Sally is a writer, artist, and speaker who teaches workshops on expressive writing, visual journaling, and doodling.
Do you have a collection of teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy journals you’d like to use but just don’t know what to put in them? Do you hang onto these little books---even though you have no idea how to use them---just because they're so darn cute and compact?
If that sounds like you, you're not alone. I have a habit of collecting little blank books and I've amassed a not-so-tiny collection of them. But alas, these adorable little journals often end up in an adorable (not) little pile (of clutter) on my desk. So, like some of the other articles I've written on journaling, I've decided to do one on creative uses for miniature notebooks and tiny journals.
Collect autographs in a tiny notebook
I remember having an autograph book when I was a kid---I got it for my 8th birthday and it had Snoopy on the front. I didn't get many autographs though because I used to think autograph books were just for celebrity encounters. Now I know that autographs can come from anyone, especially the people you like, love or admire, even if they aren't famous. According to Wikipedia autograph books are 'for collecting the autographs of others. Traditionally they were exchanged among friends, colleagues, and classmates to fill with poems, drawings, personal messages, small pieces of verse, and other mementos.'
Write notes to put in your Worry Jar
A Worry Jar, also sometimes called a God Jar, is a place to hold your worries and fears. You can use a pretty vase, a glass jar with or without a lid, or some other type of container that suits your style and personality. When a worrying thought enters your mind, write it down on a piece of paper in your tiny notebook, tear it out and fold it up. Then at the next chance you get, put the little piece of paper in your the God Jar. When that worry crosses your mind, remind yourself that "It's in the God Jar. God is handling it." You don’t have to be religious to use a God Jar, but if you aren’t a particularly spiritual person, this may not your thing. If you want to learn more about the origins of The God Jar, read "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron (Chapter 12).
Do some playful doodles in your mini-journal
Sometimes when I am on a phone call and I'm stuck on hold, I start to doodle mindlessly all over whatever is in front of me. If I am at my desk, it's my desktop calendar. If I am in the living room, I usually end up doodling on whatever magazine or scrap of paper is in front of me. But then, inevitably the magazine gets recycled or the calendar page gets ripped off and then my little doodles are lost. But doodling in a tiny sketchbook would solve that problem, wouldn't it?
Describe your day in one word
Using my own day as an example, here's how this type of journal works: Today, I wrote this article, cleaned the house, baked some pretzel bites, visited a friend, called my doctor, and started my passport renewal. I'd call this day Productive.
If you had an exceptionally fun day, the only thing you might want to write on a tiny page in your book is:
Record your favorite memory of the day in 15 words or less
At the end of each day, try to describe a funny event or poignant moment from earlier in the day that you want to remember. For people who don't think they have time to write in a journal at the end of the day, perhaps micro-journalling is a good way to go. We already have micro-blogging (Twitter) and micro-condos. So why not micro-journaling?
The most interesting thing that happened today was...
What are you waiting for? You've got little to lose and plenty to gain by using your miniature diary!
Writing in a tiny journal can encourage you to be more succinct, more focused, more present. Whatever you choose to put in your tiny journal, make sure that each entry fits on one page. If your thoughts start to overflow onto page after after, then you might as well be writing in a regular-sized journal.
If you have some blank little notebooks stashed away, go ahead and have fun with them! And if you've got ideas of your own on what to write in a notebook, big or small, please share them in the comments!
© 2018 Sally Hayes
Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 24, 2018:
Very interesting, Sally. I have one of those tiny notebooks. I use it to keep addresses and phone numbers in. Other things I should keep in a little notebook I just write on a piece of paper and have a habit of loosing it. Not very organized am I?
Donna Herron from USA on April 22, 2018:
Hi Sally, I have a few of these super small notebooks. I love these ideas for putting them to use. I particularly like the suggestion of describing a memory in 15 words. I think that's a meaningful way to use these special journals. Thanks for the great ideas!