Thursday, February 11, 2010

Write It Down

That small but potentially great idea you had this morning? Although it seems unforgettable, you might not remember it this evening. You probably won't remember it next week.

Write it down.

I carry around a Moleskine notebook to jot down good ideas that occur when one would least expect them. It is seldom out of reach. I keep the old notebooks and periodically scan them to trigger memories of past thoughts or to nudge me into new ones. Upon reflection, not all of the ideas are worthy of action and yet even the marginal thoughts may lead to one that is promising.

Despite having a very good memory, I have found that the most creative ideas are as soft as feathers. Unless quickly captured, they can float away.

And in a competitive world, you don't want to lose those feathers.


Jeff said...

Moleskines are great but heck, you don't even have to go that far - a simple pocket-sized memo book can do that. Find 'em in Staples, or even the local supermarkets. I've got one in each of the back pockets or jackets that I own.

Have a habit of using my camera phone lately - if something catches my eye, or stimulates a thought, I take a quick photo and then "attach" the thought to the image.

I've even been known to take photos of the title pages of books I want to read when I don't have one of my notebooks handy.

And even been known to "liberate" one of those pesky BRCs that keep falling out of magazines to jot down some quick ideas.

When desperate, I've been known to go Palin - that is, write on the palm of my hand. Also. :)

Necessity is the mother, etc...

- Jeff

Michael Wade said...


I like the Moleskine notebooks because they look good, they have a pocket for business cards, and because their expense causes me to be more careful about misplacing them. You are, however, absolutely correct. The key thing is to preserve the thought. I regularly find little notes in my coat pockets. They've been scrawled on napkins, magazine pages, whatever was most convenient. It's all part of that coveted absent-minded professor persona. But it works.