10 Uses for Spare Notebooks

Brittany, who describes herself as “a thirteen-year-old writer of middle-grade fiction,” offers some good ideas for everyone who has a hoard of notebooks and can’t think of what to do with them. Here’s idea #1:

1. Keep a dream journal.- I’ve gotten some good story ideas from dreams, or at least little bits of story. On New Year’s Eve I watched the movie Inception, and somewhere in the beginning the main character says that we only use a fraction of our brain when we’re awake (or something like that).

So take advantage of that. When you roll out of bed, write down what happened in your dream, no matter how stupid or silly or weird it sounds. Obviously, not all of these will be good story ideas, but after a couple weeks of dreaming there’s always a gem or two.

Read more at http://www.hillsandcorkscrews.com/2011/01/10-ideas-for-notebook-hoarders.html

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127 Responses to “10 Uses for Spare Notebooks”

  1. I have started a gratitude journal. I don’t write in it every night, but I need to get in that habit. The goal is to write a little about 5 things from my day that I am thankful for, no matter how small. It’s kinda fun….but some days it is really REALLY hard to think of 5 things.

  2. I use my notebooks in three categories:
    1.) Journal. Personal things go here. These are often 8×10 or similar size, for large-size use and ease of taping in things, from receipts to notes about other stories that I’m working on. Somedays I may enter nine pages, some days none. I currently have a covered, painted-upon mead 3-subject composition notebook for this use. I have had multiple compliments on it.
    2.)Story: For the single-minded use of story entrance. It doesn’t really matter what size this one is, as long as it’s above pocket size—I will also use a notebook like this as a journal in nice places, as it tends to look less used and worn. I have a moleskine reporter, lined, for such things. It also helps to not have to break up stories as much should I want to write something different in my regular journal. Currently I’m using a moleskine reporter for this.
    3.)Notes: this one is the pocket size, that I pull out in supermarkets and class and outings with friends, that i use for real life or fiction notes. This one holds my lists, my research, my ideas for stories and recipes or meals, or my lists of movies to watch during a movie binge. I’m currently using a greenroom eco notebook for this, previously it was a small butterfly and flower printed notebook in pink. Basically anything that can hold a pen will work. On the front I have a small stack of 15 or so index cards clipped with a silver binder clip, then clipped to the front with a smaller red binder clip, that also holds it open to the page I’m on. the index cards are gridded, and I use it for grocery lists or disposable knowledge, such as to-do lists, that I don’t want cluttering up my notebooks.

    Most of my notebooks can fit into one of these sections, if not: Project notebooks. I will usually section off these notebooks, and then put notes on each page regarding the separate sections of a story or project.
    I also use some notebooks simply for research I have collected on certain cultures, or things such as magic in certain sections of stories–if it is highly regulated I like to be consistent between stories.
    I need to start a notebook and/or online wikia for my made-up world that I’ve managed to fill up so quickly with cultures of my choosing.
    I could also see a notebook functioning as a sort of food weekly planner–working out the meals each week with what you have in the pantry on one page, and laying out the menu on the next page.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Quinn McDonald. Quinn McDonald said: RT @NotebookStories: New post: 10 Uses for Spare Notebooks http://dlvr.it/CnVrH [...]

  4. I use my notebook as a research journal. I take Hip-Hop Dance class at LAHS for the Arts so I write down info on different types of dancers and what forms they use. I also use it as a songwriting book.

  5. i use mine to write songs in. also i use it to write what i think about and what i have always dreamed of. a doodle notebook is always fun too.

  6. I use my Spare Notebook for:
    For Group Work/Assignments.
    For Revision Notes
    Other Examples: Assignments, Projects and Book Reviews etc…
    Hope it will help!!!!!!!!!!! :D

  7. i use my notebook to wriye down funny puns and jokes, as well as poems and quotes i hear that i like. Sometimes i will also draw pics of things i like such as comic related cartoons and such.

  8. Crap. It’s rubbish I wanted short and quick not long explanations x

  9. Hey! I keep a dream journal, but only because I want lucid dreams.

  10. i use my notebook for cutting out pics that i like from magazines :)

  11. I use my notebook to write down interesting facts about anything or just something that i want to remember about an article l read about.

