The special thing about notes
If you have an idea, write it down. That is so important. Keep a notebook or use the notes function on your phone or tablet. Just be sure to write down every idea. Firstly, because you’ll forget it. Secondly, because that note might not have relevance now but you might come back to it much later and find value in it. Thirdly, because old notes can inspire entirely new ideas and lead you in all sorts of directions.
Notes are where ideas are stored.
But note-taking is much more than that. I have only truly realised recently just how many notes I make. I have physical notebooks all over the place, old and new. My devices are filled with pages and documents. And they aren’t just a place where ideas sit to be used later – they are where ideas are actually formed and are shaped and become so much more than they once were.
You know those scenes in movies where a mathematician has worked out a problem and there are equations all over the walls eventually leading to some breakthrough? Those are my notes. You can’t retain all that stuff in your head at once. When you focus on one part of your concept, you generally do so at the expense of the other pieces. Whereas working through them in notes puts them down so you can move on from them, or move around them or play with them.
It is like forming a mind. Every doodle, each scribbled sentence is like a neuron. Can’t do much on its own but keep adding to it and amending and growing and one day something sparks and you have created life.
And when you are dealing with your own notes, they’re just for you. You don’t have to show your process. You don’t have to show the directions that didn’t work. The little disasters. The crazier thoughts. But it is so important you try those things and work through them.
So take notes. But also play with notes and doodle and scribble and write and add and amend and create. There is life to be found in notes.