Back in 2016, at the Green Heart Fair in Brisbane, one of my market stall customers asked if I had any dot grid notebooks for sale. Sadly, I had to tell her I did not, and until that day, I had not even heard of such a thing. I spent the rest of the day wondering exactly what a dot grid notebook was, and what you would use one for. Well, that evening, I asked Mr Google those exact questions and suddenly it was as if a whole new world was opened up to me!
Dot grid notebooks have quickly become my favourite type of notebook and I use them for all of my personal journals now! They are the perfect compromise between a blank and a lined notebook. The dots provide a guide if you want to draw straight lines or keep your handwriting neat, but are not as obtrusive as lines across the page, so you can sketch right over them, without ruining your drawing. And since I added them to my own product range, the dot grid notebooks have become one of my best sellers!
It's easy to see why they are so popular and I can't believe I didn't know about them sooner!
So if you're like me, and you're not quite sure what you'd use a dot grid notebook for, here are some examples...
1. You can draw your own planner!
I like to be organised and I'm an obsessive list-maker. I'm easily distracted and if something isn't on my to-do list for the day, chances are I'll forget about it and it won't get done! I've tried lots of different calendar and organisational apps, but none of them work for me. I much prefer the good old fashioned paper diary for scheduling appointments and planning out my tasks.
But finding a planner that perfectly suits your needs can be a huge challenge. Some don't have enough space to write what you need to each day. Others have too much space or added pages that you just don't need. Some have weeks that start on a Sunday, when you prefer to start on Monday or vice versa. Not to mention how hard it is trying to find a nice planner that is genuinely eco friendly!
This year, I have started drawing my own planners and joined a whole world of folks who are doing the same!
(If you google "Bullet Journalling" or search for hashtags like "#planneraddict" or "#bujo" on Instagram, you'll be amazed at the possibilities, and you'll get plenty of inspiration to get you started on your own creative planner journey)
It's wonderful to be able to use a planner that is perfectly suited to your needs, and also allows you to express your creativity a little at the same time!
2. Sketching Journal
Because they're not as obvious as lines going across the page, dot grids are great for journals where you want to combine art and writing. You can draw freely over the dots without them interfering too much with your image, but still have a guide for keeping your handwriting nice and straight.
Perfect for travel diaries or maybe a gardening journal. The possibilities are endless!
3. Scale Diagrams and Technical Drawings
Dot grid notebooks are great when you need to draw items to scale. Designing a shelf unit? Planning the furniture arrangements in your new apartment? The dots give you an easy to use grid for measuring sizes and lining everything up nicely.
4. Practice your hand lettering
If you're learning calligraphy or getting started with fancy hand lettering or even just want to practice your handwriting, dot grid notebooks make it easy. The dots provide a nice straight line guide, but the height of your letters is not restricted by the spacing between the lines as it is with a lined notebook.
5. Dots and Boxes (the Squares game)
Did you play this game when you were a kid?
Dot grid notebooks are perfect for this!
Why not get one for your house and challenge your guests to a game each time they visit, or keep one in the car so the kids can play and keep themselves busy on those long road trips.
So there you have it, 5 uses for dot grid notebooks. This is just a sample, and there are plenty more of course. I'm sure once you start using dot grid notebooks yourself, you'll wonder, as I did, why it took you so long to discover them!
Looking to get your own dot grid journal?