In attempt to regain the usual rhythm of my blog after rightfully devoting my previous two entries to what needed to be talked about, today I look to the delight of blank books (i.e. notebooks, journals, etc.) and all the possibilities they entail. Any blank page is a call for freedom of control over what appears before the surface and for anyone who doesn’t use blanks books regularly may be, at first, intimidated by what to do. This is where I break down just a few possibilities for what can be documented in a blank book, as well as recommendations for what kind of blank books would be wisest to use:
- Journal/Diary entries
This really maybe the most obvious possibility for me to start off with, given my extensive background in journaling. But keeping one and writing in it regularly really makes a difference on how you see the world and how you go about with documenting it. It also helps with getting in touch with your thoughts and feelings more and more, for this is a space that is entirely your own. You’re not obliged to show it to anyone else, and therefore there’s no need to feel any guilt over anything you write about in there, because sometimes it’s best to admit things solely to yourself.
For those who are interested in keeping a journal or diary, my advisement is to avoid spiral notebooks. They are more prone to fall apart overtime, which is the opposite of what you want out of a document that you want to look back on years from now. Go for something a little nicer, like a Moleskin, a leather journal, or perhaps something out of Paperblanks.
Whether it be for school, for work, or ideas for your next creative project, it’s fitting that notes are a wise consideration to write in a notebook. This is where creation and understanding begin to take place in the roughest form possible; in bullet points and outlines, trying to make sense of it all.
It’s because this is a rough form of documentation that I would advise spiral-bound notebooks for this purpose. They’re sturdy and better for this more casual, looser writing.
Whether it be for an essay or perhaps a short story, blank books do come in handy when it comes to drafting a piece of writing. While this can just as easily be done on a computer, there’s something truly fulfilling by getting it out by hand first if anything. It doesn’t have to be purpose, and unlike a computer, it’s not going to notify you right away if you misspelled a word or something is grammatically incorrect. All that can come later. Drafts are merely for the sake of getting it all out.
Since this is another loose form of documentation, again, I’d recommend using a spiral-bound notebook.
One can go wrong when it comes to lists. In fact, my generation seems to be all in favor of reading them on Buzzfeed all the time. Lists help with sorting out what is needed or what is considered. It helps you organize your thoughts without going too in depth on them. While this too can just as well work on an app on a smartphone or a document on a computer, I cannot deny the fulfilling feeling that comes with creating them by hand.
If you’re using a list for a more casual use such as figuring out what items you need to pack for a trip or something, then a spiral-bound or a notepad would do you justice. If it’s something like a bucket list or something else along such meaningful lines, then I would use a journal.
There’s also the visually inclined who like interpreting the world and their imaginations through drawing. This, of course, is an excellent way to fill out a blank book. To have a book filled with your art work, regardless of how rough it may be, is always a pleasure to have, especially as your artistic skills grow with time. It’s something nice to have to look back on years from now.
A sketch pad would obviously be best for this purpose.
6. Scrapbook projects
A combination of words and visuals (photos) together to recall an experience can truly make for wonderful mementos. That’s where scrapbooking comes into play, and can become a really fun activity.
But of course, it depends on what material you are using that determines what kind of blank book you should get. If it’s something like a ticket stub or a wristband from an event, then a journal can work. On the other hand, if you have something like photographs that you want to keep around for a long time without the ink fading, that you actually should invest in an actual scrapbook; complete with protection for photos from deteriorating with time.
As is with the first item on the list, I do have a thing for documenting quotes as well. There’s always that moment where you’re reading a book or an article, or are watching a really moving film when suddenly, a fantastic quote comes up; one that’s worth remembering. That’s where the use of a quotebook can come into play.
Since this is a less casual form of documentation, a journal would work best in this case scenario. However, I’d get a smaller one if I were you, for these are excerpts of texts you are writing down, and not giant blocks of writing.
I don’t do listicles that often, but I hope that this one helps with giving insight to all the possibilities that can be done within the pages of a blank book. Of course there are more options beyond the ones that I named here, but hopefully for those who are a little nervous of being in possession of one for the first time, not know what to do with it, hopefully this is helpful in providing a few ideas.
A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes. Please leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 12 reviews so I’m already just past the halfway point to my goal). Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.