I got some Notebooks which are 15 or 25% filled. One of them I love it and do not want to throw it away as it got 75% empty pages, instead I want to use to take notes, but as 25% is filled with stuff which is not needed, how can I make sure I always open from where I started as a New Notebook? One can argue, use the bookmark (Ribbon) with notebook but what If I need more bookmark to remind myself of key points. How can I not let the notebook go to waste?
Hack the Notebook(s)
Cut the top (or bottom) corner off the used pages.
As soon as you open the cover, put your thumb on the cut corner and flip the book open to a fresh page without having the flip through the full pages.
Some notebooks come with a die-cut serrated corner for this. I use a pair of scissors after a note-taking session.
- Put a white sheet of paper the same size as the pages of your notebook between the last filled page and the first empty one. Neatly align it with the pages.
- Put a sheet of decorative paper (white, colored, marbeled, whatever you like) that's bigger than the notebook on top of the white one. The pretty side of the paper should face the empty pages.
- Close the notebook. Let the front cover face you.
- Mark the dimensions of the front cover on the backside of the decorative paper. draw a little wider than the actual dimensions are so you won't end up with any lines in the finished product.
- Open the book so the backside of the decorative paper faces you.
- Apply a weak glue inside the mark you made. If you're sure you never want to remove the paper again, you can use a strong glue.
- Close the notebook and make sure the decorative paper adheres to the inside of the front cover. Let the glue dry completely before continuing.
- Neatly trim the decorative paper to the size of the notebook. Remove the lines to mark the size of the cover in this process.
You can now open the notebook again. The old pages will be trapped in a pouch made by the decorative paper. The one loose sheet glides over the old pages and lets you open the book without ripping out pages.
This method only works if the front cover is bigger than the pages inside the notebook. If you try to fix too many pages like that, they'll likely rip the decorative sheet from the cover.
Have you considered getting some wood glue/PVA, watering it down, and then brushing an inch wide strip down the outer edge of each page (one side only will be fine) that you don't want, then laying a plastic bag or similar over the last page, closing the book and weighting it down? After some time the front pages you don't want will be all stuck together and bonded to the front cover
Accept that in used notebooks some pages always will be outdated. If you can’t either remove them (no perforated edge) or just ignore them (personal challenge), use a pen and maybe a ruler to “cross out” the page as “no longer valid or relevant”. No need to go overboard, a diagonal line or two will likely be enough.
If you need to find specific pages („next empty page“ or just a bookmark), use sticky notes to create tabs. They come in different colors, sizes and materials and you can even write on them. And they can be re-positioned or removed. Pick what works for you and pleases your aesthetic sense. I have university notes where most of the outer edge (and / or top edge) consists of such an index.
If you are very crafty (and can live with more permanent bookmarks) think of washi tape. For inspiration, check out some avid bujo (slang for Bulllet Journal) enthusiasts’ blogs or Instagram feeds. (Warnings: Can be a rabbit hole.)