How to make your own self-help booklet

self-help booklet

In Issue 30, journalist Caroline Buijs explains how she collects beautiful insights, quotes, advice and other helpful sentences in a small booklet she always carries with her. This way, she has her personal self-help booklet she can turn to in times of need. Here, she explains how you can make one yourself.

  1. Find a small notebook or notepad. I personally prefer one the size of a passport. We’ve included one in Issue 30 to help you along, but of course you can use whatever takes your fancy. Anything will do as long as it fits in your bag so you can always have it with you.
  2. Each of my notebooks has its own theme; this makes it easier for me. This isn’t necessary however-you can collect all sorts of nice pearls of wisdom in just one book. My themes include: ‘How can I avoid becoming overworked?’, and ‘How can I make the best use of my time?’ (inspired by Paul Loomans’ book, Time Surfing). I’m also making one for my teenage daughter, full of positive messages such as, ‘You don’t have to do everything perfectly all the time. Be sure to be kind to yourself’.
  3. I only write down insights and pearls of wisdom that strike me as helpful or as something 
I should remember. Sometimes I underline a passage, or stick fun pictures or photos next to a line in the book.
  4. Don’t make it too complicated. The foreword or afterword of a book often contains a list of great insights (sometimes even in the table of contents). Great words don’t just come from books; we can often learn about them by merely living our lives, such as a quote you see written on a wall or on a poster in a café. They might also come from a line of text from an interview in the newspaper or a sentence from a poem or podcast. It’s also helpful to schedule some time in for this, as otherwise it might not get done at all. It takes a couple of hours, but it’s absolutely worth it.
  • In Issue 30, you can read more about Caroline’s self-help booklet and how it helps her. Plus, we also included a little empty booklet with illustrations by Hadas Hayun, so you can get started yourself.

Text Caroline Buijs  Photography João Silas/