10 Creative Uses for Your Blank Notebook

Correct me if I’m wrong but there’s nothing more exciting, yet utterly terrifying, than a clean, fresh notebook. We’ve all been there, a brand new untouched notebook on the table in front of you awaiting that satisfying crack as the cover opens, when the idea of actually making that first mark on the page becomes so overwhelming all you can bring yourself to do is add it to the stack of pretty unused stationery you have amassed. As a self confessed notebook lover (and hoarder) I feel your pain as you embark on those first tentative marks on the page gulping down the fear of making a mistake, but once you get over that initial leap of faith all that limits you is your own creativity.

With that in mind I thought I’d share just TEN of my favourite ways to use those forgotten and under utilised empty notebooks in the hope of giving you some inspiration to confidently wield your pen, be brave and make that all important first mark inside.


I’ve spoken before about my love of lists so of course this had to be top of the list (pardon the pun!). Lists are limitless, from the mundane to-do list to the much more exciting holiday packing list and everything in-between! Not only can lists help you stay organised and stop you from becoming overwhelmed, but they can actively help you stay on track and achieve your goals. As a busy Mum lists are my saviour, helping jog my memory and keep everyone and everything in the right place, but I also use them to help stay on top of my reading goals with month TBR lists.

Your lists could include:

  • Lists of movies you want to see
  • A bucket list for larger lifetime goals
  • A list of your favourite songs
  •  A list of blog ideas   

Budget Planner

Another passion of mine is budget planning and with the current cost of living crisis I can’t think of a better way to use a blank notebook than getting your finances in order. Budget planner designing is such a personal thing as everyone’s income and goals look different so the advantage of using an empty notebook is that you can make it completely unique. Planning your budget well will enable to you to see and track your income and expenditure clearly and identify areas where you could potentially save money. I personally find it useful to visualise the money we have in black and white on the page allowing me to allocate my budget where it is needed and to help avoid overspending.

Food Journal

As someone who has spent their whole adult life trying to lose weight and create healthy habits around food creating a food journal has been a revelation. Like a budget journal the ways in which people want to track their food can differ widely with some looking to lose weight whilst other are trying to identify sensitivities within their diet. Whatever your goals a food journal can help you achieve a healthier attitude to how you are fuelling your body allowing you to stay on track and achieve your self set goals and in your brand spanking new notebook the world is your oyster when it comes to design; let your creativity flow!

Daily Thoughts Or Gratitude Journal

A really positive way to make use of those dusty notebooks is to take time at the end each and every day to write down your daily thoughts or gratitude’s. We all know not everyday is going to be rainbows and sparkles, in fact more often than not it will be a mundane day full of work, however by taking 5 minutes to focus on something good that has happened in your day you will help sustain a positive attitude. By reinforcing even the small wins and taking time to document them it will help you see the good in even the worst of days and give your mental health an all needed boost. Another idea would be just to write a short sentence about your day to look back on at the end of the year.

Bullet Journal

When it comes to bullet journaling the sky literally is the limit! They can be used for everything from recording achievements to planning goals and helping you stay on track with your productivity. The ideal notebook for bullet journals are those with the dotted style paper, however it’s your journal so make it as unique as you are. I’m not personally arty and my drawing is awful so I usually use stickers and other images I’ve cut out to liven my spreads up, but be sure to check out some of the stunning examples on YouTube for some inspiration to help your creativity flourish.

Recipe Book

If you are an enthusiastic cook why not make your very own recipe book? There’s so many ways to make your go to recipes have that all important visual appeal with photos or pictures stuck in of your successful creations. Or why not cut and stick any favourite dishes from magazines or print and add them from websites to keep them all in the one place for next time you are pondering what to make for dinner. Also it’s important not to forget to ask for some family favourites from your parents, grand parents, aunts and uncles to add to your repertoire, nothing beats the old favourites! 

Habit Tracker

Habit trackers can be used for so many purposes and allow you to track both the good and bad in order to identify patterns in your behaviour. Once again these are such a personal thing that the style and design of your tracker is very much individual. I personally find that colouring sections/shapes in helps me have a quick ‘at a glance’ overview of my habits – for example my reading goal is 150 books for the year and I colour in a book in my journal each time I finish a title. I have also used this kind of tracker in the past to help with my spending and expenses which I found extremely motivating.

Travel Journal

Since the world has opened back up after the Covid pandemic I have been longing to do some travelling and if and when I am able to do so I will definitely be using one of my notebooks to create a journal. Using photos, mementos and written memories a travel journal is the ideal way to remember any special trip and a fantastic reminder to yourself to live life to the full and seize the day. I love having photos from trips and holidays on my phone but it just hits different when you have physical prints and mementos to look at and reminisce with friends and family and a travel journal is an amazing way to document your trip.

Daily Planner

I always say to people I couldn’t live without my trusty calendar and a self designed daily planner is the next best thing. Why not use your notebook to design your own spreads with daily, weekly or monthly boxes where you can keep yourself organised with day to day activities or perhaps even your finances. You can add your own unique style with colourful art, stickers and your own design that works for you and your lifestyle. Daily planners are ideal to take along with you to the office or even just to have in your handbag to refer to when making plans with friends so that you don’t double book yourself!


Last but by no means least how about a plain old diary?? I haven’t written a diary for years now but as a teenager I loved to pour all that angst out on the page for future me to look back on. A diary is a great way to record your life and to allow yourself the space and opportunity to get your thoughts and feelings out there; there’s nothing better than having a good old rant on the page to get those thoughts out of your brain when it’s fit to burst. Your diary can take on any format you like and is completely for your eyes only so grab a pen and a blank page and get started.

How do you use your empty notebooks??? Does the thought of a blank notebook leave you overwhelmed or do your relish the challenge of creating something new?? Let me know in the comments

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