Many thanks to Nicole Bianchi for her permission to post this excerpt:
Leonardo da Vinci. Marie Curie.
Thomas Edison. Beatrix Potter.
What do all four of these people have in common?
Not only were they highly motivated and creative individuals, but they also all kept an idea journal.
An idea journal is quite different from a diary. You use an idea journal not to record all of the things that happened to you throughout the day, but to jot down daily goals, achievements, opinions, observations, or bits of inspiration. If you’re working on a project, you can fill the idea journal with updates on your progress, thoughts on how to improve the project, and anything else that motivates you.
A writer’s idea journal might be filled with ideas for stories or articles or blog posts (no need to fear writer’s block when you have an idea journal). An artist’s might contain sketches or inspirations for drawings. Ultimately, the idea journal exists as a private place to plant your ideas and watch them grow.
Here are four reasons why you should keep an idea journal.
An Idea Journal Helps You Remember & Develop Ideas
Among Leonardo da Vinci’s many achievements, he was a brilliant artist, mathematician, engineer, scientist, and inventor.
In his notebooks, he filled pages and pages with sketches, scientific diagrams, ideas for new inventions, and reflections on art.
Because da Vinci was left-handed, he found it easier to write from right to left. That means his notes can only be read in a mirror. To make his writings even more private, he often employed a kind of shorthand and didn’t worry about perfect penmanship or proper punctuation.
What he did care about was carefully recording his lab notes and his many ideas for new inventions: everything from a flying machine to a submarine prototype.
Da Vinci’s notebooks ensured that he never forgot any of his ideas.
If you write down every great idea that comes into your head right away like da Vinci did, you will not have to worry about forgetting an idea ever again.
Further, the action of writing down an idea forces you to think more deeply about it.
The idea journal helps you clarify your thoughts and express them more clearly.