This post has been in the back of my mind for a while but after an incident over the weekend I thought I should write something which illustrates my point here perfectly. According to studies the typical person has about 50,000 thoughts a day. In amongst this massive array of thinking, problem solving, dreaming etc we have ideas. Some are good, some are bad. But what happens to the good ones? Some are forgotten, others acted upon in the moment and others just pushed to the back of the mind until recovered again. With so many good ideas going through our heads on a day-to-day basis how can we possibly keep track of them all?
Dreams are a good example of what happens with memory retention. We have all had dreams where we have woken up and can remember everything that happened. But ask us again by the end of the day “What happened in your dream? Now the dream is not so sharp in our minds. What happens next week or a month later if we are asked? Many of us have completely forgotten. This is the same for ideas.
As designers ideas are like water to us. Creativity stems from this and as we are creative people we tend to be looking for sparks or ideas left, right and center. This is why the sketchbook is an invaluable tool. By merely jotting down some notes, making a sketch, writing a reference we can set a stone in the road to always find our way back to that idea. Also the added benefit is that an idea which may not have been useful at the time may be perfect for a problem a ways down the line.
The reason which jolted me into doing this post was that I misplaced one of my sketchbooks when I needed it. I had recorded an idea and information around it which would solve a problem I had but I couldn’t remember everything about the idea. After searching for the sketchbook I finally found it and realised its importance.
So if your designer or developer or anyone in creative field, get yourself a sketchbook or a journal and keep those ideas recorded. You never know, they might help you out of a pinch one day.