As a kid, I would look forward to covering my textbooks and notebooks with brown paper at the start of every academic session.
Much to the annoyance of my older sister, I would sweet-talk my grandfather (and in later years my father) into covering my new textbooks and notebooks. I loved to hear the crisp sound of the brown cover paper, the smell of the new books but most of all, the thrill of pasting the label on the cover and writing my name and the new grade I was to attend.
By the time the academic session would end, the notebooks would eventually lose its newness and crispness and would take a new smell of used ink and old adhesive.
Then it would be time when old pages from unfinished notebooks would be torn off only to be bound and turned into notebooks to be used for rough work.
Just like the smell of new notebooks, old notebooks exert a strange fascination for me.
I would spend my summer holidays doodling, drawing, writing inspirational quotes, fantasies or weird mystery stories in the old notebooks.
Now my kids love buying new journals and filling them with cartoon scripts and doodles.
If you are like us and you like the smell of warm, rich words, crazy doodles, fun calligraphy, then this blog post is for you.
CLICK HERE to download this awesome “Multitasking Travel Gal image for free.
Are you bored? Looking for ideas to fill in your blank journal? Don’t’ get intimidated by blank papers staring back at you. I teamed up with the talented artist Malabika Saikia and here are 15 of our favorite notebook ideas!
Let’s get started!
1. Travel Sketch Book
Your Blank notebook is a great candidate to become your Travel Buddy. Turn your blank journal into a lovely Travel Sketch Book. Travel Sketching is not only relaxing and rewarding but also an awesome family activity during travels.
Start with a tiny step – don’t try to draw the entire forest or city around you. Choose a small window of a house, a dry leaf on the ground, or an interesting branch.
Long waits in airports can be used to draw the people, bags, food stalls or simply the announcement boards. You could even draw maps to show the places you visited.
Read this detailed 1500 words post by Artist Seema on How To Travel Sketch? Tips, Tricks, & Techniques For Beginners for more Travel Sketching Inspiration for your blank notebook journal.
Travel Sketching slows me down, brings everything into sharp focus, and I lose myself in the moment. Sketching has truly enriched my life.Seema Misra, www.lighttravelaction.com
Travel sketching is an awesome family activity. It gets children to observe and remember a travel destination. And of course, you’ll have a unique souvenir for every travel.
2. Mood Tracker
A good mood is like a balloon. One little prick is all it takes to ruin it.Samsoniter
Getting Bored? Wondering what to do? How about dedicating your blank notebook to tracking your moods?
The way we feel impacts the way we think and the way we think impacts the way act and react.
With enough data on the pattern of your highs and lows can help you know yourself better. In fact, Mood trackers can also come handy for those experiencing depression and anxiety.
Try to identify the emotions and things that triggered a good or bad mood so that you can use the information to your advantage.
3. Remembering Childhood favorite characters
Relive your childhood by listing out your favourite books.
Once upon a time, there were four little Rabbits, and their names were–Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.
How about dedicating a DIY easy painting to the everloving character – Peter Rabbit!
Are You Embarrassed By Your Painting Skills? Here’re Easy Painting ideas & Tips! In this detailed 3200 words Post, artist Deepti gives you easy painting ideas for beginners as well as easy sketching ideas for beginners. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions about Painting for beginners.
For step 1, we add a very light wash of ochre to the pencil sketch of peter rabbit. An equally light wash of blue for his blazer as well.
In step 2, we add shadows to the fur of peter rabbit and his coat.
This step makes him look more real. Let’s move to add finishing steps.
Final Outcome: Cute and naughty Peter Rabbit dressed in a proper blue blazer, ready for adventures to follow.
Behind him is a small picket fence to add that little detail!
If the brush was in your hand and a fresh sheet of paper in front of you, who knows one day it might inspire a masterpiece. So keep your empty notebook handy and let your creativity flow.
4. Dream Journal
“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”Roald Dahl
Are you the damsel in distress or the princess who saves the day in your dreams!? Or maybe the Superboss of your boss? Dreams can be romantic, fun, disturbing, frightening, and sometimes (or perhaps most of the time) bizarre.
We may not remember dreaming, but everyone is thought to dream between 3 and 6 times per night. In fact, I read an article on medicalnewstoday which claims that 5 minutes after a dream, people have forgotten 50 percent of its content, increasing to 90 percent another 5 minutes later.
Most dreams are entirely forgotten by the time someone wakes up, but it is not known precisely why dreams are so hard to remember.
So how about jotting down your dreams the moment you get up? Analyze the patterns you see in your dreams and deduce what they might mean…any suppressed memory? long forgotten desire? or who knows what?
You can decorate your dream journal with this beautiful step-by-step dream catcher drawing.
Keep journalizing your dreams and maybe one day you can write an awesome thriller or a humorous comic strip out of it!
5. Day Dreaming / Follow your dreams Journal
“Is daydreaming a distraction from work, or work a distraction from daydreaming?”Marty Rubin
If you are one Alice in Wonderland and you dream about creating the most fascinating world/work, jot down the idea girl because one day it could be a best seller! “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
The American poet Maya Angelou once said that “when we know better, we do better.” So build your air castles undisturbed in your empty notebook and take action to fulfill your daydreams, your aspirations.
