I have an inexpensive wired notebook that I use for putting down brain stormed ideas, doodles, diagrams, client meeting notes, and daily journals. I number every page as I go, and I make sure to have it in my gear bag all the time. When I feel creative once in a while, I don’t want to leave my thoughts on loose sheets of paper, printer throw outs, napkins and such. Problem with scrap paper is that they get taken by people, or end up in a recycling bin. That would be such a waste of what money can’t buy so easily: IDEAS!
Getting into the creative mindset takes inspiration and practice. Once you are there, it lingers for a while and then fades away, during which you’d really want to document what is received by your mind, or else they get forgotten somewhere in the time-warp.
I guess I picked up the notebook concept in the Physics and Chemistry lab years ago when I was a college student. In the laboratory we were required to number every page of our lab notebooks, and record every observation and data all in ink. If a value was written wrong, we couldn’t just scratch or erase it. It had to be crossed over with a fine line, then accompanied by the new value and our initials. The idea was to take every observation seriously, because every trivial data found today, could become the key to solving complex problems later on. That’s how real scientists document their work.
In Computer Science, or Consulting I don’t take it to that extreme, for example I don’t always use ink to document my work. I prefer to use pencil and erasure specially when I’m solving a problem by drawing shapes, volumes and diagrams. Basically every problem solving method that requires the right side of my brain is better done by a medium that I can cross hatch or smudge with. For me Learning how to draw and illustrate really empowered the logical problem solving methods that I learned at school.
This low-tech approach has helped me stay inspired and aware of what I’m trying to accomplish through my projects. All it takes is to flip through my note-book and start where my thoughts were once interrupted.
[tags]brain storming, note taking, thinking process, creative state, rastin mehr, documentation[/tags]