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How To Fill Up Your Empty Notebooks

How To Fill Up Your Empty Notebooks
Calling my fellow notebook hoarders (or creative collectors!).
Break through your perfectionist tendencies and put a pen to paper with these ideas of how to fill your empty notebooks!
Great ideas grow from seeds of inspiration, so what better way than to plant your ideas into an empty notebook RIGHT NOW.


I’m fairly confident journal hoarding is a real thing. I for one have a tonne of unused, empty notebooks stacked up. Why? Because I find a cover I really like, or a layout or a nice size and then I’m sold… I’m basically Paperchase’s ideal customer!

So when the wonderful Jenna Hopkins of Colourful Pixie told me she loved my Instagram & Blog and wanted to collaborate, of course I said yes! Errrrrr have you SEEN her notebooks and artwork?! It’s all so powerful, with some swirling, fluid pieces and others thoughtfully decorated with transfixing, abstract movement.

The notebook Jenna kindly gifted to me is gorgeous – It’s so vivid, and completely captures her artwork with the punchiest of ink and texture. I feel like Jenna hand-picked this one for me as it perfectly reflects my love of the sea! The tones and texture just take me to so many of the glorious beaches and coves in Cornwall.

You’ll be wanting to flaunt a notebook in your next meeting or adding a splash of colour to your walls! As Jenna puts it so perfectly, “Boldly be a POP of colour in a black and white world”. You can check out her Instagram here for some really interesting method/how-to videos where you can see Jenna in action creating her masterpieces.

What’s especially great about Jenna’s notebooks is that you can add a refill book inside when you’ve eventually filled every page – The gorgeous cover can be used again and again!

I guess one of the reasons I have so many empty notebooks is because I never really want to regret how I filled them – OR, risk starting to fill them and then messing up or running out of ideas entirely (lol, when has that ever happened?!)

Knowing how best to fill an empty notebook can be a head-scratcher, and something that stops you in your tracks before you’ve even begun – Working out what to put in a notebook, whether to keep it ‘for best’ or panicking that you’ve ruined it with some boring shopping lists! Nailing your best handwriting and penning only your ‘most worthy’ thoughts can be a real pressure.

I’d been wondering what to use my new Colourful Pixie notebook for. So, I started to dream up allllllll of the things I could potentially use it for. I figured the list I’d started to piece together would probably help my fellow notebook hoarders and creative collectors!

Hopefully this list is helpful if you’re looking for ideas of how to fill your empty notebooks…

‘A Sentence A Day’

Such a ‘what it says on the tin’ idea but a really powerful one. If you had to sum up your day (or yesterday) in a sentence, RIGHT NOW… What would you write?! Take a pen to paper and keep a sentence in a notebook every day. It’ll feel less daunting than a full-blown diary and will serve as a little glimpse back at this exact day in time.

Gratitude Diary

Keep a little reminder each day of what made you smile, things you were thankful for. Basically, the moments that remind you there ARE good things in life. No matter how cruddy and difficult it can feel, or how defeatist you’re feeling… Always practise gratitude.Β 

Finance Tracking

What goes in, and what goes out – Finances, of course! Keep tabs on it all, if that’s what you want to use your empty notebook for! It can’t hurt to be a bit more money-savvy or save some extra pennies for a rainy day, right?!

Blog or Business Metrics

I’ve got some lovely fellow blogger friends who keep their empty notebooks full of metrics, goals and mission statements for their blogs! I don’t know about you, but I find that so inspiring and actually need to use one of my empty notebooks to do this.

A Reading List

I’ve already sorted this one for you, and you are SO welcome! Have a look through and note down some of the titles & authors which catch your eye. Whether you use your empty notebook to keep a list, tick them off or even write mini reviews, you’ll be so glad you did next time someone asks what your favourite book is…

Food or Water Trackers

You might think this is a weird idea, but it can prove incredibly helpful for some… Keeping a food tracker is a great way to observe your symptoms of allergies, irritations and intolerances. In fact, keeping a log can really help towards a diagnosis!

