12 Tips on How to Organise a Notebook Effectively

How to organise a notebook
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Have you ever wondered how to organise a notebook? There are many ways to do so, and it’s a good idea to have separate notebooks for the critical things in your life. Knowing what you’re doing and when will make a big difference in dealing with your daily tasks.

How to Organise a Notebook

You can learn how to organise a notebook. Here are some tips to help you! Some of our top tips include using page numbers, adding different colours, making to-do lists, naming your notebooks, and creating an index. These things will help keep your notebook tidy and ordered and set you up for success.

1. Use Page Numbers

The first thing you should do is write is numbers at the top or bottom of the page when starting a new notebook. This organisational system will help get your new notebook off to a great start because you’ll always know where you are putting your notes, and you can easily refer backwards or forwards. It’s always a challenge to keep paper notebooks in order, but this should make it much more straightforward, ensuring you can always find the things you need.

2. Leave Blank Pages

If you plan to divide your book up into sections, make sure that you leave plenty of blank pages between each part to fill them in as you go. How many blank pages you will need depends on what you are working on, but always try to include a few extras.

This will make adding new items easier when needed and ensure you have enough space. If you think you will need ten pages for a project, consider leaving fifteen. You can always fill the leftover blanks in with other information or tear the pages out later if you find that you don’t need them.

3. Make To-Do Lists

The next step for how to organise a notebook is creating a to-do list or task list. You may find that it is helpful to have a dedicated slot in your new notebook for your to-do lists. This can save so much time, especially if you put it at the front or the back of the book because you can quickly flick through to refer to the list at any point. A to-do list is a handy way to stay on top of your tasks, and you always know how you should divide your time. It also makes it easier to prevent any tasks from being forgotten, keeping you on track and ensuring that you adhere to project time frames. Many people find that having a comprehensive to-do list is the best way to stay focused and helps them to feel good about their achievements.

You can also create different lists for things you want to remember. For example, you can track books you’ve read by having a books list in your notebook. Or make a list of movies you still want to watch. You can use lists for so many specific purposes. Alternatively, use additional notebooks to keep track of your lists – you can have separate notebooks to track your work and personal goals.

4. Create An Index

Having an index at the front of your notebook is also great. You can include it in your table of contents whenever you add a new section by noting the current page number.

Any time you need to refer to a project, you can then look it up in the index and use this to determine which part of the notebook you need to flick to. You will need to combine this with numbering your pages, but it’s one of the best ways to make a notebook instantly efficient.

If it helps, you can also colour code your index and then use the same colours to colour in the corresponding pages of the notebook. If you colour up to the edge of the page, you will probably see the colour when the notebook is closed, making it very easy to flick to the section you need, even without page numbers. The Japenese notebook organisation system is a good option to try!

You could try this with your current notebook. Choose some colours that you like, close the book, and colour in the edges of relevant pages to know what they contain. This makes finding what you need easier if the book is already a little disorganised. For example, if you choose to make all pages containing notes for a project blue on the sides, it doesn’t matter if you have these pages scattered throughout the book. You can then create an index that will help keep this organised.

5. How To Organise a Notebook: Use Technology

If you prefer to keep things on your computer, there are many valuable programs that you can use – and a lot of these can closely replicate the advantages of pens and paper. For example, a OneNote notebook will let you draw or write notes out, just as you could in a physical notebook, and Evernote is another good option.

Digital notebooks have significant benefits, too. One of the biggest is that they are always at hand and easily updated. You never have to scribble on a scrap of paper and then transfer it when you next have access to your notebook.

If you frequently write on paper and then throw it away, you probably know you generate a lot of garbage. You can easily recycle paper, but not using it is still preferable – so digital notebooks are an excellent alternative. They are also an easy way to reduce your waste. It’s an easy way to view everything you have coming up, such as the tasks for the next day or the following week. Try out the UpNote app, OneNote app or Google Keep and see how it compares to your current notebook.

6. Create Different Sections

If your notebook serves multiple purposes and is your go-to place for scribbling down key things, having separate sections will probably prove to be crucial. You can divide your book using small tags or fold over pages to show different sections.

This ensures that your head is “in the zone” for whatever you are currently working on, and you have all your notes to hand. 

If you’re sick of constantly flicking back and forth to find the last note you made, start a blank notebook and section groups off before you begin. You can add an index to your first page to ensure you know exactly where everything is.

7. Try Bullet Journaling

If you haven’t yet tried the bullet journal system, you should! A bullet journal involves using different bullet points to denote different types of information. For example, you might use a triangle to denote important events or a square for a project’s next steps. This allows you to reduce your writing because the symbols give you plenty of information with no long-winded explanations. A bullet journal is a useful tool for personal task management.

8. Use A Monthly Calendar

A monthly calendar is critical for time management. Give yourself enough space for each month, and then add appointments and reminders to the calendar so that you can easily access this information. Again, it should appear near the start or end of your notebook, so it’s easy to access. This saves you from having a secondary notebook or appointment book and makes everything easier.

9. Use Different Colours

We have already mentioned how you can use colour to brighten up your notebook and make it more efficient, but it is important enough to deserve its own category. Make use of colour as frequently as you can in your notebook because this allows you to organise visually.

Colour code notes for different work areas or school, and make sure that every new page you write on has a relevant colour to keep the contents organised and on track. You can write your lists in different hues to make them stand out to help you quickly see what you’re working on.

10. How To Organise a Notebook: Get Sticky Notes

Next, when thinking of how to organise a notebook, don’t be afraid to use sticky notes. You may find that even with using the commonly recognised best practices, you need to add to your notebook, and if you haven’t left enough space for this, sticky notes are a lifesaver.

Keep a little pack of sticky notes on you when you are out and about, especially if your notebook is too big to carry easily. Write anything you need to add to the notebook and stick it in place when you next have it to hand. This ensures you don’t end up with easy-to-lose scraps of paper, and it saves you from having to write things out twice.

11. Name Your Notebooks

If you have a new notebook for every aspect of your life, you’ll need a notebook name for each one. This makes it easier to keep your notes in order and quickly and easily grab the book you need. Having a single notebook for each of your work projects is highly beneficial if you work on many things at once. It allows you to organise your thoughts and ensures that things end up in the right places each time, so you aren’t wasting hours looking through irrelevant information and reminders.

Add a title page at the beginning of your notebook to show what you’re working on. Your personal preferences will feed into how much you divide up your projects. As an example, you might have a work notebook, a lab notebook, a personal journal for your daily logs, a notebook of ideas for the future, and so on. Everyone’s notebook organisation will look a little different because what matters is that it works for you.

12: Make A Vision Board

If you are a visual person, don’t be afraid to use your notebook to create a vision board. You can include visuals of anything, including the book’s purpose or even the purposes of the different sections.

Cut and paste images for your ideas, and dedicate as much space as you need to these visuals as they are a great way to have a unique notebook that meets your organisational needs.

How to organise a notebook
How to organise a notebook

By Sunelle

I love trying different note-taking and productivity methods. This website will document my learnings - why not join me?