Did you receive a beautiful journal for Christmas? Great! …so, what now?

Taking that first step of writing in a new journal can often feel overwhelming as the crisp, untouched pages stare back at you, daring you to mark them up. Well, luckily for you, we have years of experimenting with notebooks under our belts and are happy to take that risk for you. To ring in this new year of journalling, we have lined up a fresh list of six great ways for you to get the most out of your new journal or agenda.

1) Get Cooking

If you are anything like this blog writer, you probably head to Pinterest for most of your recipes these days. But, that doesn’t mean an analog recipe keeper has gone totally out of fashion! Print out the instructions for your favourite dishes and paste them right in your journal, making it the perfect place to add your own notes, such as possible substitutions or handy measurement conversions. Next time you want to make the dish, everything you need to know will be ready at your fingertips.


2) Get Artistic

A blank journal (lined or otherwise) does not have to be used for writing. At Paperblanks®, we love working with paper because of the endless possibilities the medium presents, so let this blank canvas inspire you! Try some new pens, watercolours or coloured pencils and see where your creativity leads you.


3) Get Back to Nature

Learning about the world around us shouldn’t end when our high school science classes do. On a sunny day, grab your journal and head outside for a walk. What types of leaves do you find? What birds do you see and hear? Jot down the sights, sounds and even smells that you encounter and teach yourself about your local environment. There are some great science apps that you can download, too, including Leafsnap which uses visual recognition software to help you identify the flora you’ve found.


4) Get On the Road

Think you have to take an exotic vacation in order to keep a travel journal? Think again. You can be an urban explorer (even if you live in the suburbs) simply by grabbing a map and heading to a new part of town. There is no need to go far off the beaten track, either, so long as you take an inquisitive mind. You never know who you may meet when you take yourself out of your comfort zone! Of course, having your new journal on hand will only make it easier to remember all the new places you have visited, and you can make notes of favourite new walking routes and restaurants or interesting stories from your adventure.


5) Get Learning

If there is something you have always wanted to accomplish, a journal is a great way to not only track your progress but actively help you achieve your goals! Grab a few books on your chosen subject from the library or head to an online forum, and take notes on what aspects seem most relevant and interesting to you. Research studies continue to show that you will better remember something if you write it down, rather than simply reading or hearing the information, so why not use your new journal as a memory aid in your new pursuit?


6) Get Organised

But wait, you say, I’m not nervous about starting a new journal but a new dayplanner! If you aren’t used to writing in an actual agenda, finding your rhythm can be a bit tricky at first. Though best practices tend to vary from person to person (check out our Tips for Choosing the Best 2016 Dayplanner For You), one tip we can give to every user is to plan for the unexpected. We recommend writing down your non-negotiable plans in ink and leaving the more flexible activities in pencil until they have been confirmed. This will make your agenda easy to read, even after plans have changed!

This helpful tip can apply to your journal, too, as you can sketch out each entry before making it permanent.


Nothing on this list jumping out at you? Check out these previous posts for additional ideas:

About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at


  1. Love these ideas!!! I a, currently using Paperblanks books as recipe books (I have 4 and counting), year diaries, books for original fiction, a how-to book on my favourite hair styles, one for learning classical greek and more, and I’m planning on getting a blank one for art! This list has definetly inspired me to get an art journal sooner rather than later 🙂 🙂

  2. I’m moving to another country soon, so my newest Paperblanks journal will definitely be used to document my new season in the new country–it’s going to be an array of art entries, long expositories, and probably a collage of experiences, too! <3


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here