Try This: Idea Journals

Get organized with idea journals for every category in your life! DIY (click though for DIY details!)I'm not sure why, but Autumn often brings a bit of an organization bug my way. It's probably some sort of weird instinct to get my home in order, because I know I'll be spending more time indoors during the winter. Last year I made this house journal to keep all my ideas organized for our new home. This year, I wanted to create something similar, but with separate books for crafty ideas, decor ideas and recipe inspirations. 

I found some awesome cork journals at Michael's recently and though it would be cute to label each one with a simple graphic symbol to represent each topic.Step 1To create my simple prints, I used contact paper. I cut each design from the center of each piece, and adhered the detail pieces within the open area.Step 2To paint the shape, use a sponge rather than a brush. This will help reduce paint bleed. Allow it to dry completely before ripping off the contact paper. It's that easy!Get organized with idea journals for every category in your life! DIY (click though for DIY details!) Here's a look at the inside of my journal. It might be geeky, but I doodled fun title pages for my books the other night while watching TV shows. 🙂Get organized with idea journals for every category in your life! DIY (click though for DIY details!)  I'm looking forward to filling each of my little journals with ideas for the winter season. It's so helpful when planning blog posts to have these journals to flip through and pull ideas and inspiration! Normally, my books are a big jumble of home, food, random and personal ideas. I'm hopeful that dividing them up will keep things be a little less crazy—but still plenty crazy. I'd never want to be completely crazy-free—that's just crazy… never mind. 

Do you guys get an organization itch this time of year? If so please spill all the geeky details. 

Credits // Author and Photography: Elsie Larson

  • oh my gosh, i love this idea! also, i totally understand the organization bit. um, yes.


    ps-the bag… oh my, its perfect.

  • Really cute idea!
    I love all you dyi’s. I’m actually looking for one you did a while back… about doing designs on pillows and blankets? If you know what I’m talking about let me know. please, please! I want to do a pillow for my boyfriend.
    *** New post on my bloggy: come visit me! ***

  • This is awesome! I recently covered a few of my journals with cork contact paper but couldn’t figure out a good way to label them. I decided to use a Sharpie, but this idea is way cuter. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Yes, in autumn i feel the same about organizing, it´s like going to school again , and preparing everything ; )
    I should do something like this

  • I love these journal ideas, but I’m distracted by that gorgeous handbag! Where is it from?

  • I get the desperate need to clean up my entire home and buy new throw pillows and candles and pot plants (which usually die before Christmas….).
    But I just successfully re-organized my entire work space, so I’m feeling on top of the world right now (that sentence did not sound so desperate in my head…).

  • Your journals are so pretty! I do get an organization itch – totally! I guess it’s the changing weather and the change of the seasons. Today is the first really cold day here and I had to wear a coat when I went outside. This weather makes me want to redecorate our apartment and change my style of cooking and baking. Complete reorganization! I want to tackle a few craft project in the upcoming weeks, too.

  • This is such a brilliant idea. I’ve been wanting to organize inspiring photos into different notebooks according to categories, and you just gave me an idea. Since the hardware is cork, you can even pin on important notes. 🙂

  • I have already a thousand ideas for it! Washi every where 🙂 And every single idea would land on !!!
    Have great day! Ronja

  • your doodles are my favourite. 🙂
    love this! going to do this once my current journals are filled up.

  • I am an avid journaler and I love adding a personal touch to my notebooks. Thank you so much for the inspiration, these are perfect!

  • I definitely get the organization itch. Thank you for the adorable ideas! I always customize my notebooks, so I adored this.

  • What a fun idea, especially helpful when differentiating journals for various things! Thanks for the DIY inspiration!

  • Oops – do not know what happened to a comment I was in the middle of typing, but do not publish if it is unfinished! LOL.

    I was commenting that I am also on an “obsessive organisation kick” which hits me at this time of year! I have just created a “home binder” with sections for ideas for the house // recipes I am loving and things to do….

    Also on a tray organisation kick, and everything is getting it’s proper place in a tray (the martini bar / the books on the coffee table…etc.)

    I LOVE these ideas, Elsie for “idea books” for a blog and anything else!

  • totally get the organization bug this time of year!! Especially organizing the kitchen, recipe books etc.

  • Great idea! The organizing bug has definitely hit here too… these are super cute! I have one notebook with tabs right now, but this is just so much nicer! I think a trip to michaels is in my near future.

  • That’s awesome. I love keeping journals. There is something about writing that relaxes me and helps me get organized.

  • Can you ever have enough journals? Thanks for sharing the cork ones. I’ve never seen them, but I’m going to have to find them!

