Practical Ideas for an Empty Notebook

In my experience, there’s nothing more intimidating than an empty notebook.

Those pristine pages are just calling out for you to write… something. Anything!

All too often I find myself completely overthinking the whole process, and giving up and putting the still empty notebook on a shelf somewhere.

Then I discovered Instagram…

If you’re like I was, and procrastinate about putting pen to paper because you have no idea what put in your notebook, journal or planner, here’s a (substantial) list of ideas to help get you started.

Planner Pages

Of course, there are all the usual planner type pages like:

  • Day at a glance
  • Week at a glance
  • Monthly spread

But, there are so many other options you can include in your planner, whether it’s a bullet journal or just a plain ol’ notebook. Keep reading to see a range of general topics and ideas specific to each of them.

Haven’t picked out your notebook supplies yet? Amazon has an amazing selection and you can see them here.

Please note: Smart Money, Simple Life is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program, as such we will receive a small commission if you end up making a purchase from


  • Books to read
  • Movies to watch
  • Favourite TV shows episode tracker
  • Special moments
  • Daily gratitude list
  • Habit trackers
  • Motivational quotes
  • Mood tracker
  • Skills to learn
  • This year’s bucket list
  • Emergency contact list
  • Wish list

Goals & Time Management

  • Routine daily, weekly, monthly tasks
  • Categorised Goals (personal, business, etc.)
  • Time bound goals & tasks (weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly)
  • Review (weekly, monthly, etc.)
  • Daily time tracker
  • 5 minute tasks list


  • Major project list
  • Minor project list
  • Project planner
  • Project timeline
  • Supplies to buy
  • Home project
  • Organising projects
  • Decluttering projects
  • Gardening projects

Household Routines

  • Cleaning zones
  • Cleaning routine – weekly or monthly
  • Seasonal cleaning checklist
  • Car maintenance checklist

Shopping Related

  • Shopping list
  • Gift Ideas (birthdays, holidays, etc.)
  • Couponing
  • Price list tracker
  • Holiday shopping
  • Online shopping record / mail tracker
  • Subscriptions
  • Favourite stores

Personal Finance

  • Conscious spending plan
  • Income tracker
  • Savings tracker
  • Spending tracker
  • Bills tracker
  • Cash envelope planner
  • Financial goals (short, medium and longterm)
  • Automatic payments list
  • Tax planning
  • Tax deductions list
  • Debt repayments (snowball or avalanche)
  • Insurance details

Self Care

  • Skincare
  • Daily / weekly / monthly / quarterly tasks
  • Morning / evening tasks
  • Mood tracker

Meal Planning

  • Weekly menu
  • Grocery list
  • Grocery list (by aisle or store)
  • Ingredient substitutions
  • Favourite recipe websites
  • Recipes to try
  • Previous meal plans
  • 30 minute meal ideas
  • Pantry, fridge or freezer inventory
  • Cooking tips
  • Cooking metric/imperial conversions

Health and Fitness

  • Health & fitness goals
  • Hydration tracker
  • Menstrual tracker
  • Exercise routine / log
  • Prescriptions tracker
  • Supplements / vitamins
  • Food journal
  • Weight loss tracker
  • Calories / carbs / points reference
  • Intermittent fasting tracker

Home Information

  • Warranties and manuals / appliances index
  • Maintenance checklist
  • Repairs plan
  • Organising ideas
  • Interior design log (color names and brands, etc.)
  • Insurance inventories (including serial numbers, etc.)


  • Important documents/passport numbers list
  • Itinerary
  • Emergency contact numbers (Embassy/consulate, travel insurance, etc.)
  • Packing list and outfit planner
  • Before you leave checklist
  • Places of interest
  • Local ‘hot spots’ research
  • Travel & accommodation planning (e.g. hotels, transport, flights)
  • Travel budget per location
  • Daily spending tracker
  • Important local info (e.g. currencies, cultural norms)
  • Shopping / restaurant research
  • Things to buy before you leave


  • Exam preparation plan
  • Study schedule and tracker
  • Reading schedule & tracker
  • Assessment tracker
  • Attendance requirements / log
  • Grades tracker
  • Public holidays & vacation days list
  • Important college/university contacts
  • Job / internship applications tracker
  • SAT prep
  • Study notes

Homeschool Planner

  • Lesson list
  • Reading schedule
  • Academic achievements
  • Excursions/meet-ups

Party / Event Planner

  • Guest list
  • Party planner checklist
  • Birthday’s list
  • Holiday gift list
  • Event planning timeline

Just Because…

  • Calligraphy practice
  • Doodles
  • Planner layout ideas and sketches

Business & Blogging

  • Social media schedule / tracker
  • Editorial calendar
  • Product Ideas
  • Advertising tracker (ROI, etc.)
  • Project workflow
  • Subscriptions (Canva, Tailwind, etc.)
  • Hosting details and renewals (Bluehost, Siteground)
  • Supplies to purchase
  • Business goals
  • Blog projects
  • Blog improvements / to do list
  • Statistics tracking
  • Sponsored posts, collaborations and guest posts
  • Blog post ideas
  • Contact information
  • Favourite bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers, Pinterest accounts, etc.
  • Income tracking
  • Costs tracker
  • Promotional giveaway ideas
  • Favourite tools & resources

Favourite Planner Supplies

Amazon has a huge range of planners and journals in every price range imaginable. You can see the latest and greatest items here.

Free Delivery at the Book DepositoryPin

Build a Life you Love

The absolute driving force behind my online endeavours is to establish and maintain a life I love. A life that allows me to spend my days the way I want to spend them.

After a short stint back in the corporate world, I’m more committed than ever to spend my days doing things that bring me joy and add real value to others’ lives.

Blogging – Learn how to start your own blog or business web site. Once you get started, there’s almost no limit to what you can achieve for yourself. But, the first step is establishing your foundation and that has to be a self-hosted site. If you’re just testing the waters, I recommend Bluehost as a cost-effective way to get started.

Online Store / eCommerce – Along with this and some of my other blogs, I have another business that includes an Etsy store and a Shopify store. Whether you’re selling stock you’ve purchased, dropshipping or selling your own handmade products, eCommerce is a great way to start an online business in your spare time. Shopify is a great platform to use as it’s intuitive and has lots of help available if you get stuck, and they have a ton of plugins to make it easy to get all of the features you want.

Managing your Money – The framework for everything in life and business is good money management. Keep coming back to our site for more helpful tips, but if you are doing some shopping and want cash back, check out Rakuten (formerly eBates).