  12. I’ve got various empty notebooks. I thought that this year, I would use one to write down my memories or good events of 2013. Write the date and the event/memory and perhaps include a picture :)

  13. I DON”T KNOW WHAT TO USE MY NOTEBOOK FOR. HELP?!?

  14. I use my notebook as a journal or as a world journal where I write down what I did on vacation!

  15. food diary, calories

  16. food diary, calories

  17. Friend diary?
    Boyfriend diary?
    Write all your friend names down and write the nice
    And bad things they do. Once youve finished your book
    Count up the overall score and find out who is your true friendb

    Boyfriend diary

    Write the dates and what gifts he buys u and when u kiss

  18. I want to do something cool in my notebook! IDEAS????

  19. use it as a doodle notebook like write jokes you like ,
    keep some newspaper cliping you like , draw , write down some phone numbers , write down recipes , what dreams you had etc.

    HOPES HELPS YOU !!!!

  20. I use mine to jot down fun facts about animal species. It’s really cool if you want people to be impressed.

  21. I once got a really pretty note book, and i didnt want to waste it so i just started sticking in old photos, and old movie tickets, and short stories and my favorite quotes. Its doubled in width and is full of things i just think up.

  22. i use my spare notebooks to draw. And decorate them with stickers or a collage of my favorite artists. I write poems too. And for fun I did a “burn book” like the one showed at the movie of “mean girls” Ofcourse, use it for good or you can get in trouble.

  23. I decorated a notebook and I don’t know what to use
    It for though

  24. I have a lot of unused notebooks, and I have no idea how to use them. I want to be creative and have fun with them. So I’m open for ideas

  25. i used mine to write songs or other artists song lyrics. i also keep a diary for my best friend an i. we write in it together like its our shared diary!

  26. I use them for many diferent things. One i have is like a diary, where i write about what has been happening. Then i have one where i write words that nobody really uses but i think they’re interesting and antique words; in the same notebook i have phrases from texts i liked. Another one is for my poems and other people poems. And then i have one where i write down little searches i make :)

  27. ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  28. i am stuck on what to use my notebook for! Help!!!!

  29. I have got 3 big spare notebooks but i don’t know what to use them for!

  30. I have about a dozen notebooks that all contain stories at various stages of development because I started collecting when I was about thirteen myself and picked up about six new notebooks per year, but now I find myself wanting to keep a dream journal too. *sigh* Maybe sometime in the distant future.

    By the way, that little gem from Inception saying that we only use a tiny fraction of our brains when we’re awake? Absolute nonsense. Just take a look at anyone who has suffered brain damage – you’re not going to find that most of them simply lost the ‘unused’ part which popular knowledge claims consists of the majority of the brain. Each part of the brain has its own function, even if you might not be using each part continuously (for example, when you’re not speaking you might not need the part that controls speech).

    Anyway, enhanced brain function or not, dreams are awesome and most of them are worth writing down regardless. Sorry to be such a nitpicker.

  31. I have a Song writing journal, Sketch book, Diary
    And Poem journal! Hope this helps! c:

  32. You can use a spare journal for like memories or to write songs or poem or perhaps make a scrapbook :)!

  33. I have a really nice Taylor Seift one that I didnt wanna waste, but then I got this idea: For a spare notebook, you could do inspiring quotes. Like, “never grow up.” Or inspiring lyrics in songs

  34. I use my notebook as a best friend or friend notebook. I ask all my friends to write down something in my notebook. So when I look at it, I see all their messages they give me! I call it a autograph notebook. It’s very special to me to remember how much my friends love me. :)

  35. goooooood ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, i wanna know wat to write in this notebook i got which has old ancient yellow pages . i dont wanna use it but i can’t keep it untouched ……… wat do i do ?

  36. chicken

  37. I use mine as a food and calories thing and I write down lyrics of songs I like and quotes! :)

  38. I use my notebook to make a big college of things. i write a note of what im doing and then tape it into the notebook. then later i read things that i didn’t even remember doing

  39. Write stories and quotes

  40. Geez now everyone knows how late I’m up…

  41. Write i diary if your in the middle of the year do a bit that has PAST LIFE instead of a date xxx

  42. dude i have a bunch of notebooks i use mine for drawings poems stories quotes and song lyrics

  43. i also am an artist i love drawing in any notebook i get i also put collages on them by my fav artist and umm ya

  44. also a bucket list

  45. I use mine for a question book. Were you wright down questions that you think of, and then if possible look them up on the web at the end of the week. Must be a small one!!!😁

  46. Write a book with it maybe try to get it published!

  47. ive no idea what to do with a lockable note book… Any ideas?

  48. I hav a notebook that I hav no clue wat to do with. I tried riting songs couse I 💗 🎶🎵 and to 🎤, but that didn’t work and now I hav no clue wat to do with it. HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. I collect journals so if anyone wants ideas… Here’s how i use all of mine!

