Do you have one or more beautiful journals sitting at home, just waiting to be filled? Or perhaps you have your eye on one but aren’t quite sure how you would use it. Just like a blank canvas or computer screen, a blank journal can be an overwhelming thing. So here are 50 ideas of what to fill a notebook with! Choose your favorite, or try a new one out each day.
Journalling is a deeply therapeutic practice, and it’s less important to focus on what you write than the fact that you are writing consistently. This practice honors your commitment to yourself and your ability to prioritize your mental health.
1. Write down what you’re grateful for
A written gratitude practice is a great way to foster positivity and is a wonderful way to reflect on the things you are most grateful for.
Start by writing down three things that you are grateful for, then expand the list to five over time. If you keep mentioning a specific person in your gratitude practice, make sure to let them know that you’ve been thinking about them and appreciate them!
2. Write down your favorite memories
One of the most important benefits of journaling is that it is an archival process where we can preserve our most cherished stories.
What are some of the most treasured memories that you want to share with your children and grandchildren? What makes them so special?
3. List the lessons you’ve learned in life
What are some of the most important lessons that you’ve learned in life? What have you discovered about yourself through your experiences and relationships? You can format these entries to read as if you’re giving advice to someone else.
4. Create a list of things you want to learn
One way to encourage learning is by keeping a list of new things you want to learn. This can be anything from recipes, foreign languages, hobbies, or skills. If desired, write down three items every day that you’d like to learn and then review the list at the end of each month.
5. Write down a collection of your favorite quotes
Start a list of your favorite quotes to reference later. Perhaps you’re going through a tough time and need encouragement, or maybe it’s something that you’d like to remind yourself of in the future.
There are endless quotes out there, so don’t worry about writing down every quote you come across. Instead, only write down the ones that you find particularly moving and meaningful. You can find some quotes over on our Instagram page or on our quote section.
6. Write a letter to someone in your life
Who do you want to let know that they’re in your thoughts and on your mind right now? What is it like for them to live their life without knowing that you’re thinking of them? Don’t hold back- write down everything. Then, either send the letter or put it in a place where they will see it. You might also consider writing an affirmation letter, either to yourself or to your loved ones.
7. Study a new language
A great way to expand your knowledge base is by studying a new language. Use your journal to support your language learning journey by writing down vocabulary words and phrases you learn. You can also keep a log of your progress by writing down the date you learned new words and phrases.
8. Write down your future goals
What are some of the things you want to accomplish or experience? Where do you see yourself in five years? Make sure to evaluate where you’re at now and also write down any new aspirations that come up. Remember, there’s no rush!
9. Write down your favorite recipes
You can use your journal to write down recipes of all types, whether it’s for a particular dish or the secret ingredients you love. This is especially useful if there are any specialties that come from your family!
10. Start a food tracking journal
There are many benefits to keeping a food journal- one benefit being that you get an accurate depiction of how much (or little) you are eating. This is great for anyone who wants to track their caloric intake or see whether they are getting enough nutrients each day.
11. Start an exercise tracking journal
If you’re looking to work out more or simply want to track your fitness levels, a good way to do this is by keeping an exercise tracking journal. You can use this as part of a larger goal-setting process where you set specific goals for yourself and then record the dates that you achieve them on paper.
12. Write down your thoughts and feelings
A great way to get in touch with your emotions and how you’re feeling right now is by writing down what’s going on inside of you. This can be especially helpful during moments when we feel stressed or overwhelmed because it allows us the opportunity to take a step back and self-reflect without any distractions.
13. Journal before and after meditating
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and relieve stress by practicing mindfulness. Before you meditate, try writing in your journal for five minutes about what’s on your mind at the moment. Afterward, write down how it felt to be able to focus or reflect without any distractions in sight. This will help you become more aware of how beneficial meditation is.
14. Doodle in your journal
If you’re looking to add a little bit of fun to your journaling experience, try doodling! You can use this as an opportunity to express yourself or even practice drawing. Doodle whatever comes up for you. It’s all about having fun and being creative.
