What to Write in a Notebook – Our Ultimate Guide

Empty notebooks or journals are one of those items that always seem to be lying around the house. Cluttering our junk drawers, or using space on our bedside tables. Whether it’s a leftover from your back-to-school haul, or a gift you haven’t got around to using yet, it can be tough to find inspiration to fill those pages. You might find yourself wondering what to write in a notebook. Luckily, we’re here to give you some inspiration to put pen to paper. 

There are endless things you could write about in your empty notebook or journal. And to us, there’s nothing more exciting than a blank page. But it can be overwhelming when you don’t know where to start. We’ve categorised our favourite ideas into 5 themes below to make your journey as easy as possible. 

Getting Organised 

1. Planning an Event 

To plan any kind of event, from a holiday to a wedding, organisation is key. A notebook can help you keep track of budget, suppliers, key dates and more, to ensure your event runs smoothly. If you’re planning a big event, we recommend using notebook dividers to separate your notes. With all this to plan, it’s likely that you will need different sections, such as catering, guest list etc.

2. To-Do Lists 

Got paper and a pen? Great! You’ve got all you need to ensure you stay on track of those important tasks. If you want to take your lists to the next level, we recommend grabbing a ruler and creating a right-hand margin. This way, you can use this as a checkbox when you have completed your task. You’ll be more organised, and get a dopamine boost with each tick, it’s a win-win! 

3. Studying 

You might have a spare notebook lying around because you prefer typing up your notes in class, or using a note-taking app. There are lots of benefits to typing, such as speed, the ability to add other media, and visual clarity. However, scientists’ studies have shown links between increased memory and writing notes by hand. In fact some suggest that those who write notes by hand are more likely to be able to recall key information in an exam setting. 

Realising your talents

4. Creative Writing

How do you know if you have a talent until you try it out? After all, practice makes perfect! Whether you want to turn your hand to short stories, songs, or poetry, it’s never too late to give it a go. Plus, with a whole notebook to fill, you can explore lots of topics until you find your flow.

5. Drawing 

This is a particularly good way to fill an unruled notebook that you haven’t been keen on using for writing. You don’t have to be the next Turner Prize winner, drawing can take lots of forms. From portraits to landscapes or abstract, all you need to get started are some art pencils and an artist eraser. Planning a renovation, or fancy having a furniture shuffle at home? Drawing out your ideas can often be the first step in making your vision come to life!

6. Learning a new skill 

As we’ve mentioned, by hand-writing your notes, you’re more likely to remember the information. But this doesn’t just apply to school and exams. If you’re looking to learn a new skill, such as a language or even a new computer software, writing notes as you go could make a huge difference in how you retain information. Why not try leaving it a few hours until after you’ve had a lesson on your new skill, and try to recall and record what you learned to test your brain even further?


7. Start a Gratitude Journal 

Gratitude journals are used to increase the feeling of appreciation or thanks for everyday occurrences. Experts say it can help to boost daily mood, and create a greater awareness for the small pieces of joy each day can bring. To get started, all you need is a pen and paper and the ability to reflect. Start by writing down 3 things you are grateful for each evening before you go to bed. It can be things that happened to you that day, or more general things in life that you are thankful for. The key to success is being specific. Write down what you are grateful for, and why you are grateful for it. This will help you to reflect on each day in a positive light.

8. Monitoring your feelings 

Do you find yourself happier on some days than others for no particular reason? Or do you wake up in a mood that can ruin a whole day, without knowing what you are upset about? By monitoring the daily changes in your moods, it can help you manage and improve them. By identifying your negative mood triggers, this can help you avoid them in the future, and work towards a better quality of life.

Tracking Habits or Goals 

9. Financial Goals 

Whether you’re working towards a savings goal, or just want better visibility of what’s going in and out of your bank account, a financial diary can help. Sometimes, when bills come out over the course of a month it can be difficult to know the exact amount you are spending. By taking time to write a list of all your subscriptions, debt repayments, bills and other monthly outgoings, you can see a more complete picture of your expenditure, and plan accordingly.

10. Wellbeing Goals 

You don’t have to wait until January 1st to make a commitment to your wellbeing. Whether you want to get fitter, meditate daily, increase your fruit and veg intake, you can decide to set yourself a new goal whenever you like. Using a notebook can help you track your progress towards a goal in lots of different ways. For example, if your goal has a deadline, you can break it down into weekly or daily chunks, and record how often you are completing your tasks.

11. Quitting a Habit 

As easy as it is to track the activities you want to start doing, notebooks can also help you stop a habit you want to get out of. First, start by committing to paper what it is you want to stop doing and why, and then set yourself targets and deadlines to help you get there. This keeps you accountable to yourself. Missed a deadline? Write down why, and how that makes you feel. By expressing these feelings on paper, it can motivate you to realise the negative impact the habit is having on your life, and empower you to reach your goal.

Making a Record

12. Writing a Diary 

Writing a diary doesn’t have to be a daily commitment. It can be reserved for recording those special days you don’t want to forget, or used as a mindfulness exercise when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Diaries can also help improve your writing skills if writing isn’t something you’re used to doing on a daily basis. 

13. Making a Scrapbook

You might need a bit more than just a pen and paper for this one. Glitter, sequins, feathers, anything goes in a scrapbook! Scrapbooks are a great way to commemorate a special event, such as a school year, or a holiday. They tend to work best with lots of photos, so get snapping before you start sticking! 

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading! Let us know @nunotebooks what you decide to use your notebook for!