What Can You Do with a 3″ x 5″ Index Card?

“What Can You Do with a 3″ x 5” Index Card?” by Joan Y. Edwards

Here are seven things you can do with a 3″ x 5″ inch index card:

  1. Fan yourself when it’s hot.
  2. Draw a picture on it and color it.
  3. Draw a map on it.
  4. Cut out a design.
  5. Glue the bottom and two sides to make a pocket
  6. Write words on one side or both sides.
  7. Fold it into a very tiny boat or other design.

If you’re inclined to write words on it, here are 20 suggestions of what to write on an index card:

  1. Leave a thank you note.
  2. Write a compliment for someone.
  3. Put a recipe on it.
  4. Write a list of top 3 must do items for the day.
  5. Write a list of stores where you shop.
  6. Make a grocery list.
  7. Make a list of your best friends and why you like them and what emotion you feel when you think of them.
  8. Make a list for Santa Claus.
  9. Make a list of reasons you’d visit someone.
  10. Put name, address, phone number, and email address.
  11. Write a list of 3 of your favorite movies and the emotion they bring to mind when you say the title.
  12. Write a list of 3 of your favorite TV shows and the action scene you liked best in each one.
  13. Write a list of 3 of your favorite books in a particular genre.
  14. Write a pitch for your story on it.
  15. Write a character sketch on it.
  16. Make a list of scenes for a book.
  17. Write number facts.
  18. Write spelling words for the week.
  19. Write new vocabulary words you want to learn and/or use in a blog post.
  20. Write possible test questions and your answer.

If you want to know about a few great digital note-taking ideas, check out my blog: Digital Notes – Post-It Notes and Sticky Notes http://joanyedwards.com/2011/07/25/digital-notes-post-it-notes-and-sticky-notes/



  1. Microsoft Templates for 3×5 and 4×6 Index Cards,” http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/index-cards-3-x5-and-4-x6-TC010253801.aspx
  2. Digital Notes – Post-It Notes and Sticky Notes http://joanyedwards.com/2011/07/25/digital-notes-post-it-notes-and-sticky-notes/

Thank you for reading my blog. Please leave a comment to let me know what you do with 3″ x 5″ index cards.

Celebrate you right now.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2014 -2019 Joan Y. Edwards

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10 thoughts on “What Can You Do with a 3″ x 5″ Index Card?”

  1. Joan,
    I write recipes on 3X5 cards. The smaller cards don’t contain enough space for me, usually. I have a wooden box that holds my 3X5 cards.

    I remember hearing that Michael Critchton is known for writing a plot point per index card until he has a shoe box full. Then he’s ready to begin writing his book. Isn’t this done with 3X5? Do I have this story correct?

  2. Joan, this post brings back memories of middle school. In history class we had to write out our entire rough draft on index cards and hand them in with our report. This particular teacher did this every year for every class-we used to joke that he used them to wallpaper his house! 🙂

    1. Dear Kathleen,
      Thanks for writing. Glad this brought back memories of middle school history class! Hmm! I had never thought about using 3×5 cards to wallpaper your home. There’s a new use!

      Did the teacher’s idea work for you? Did it help you get the steps for your paper in order? I’m thinking, it probably did a good job of it.

      Isn’t it interesting how different topics take us back to earlier times?
      Puff! and we’re back in middle school!

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Love you,

  3. Funny, I just had a mom at the playground ask me where she could buy index cards. She had gone to a discount store and a craft store and the cashiers DID NOT KNOW what index cards were. How is that possible? Well, I sent her to the office supply store, wondering why she hadn’t thought of that in the first place. Her answer? She’d never thought of them as office supplies – she needed them for a craft she found on Pinterest. Oh, what the world has come to. I personally use them to organize plot points, quiz my kids on their spelling and math, and track queries. –Katey

    1. Dear Katey,
      Thanks for writing and sharing your experience where a lady didn’t know where to buy index cards. It’s interesting that she had never thought of them as office supplies. Tracking queries on index cards is a great idea. Awesome! What a clever idea. Thanks for sharing it with me.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up

  4. I really enjoyed this one. Didnt know that there were so many ways to use an index card. – Angela

    1. Dear Angie,
      It’s so good to hear from you. Thanks for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed this post about 3×5 cards. You’re right. It’s amazing and surprising how many uses index cards have. I hope you are doing well.

      Love you,
      Never Give Up

  5. A lot of good ideas there. I put information about each chapter of my WIP on a card, like: Characters in that scene, Setting of that scene, and What happens. It helps me remember whether I’ve already said something before. 🙂

    1. Dear Beverly,
      Thank you for writing. I am glad you think there are a lot of good ideas for using 3×5 cards here. What a great idea to put each chapter of your Work in Progress on a card: characters in a scene, setting of that scene, and what happens in that scene. Thanks for sharing it. You’re right, keeping track of each chapter would help you remember when you said something so you don’t repeat it.

      Celebrate you right now.
      Never Give Up

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