Empty Notebook Ideas: 40 Things To Do With A Blank Journal

Today you’re going to learn all things you can do with a blank journal. Basically, it’s the ultimate blog post, gathering the most amazing empty notebook ideas. 

So if you want to see some stunning things to fill an empty notebook with when you’re:

  • feeling bored
  • looking for creative inspiration
  • out of ideas for school, work, or college
  • planning and organizing your life

Then keep reading.

Also, I’ll show how you can use a lined notebook effectively.

Let’s get started.

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empty notebook ideas

Definitely, there’re two types of people – stationery nerds and others. 

All jokes aside, I’ve always enjoyed the Back-to-school season because of new notebooks, pens, and highlighters.

Undoubtedly, there’s something magical in beautifully designed notebooks’ covers and blank pages.

However, stationery lovers have one thing in common- we’re always getting more empty notebooks than we actually need.

As a result, you have an empty notebook and suddenly you have no idea what to write in. 

Moreover, maybe you’ve just bought a brand new journal only because it looked stunning with its zodiac sign cover. But now you feel so frustrated, overwhelmed, and even paralyzed because of the fear of messing up with the first page.

In fact, I tend to collect a bunch of notebooks that ended up gathering dust on the bookshelf, just because I didn’t want to ruin it.

Indeed, being a perfectionist can be a real struggle. With this in mind, I just want to share with you few small tips that helped me tremendously get over the first page anxiety.

How To Get Over The First Page Anxiety

First and foremost, keep in mind that this particular notebook is your and only your way to express your feelings, emotions, plans, etc. 

And yes, while you see a lot of artistic bullet journal spreads, study notes with gorgeous handwriting, and watercolor art journals, your empty journals can become as messy as you want.

Basically, I’m trying to tell you that it’s ok to write shaky letters and doodle as 3 years old kid. 

Obviously, if you want to practice your lettering skills to improve handwriting it’s great. But please don’t feel you need to be an artist express yourself in a creative way. 

Secondly, get comfortable with imperfection. Messing up is a part of a learning curve. Also, I’d suggest accepting the fact that misspellings, uneven lines, shaky shapes will happen every single day.

Last but not least, enjoy the process. Undoubtedly, filling an empty notebook with your thoughts, emotions, plans is therapeutic. Not only it allows you to vent but also to organize your life, plan the future, and keep working towards your dreams and goals.

How To Use An Empty Notebook Effectively?

bullet journal pens notebook brush markers

Now, when you know how to deal with the first page anxiety, it’s time to learn how you can get the most out of a blank notebook.

Because I’m all about planning, organizing, and sorting out, I decided to break this huge topic of empty notebook ideas into two smaller parts. 

Basically, I divided empty notebook ideas into two categories:

-an art tool (for the emotional, creative, artistic, intuitive, messy right side of your brain)

-organizational and productivity tool (for rational, logical, structural, analytical, goal-oriented, the well organized left side of your brain)

Empty Notebook Ideas For Creativity

As a left-brained planning nerd, I want to start this amazing list of empty notebook ideas from the creative ones.

Sometimes I feel so organized, goal-oriented, and productive that I almost forget to be a human.

With this in mind, here you can find the list of empty notebook ideas to unleash creativity, vent feelings, and play with pure imagination.

Creative Things To Do In A Blank Journal

So now you get a brand new blank journal and all you can do is to ask yourself what I should use my journal for.

Here are my favorite creative things to do in a blank journal.

Hobby Journal

Assuming you decided to take up a creative hobby this year, one way you can use a blank notebook is a hobby journal.

Basically, a project planning book helps you track your craft projects, keep all of the supplies organized, and even focus on actually finishing them.

Scrapbook

Although scrapbooking may seem to be a little bit old-fashioned, it’s still a beautiful way to keep your memories alive. So print your favorite photos out, glue them into a blank notebook, and create a memory book. Along with this, decorate scrapbook pages with card stocks, stickers, stamps, and other embellishments. More about scrapbooking you can learn here.

Mood Board

Generally, a mood board is a great visual tool that helps create a brand vision. But even if you’re not an entrepreneur, you can still use mood boards as part of your empty notebook. 

For example, you can plan your room makeover. Or just for fun, create an inspiration board with your favorite fashion looks, city vibes, or aesthetic images.

Vision Board

vision board blank journal

Another type of board you may want to design in your empty notebook is a vision board. 

Basically, a vision board is another collage of photos, quotes, stickers, etc that is used as a visualization tool to achieve your dreams and goals. Although most of us might be a little bit skeptical about gluing photos, quotes, or other pieces into a piece of paper in order to fulfill our dreams, creating a vision board might be the very first step to actually achieve them.

Travel Journal

Undoubtedly, using your empty notebook as a travel journal helps you to keep memories in one place. Plane tickets, baggage tags, boarding passes, metro tickets, receipts, entries, polaroids, pressed flowers, tea bags, menus, maps, coasters, currency – indeed, documenting your journey can be so much more than a boring packing list.

