Ways to Use a Zine Format

The format of the zine – an eight-page book created from one piece of paper (typically letter size) has a variety of uses. In a previous post I described how I created a mini workbook based on my book Story Secrets from Scripture.

In this post you’ll find eight uses for the zine format.

Quick NotebookFold a blank sheet of paper into the zine format. I keep one of these notebooks on my desk for quick notes and arithmetic that is not important to put in either my planner or my pocket notebook. This is a great way to recycle paper printed on one side.

Interactive Bookmark – Use the quick notebook as an interactive bookmark simply by keeping it in a magazine or book that you’re reading. Write down ideas, new vocabulary, or interesting information to research later.

Presentation Planning – Two 2-inch by 1.5-inch sticky notes fit on each zine page. Rearrange the notes to enhance your presentation. Because of the zine format, all of the design work is self-contained in a small package. Plus, you can unfold the zine to see all slides at once.

Weekly Log – Since the zine format has eight pages – a cover plus seven additional pages – it is perfect for weekly log or expense tracker. Logs and trackers are most effective when they’re accessible. The zine format is conveniently pocket size, so you can alway keep your tracker with you.

Book Planning – As you can tell, I like to do planning on paper. For a future post on slide design ideas, I first sketched out the content in the zine format. Even if you desire a traditional length book, the zine format is perfect for brainstorming a few chapter titles and outlines of content.

Travel Journal – Some creatives spend hours creating scrapbooks for life events. I am not one of them. However, I do like to keep records of trips, with notes any memorabilia collected along the way. The zine format is perfect because each page is small and the number of pages is limited.

Coloring Book – Several apps are available that can take a photo and transform it into a line drawing. I used ToonCamera for the coloring page below. It is also possible to create the same effect using Adobe Photoshop or other tools. Artists could, of course, simply draw line art suitable for coloring.

Mini Book/Workbook – With a little effort, you can design a zine that addresses a specific topic. I like this format because your audience can print a zine at home and then quickly fold it into the zine booklet. I’ll be sharing a few mini workbook zines as part of this series.

As with traditional magazines, each of these uses can be reproduced, although you may not want of hand out copies of your expense tracker. Unfold the zine to restore the letter size page and copy it. The image below is a copy on my multi-function printer of the travel journal page I used above.

View all of the posts in this zine series.

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