    1. “No filter journal” – basically anything personal.
    2. Interests and Ideas – (moleskine) filled with anything im interested in at the moment
    3. Health – food, calories, goals (i have 2 of these– one is filled up)
    4. Sports – workouts
    5. Astronomy and Greek Mythology – research notebook cause I’m into this stuff!
    6. Faith – prayers, reflections on verses, ect.
    7. Nature – I’ve had this one for 5 years… Filled with leaves, flowers, feathers, discoveries and adventures!
    8. Sketchbook
    9. Dream Diary – Writing down most nights’ dreams! Hilarious!!
    10. Someone else’s shoes – write as if you’re someone else; make up a unique character
    11. Music – check in once in awhile and write about your favorite songs, what fits what mood, etc.
    12. Plans – plan whatever needs to be planned.
    13. Word Scrapbook – tidbits of anything and everything
    14. And last but not least— always keep a few blank journals on hand. You never know when you’ll find inspiration. (Hold on a sec… Isn’t this what gave us our problem in the first place??)

  50. Thanks!

  51. I like to use my journal for cosplay ideas. I will put cool ideas I see on the enternet or in the magazine I get. I guess it would be only fun an useful I you are a cosplayer or want to be

  52. I am gonna use mine as a random diary like my word or catchphrase of the day also my friends and boyfriends see what happened s in my life also any good story ideas

    Hope this helps

  53. My mom uses hers for writing something that made me happy for the day or just put a smile on my face :D

  54. I call mine the boredom book cause when i’m bored I write random stuff or doodle or just write lyrics to my fave songs! Hope this helped you!

  55. You can use it as a crush notebook- meaning that you write down the names of your previous and present crushes and the things that attracted you to them or what happened between you two.

    You can also use it as a list notebook- meaning you can make up lists such as things you want to do before you die or placed you want to got, etc.
    Hope this helped!!

  56. I use mine to write down things that blow my mind or make me laugh.

  57. use it for making your own language haha or phrases that will be fun

  58. write down wedding ideas and pictures! x it might come in handy for the futre

  59. bla

  60. These are all good ideas

  61. I have tons of notebooks. I take notes in one, write personalities for characters in stories in another, I write positive things that way when I’m upset I can just look through it to feel about better, I draw in one. I still have a lot of empty ones though and need ideas!

  62. :) I think I will just use my notebook for advice

  63. you could make a scrapbook of everything you want in your dream house and the prices

  64. You could make a future journal and write down all the stuff you want to do, see, get, etc. in the future.

  65. BORING guys! do you have some other ideas that ‘s not boring? I want to write something in my notebook but sometimes i get boring and feel tired because of my ideas… Please just help. Always journals and diaries ! So tiring! quotes, favorites, reminders and writing friends are boring.. I hope just one of you knows something COOL to write?

  66. Use it to write the names of people you want dead. Just for fun. Make sure nobody reads it tho. It might affect people negatively.

  67. Diary. Or maybe a lesson recording book. I don’t have much ideas, so can anyone help?

  68. Drawings and sketches or ideas? That what I did.

    HOPE IT HELPS

  69. you should use it for a sketch book, that’s what i use my spares for its fun to do it because i get bored in most of my classes, i’d rather draw then listen to my professor! i’m a hands ion learner not a open ears kind of guy.

  70. I have 2 one is a diary and one is empty. I need ideas for the empty one!

  71. You can use it to write down stories or draw your own oc’s (original characters)
    It’s really fun to do when you are bored. You can also draw yourself and other people animalized!

  72. I have a song writing notebook but that is really ratty. But I recently got a beautiful new slytherin notebook and I am pretty stuck with what to do with it I think I might use it to write down recipes in I can also draw little pictures maybe I could also use some of it as a dream journal…

  73. […] of my old posts that gets the most responses is 10 Uses for Spare Notebooks. I’m not sure why, but I guess a lot of people struggle to come up with ideas for what to […]

  74. I’m really stuck on what to use my notebook for its really special and I don’t want to waste it. I might use it to design clothes it sets? Maybe I could use it to write down recipes I want to try

  75. write down what ur heart says to u

  76. Write down your own stories and lessons bout life or notes on your favorite book to describe what you like and dislike

  77. DIE

  78. Write whatever is on your mind…

  79. Here are some ideas no one has said yet (I don’t think)

    – write character analyses of your favourite fictional characters
    – write about an issue you have strong feelings about (abortion, gay marriage, etc)
    – write goals for your own self growth
    – write about things that are happening in the news (your future self will be interested)
    – write letters/reminders to your future self
    – rant about things that bother you

  80. i carry mine around with me all day and write in random things that happen or what i am doing even if it is boring and draw mini doodles of the people i am with or that come to my house i am not that good at drawing but it keeps me entertained when my phone is on charge and there is nothing on tv, hope this helps … :)

  81. i got two new notebooks the other day while i was out… they are the good quality kind (name brands with designs on the cover!!) so i dont want to waste them by starting out giving an earnest attempt which deteriorates into doodles and bizarre ideas and thoughts like i usually do. i was thinking of using one for assignments/homework/etc. still despite that i cant think of anything for the other one. i already have a journal and a dream journal. please help!!!!