To help you to stay motivated here is a lovely motivational drawing that you can make in your empty notebook of Day Dreaming!
Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learning. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not cliches but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path – Phillip Sweet.
6. Recipe Book
“I hate the notion of a secret recipe. Recipes are by nature derivative and meant to be shared – that is how they improve, are changed, how new ideas are formed. To stop a recipe in it’s tracks, to label it “secret” just seems mean.”Molly Wizenberg
A recipe is a story that cooks great meals so turn your empty notebook journal into a recipe book and jot down that (secret!?) recipe passed down by your grandmom or the awesome recipe that you saw on Youtube.
If you ask me, I would say I love the recipes on joyofbaking and would highly recommend the brownie recipe. Below is the video to help you through.
To help you decorate your recipe journal here are some cute drawings that you can make in your empty notebook of Day Dreaming!
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”Charles M. Schulz
7. GARDENING JOURNAL
The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.Alfred Austin
Why not turn your blank notebook into a Garden Journal. A garden journal is a written record of your garden.
Save your plant tags and seed packets and you’re on the right track of creating a complete record of your garden. To help you decorate your Garden Journal, here are some cute ideas.
Don’t forget to add photos to your journal so that you can track your garden’s progress.
8. Inspirational Quotes
It’s surprising how top travel adventure quotes, melodious songs, and anecdotes can swing our moods!
How about filling the empty pages of your notebook with some motivational and Inspirational Quotes. Write down quotes that inspire you. Browse through them when you feel low, reread when you need motivation and re-reread when you need the inspiration to make your BIG plans!
Here are 77 best quotes on travel to inspire, motivate, and encourage you. Hope these quotes will ignite your wanderlust and make you pack your bags with essentials and go – Explore!
Here is an interesting quote – “The journey is the reward.”— Chinese proverb
The Journey Is the Reward also happens to be the title of the biography of the life and career of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. This Chinese proverb often gets attributed to Steve Jobs.
9. Bucket List
Want to travel to a village in India where people have no names? or you want to be an artist? or you long to have a day when you can sleep peacefully, undisturbed for 12 hours straight? Well, there you are – a perfect bucket list for you to write down and aspire for.
10. LEARN A LANGUAGE
- Namaste! ‘Hello’ in Hindi.
- Comment vas-tu? ‘How are you’ in French.
- I am good! ‘Wǒ hěn hǎo’ in Chinese
How about turning your blank notebook into a language journal? Pick up a new language you fancy and take down notes in your language journal.
I am fluent in English, Hindi, and Marathi and I can understand a few other regional Indian languages. Learning new languages is fun.
Here is a fun art for you to draw in your empty notebook.
You can even divide your journal into different sections for eg grammar, new words, idioms, etc.
11. Grocery List
What annoys me about going grocery shopping is that I invariably always seem to forget something and if you are like me, I would recommend making a grocery list in your empty notebook so that next time you go shopping you know exactly what to buy.
Here is some art to inspire you to fill in your empty notebook when you feel bored.
Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I’ve never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl.Anne Frank
I always say, keep a diary and someday it’ll keep you.Mae West
How about going the old fashioned “Dear Diary” way. Write about your deepest (even darkest) secrets but remember to lock it in your pocket 😉
On a lighter note, here is Secret – Official Video by The Pierces to listen to as you share your secrets in your empty notebook.
“Got a secret
Can you keep it?
Swear this one you’ll save
Better lock it, in your pocket
Taking this one to the grave
If I show you then I know you
Won’t tell what I said
‘Cause two can keep a secret
If one of them is dead?”
- Source: LyricFind
- Songwriters: Allison Margaret Pierce / Catherine Eleanor Pierce
- Secret lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
- Artist: The Pierces
- Album: Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge
- Released: 2007
- Genre: Alternative/Indie
13. Make a comic strip
If you are a comic strips fan, how about making one yourself? If you come across a funny incident or a humourous idea note it down so that you develop it into a comic strip.
Here is what I did with my artist friend Malabika.
It is surprising how melodious songs can swing our moods. If wanderlust is on your mind or you are already pumping your accelerator and ready to leave on a long drive, then this Hindi melody songs list will make for a perfect travel playlist. Here are 17 Curated Evergreen Hindi Melodious songs that will get you grooving.
15. Fitness Tracker
Fitness: if it came in a bottle, everyone would be in good shape.Cher
Write down your goals, inspiration, and exercises. Create an exercise schedule for yourself, and make sure to track your progress!
Here is a curated list of 10 Yoga asanas or postures that are as good for the beginners as for the advanced practitioners.
They are so simple that you can do them during your travels as well.
In Yoga 101: Frequently Asked Questions about Yoga Answered! charismatic Yoga Teacher answers the basic questions people have regarding yoga but don’t know whom to ask!
Unlike a lot of other exercise programs, Yoga works on all aspects of the living being: the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Therefore calling it just another form of workout will be unfair.