Keeping an Idea Journal

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

napkin notebook

Writers and artists scribbling on napkins is a cliche and for good reason: one of the biggest keys to creativity is being able to recognize it anywhere and being ready for it at any time. A brilliant idea doesn't necessarily wait for a convenient time to strike; in fact it rarely does. Often, our best ideas come when we are running errands, having lunch with a friend, etc. To capture these ideas, carry a small journal with you in your purse or car so that you can jot down your ideas at any given time. If it's not written down, you will most likely forget it as that moment passes, and when you get back to your desk, the idea will be gone or fragmented and not as fresh as it was when it first struck you.

Some of my best and favorite ideas for tablescapes and event design haven't come while I was in front of my computer, but rather while I was away from work. The same goes for some epiphanies I've had about my business and how I want to run the administrative side of things. My current journal is one I picked up at a bookshop in Chicago and it has one of those elastic bands that goes around it so that my pens and Burt's Bees chapstick don't get stuck in between the pages as they all find their home at the bottom of my handbag. By being prepared for inspiration, you just may find that you're inspired more often and that your ideas get bigger, better, and push the creative envelope more than they may have before.

{photo: Napkin Notebook from the MoMA Store, first seen on Kelly Ashworth's blog}

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