I've been keeping notebooks, sketchbooks, and journals pretty much as far back as kindergarten and with daily regularity since my late teens. I've got notebooks for important purposes—a hardcover 5 x 8.25" Moleskine notebook for my bullet journal planner, a big journal for freewriting answers to tough questions when I'm looking for insight, several sizes of notebooks for personal study and random thoughts, a notebook for haiku, and several practice sketchbooks. Notebooks are so commonplace in my life that honestly, I'm more likely to leave my left foot at home.
Occasionally, though, I like to shake the dust off of my mind for a fresh perspective by changing my writing context. This is when I most often turn a tiny notebook that takes a single sheet of paper, one minute, and no tools to make but my hands. Read on for instructions!
There's nothing like taking a tour inside the mind of an artistic genius (especially if your tour guide is himself an acclaimed artist) and that's exactly what Sidney Lumet did with his 2006 documentary Sketches of Frank Gehry about one of the most well respected architects of our time. You should absolutely see it if you haven't, but in the meantime, check out the craziness that is Gehry's initial sketches of some of his most famous buildings...
Few artists have had as deep impact on the lives of more people than Susan Kare. Millions, if not billions, of people's experiences with computers are easier and more intuitive thanks to her. Her name may not be familiar to everyone, but her work is: she was the graphical user interface pioneer who created the original icons for Apple computers, transforming modern personal computing into what it is today.
In the era of smart phones, tablet pcs, and very useful, well-designed computer-based to-do apps, there's still something quite organic and almost human about scraping a pencil across the fibers of a piece of paper. So, even the most wired-up creative set still keep a notebook around - for speed, accuracy, and sometimes, inspiration.
The Moleskine has become the standard, due in large part to a clever marketing approach at the Barnes and Noble superchain, who entice would-be highbrow superstars to use the same notebook used by Picasso, Matisse, and Hemingway. But despite their beauty, Moleskines are ludicrously overpriced. And...we never buy what we can make.