Blank Journal Ideas When You’re Bored

The next subcategory for creative empty notebook ideas is fun things to put in a notebook when you’re bored.

Here you can find amazon examples to get inspired when you don’t want to start a big new project, but still, express yourself in a creative but quick way.

Lettering Practice Book

As I mentioned before, you don’t need to have neat handwriting to use a blank journal in a creative way. On the other hand, practicing your handwriting is a great way to use an empty notebook when you’re bored.

Brush lettering, calligraphy, bouncy lettering, bullet journal fonts, etc – there’re plenty of hand lettering techniques you can choose from. 

Quotes Journal

quote journal ideas

Along with that, you can use your improved lettering techniques in practice by keeping a quotes journal. Not only you have a great opportunity to pretty up your writing, but also you’ll get inspired and motivated at the same time. One of my favorite ways to find something inspirational is to scroll through bullet journal quotes.

Funny Sayings

Alternatively, writing down funny sayings your family and friends came up with and keeping them in one notebook is a wonderful idea to preserve them from being forgotten.

Doodling Practice Book

doodle practice book

Similar to the lettering practice book, the doodling practice book is all about creating doodles, simple drawings, or more complex masterpieces.

The easiest way to improve your doodling skills is to follow step-by-step doodle tutorials you can easily find on Pinterest.

Art Journal

empty notebook ideas watercolor art

Also, art journaling is another way to use a blank notebook. 

Basically, an art journal is a visual diary. The best part of art journaling is that there’s no right or wrong way of doing it. 

Definitely, it’s all about expressing yourself, having fun, getting over perfectionism, and personal growth.

For example, you draw your day with watercolors, create inked weekly art pages, or use art journal prompts for inspiration. 

Sketchbook

When it comes to using a blank notebook as a sketchbook, it’s all about easy drawing ideas you can draw with a pencil. Find some fresh sketchbook ideas here.

Smash Book

On the other hand, smash book seems to be a less perfect and organized sister of scrapbook. Instead of planning out the layouts, smash book is all about smashing in photos and other random elements and creating the page here and now. 

Junk Journal

Along with that, a junk journal is a notebook created with…junk. For example, old newspapers, maps, leaflets, catalogs, greeting cards – yes, all of these materials, that probably would end up in a trash bin, are priceless for junk journal lovers. 

Daily News Log

Last but not least, the daily news log seems to be so funny time killer.

Think about keeping a chronicle of Tik Tok dramas, YouTube teas, or celebrity gossips – such cool ideas.  

Empty Notebook Ideas for Organization and Productivity

Now let’s talk about using a blank journal as a productivity tool. Obviously, like a bullet journal blogger and a planner nerd, it’s my favorite part of this blog post. So, let’s dive right in.

Empty Notebook Ideas for Life Organization

First of all, I want to share with you how to organize your life with a notebook. In other words, you’ll see some amazing empty notebook ideas and learn how you can use a notebook as a blank planner.

Bullet Journal

empty notebook ideas bujo

In case you don’t know what bullet journaling is, it’s a very simple, minimal way of tracking your tasks, events, and appointments.

However, after scrolling through your bullet journal Pinterest feed, you might get the wrong impression that bujo is all about creating cute, fancy layouts.

As a bullet journal blogger, who has written over 60 blog posts about bullet journaling, it’s true only to a certain point.

First and foremost, this amazing productivity tool was designed by Ryder Caroll to be a quick and easy way to organize all of the information. Over the course of time, as the interest in bullet journaling continues to skyrocket, some artistic souls adapted it as a kind of a creative hobby.

Because I can talk about planning in bujo for a really long time, I encourage you to read my bullet journal 101 guides.

Lists

Another way of organizing your life is with a list.

Although it sounds really weird, you’re able to stay on track with your entire life, putting literally everything onto a list.

For example, think about things you want to buy, the place you want to travel to, things you need and use (great for decluttering and house cleaning).

Definitely, it’s a completely new way of simplifying and organizing life for me. But it’s so refreshing and exciting to use my blank notebook purely as a collection of giant life lists.

Brain Dump

Undoubtedly, keeping brain dump pages helped me organize my random thoughts and point me in the right direction while instantly reducing stress. So if you want to stop your mind from racing, use your empty notebook for brain dump sessions.

Recipes Book

The next thing you can do with your blank notebook is to use it as a recipe book. Not only you’ll have all random recipes in one place, but also it’ll be a great thing to pass on to the next generation. Just imagine your grand-grand daughter cooking your famous carrot cake. So cool!

Houseplant Care Tracker

This empty notebook idea will be your favorite if you’re a plant mom. By the way, I used to be so bad with keeping all my plants alive. Now, when I have all information about watering, fertilizing, repotting, etc listed in one notebook, it’s so much easier to be a responsible plant mom.

Fitness Journal

Also, creating a fitness journal allows you to build and master self-discipline by holding you accountable. Being able to track your entire fitness journey help you assess progress, stay motivated. And just keep going.

