Ten Ways To Use Your Paperback Notebook

So you’ve bought your very first Paperback Notebook. Or maybe you’re thinking about it. But now what do you do with it? We’re here to help with ten ways to use your new notebook.


  1. Keep a Diary of Your Day to Day
    Start with the date and then let your new notebook know what you did that day. No detail is too small, and anything that is important to you to remember is significant- no matter what it is. Much of what we know of history have been recorded in diaries and autobiographies, particularly those of young women. A diary is an important record of the little things that make up our world, that we may not always notice without reflecting on them.
    Tip: If you find it difficult to write by hand, treat yourself to a beautiful font (think of it like buying a digital fountain pen) and good printer. Paste in your printed thoughts and decorate as you like.

  2. Make a Scrap Book
    Similar to a commonplace book, this type of notebook is a repository for all the things that bring you joy or inspiration. Whether it be a quote, a photograph, or a cutting from a magazine, here you can collect all the things together and in browsing your collection spark new ideas and thoughts- make sure to record those too!
    Tip: We have a pamphlet on starting a commonplace book here, which is an excellent place to start.

  3. Record Your Favourite Recipes
    Food is such a large part of our lives, and we often have strong individual preferences. Use your new notebook to store your favourite new recipes, or to make a note of alterations you have made. Place amongst the pages those treasured recipes of your youth that link back to your family, or those recipes that you made together with your friends. Make a second copy to gift to a family member or a friend.
    Tip: Include photos or sketches of your recipes for future reference.

  4. Take Notes of the Natural World
    While a diary might contain your own inner thoughts or day to day story, keeping a nature journal is a way to connect with the way the world moves around you. Even if you live in the city, you can make an important record that will help you to learn more about how the seasons are in your neighbourhood- and to learn about how they are changing. Write about your observations, include news clippings or sketch the natural world around you.
    Tip: A nature journal can double as a gardening journal. Keeping a yearly journal will help you get to know the seasonal temperament of your climate.

  5. Sketch a Thumbnail a Day
    Use your notebook to practice your composition. Using a ruler or freehand, you can make little squares and rectangles (about six or so per page) in advance of using your notebook as a sketch book. The paperback notebook paper is perfect for sketching, and if you are able to commit to one quick thumbnail study a day, you’ll find yourself improving in no time. Carry your notebook in your pocket in case inspiration strikes during your day-to-day, or take it with you to a museum or gallery.
    Tip: Pick out just one or two pencils to use, and make your composition studies double as value studies.

  6. Be a Wordsmith
    Take pen to paper for ten minutes of free-writing every day. Use a writing prompt to get started, or simply let the words flow free. Try not to worry about being perfect, and let the words fall as you form them. Leave the polishing up for later.

  7. Keep a Reading Journal
    What better way to remember your favourite lines? Particularly useful for keeping track of what you’ve read, even if you are the kind of person happy to write in the margins it can be helpful to pull together your favourite phrases and pieces of writing. If you’re a writer, you can start to assemble the pieces of what you love most about the written word, to better refine your own writing style.
    Tip: Keep a packet of page markers with your book so you can mark phrases and passages you love while you’re reading. You can come back to write them down once you’re done.

  8. Track Your Creative Projects
    Planning a project can be just as exciting as doing one, and the paperback notebook is the perfect place to start planning for your projects success. Whether you are tracking how many words written or edited, keeping notes about different painting methods and your studies, or making sure you don’t forget you added an inch to a seam, a project notebook can function as both a tracker of activity, and a place to store everything you learn along the way.
    Tip: Not sure where to start, sign up to our mailing list for our printable tracker.

  9. Make a Dream Diary
    If you have particularly vivid dreams, you might be interested in keeping a dream diary. Keep it by your bed with a pen in easy access to ensure you can write down as many details as possible before they fade away. Sometimes, we have great ideas in the night that can be quickly forgotten. Other times, our dreams might tell us more about our current state of mind and keeping a dream diary can help us to understand how we’re feeling and whether we need to make some adjustments for our own well being.
    Tip: The scent of rosemary is helpful for memory, so if you find a sprig, dry it and tuck it into your dream diary.

  10. Fill Your Notebook with Important Lists
    List makers, this one is for you! Keep all your important lists together- or make a notebook for each important list if they’re particularly long lists! For those who struggle to keep organised make an ongoing list of gift ideas, birthday, anniversaries, addresses and phone numbers, or important dates of observation. Alternatively, you might keep a list of your seed collection, fabric stash, or favourite paints or pencils.
    Tip: If you’re like me and like to make your lists on scraps of paper- start sticking them in! Keeping them all in one place makes it less likely that you’ll lose them.

Sometimes endless possibilities aren’t as freeing as we might hope. It can help to narrow down what might be important to you, so that your notebookwill br mody  helpful for your everyday life. Your notebook is for you.

Let us know about how you use your Paperback Notebook by tagging us on Instagram or Facebook.

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