15. Create to-do lists
If you’re constantly on the go, it can be helpful to create a list of things that you need to accomplish throughout your day. Use this as an opportunity to prioritize what needs attention first or even break bigger tasks down into smaller steps so they are more manageable.
16. Write out affirmations
Affirmations help us overcome self-doubt by reinforcing positive self-talk. To write out affirmations, start with a statement that you want to reinforce about yourself or your life and then back it up with reasons as to why this is true. Write the affirmation over and over again, as many times as you need to in order to believe it.
17. Track your finances
If you’re looking to gain more control over your finances, the best way to do this is by tracking how much money you have and spend. This can be great for peace of mind or even if there are certain things that you want to save up for- just write down what it is and then track where all of your money goes throughout each month.
18. Start a dream journal
This is a great way to get in touch with your subconscious mind. By keeping a dream journal, you will have the opportunity to reflect on these dreams each morning or night so they can be worked into your daily life.
19. Create a collage journal
If you’re looking to get creative or even just want a change, try creating a collage journal. You can use this as an opportunity to express yourself and your feelings- whether it’s through words, art, or both! Use pictures from magazines, stickers, paint, or anything else you can think of to make this your own.
20. Make a Plein air journal
Plein air means “open-air” and is an opportunity to write, paint or draw outside. You can use this as a way to get in touch with nature, practice painting techniques, work on improving your drawing skills, express yourself through art, etc.
21. Start a plant tracking notebook
Keeping a plant tracking journal can be helpful for people who are looking to gain more control over their health and wellness. By keeping track of the foods that you eat, what types of exercises you do (if any), and how your plants grow in comparison, it’s like getting additional insight into yourself.
22. Keep a tarot notebook
Tarot cards have been used for centuries as a way to gain insight into our futures. Keeping a tarot notebook is a great way to get in touch with your intuition and learn about yourself through the process of interpreting these messages from above.
23. Start a work goal tracking notebook
This is a great way to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable for your work goals. You can use this as an opportunity to write down what you want to accomplish, break it up into smaller steps so they are more manageable, track how far away you are from accomplishing these items/goals, etc.
24. Create a bucket list journal
If you’re looking for a way to get in touch with your dreams and wishes, try creating a bucket list journal. This is an opportunity to write down all of the things that you want to accomplish before “kicking the bucket”, so it’s like keeping track of these items throughout each day.
25. Track your moods
This is a great way to become more in tune with yourself and your emotional states throughout each day. You can use this as an opportunity to express how you’re feeling or even identify any patterns that come up. Just write out what it is, why you think it’s occurring, etc.
26. Make a scrapbook out of your journal
If you’re looking for a way to brighten up your journal, try creating a scrapbook out of all of the different entries that you’ve written throughout each week/month. You can use this as an opportunity to express yourself and how much work has been going on within your life or simply as something pretty to look at!
27. Write short stories in your notebook
This is a great way to expand your imagination and work on your writing skills. If you’re looking for an activity that will inspire creativity, this can be it! You can start out with short stories or even try poetry if that’s something more up your alley.
28. Make a watercolor painting journal
This is a great way to express yourself creatively and can be used as an opportunity for self-care. You can try painting, drawing, or even collaging with some watercolors!
29. Write poetry in your journal
This is a great way to get in touch with your creative side and work on your writing skills. You can try free-writing, creating haikus, or even just jotting down words that come to mind!
30. Turn your journal into a planner
If you’re looking for a way to make your journal more functional, try turning it into a planner. This is a great activity if you use your journal on a daily basis and are looking for something new to do with all of those empty pages!
31. Use your notebook as a pregnancy journal
If you’re looking for a way to create an outlet during this tough time, try keeping track of your pregnancy in the notebook. You can track cravings, symptoms or even write letters to your baby before they are born! Once you’ve delivered your baby, you may want to continue using the journal as a baby book.