  82. I use them to help me remember my childhood

  83. Just do whatever, With my notebook sometimes I just doodle or write down meaningful quotes and sometimes write short storys. Just have fun :) Hope this helps :)

  84. Or just write down song lyrics and recipies like the others are saying. ^-^ :)

  85. Well I have a good one with pineapples on the front which I don’t really like so what I do is I use it for my worst subject. Maths. So what I do is I get a picture off the internet that says “maths” and glue it to the front. Next I contact it so it doesn’t get ruined.

    If I get a piece of paper that has info on it from maths I usually stick it in or write in what’s on the paper (writing is better!!!!). So you can leave your book full of your info at home and leave your really heavy maths book full of info at school so your bag isn’t as heavy.

    I’m hoping to do this with every subject.

    You can also write in homework :)

    I hope this really helped!! x

  86. You can write fan-fiction using people you know or your crush and you ;)

  87. I use mine as a One-Sentence Journal. You write down a sentence to describe your day, once a day, everyday.

  88. I keep a dream journal… and a story book (for story ideas and such) I have a drawing book, I have a book where I write songs in a book with magazine and newspaper cuts, and I have a book where I write down my feelings from the day in.

  89. I use my extra notebooks and diaries for drawing, writing,song writing, scrap booking, quotes, advice, research, poem writing, and to do lists. I really hope that helped you guys.

  90. I am also struggling with notebook ideas, too.

  91. I make my spare journals a general scrapbook ing, whether I tie knots with ribbon and stick it on.. whatever! It really doesn’t matter , get pics off of tumblr, Instagram and Twitter. Felel free to draw on your pages. What I did once was I got a picture of myself and stick buttons on my eyes, pom-poms on my nose, wool on my hair.. I even printed out cartoon pants and stuck them on my legs..!
    Play around with it and remember it is unconfidential (it isn’t professional) so don’t put that much effort in your designs, play around with paper,

    |||If you like it out it on paper|||

  92. Write about your fave singers. List ur favorite songs, what you admire them for, what you wish you could say to them if you met them,etc.

  93. Use it as a planner if you don’t have a calendar… write your to do list and any up coming plans you need to write down.

  94. jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

  95. I use mine as an everything book- cool quotes, novels, ideas, doodles, diary entries etc.
    If you have multiple notebooks that you don’t have uses for, them think if things that are really important and then somehow make use of the notebook by you know what

  96. I have hundreds of spare note books just laying around my room and I am sriggling to find more uses of them but here are the ones I already have. Poems book, short story book, gratitude diary, dream journal, lists book (to do list, bucket list etc) quotes book, book for practising handwriting, love letters book where I wrote love letters to my boyfriend, burn book, favourites book, a nature book where you stick in leaves and flowers, memories book, no filter journal, recipes, spells (or if your Christian prayers or anything to do with your religion), scrapbook, phone contacts, school planner, homework that needs to be done, if you work a work book that has days you need to work, daily planner, song writing book, bad thoughts book which is a book you wrote down any negative thoughts in and at the end of the day you tear out the page and burn it, drafts book, message book for the phone, a sketching or doodling journal, and maybe just a journal you carry around with you to write down anything that needs to be written down (this can be extremely useful when your out and about). I hope this helped

  97. I use some of my spare notebooks for all sorts of things. I have one with a list of places I want to go, quotes, poems, short stories, essays and even one that just has random lists in it:)

  98. i need help

  99. these are all shit…

  100. You can use it as a friend diary where you and your friend can write and talk secrets.hope it helps!!!!!:)

  101. I have a note book where I write all the things u want to do before idie

  102. i need help need new ideas

  103. please

  104. Use it for memories about your past, keep pics tickets and anything else

  105. I write descriptions of people I see on the street

  106. use the notebook to write a thousand ways to die. use it to write the many pranks you have done in your life. You can also use it to list our favorite T.V. shows or what restaurants you like. How about if you had a billion dollars, what would you use it on, make you a list of that. Maybe list the many talents and dreams you have and come up with plans to make them come true.