Personal Finance Trackers

Getting your personal finances under control and manage it like a pro can make a difference. In fact, creating budget pages in a notebook helped me pursue my dream job and save more money.

Book Log

Along with this, making a book log notebook can encourage you to actually read more books. Moreover, it motivates you to read carefully, with full attention, especially if you include book reviews.

Self-Care Planner

bujo self care page ideas

As well as that, feel free to use your blank notebook as a self-care planner. Not only it’ll help you make your self-care practice a priority, but also you’ll develop new good habits.

Home Remodel Planner

Besides, you can plan a home huge remodel. Starting with project scope, through a budget, shopping list, and finishing with organizational checklists, it’s a perfect tool to create your dream home.

Event Planning

Last but not least empty notebook idea is all about event planning. Wedding, birthday, baby shower, pregnancy – plan and record the most important stages of your life. 

Empty Notebook Ideas for Work | College | School

Because your work, college, the school are a huge part of your daily life, below you find perfect examples of how to use a blank notebook for your professional life.

Although work, college, and school may seem to be completely different areas, creating all of the pages I put down below is relevant for each category.

Study Notes

Even though it’s obvious you need to get notebooks for study notes, note-taking can be an art in itself. There are plenty of methods to take notes effectively. As well as that, you can find many aesthetic note-taking ideas on Pinterest.

Foreign Language Journal

In addition to this, your blank notebook can be a foreign language journal with practice trackers, one word a day page, grammar checklist, doodle page, a mind map, etc.

Brainstorming / Mindmapping Notebook

Speaking of mind mapping, create a mind map can help you to declutter your mind, relieve stress and anxiety. With one thought branching off into another, you suddenly start gaining clarity whenever you get stuck in your current project.

Goal Planner

goals page bullet journal

Undoubtedly, setting goals allows you to have a crystal clear vision of what do you want to achieve. With this in mind, starting a goal planner helps you to create a simple, actionable step-by-step plan while thinking about tools, resources, and deadlines.

Blank Planner

Along with this, just create a simple planner with a monthly overview, weekly schedule, and daily log.

Professional Planner

Also, you may want to consider setting up a notebook according to your profession. For example:

  • college/school planner (class schedule, grade tracker, semester goals, study tracker, etc)
  • entrepreneur planner (brand strategy page, product brainstorming page, returns tracker, order form, taxes page, etc)
  • Etsy seller planner (branding, stats tracker, keywords ideas, coupon code tracker, listing log, marketing ideas, sales tracker)

Bonus: Lined Notebook Ideas

Last but not least, let’s talk about what to do with a lined notebook.

Although all of the empty notebook ideas I listed above will work with a lined notebook as well, you may struggle a little bit more. For example, I tried to keep a bullet journal in a lined notebook and it was a nightmare.

With this in mind, I came up with cute things to write in a lined notebook.

For instance, you can fill up a lined notebook with:

  • your dreams ( Dreams Log)
  • poetry
  • a creative writing
  • life lessons
  • morning pages
  • self-discovery journal
  • daily diary

Basically, a lined empty notebook is perfect for all kind of journaling. 

Empty Notebook Ideas – Final Thoughts

So this is it. I hope now you don’t have to as “what to write in a small notebook” questions anymore. 

To sum up, you can use your blank journals as an art tool or a productivity tool. 

Or both. 

Just look at the artistic bullet journaling world, where time-management skills and creative skills intertwine.

 In conclusion, here are 40 empty notebook ideas:

  1. Hobby Journal
  2. Scrapbook
  3. Mood Board
  4. Vision Board
  5. Travel Journal
  6. Lettering Practice Book
  7. Quotes Journal
  8. Funny Sayings
  9. Doodling Practice Book
  10. Art Journal
  11. Sketchbook
  12. Smash Book
  13. Junk Journal
  14. Daily News Log
  15. Bullet Journal
  16. Lists
  17. Brain Dump
  18. Recipes Book
  19. Houseplant Care Tracker
  20. Fitness Journal
  21. Personal Finance Trackers
  22. Book Log
  23. Self-Care Planner
  24. Home Remodel Planner
  25. Event Planning
  26. Study Notes
  27. Foreign Language Journal
  28. Brainstorming Notebook
  29. Mindmapping Notebook
  30. Goal Planner
  31. Planner
  32. Professional Planner
  33. Dreams Log
  34. Poetry
  35. Creative Writing
  36. Gratitude Journal
  37. Life Lessons
  38. Morning Pages
  39. Self-Discovery Journal
  40. Daily Diary

What’s Next? You May Want To Read The Following Bullet Journal Tutorials:

150+ Bullet Journal Page Ideas [Perfect for Your 2021 Bujo]

Creative Bullet Journal Pages: 10 Ideas To Organize Your Life

50 Bullet Journal Collection Ideas That’ll Make You A Lot Happier

empty notebook ideas

Empty Notebook Ideas and Blank Journal Inspiration