I hope you’re all staying healthy and having a good quarantine. 🙂 Today I thought it would be fun to collect most of my notebooks currently in use and give you guys a mini tour of them. Just in case you’re bored and need creative ideas of what to do, for instance. 😉
If you’ve ever wondered how to fill an empty notebook, sketchbook, or journal, keep reading! Here are over ten ideas that I use and enjoy myself.
1. The “Everything” Notebook
Take away all the pressure of making something beautiful and just MAKE something. Throw all your ideas at these pages – sketch ideas, random thoughts, paint splatters, pen tests…
This is becoming one of my favorite notebooks to use because there’s absolutely no pressure attached. This “brainstorm notebook” is meant to be scrappy and messy and unfinished, not a beautiful, finished sketchbook to post to Instagram. It doesn’t have especially thick or luxurious pages, and that’s what you want. Choose a notebook that isn’t “precious,” or maybe an old one that still has some blank pages. Decorate it with stickers that make you happy, and create without limits.
2. A Collection of Quotes
Keep a pretty notebook or journal handy to record your favorite quotes or lyrics.
This one is pretty classic, but I really like having a quote book – especially when I don’t have to for school 😛 I keep mine on my desk so I have it have it ready when I read or listen to music or sermons. That way I can refer to this book when I need a quote to letter (or include in a letter).
3. Letter-Writing Notebook
Have a dedicated notebook for writing letters in so your “stationery” will be consistent and easy to grab, plus more portable than loose-leaf pages.
This notebook I was gifted is perfect for writing letters since it has lined, perforated pages, and a pocket in the beginning to hold the letter I’m replying to. I really like how it keeps my letter-writing more contained and easy to grab!
4. Short Story Notebook
Write concepts, first drafts, or whole short stories all in one notebook.
Sometimes a short story idea strikes me and I want to write it down, but I don’t really feel like opening my computer and staring at a Word doc. My thoughts often flow better on paper, you know? So I’ve started writing a few short stories in this pretty, lined notebook. I may transpose them to my blog eventually. 🙂
5. Long Story Notebook
Planning a full-length story or novel? Keep all your notes, outlines, character sketches, and research in one book. Or write the whole first draft on paper!
I’m using this one for a story idea I’ve had for literally five years, but I’m not sure if I’ll actually go all the way through with it. 😛 I like the idea of having a first draft, at least, as a physical copy. Since this notebook is hardcover and has a ton of pages, I thought it would be perfect for writing a whole book in!
6. Bullet Journal
Keep your life organized with one notebook for all your to-do lists, schedules, and goals.
I’m sure you’ve probably heard of bullet journaling by now, but if not, check out my bujo posts (like this one) for more inspiration. I use mine to organize my life and schedule with habit trackers, to-do lists, calendars, and goals.
7. Poem Notebook
Fill a notebook with your own poems or songwriting. Somehow writing on paper makes the creativity flow better.
(Get the elephant sticker here on my shop. 😉 ) If you’ve followed my blog for a little while, you probably know that I love writing poetry and have self-published two poetry books, Spark and Unfurling. I almost always write my poems on paper first. The pen gliding across the paper is inspiring in itself. ❤
8. Prayer Journal
Write down your own prayers or prayers for others. It helps focus your mind and allows you to look back on God’s grace and faithfulness.
I don’t write in this one a lot since I have a simpler “prayer journal” section in my bullet journal, but I use this notebook when I want to talk about some bigger issue, when I have something I’m thankful for or struggling with that I’ve been thinking about for a while and want to get out of my head. I love praying on paper; I can think so much more clearly.
9. Bible Journal
Take notes on your Bible readings or write/letter your favorite verse from that passage or chapter.
I’ve been doing this for I think about three years now? Whenever I read the next chapter, I letter my favorite verse in this book. I’ve completed quite a few notebooks so far and I love being able to look back and see all the beautiful verses I’ve read! Sometimes my lettering is interesting or elaborate, and sometimes it’s pretty messy or simple. Click here to see a sample of my Bible journaling.
10. Line-a-day Book
Somewhere between a diary and a gratitude journal, this book lets you look back on the highlights and lowlights of your days across the span of five years.
I was also gifted this one, and think it’s such a neat idea! It has space to write down the highlight or short summary of your day every day for five years, so you can compare what you did across time and how you’re growing. I love this gorgeous, pre-made book, but if you don’t have one you could make your own by getting a big notebook and leaving space for five entries on each page.
11. Watercolor Sketchbook
If you’re interested in watercolor, I highly recommend using a media-specific sketchbook for your paintings instead of a mixed-media one.
These last two are technically sketchooks and not notebooks, but I wanted to include them because – well, I use them a lot! This first notebook is from Arteza and has thick paper specifically made for watercolor and wet media (my favorite).
12. Illo Sketchbook
A versatile and fun-to-use sketchbook with a unique shape and luxurious design.
I love the unusual format and luxurious design of this sketchbook! I’ve decorated the cover and turned it into kind of a “portfolio” of pieces that (at least in theory) I will be proud of. I kinda use the everything notebook for trash sketches, my watercolor sketchbook for most art, and this for my favorite concepts, or sometimes just nice, dry media art that wouldn’t work as well on the watercolor paper.
So there’s a tour of the notebooks I use today! I actually have more than this – for instance: two sketchbooks I use for the two respective art classes I teach – but I figured twelve ideas was enough for one post. 😛 I hope you enjoyed this and found some inspiration for your own notebooks! If you liked this post, here’s an image to pin for future reference. 🙂
What different notebooks do YOU have? Which of these notebook ideas were your favorite?
Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!
P. S. Photos taken with my Nikon D3400 and a 35mm lens. Edited with picmonkey.com.