s School Papers, Awards, Drawings

    6. Family Journal/Family Tree

    7. Personal Diary

    8. Current Event Notebook

    9. Happiness/Laugher/Funny Moments Journal

    10. Daily Memory Journal

    1. Bullet Journal

    2. Daily To-Do List

    3. Idea Notebook

    4. Vision and Mood

    5. Work Journal

    6. Career Vision and Goals

    7. Teacher Planner

    8. Project Journal

    9. Goal Tracker

    10. 40 Before 40 (30 Before 30, etc)

    11. Mind-Mapping

    12. Address Book

    13. Passwords

    14. Wedding Planner

    15. Side Hustle Notes

    16. Budget/Savings Planner

    17. Enneagram Notes

    18. Moving Planner

    19. School or Class Notes

    20. Holiday Planning

    21. Gift Ideas

    22. Event Planning

    23. Toddler Activity Planner

    1. Brush Lettering or Hand Lettering

    2. Sketchbook

    3. Song Lyrics

    4. Doodling Notebook

    5. Collage

    6. Dried Flowers or Leaves

    7. Fashion Design

    8. Poems

    9. Playlists

    10. Sticker or Stamp Collection

    11. Junk Journal

    12. Painting or Watercolors

    13. Pen or Marker Swatches

    1. Travel Journal

    2. Vacation Planning

    3. Language Learning

    4. Bucket List

    5. Photo Album

    1. Garden Planner and Notes

    2. Book Writing Ideas/NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

    3. Creative Writing Prompts

    4. Reading List

    5. Movie or TV Show Notes/List

    6. Podcast Notes

    7. Couponing

    8. Shopping Lists/Sales Tracker

    9. DIY Projects

    10. Home Renovation Planning

    11. Home Decorating Dreams/Plans

    12. Nature Journal

    13. Bird Watching

    14. Weather Journal

    15. Fantasy Football Planning

    16. March Madness Notes

    17. TED Talk Notes

    18. Beauty/Makeup Tutorial Notes

    1. Editorial Calendar

    2. Blog Post Planning and Drafting

    3. Business Plan

    4. Social Media Planner and Posting Schedule

    5. Marketing/Affiliate Marketing Plan

    6. Course and Webinar Planner

    Writing Mindset Reflection: What ways do you use blank notebooks? What would you do with a half-filled notebook?

    JournalingStephanie Hamptonblank, blank notebook, journaling, journal, ideasComment


    Idea Pack: 25 Ways to Fill Your Notebook

    Have you finally found the perfect notebook and want to use it, but when you open the first page, you find you don't know what to write about? No problem. Here are some tips to get you started if you're feeling creatively blocked.

    1. Make a list. Wish list, dreams, to-do list, whatever.

    2. Colorize the first page. Use pencils, paints, felt-tip pens and any other means at hand.

    3. Write down your favorite quotes and sayings. nine0003

    4. Draw or write down a real life story.

    5. Make a mindmap.

    6. Write someone a letter.

    7. Fill in the page with even geometric shapes using a special ruler.

    8. Make a collage of newspaper or magazine clippings.

    Photo — @ronnycakes

    9. Write down 20 things you are grateful for.

    10. Write a story about what will happen in your life in the coming year. nine0003

    11. Make some different textures on the first page using whatever materials you have.

    12. Go to a museum and sketch your favorite painting.

    13. Go to any website or app like Flickr, Pinterest or Instagram, find a photo that inspires you and write down your thoughts about it.

    14. Make pictures for your perfect day.

    15. Create a page for what inspires you.

    16. Try new techniques, like painting with tea. nine0003

    Photo — @kerbyrosanes

    17. Use pages to brainstorm ideas for your hobbies: sketch, sketch, write down ideas.

    18. Use natural materials like petals or leaves to create a collage.

    19. Create your portrait from magazine clippings.

    20. Write down the first word that comes to mind. Fill in the rest of the page with visuals that are relevant to the word.

    nine0002 21. Tear out a page from your previous notebook and use it as the basis for the first page in your new one.

    22. Write down your creative ideas and goals for the month or year ahead. Make it pretty.

    23. Create a collage inspired by your best day.

    24. Complete this first page somewhere outside of your home. Go specially to the street, to a cafe, to visit and do something there.

