Notebooks are the secret-weapon tool of champions. No doubt about it: The very best creative, artists, leaders and all-around-groovy people I’ve met are aficionados of the notebook.
The little notebook stays with you 24/7 and acts as an extension of your memory and your mind that is pre-formatted for creativity and idea generation and it will serve you tirelessly forever… if you do it.
Nothing fancy, it requires only that you can carry it with you everywhere and that you use it.
What goes into it? Everything you want to remember but mostly you capture all the little ideas and brainstorms that you have from time to time, and all of your observations as you about the world.
If you pre-format the notebook for the categories of observation you wish to make, then the notebook becomes an external part of your thinking.
Into the notebook goes EVERYTNING you pick up or hear or think that you like – everything.
When you need a creative idea, start with your current notebook, then search your older ones if you empty and starts flipping pages looking for information or something that inspires you.
On many occasions you will make unusual pairings between unlikely items, and then combine them into new and original ideas.
I know a graphic designer who keeps a small sketch pad with him, and he draws thousands of small pictures of many different things he sees or encounters. He won’t use a camera because “cameras lie, as they don’t have to go all the way through me”. Another great producer who really gets it.
Figure out what you need or want to track. Set it up. Make it a habit in using it and you will enjoy great benefits.