7 creative ways to use dotted notebooks (plus one bonus tip)
6 November 2022 by WTF Notebooks
It's time to talk about dotted notebooks, or as we like to call them, the ultimate notebook for rebels. Screw your boring ruled and square gridded pages, it's time to go off the grid and embrace those fainted dots!
Now, we know what you're thinking. "What the hell am I supposed to do with a notebook covered in dots?"
Well, let us enlighten you with seven nifty ideas on how to use this unique paper template. And hey, if you don't like them, feel free to use it as a coaster or something.
#1 Track habits
Whether you want to quit smoking or start exercising, keeping track of your progress is crucial. Dot grid paper is the perfect choice if you want to design a habit tracker you can stick with. Most guided notebooks and productivity systems are too structured, whereas a simple dotted journals lets you establish a structure on your own.
#2 Create a custom planner or calendar
When the new year rolls around and it’s time for a new annual diary, a pre-printed planner is arguably the easiest and most convenient option. There are some badass planners out there that’ll give most people all they want from an annual diary (insert cheeky plug for our WTF Notebooks planner).
But if you prefer a custom calendar layout that suits your needs, and you don’t mind getting a bit crafty yourself, why not create your own custom planner?
Using the dot grid to guide your lines, a dotted notebook is the perfect starting point for a custom planner. Who knows, maybe you'll become the next Martha Stewart of DIY planners.
#3 Sketch, draw or doodle
For all you artists out there, a dot grid sketchbook is a game-changer. The dots will help you draw straight lines when needed, but they won't stifle your creativity.
When choosing dotted paper for sketching and drawing, you’re going to want a journal where the dots are fainted. For example, the dotted inside pages of WTF Notebooks are printed using only 60% black ink. That means the dots are there when you need them, but they are also easy to ignore when you just want to doodle freely.
And trust us, you'll feel like a fancy French artist using a sketchbook with dots. It's like sipping a glass of wine while painting the Eiffel Tower, très chic!
#4 Write your to-do lists
If you're more of a list person, don't worry, we've got you covered, too. When it comes to keeping track of important tasks, any pre-printed paper works. Yet again, dotted pages have the advantage of flexibility.
However you prefer to manage your to-do lists – perfectly straight in separate rows, categorised into blocks, split into columns for personal and professional lists – a dot notebook gives you the freedom to monitor your completed tasks in whatever way works for you.
#5 Keep lists and records
Now, if you're the type of person who loves to keep records, a dotted notebook is your new best friend. Whether it's notes on wine tastings, gardening, or whatever weird hobbies you may be into, a dotted notebook is the ideal choice for storing such information.
There really is no limit to what kind of lists to keep in a paper journal, and the flexibility of a dotted notebook makes it the ideal choice of inside pages for storing such information.
And while there are mobile apps and pieces of software that can help you with record keeping of all sorts, storing information in a physical notebook can be much more satisfying. Plus, you can impress your friends with your fancy notes on the different types of soil you used for your garden.
Brainstorming can be (and should be) a messy process. It's all about letting go of constraints and dumping thoughts on paper.
This is where the choice of paper can make a huge difference. Ruled or square gridded pages will force you to write on the lines, while a blank sheet may be too much of a white canvas for some. Dotted paper however, gives you the best of both worlds.
#7 Keep a journal
The last idea for ways to use a dotted notebook brings all the previous points together into one: Write, draw, keep lists and records, track your habits, appointments and meetings, all in one place. This can be called a bullet journal (or BuJo, for short), or simply a dot grid journal.
This type of journal isn’t something you can buy already templated. It’s entirely unique to you and your goals, containing sections to log experiences, ideas, insights and anything else that life evokes in your mind.
The process of starting and keeping a bullet journal should be creative and fun – after all, journaling is a form of self-care. Therefore, a dotted notebook is the ideal choice for bullet journaling because a dot grid puts very little restraints on your creativity. It lets you break out of lines, write in any direction you want, and add tables, doodles and sketches as you please.
When it comes to bullet journaling, there’s really only one rule: There are no rules!
Bonus tip: Create an index
Whichever of these seven ideas speaks to you most, one great way to set up any notebook is with an index. If you number your pages, you can use your first double page spread as a table of contents.
This way you’ve got a handy overview of what months, lists, plans and notes you have on the different pages of your dot grid notebook.
Ordinary is overrated
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