35 Ways to Put That Old Notebook to New Use

If you’re anything like me, you own 15+ notebooks in all different sizes and each notebook sits dormant on your shelf for eons. You get roped in by their beautiful binding, wonderful possibilities, or, like with a few of mine, the fact that they were free.

I can’t say that I’m much of a “journaler” per se, but I’ve come up with a list of 35 things to journal about that seem interesting.


1. reflect on your day

2. write your daily, monthly, and yearly goals

3. write a letter to your future self

4. document your bucket-list

5. budgeting and catalog expenses

6. make a list of all the “something” you want to do so that you can tick them off, like a bucket list of restaurants or coffee shops

Here and Now

7. gratitude

notebook covered in washi tape
I covered my “gratitude notebook” in washi tape for some added *flair*

8. draw the people or things around you. It doesn’t matter if you think you can draw or not, it’s fun to try and catalog your progress over time!

9. write down what you’re eating to help you diversify your meal plans and stay accountable to your goals

10. fill a notebook with the highlights of your day as a time capsule

11. transform a notebook into a planner, using the grid or a ruler as a guide, to make a bullet journal

12. catalog what you wear each day to help you know what you wear most often

13. stream of conscious – incredibly therapeutic and interesting to reflect on.


14. fill your notebook with your favorite new vocabulary words

15. learn a new language

16. write down the books you read that year

17. take notes from speakers or presentations you got to

18. catalog your family tree

19. pick a few topics you want to learn more of and deep dive into them, like “powerful women of WWII” or “ecology of the North Pole”

Pretty things

20. collect stickers and put them on the cover of your notebook on display

21. make “mood board” pages of things you’re interested in

22. store your Polaroid photos

23. use washi tape to secure pamphlets from events

24. collect signatures


25. collect little trinkets from your travels, such as your boarding passes or tickets to events

26. write down the schedule of the day and any special memories to help you remember later, and share the details with friends who are planning a trip

27. plan your next trip

28. make a packing list

29. attach a local map so that you can plan your next movements a bit more inconspicuously


30. swatch your favorite makeup products

31. list your favorite quotes

32. work on brainstorming for a new blog post or a project at work

33. write down your favorite recipes

34. list all of the concerts (or events for a certain hobby) you’ve been to

35. catalog a “wish list” of items you want in your closet, on your bookshelf, in your pantry, etc.


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