Originally published on 2 March 2007.
This may seem out of place in a blog whose name contains “Palm”, but I thought it worth mentioning. In the article Use a notebook, the Daily Blog Tips offers up a great tip: Always Have A Notebook.
The article recommends having one next to the computer, but I find that it is good to carry one around all the time. I always have my Palm with me, and when I don’t have a notebook I will use it instead. But most times you will find I have some sort of notebook with me – usually one of my Moleskins.
Don’t get me wrong, I use my PDA for all sorts of things, and when the information is going to end up in the Palm, I will do the data entry there and save myself the transcription time. My PDA is my on-the-go reference file, rather than a true collection device, at least for things that won’t end up embedded somewhere on the device.
But most of my brainstorming, associations and doodling, things that may or may not have a “real” purpose is done on paper. I prefer to have a big blank page in front of me, with room to sketch, connect together, mindmap, sidetrack and whatnot. I prefer to design software on paper as well. My database designs are done on lined paper, and I find screen layouts are much easier to quickly produce on small-squared paper as well.
I’m also finding that I do better when I have my things to do mapped out in front of me. I’ve been using the bubble list from the Bubble Planner lately. It allows me to see what needs to be done, gives me the satisfaction of seeing all the stuff I’ve done in a given day, and the limited amount of bubbles reminds me I can’t get it all done.
When I’m on my way to work or a meeting or anywhere I might find myself with some extra time, I cart around my notes and design forms inside my Flylady Office In A Bag, a useful device that ensures I have my do-able stuff with me. Again, it’s paper based.
So I agree with the article. It’s important to have the materials at hand that allow me to be creative and spontaneous.