32. Get a journal for holiday planning
Holiday planning can be stressful since there are so many different things that you need to do. Try getting a journal for all of your holiday planning and use it as an opportunity to get organized. It can also help you remember certain details the next time you host, so you can easily refer back to it as a reference.
33. Write music lyrics in your notebook
If you’re looking for a way to tap into your creativity, try writing music lyrics in the notebook. You can use this as an opportunity to express yourself or even come up with some song ideas!
34. Take notes in class
This is a great way to get in touch with your creative side, especially if you’re into writing and enjoy learning new things. You can use this as an opportunity to take notes during lectures or classes that you attend at school/work so it doesn’t feel like such a waste of time!
35. Make an animated flipbook with your notebook
Flipbooks feature an image on each page that differs slightly from the last. When you flip through the pages, it creates an animation effect. Create one by finding images that come to mind and arranging them like this!
36. Make a “Super Powers” list
If you’re looking for something simple yet fun to do in your notebook, try making a Super Powers list with all of the things you wish you could do (or already do). It can be anything from being able to fly or talk to animals.
37. Try creating a couple’s journal
This is a great way to connect to your significant other through journaling. You would be surprised by how many additional insights you can learn from your partner through writing! This is because writing takes more time and we can slow down about what we really want to say.
38. Write an apology letter in your journal
If you’re looking for a way to get something off of your chest, apologize in the notebook. You can write this as if it’s being sent or simply use it as an opportunity to work on communication skills and express yourself without fear of repercussions. Either way, writing these things down can help you feel better!
39. Write a letter to someone you want to forgive
If you’re struggling with forgiving someone, this is a great way to do it. Remember that forgiveness is about you, not the person that hurt you. The best thing to do is take some time to think about why you’re angry and then write it down in a letter.
40. Track your water intake
Water is one of the key components to our health, but it can be easy to forget about. Keep track of your water intake with this simple activity!
41. Start a calligraphy journal
Calligraphy is a great skill to learn, especially if you’re into writing and love taking notes. You can use this as an opportunity to practice your skills or try something new!
42. Use the notebook for sketching/drawing ideas before starting on a big project
Try sketching out your ideas in the notebook before jumping into a project. This will help you figure out exactly what you need to do and make it easier for you to transition later on!
43. Start a bullet journal
Bullet journals are great for people who like to stay organized and want an easy way to plan things out. You can customize this however you’d like, so try starting your own bullet journal today!
44. Make a book of shadows
This is a great way to express your spirituality and connect with others. A book of shadows features spells, rituals, prayers, and other activities that pertain to your beliefs.
45. Create a vision board notebook
Vision boards feature images that you want to manifest into reality. Fill the notebook with inspiring photos and ideas so it’s easier for you to visualize your goals!
46. Start a flower and plant pressing journal
If you love flowers and plants, this is a great way to enjoy them for years to come. All you have to do is find some colorful leaves or flowers, press them between the pages of your notebook, and wait!
47. Make a prayer journal
Prayer journals are great for anyone who enjoys praying or is interested in learning more about it. You can use this as an opportunity to look at your own spirituality and connect with others!
48. Make a knitting and crocheting journal
Knitting and crocheting are relaxing activities that aren’t just fun to do, but can also be useful. Keep track of your projects as well as your patterns in a notebook, so it’s easier to get organized!
49. Start a travel journal
Travel journals are the perfect way to document all of your adventures and experiences as you explore new places. Fill it with sketches, photos, information about your travels, and anything else that might be helpful!
50. Reflect on books and podcasts in your journal
It’s important to take notes after reading or listening to something. Keep a journal for this specific purpose and it will be easy to reference all of your thoughts about the things you read or heard in one specific place.
There are so many things you can do with a notebook. The best part is that it’s easy to customize your journal based on what works for you, which means the possibilities are endless! If you don’t already have a notebook to get started, you’ll want to consider the size of the notebook, the number of pages, the layout, and other features that are important to you to make sure you make the best choice for your needs.
Happy journaling, and may your pages be full and varied with expression!