A Wanderlust-Inspired Travel List

Over on my About page, I keep a very condensed list of places I’d love to visit! Go have a little snoop and see if there’s any you fancy adding to your list. Then, get some of your own dream destinations jotted down into your notebook and add some hotspots you’d want to visit if/when you get to go.

A General To-Do List

Here’s a non-fact fact for you – You cannot beat that feeling of satisfaction when something’s crossed off a to-do list.
Even write down things you’ve ALREADY done just to cross them off if it helps, I won’t tell anyone!

Your Own Look Book

I’m genuinely super proud of this idea… Jot down what you were wearing when you felt really happy with your outfit. Complete it with some Polaroid snaps stuck into your empty notebook with cute Washi tapes. I promise you’ll never be stumped for ideas of what to wear again! I was actually chatting with my friend about this very concept at a socially-distanced bbq recently!

Your Favourite Quotes

Spiritual quotes, movie lines, kind things people have said – Whatever makes your mind tick! If it stuck with you, write it down (providing it was a nice thing to remember, of course!)

Business Plan Bible

That bomb business plan you’ve been meaning to write down for ages? You know, the one you think about before bed and wonder what Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis would have made of it… Write. It. Down. Better yet, create a Google doc so it’s always backed-up! But failing that, fill up one of your empty notebooks with all your ideas of how this business idea will bring in revenue, change the world and, ULTIMATELY, make you happy!

A Diary

If you’re a hoarder of notebooks, I probably don’t need to tell you what you’re doing here eh?
Write a diary, however you feel comfortable. A line a day or a page a day! Go for it.

Sketchbook

I’m a bit of a perfectionist so lined notebooks tend to freak out my feng shui when I’m drawing. BUT, grab whichever empty notebook you want and just start sketching! Add little annotations, some colour maybe or mix up your media – Charcoal, acrylic AND pastel? Oh go on then.

Anniversary Gift
(or a book you work on with your bestie)

I always think personal gifts are the absolute best – You can pretty much guarantee I’ll end up crying if a gift has clearly had thought and time spent on it! Use one of your favourite, empty notebooks to write down everything about your partner, friend or sister that makes you smile! Even if you don’t give it to them as a gift, what a lovely thing to flick back through when you need a pick-me-up. Get your friends involved and create a MEGA book packed full of all your memories made together.

Routines

I’ve found this SO helpful during lockdown and the Corona craziness. I’ve been writing down my ‘quararoutine’ for the day and breaking it into super small chunks if needed! The routines you write down should be whatever you feel helps – Haircare, makeup and skincare, meditation and yoga rituals, exercise routines or maybe what you’ll do to get from AM to PM.

Habit Development

Remember what I told you? It supposedly takes around 66 days to form a habit! Anything you fancy – Be it working out more, quitting something or finishing off a project you swore you’d see through to the end! Stay accountable and check your progress off each day, week or month. You’ll soon be on your way to a better you by using an empty notebook to help develop your new habit.

Goal Guide

Keep your motivation going from habit development, right the way to hitting your goals! This can be absolutely anything you have your sights set for! Maybe even a countdown to a special date – Wedding bells! Whilst I was chatting with Jenna of Colourful Pixie, I found this lovely quote on her website… “I believe if you truly want something, if you really have a dream in your heart – You can make it happen!”. A lovely sentiment to kickstart your motivation!

Your Favourites

So many of the ‘notes’ on my phone are filled with my favourite things. Songs and lyrics, Instagram accounts and recipes, brands, websites and designers! Write down all your favourite things in the form of lists or word clouds and you’ll find they just keep coming to you when you’ve started writing…

Mood Tracker

You can do this super easily by colouring a pixel a day. Establish a key and stick to it – Perhaps green means your day was great, orange equals ‘not so much’ and red is really far from wonderful. 365 pixels on a page will soon show you a bad day doesn’t define you, not does it mean a bad life!

Bullet Journal

If you’re not au fait with what bullet journalling is, just know it’s a method of personal organisation in journal form. Encompassing to-do lists, reminders, idea brainstorming and trackers, bullet journalling can really be physically ‘keeping tabs’ on whatever you like!


What have you decided to use your new or empty notebook for? Is there something you just have to use a good old pen and paper for? I’ll always welcome some more ideas of what to fill my endless pile of journals with!

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