    25. Just write or draw the first thing that comes to mind. The first page will be followed by the next. nine0003

    Our selection of notebooks

    Notebook Egolibro (marsala) - old color

    1000 UAH

    Lined Moleskine Classic Notebook (Pocket, Black)

    575 UAH

    Notebook Zakrtka A5 (dotted, grey)

    340 UAH

    Fine's notebook "Garna ideya"

    335 UAH

    Photo by @janethecrazy

    Photo — @teachercandy

    Photo — @susieloveslife

    How to fill in the notepad that is in the bedside table

    How to fill in the notepad that is in the bedside table

    Surely you have had such a question in your head at least once.
    A notebook is blank pages full of promises. Looking at the blank pages, it's almost impossible to resist the temptation to grab a pen and
    start filling it out.

    Unfortunately or fortunately, so far no application has been able to come close to the sensations of a real notepad that you can pick up. It has a lot of advantages: you can draw, write, paste anything into it, cross out, draw tables and change handwriting. With the right level of creative thinking, you can turn it into a masterpiece of art. nine0003

    Here are some tips for filling your notebook

    Food and exercise journal

    The two pillars of any sport and physical activity are:

    • what you eat
    • what you exercise

    Create a template to keep track of the food you eat. Write down the following: date, time, dish, serving size, nutrients, calories.

    Create another template to track your exercise and how many calories you burn. Also note the following: date, time, activity, duration, calories burned. nine0003

    Keep track of time

    You can use notepad to keep track of time. Find out once and for all where it disappears.
    Also, keep track of the following:

    • How much time do you waste when you procrastinate?
    • How do you deal with stimuli and distractions?
    • Do you complete tasks one at a time or work on several at once?
    • How much time do you spend on the most important goals in your life? nine0149
    • How much time is spent on non-essential tasks?

    Track your spending

    Tracking where your money goes is a good and wise strategy. Watch out for the following:

    • Do you have frivolous expenses?
    • What spending needs to be cut?
    • Do you invest your money? For example, in education, in income-producing assets, in new experiences?

    Start single phrase logging

    If you're short on time or want to challenge yourself, try keeping a journal where you write down just one sentence a day. Not more. This will help you become more aware and learn to put the maximum meaning into the minimum of words.

    If you keep such a diary for five years, then after this period of time you will receive a real time capsule of your life.

    Start a gratitude journal

    You hear and read this over and over: the key to happiness is learning to be grateful. So when you get yourself a gratitude journal, you will finally understand why there is so much talk about it around.

    Research by psychologists has revealed many benefits of regularly writing down the things you are grateful for. The easiest way to keep a gratitude journal is to write down five things you are grateful for every night before bed.

    Morning pages

    The idea is to write three pages as soon as you wake up. Just write whatever comes to mind for three pages and then stop.

    Use the Morning Pages to solve your concerns, plan your day, and understand your true desires.

    Audit your life

    For example, you began to notice that the last few months you could barely make it to the evening - so exhausted due to lack of energy. Start tracking your energy levels throughout the day. Do you feel exhausted after hanging out with certain people? nine0003

    Maybe you should eat an apple and see how it affects your energy level? How do you feel at the end of the working day?

    Be like Leonardo da Vinci

    Leonardo da Vinci developed the habit of always taking a notebook with him wherever he went. He used it to make sketches of people, birds, or objects he saw while walking, and to record ideas and observations.

    With this habit you will be able to: 9

  • Make up the names of the characters in your novel , filled with inspiring sayings that can help lift your spirits at any moment.

    Art Journal

    Art magazine includes drawings, doodles and embellishments. It can also be just a list of your ideas: good and not so good. In addition, you can cut out images from magazines and paste them into your art journal, as well as include photographs and other visuals.

  • Writing down your goals is a great way to create a plan to achieve those goals. Plus, it can help you identify any obstacles you may encounter along the way. nine0149
  • Goal journal lets you record your progress

Bucket List

Bucket List is a list of things you want to do in your lifetime. Agree, it’s stupid to keep this list in your head, especially since you can’t keep everything. And in a notebook you can also think and plan. Do you want to go to Disneyland? Create a map for this goal.

Learn a language

When you're learning a new language, it's incredibly helpful to keep track of everything you're learning.

Learn more