I love notebooks, sketchbooks, journals, and anything else I can use to write in, draw in, or create in. I believe that Leonardo daVinci had it right because his notebooks have been the inspiration for many for many years. He used the notebooks to capture ideas, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. He utilized those notebooks to retain fleeting, tangential, or recurring ideas. These notebooks are priceless.
I came to appreciate the value and treasure of daVinci’s notebooks after listening to the audio version of Michael Gelb’s How to Think Like Leonard daVinci. In the book Gelb has boiled daVinci’s thoughts and inventions down to seven principles. The principles are inspiring and utilizing them to expand your creative potential will take you far.
The number of notebooks I have is almost comical. I collect notebooks, especially this time of year when the kids go back to school because they are on sale. I’m not a spiral notebook kind of guy because there’s too much potential to tear out a page you don’t like, think is stupid or crazy. It’s important to retain those pages because they can be the springboard for your next idea journey.
Keeping the notebooks/journals/sketchbooks allows us to marvel at our own talent. We’re able to reflect on our creative journeys. When you keep your past work you’re able to experience the shifts in your creative energies, the change in your sources of inspiration, and the lessons you’ve learned from ultimate self-expression.
I believe in this premise so strongly that I give notebooks as a gift to those who participate in exercises when I speak to groups. I want to spread the wisdom of the notebook, a central place for collecting information and inspiration. It doesn’t mater if you’re an artist, a computer programmer, a chef, a physician, or any other profession; we all have ideas that we want to be able to follow-up on later and they need to be in one place (or multiple notebooks if you’re me).
Try following in daVinci’s footsteps and see how your creative energies blossom!
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