Friday, October 9, 2015

6 Ways to Use Graph Paper

I love graph paper! Now that it is out in the open, here is why: It has many valuable uses. The first one is traditional and mundane, the second came in handy for me at university, and the rest are more interesting.

1. Geometry and Calculus

In high school, we used graph paper in geometry class, then again in my calculus college class a long time ago. These were all done in pencil. (I have since learned that some people use pen to do math. I make too many mistakes.)

2. Economics

Five years ago, I tried to take Economics at when I was studying to get my MBA. I say "tried," because of the poor job my college economics teacher did. He told us not to buy the textbook - we would not need it. We would be using real life examples, instead. Funny, but my graduate school professor did not agree with him. (The college teacher was an adjunct who was not rehired, by the way.)

I realized before midterms that there was not a way in the world that I would be passing the test, much less the class. I asked to become a two-year student, which was usually only allowed for university employees. Before the next fall, I studied my notes very carefully and took a summer course for non-business majors going into the MBA program. 

And I developed a color-coding system for all the graphs we had to draw. The easiest way to draw graphs is on graph paper, right? I even used graph paper for my notes.

My system helped me to keep everything straight: Supply (S) = red, Demand (D) = blue, etc. I used graph paper for assignments and gave my professor an index card with my color key on it. He said he liked it, because it was easy for him to grade - no guessing at proportions since they were all graphed and ruled. (A little later, he said he wished others would do the same thing.) I passed Economics with a decent grade.

3. Rearranging furniture layouts without the heavy lifting. 

I do not know how she used to do it, but my mother was always rearranging the furniture. And I do not mean just around the room. I would leave for school in the afternoon with Room #1 being the living room and Room #2 being the dining room. When I came home, they would be reversed.  I never knew how the house would be situated from day to day. 

Not me. I plan my layouts ahead of time by measuring furniture pieces and room dimensions, including door openings and window placement. 

I then draw the furniture pieces onto graph paper, labeling them, and then cut them out. I do not have nimble fingers anymore, so the furniture pieces have to be big enough to be manipulated. Four squares to a foot seems to work best for me.  

I draw out the room(s) onto graph paper, also. I will tape  or glue pieces together to make the room layout to the same scale as the furniture. Once I am happy with the layout, I adhere the furniture to the paper.

This is very useful when one is moving residences, especially when using movers. Everyone will know where to put everything even without anyone having to direct them by referring to the chart. 

4. As a regular or bullet journal.

I discovered bullet journaling earlier this year and decided to make mine with graph paper. The squares make it easy to draw lines for monthly layouts, headings, and to keep writing straight.  I bought a blue Miquel Rius at

I adhered a lace and heart sticker I bought at Dollar Tree.

5. Create your own paper

I created this blue ombre graph paper using Excel. I am using mine to make my own bullet lists.

6. Create your own checklists
Blurred for privacy
How many ways can you think of? Let me know your suggestions in the comments below.



P.S. If you would like a copy of the papers, drop me an email: