Benefits of an Idea Journal

Idea Journal640


Many people keep journals.  Journals can be for anything.  Dreams, thoughts, sketches, finances, baby books, quotes, etc.  Recently, I've noticed a lot of creatives talking about idea journals and inspiration files.

I tend to keep lists in journals, but have only been keeping a real journal for less than a year.  The more I read about idea journals, the more I think it's something I should give a try.

How can we benefit from an idea journal?

  • Ability to keep track of thoughts and ideas every minute of every day.  I don't know about you, but I have a very active mind.  Tons of ideas run through my head, but most get forgotten.  How many times have you thought of doing something, took two steps and completely forgot what you were just going to do?  Don't you just hate that?!
  • Taking the time the write things down, would provide a huge pool of ideas to work with.  No longer needing to scrounge around trying to come up with something to research, write about or create.  No more wasting time trying to remember that awesome idea you had an hour ago.
  • Writing down all your wonderful ideas will leave your brain to be able to clear out some of the clutter.  Once on paper, the thoughts voluntarily leave your brain to open up space for brand new thoughts.
  • Reviewing your idea journal can provoke brainstorming of new ideas.  The same idea may sprout out into many different roads.
  • You will build confidence in your ability to be creative.  The proof of your brain hard at work will be spewed all over your journal pages.

I've been thinking what's the best way to keep an idea journal.  I'm debating over a small notebook or using my iPhone.  I'm going to give my iPhone a go first, since I always have it next to me.  A notebook would be one more thing for me to remember!!

I can use the Notes app, the voice recorder app and even my camera to keep track of my ideas.  The voice recorder will be most helpful when driving.  I think a lot when I'm alone in my car.  Mindfulness is very important as well.  I need to make a conscious effort to keep my idea journal at the front of my brain.  Otherwise, I may forget to use it.

Organization is key for me as well.  I can be a tad bit OCD about certain things.  For me, I feel I'd work better if I periodically transferred my ideas into a spreadsheet.  I can create tabs to keep things organized by topic or whatever kind of organization I end up needing.

Tomorrow is my start date.  I hope my idea journal proves to be a successful quest to enhancing my creativity!

Do you have an idea journal?  How do you keep track of your ideas?  Notebook, computer, PDA?  Please comment and tell us what you find helpful and what just did not work for you.



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Hmmm, I need to check out the Lists app, haven’t see that one. I just bought a little handmade journal. It’s so pretty! New journals are fun!

Lisa R. Ullrich

I use the notes app on my iPhone to jot down ideas, creative sparks, quotes. Then I use the Lists app to note down to-do things. I then work things out in a bit more detail in my sketchbook (I got a new Moleskine sketchbook the other day, I LOVE it! I’m using it to sketch painting ideas, practice sketching and jot down thoughts as well). Iris xx


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