Yes, notebooks are ideal for taking classroom notes—but they can also be used to boost your productivity, soothe your spirit and nurture your creativity outside the classroom.
Thinking outside the classroom:
Here are the 9 best ways to use a notebook beyond the classroom in 2021.
Unsent letter collection. We’ve all choked on our words at one point or another. Whether it’s all those things you wish you could have said to your ex or the goodbye you never got to say to your grandmother, carrying stifled feelings with you is a heavy weight to carry.
Create an unsent letters notebook and fill the pages with all the things you would say if you were able to. Don’t hold back. Anger, grief, resentment, admiration—release all of these things onto the page to free your mind and soul.
Curiosity keeper. You know those questions you’ve always wondered, but never asked? Maybe you felt silly asking. Or maybe your curiosity was piqued at the moment, but then you never explored it further.
A new notebook is an awesome place to keep your curiosities. When something stirs your interest, jot it down and research it later. This is a great way to spark a spirit discovery about yourself, what makes you tick, and the world around you. Ask questions and seek answers.
Goal setter. Great big long-term goals. Medium-sized intermediate goals. Even itty bitty micro-goals that can be accomplished almost instantly are best served when they’re intentionally written down. Why? Because the act of physically writing your goals increases your odds of accomplishing them.
Dedicating a notebook to your goals sends a message to yourself and to the universe that you’re serious about your goals and you’re willing to do what it takes to make them happen.
Random acts of kindness diary. Random acts of kindness—doing them and even witnessing them—actually increase oxytocin which improves our overall heart-health. It also boosts our self-esteem and optimism and reduces anxiety and depression.
Make it a point to do one kind thing every day, and then write it down. Remembering and writing the good deeds will double their positive impact because you’ll be reliving the moment as you write about it. Plus, imagine how good it would feel to go back a read an entire notebook filled to the brim with gifts of kindness you put out into the world?
Brainstorm book. Innovation needs a solid brainstorm session to bring it to life. A flurry of ideas—both good and bad—is an excellent way to get the creative juices flowing. One thought can spark the next so it’s important to write them all down and leave the editing for later.
By keeping all of your brainstorms logged in one notebook, you’re likely to start making connections that you might otherwise not make—and those connections just might be where the genius lies.
Quote compilation. There’s an endless insight to be gleaned in the thoughts of another person. Quotes are incredibly inspirational, motivational, and educational. Plus they’re bite-sized for easy consumption.
Make it a point to feed your mind and heart with powerful quotes you come across. Start a compilation of the words that resonate with you in a dedicated notebook and refer back to it when you need a little fire lit within you.
Habit tracker. On average, it takes 66 days for a new habit to stick. So whether you want to drink more water—which you totally should, by the way—or start eating more kale, you need to commit to practicing it every single day.
A great way to do this is by starting a habit tracker. Not only will you be more likely to do the thing you’re shooting for, but you’ll also be held accountable so you can see exactly why you are or you’re not getting the results you want.
To-do list. When school, sports, and just life commitments in general start to overwhelm you, it’s best to make a list of all of your to-dos so you can systematically cross them off as you complete each task.
By keeping your list ongoing in one notebook, you’re more likely to form the habit of writing things down and ticking them off one at a time.
Gratitude journal. Yes, I know you’ve heard it before—and no, gratitude journaling isn’t just for moms. Changing your mindset to one of gratitude can change the way you see the world. It’s a way to put a positive spin on your outlook, which can have a big effect on your reality.
Dedicate a notebook specifically to gratitude. Make a pledge to yourself to write in it every day. It doesn’t take long. Even just spending 5 minutes listing a few things you're thankful for can start having a big impact right away. Before long you’ll start to notice yourself actively seeking out positives to focus on so you’ll have something to write about later—and that’s the whole point.
There are countless productive ways to fill up the pages of a fresh new notebook. We hope you’ll use these ideas as a launchpad to some of your own.
Happy writing! Be noteworthy.