  107. Ah, the age old question: what should i do with my journal?
    The only way to make it cool is:
    Dont use it as a diary; overused and cliché. Print out a map of the world and anytime you want to go somewhere, mark it. Write down definitions to words you like or something you want to remember for the rest of your life or what makes you happy. If you see a pretty flower save it in the journal. If you have something of significance you want to remember , put it in the journal. The only way to have a great journal is if have variety so you can fill the whole thing and have it worth keeping.
    Hope this helped

  108. thanks gyes fdiluhgluhdflihtszg

  109. i like to draw maps of places i have lived or been to that i really like

  110. YOU ALL NEED HELP JUST WRITE DOWN RANDOM WORDS AND PLAY COMMON THOUGHT UNTIL YOU RUN OUT OF IDEAS OR GET BORED

    IE.
    glue
    orange
    summer
    SUNSCREEN
    sun
    kids
    playdough

  111. Even if I have spare notebooks, I barely even use them and just go buy more. Yet, I have this book where I kind of write down everything, what I’ve dreamt, lyrics for songs (not my own lyrics because I suck at creativity) lists, drawings, everything, and I’ve even bought another book for my more personal notes. You know, in case I see a ghost or something. XP

  112. One idea I got from reading all the comments here is to cut articles from the newspapers and to paste them a notebook and then write your thought about the article or just leave it as it is. You can also highlight some parts of it so you can easily find the reasons why you thought this article would fit into your notebook.

    Hope this might help some of you ;)

    PS. I haven’t started it yet, just got this idea from reading here ;)

  113. Scrapbooks, nature book, diary, dream journal, songs etc

  114. I have two notebooks one is for food I eat and when my baby eats the other is for things I need to get my work hours and when I had my period

  115. most of these people have no lives at all

  116. Mines kinda boring but how about a how to book like look up how to pick a lock put the instructionals in there plus write any troubles you came across like the tumblers are loose or something like that. Or how to hotwire a car or how to use power from a phone outlet to power your cell in case of a blackout. Hahaha idk something like that.

  117. Mines kinda boring but how about a how to book like look up how to pick a lock put the instructionals in there plus write any troubles you came across like the tumblers are loose or something like that. Or how to hotwire a car or how to use power from a phone outlet to power your cell in case of a blackout. Hahaha idk something like that. Watch burn notice and take notes haha

  118. I think you should use a spare book for writing new cooking thing and up cakes and all that staff

  119. Plus you guys can use books for writing you feelings

  120. I use my note book for drawings and writing down thing I like that I find on the internet.

  121. I use y note book for writing list about what I nee to do this week and what I need to do that day

  122. Burn book. Let out your feelings ;)

  123. Write deep thoughts. Like the meaning of life and all that stuff. I just over think shit like that :)

  124. I have this huge book full of beautiful scrapbook paper, but I don’t want to use it for scrapbooking. So I plan to tape/glue pictures of stuff that I want now or in the future and write a short description about it.

  125. I’ve found so many amazing ideas from all these people’s comments. And I thinks it’s really rude because people put a lot of effort into thinking of these cool ideas and then people trash them by commenting BORING, like seriously guys, grow up.
    Anyway, I have over 40 empty sketchbooks (PS I’m 12) and I’ve found some cool ideas from these comments.
    I also have a couple of ideas:
    1. A style Scrapbook, cut out outfits from magazines and write a bit about what you like and dislike about them
    2. A Drawing Plan sketchbook, before drawing and perfecting a drawing, plan it out really roughly.
    3. Photo Shoot Books, if you like modelling or photography, stick all the photos into this book
    4.Future advice, when you learn new advice write it in so in a few years you can go back and look at them

    Hope these helped!

  126. One other thing you could use an empty notebook for is to plan out your ideal room. If you’re really up for it, you could go online and find furniture that you would really like in your room and write down the website where you found it. Then you could draw a minimap of your room and ”place” the furniture in it. You could go as far as making it to scale and making movable pieces of paper that are marked as your furniture and move it around the paper.

    Another one would be kinds of crafts you might make. For example, I wanted to make a wallet, so I planned out how much cloth and the length and the assembly of the wallet so I wouldn’t screw up. It worked pretty well for me. I’m still using that wallet to this day.

    Hope these were good ideas…

  127. l agree with Lucy stop being mean l Like these ideas and if you don’t then go of instead of posting horrible comments to people

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