On Note-taking

Be ready.

Your ideas are like constellations of fireflies: multi-dimensional arrangements of sparks which, when viewed from a certain place can make a unique pattern visible only to yourself. Your notebook is your camera. Use it quickly and without hesitation or interruption.

The hesitation part, you have contol over; the interruption part, not so much. Last week, my daughter kept asking me, "where've the stars gone?" whenever the sun came out. I told her they were still there but you can't see them when the sky is so bright. This is the noise of everyday life: the TV, the radio, the internet, interruptions. Stimulus is a vital ingredient of creativity but you need to take yourself outside of all that noise once in a while, in order to see your constellations. That is when ideas become clear and you can note them down.

So un-plug from the information grid once in a while, let things become clearer and allow yourself to be surprised by what you find. Just don't forget your notebook.

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