1. Shopping Lists
Yes, I keep a stack of index cards in a drawer for my shopping list. Instead of paper which can be easily ripped or crinkled, index cards are thicker and, when I reach into my purse, I can easily find the card without having to look for it. Shopping list index cards also fit neatly into a back pocket and are a great way to hand the shopping over to the teenagers for the day.
2. Plot Out a Book
Plotting a book out on index cards may seem old fashioned, but it still works like a charm. I spent my early writing years plotting books and articles on index cards. For my non-fiction pieces, I would break the book or article down into smaller topics and label each card with a topic. I’d research each topic and scribble my notes down on the cards. By the time I was done, I was able to organize my cards into a book or article and begin my typing.
3. Emergency Phone Numbers
I remember the days when I memorized not only my home number, but also the phone numbers of all my friends and family members. Since the cell phone, I have lost this ability because I only need to scroll down to the name I want to call and I never look at the phone number.
What if you are out and need to call someone? Your phone dropped or the battery ran out and you don’t have any of those important numbers memorized?
I keep an index card in my car with all my important phone numbers and I keep one in my purse. If at any time, for any reason, I can’t access my cell phone, I can still use someone else’s phone to call the person I need to contact.
4. Idea Box
Index cards are great for jotting down ideas. You can easily buy an index card box, sold in most stationary or office supply stores, and keep a box of ideas in your office. These can be ideas for books, writing, vacation plans or dreams, and just about anything else.
5. To-Do Lists
Being a stickler for making daily to-do lists, index cards are my best friend. At night, before going to bed, I grab an index card and begin jotting down the things I need to do the next day. In the morning, I grab my scribbled card and take it to my working area where I begin the day’s tasks. When I am through with the list, it goes into the paper recycling box.
6. Tracking Bills and Payments
You can use index cards as motivation to pay off bills. What you do is write the name of the bill and the amount owed on it. Each month when you make a payment, you keep a log of it on your index card. This is also a handy way to keep track of what you paid, when, and how much.
What mom hasn’t used index cards for their favorite recipes? Copy your family’s favorite recipes onto index cards and keep them in a box. This will allow you and your family to quickly find the recipes when it comes time to making a meal or a batch of cookies.
8. Quick Flashcards
When my two oldest children were little, I made a bunch of index cards into flash cards for them. Now that I have a 2-year-old, I find myself doing it all over again. I create flashcards for shapes, colors, letters, and numbers. If a card gets messed up, who cares? I can easily make a replacement.
9. Random Thoughts
As a writer, random thoughts and ideas can pass between my ears at any time. If I am someplace where I can’t type on my phone without getting dirty looks, I will revert to the use of an index card and a small pen. Both of these items can fit into a pocket and most people don’t get upset if you suddenly whip out pen and paper to write something. Actually, most people react baffled by it.
10. Affirmations and Inspiring Quotes
Whether you are trying to incorporate a good habit into your life or you need an emotional pick-me-up, index cards are perfect for writing down positive affirmations and inspirational quotes. Keep an index card in your pocket, wallet, or tape it up on the refrigerator as a constant reminder to think positive and make positive changes.