  • lovely! i love your cute drawings : ) i was wondering where your bag is from? it’s an amazing colour!

  • These are super cute! I’ve never thought to do something like this with contact before! It’s so simple and easy 🙂

  • I’ve been meaning to get a smaller journal to stick in my purse for brain storming. Right now I use my notes app on my phone to jot down ideas for my blog, but I really like pen and paper for jotting down random thoughts . Thanks for the reminder and tip.

  • it is really great idea!! 🙂
    Love it girls. Thanks for sharing with us.


  • I’m just the same. What is it about this season? Planning, organizing, getting stuff together… it all seems so appealing at this time of year.

  • I actually downloaded a bunch of organization apps. There is something about fall!

  • LOVE these! It’s always easier to write consistently in a journal when it looks as cute as these do! 🙂

  • such a cute quirky idea!!

  • Your journals are super sweet! Love the plaid barn too and I signed up for their newsletter!

  • Great journals! There is something so satisfying about putting pen to paper!

  • I love the inside of your journal more than anything else! So fun and creative. 🙂 The organization bug has bit me too but since we’re a couple weeks out from moving, there’s not much i can do about it right now. Gah! Talk about frustrating. I’ll just live vicariously through ABM. 😉

    xo Ashley

  • i don’t know how you do it, but each idea you post has me running to the craft store!! love this idea


  • This is such a lovely idea! Your little doodles are so so cute! x

  • oh yay, i love this. I need a new one for work and this is such a great idea. I love having unique things and knowing you wont bump into someone who has exactly the same thing as you.

  • Cute! You guys are so talented and creative.


  • oh as pretty as a moleskin:)

  • So cute! I am a journal junkie so I love any project involving them!!!

    Jamie @

  • Yes- fall definitely puts me in clean-out/organize overdrive!!! I want to go through every nook and clean and reorganize. Those cute journals are just the thing to keep track of it all. 🙂

  • I just spent time after work looking at all my old blog ideas and writing new ones, so inspiring and fun. LOVE these journals, the graphic icons are so sharp and the title page doodle is hilarious– those little sushis kill me! love these organization posts

  • This is such a good idea! I’m so tempted to make a few myself 🙂

  • This is a great idea! I’ve got a notebook lying around, still blank, so it’s the perfect time to try this 🙂 Keep blogging, you guys are great!

  • Such a fun idea! I wish we had cork notebooks over here, I’d love to find some! Autumn definitely puts me in geeky organisation mode – I think its a combination of season change, the start of a new school year (even though I am no longer at school) and my birthday. I shared my 22 at 22 list recently , trying to plan everything I want to do for the year, and have lists all over the place at home! Yey for getting organised, a perfect excuse for cute new stationery.

  • Oh, so cute and seems so simple. Love this! Would make such a cute gift too, with people’s initials or something!

  • Love this cute idea. Your “doodles” are awesome. Wish I could make mine look that cute HA!

  • These are adorable! What a good idea~ And it’s so easy to sort out which ‘topic’ for each.

    Love it!

  • What a fun idea! I just bought these exact notebooks a little while ago(they were buy one get one), but I haven’t used them yet. It’s just a lot easier for me to use spiral notebooks, but I want to force myself to use these instead on account of them being so much cuter to carry around.

  • Adorable! I really like the cork covers on these journals and not to mention the cover page. I think I might go add cover pages to all of my journals now.


  • Elsie,
    You never cease to amaze me! I just love these journals, and the simple but elegant stencils have pushed them right over the top…

    It’s funny, I have been planning to try a project using contact paper stencils, and now it’s moving to the TOP of my list!
    Thanks so much for sharing, and providing inspiration to all of your readers each day! 😀

  • Yes! I so totally get the urge to ultra-organize my life when fall rolls around. These notebooks are a great idea, I always feel like I should be physically taking/keeping notes, but it always ends up turning into several different on-going notepad documents on my computer. I have a question for you guys, how do you organize your online inspiration? Pinterest? Evernote? Endless bookmarking?

  • So cute! I feel the same way…I think we are wired from birth that fall=school, new year, and we just want to organize our lives!

  • Such a cute idea, I need one of those 🙂

  • Making a stencil out of contact paper is a really cool idea! I like the title page by the way, it’s cute.

  • Pretty need, different books for different topics, I like it. I wish I could look through all my photos and sort them into a photo book of the year RIGHT NOW. That’s what I crave! 🙂

  • I love all the pretty journals you make!! These are so lovely and I love the cute doodles on your title page!! 😀

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