If you want to be more creative and develop better ideas, one of the first steps should be to start an idea journal… your place to jot down ideas, questions, and observations… anything that comes to mind.
Your journal could take any form ranging from 3×5 cards tucked into a pocket or purse to a computer-based system. No matter which system you choose… the secret is selecting something you can keep with you at all times that allows you to write down thoughts whenever they come to mind.
Having your idea journal handy when you have a neat idea, inspiration, or a question it will allow you to capture ideas before they slip away.
Michael Gelb in his book How To Think Like Leonardo writes…
“Busy lives and job responsibilities tend to drive us toward hard conclusions and measurable results, but the exploratory, free-flowing, unfinished nonjudgmental practice of keeping a notebook encourages freedom of thought and expansion of perspective.”
Below I’ve listed potential approaches for your journal.
- 3×5 cards
- Small Spiral Assignment Pad
- Composition Notebook – you can find these in the stationary section at grocery, drug, office and art supply stores.
Do It Yourself Planner – From the D*I*Y Planner website, download and print templates to create your own planner system.
The Hipster PDA – The Hipster PDA is a fully customizable organizer for your data. Settings are easy to customize, never needs rebooting, and costs pennies to operate.
Levenger 3×5 Solutions – Low tech, but high class… Levenger offers really cool tools supporting the use of 3×5 cards.
Office OneNote 2003 – especially great if you have a Tablet PC
- Personal Information Managers (software) Search – via c|Net Download.com
Digital Recorders – via Amazon Search
iPod Voice Recorders – via Google Search