Design Basics: Always carry a notebook

coffee cup and journal

AThere isn’t one prolific creator of any kind that I know that hasn’t abided by the policy of carrying a notebook. I have stacks of Moleskine notebooks on my bookshelves. All the projects, books, and ideas that I’ve turned into reality started in the pages of my notebooks.


Ideas show up at odd times

If you haven’t noticed, ideas don’t always show up according to our schedule. The muse is a fickle mistress who makes appearances at her own convenience.

  • If you let it, a notebook can become a platform for your imagination

  • It can give you the opportunity to rewrite the story of your life.

  • It can enable you to create more than you consume

If you’re going to consistently come up with ideas to write about or do something with, you have to be able to capture them regardless of when they show up. Or in the words of Allen Ginsberg, “if the muse comes to your bedside don’t tell her you’ll f#$# her later.”

Notebooks are fertile soil for creative seeds

Creative success requires us to plant seeds and play the infinite game. A notebook is fertile soil in which you can plant those seeds. While you could plant the same seeds on your computer, just think of all the other seeds that have been planted there. The likelihood of the seed bearing fruit in a digital wasteland is lessened.