7 Ways To Use Dotted Notebooks

7 Ways To Use Dotted Notebooks (Plus, One Bonus Tip)

A lot of people will know the two most common types of notebook paper: Ruled (which is perfect for writing), and square gridded (often used for geometric drawings or maths). A lesser known inside page type however, is the dot grid.

This unique paper template is covered in small, fainted dots, neatly arranged in a grid, which allow the user to follow along the optical lines without them taking over.

But what do you actually use a dotted notebook for? Here are seven nifty ideas you can apply to dot grid paper, plus a bonus tip to make the most of your journal.

WTF Notebooks | Habit tracker

#1 Track habits

Whether you want to build good habits or break bad ones, keeping track of your progress is a good way to see how far you’ve come. 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 fantastic planners out there that’ll give most people all they want from an annual diary (of course we recommend the 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.

#3 Sketch, draw or doodle

Let your imagination go wild with a dot grid sketchbook. The dots will help you draw straight lines when needed, but they don’t keep you and your creativity boxed in.

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.

WTF Notebooks | To do lists

#4 Write your to do lists

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

With some hobbies and interests it can be great to look back at historical data and record notes and achievements.

A wine connoisseur may want to record notes of their wine tastings. A gardener may want to document planting times and seasonal changes to their garden. And a runner may want to log their times and distances.

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.

WTF Notebooks | Brainstorming journals

#6 Brainstorm

When it’s time to conceive ideas, whether for a task at work or a personal project, brainstorming requires you to write down thoughts and suggestions – and if you’ve ever admired the outcome of a brainstorming session, you may have noticed that the result was likely an organised mess. And rightly so: Brainstorming is 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.

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Now that you've got some inspiration for the use of dotted notebooks, why not get a journal that really suits your personality? Check out the range of hilarious journal titles from WTF Notebooks.

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