Archive for August, 2010

Why You Really Need to Carry a Pocket Notebook

August 26, 2010

One of my all-time best practices as a thinker is to carry a pocket notebook. This allows you to capture ideas at the moment they occur to you. Recording an idea at the moment of inspiration is crucial, as you will lose most ideas if you wait to write them down later.

A great article on this topic appears on Brett and Kate McKay’s Art of Manliness web site — see “The Manly Tradition of the Pocket Notebook.” The McKays found some great historical quotes about pocket notebooks, such as this one from a doctor, written in 1918:

When I started in practice, I got in the habit of putting many of my spare moments (had plenty of them!) into studying up some of the rarer diseases that we had to deal with. I would read up all I could find on one subject, then I would take some time in thinking it over, then I would formulate a plan of treatment and write it out in a pocket-notebook. In after years, that old notebook helped me out of a good many difficult situations; and some of the best work I have ever done has come from those notes.

From Toothpaste for Dinner comes this great cartoon:

Why you need to write down your ideas

AB — 26 August 2010

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