Guess what I’m really into these days? Blank composition notebooks! For example, I like the thick 80 to 100-page journals for jotting down my ideas on a new project.
I’ve used various notebooks and file folders over the years but right now I’m enjoying the slim size of blank composition notebooks. They’re easy to slip in my purse or a tote bag when I’m going out and want to carry my idea journal with me. Also, they slide so nicely into the pocket folders I love to use to store all my files for a project I’m working on.
So since I’m starting out on a journey to explore Charlesbridge, I decided to create a brand new idea journal to carry along. I thought I’d show you what I’ve done so you can make your own too if you’d like.
Here’s how I decorated the cover of my idea journal. I have scrapbooking pages that I used to cut a front cover to glue on my composition notebook.
I also save old birthday cards and other cards we get all year long. That’s where this cute cat and inspirational Bible verse came from that I glued on to decorate my front.
The verse is, “I can do all things through him.” What a great verse to start our journey on!
I want to show you the inside of my book, too. This is the Table of Contents. Yes, I label each blank page in the bottom of the right corner all the way through the book. And in the beginning, like you see here, I create a Table of Contents so I can quickly find which page has which idea on.
Each time I add a new entry to a different page, I note it here in my table of contents.
And here’s how I decorated the back of my idea journal.
I’m loving using these idea journals. Right now this one is blank, but here are some of the items you’ll find in my table of contents for the idea journal I’m using for a different picture book I’ve been working on lately:
PRAYER FOR MY PROJECT
FAVORITE SCRIPTURE VERSES FOR MY PROJECT
Because this picture book is about a nonfiction topic I’m doing some “experimenting” on myself, this is where I’m recording some of my observations.
IDEAS FOR A POTENTIAL SERIES
BACK MATTER IDEAS
LIST OF WAYS I COULD REUSE MY CURRENT RESEARCH IN FUTURE MANUSCRIPTS
INTERVIEWS OF PEOPLE ON MY TOPIC
(This is a short list. Longer interviews would be filed in my pocket folder.)
NOTES ABOUT MY MENTOR TEXT
TEXT IDEAS FOR MY PICTURE BOOK
This actually takes up most of the pages in my idea journal!
STYLE GUIDE FOR MY PICTURE BOOK
Sometimes I create a style guide. This is especially handy if there are variations on spelling, etc. I keep a list here of choices I make to use throughout my ms.
(Words related to the key themes in my picture book so I have lots to choose from in my writing.)
(Words on my topic that I could add to the back of my picture book)
So no matter if you use a 3-ring binder, a spiral notebook, loose pages in file folders, or what suits you best, go ahead and have an enjoyable time creating an idea journal. It can be you best friend along your journey!