Journal-keeping made simple. Capture your insights; Remember your ideas

Journal-keeping made simple. Capture your insights; remember your ideas

Steps to Knowledge encourages keeping a journal. It need not be a dull exercise.

R. Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome and global thinker, said: "you have ten minutes at your disposal to put an idea into action before it goes back to dreamland."
The simplest action is to trap your idea: write it out, sketch it, record in audio or video on a smart phone, and note date/time.

We’ve all had brilliant ideas, only to lose them to “dreamland”. To prevent such loss is one great reason to start and keep a journal, to trap your creative ideas. Here are simple steps to get yours started.

1. Get a standard composition book. Colors and designs are options. Long term, black and white is simple and less costly. I’ve got over 30 years’ worth. Decorate the cover if you wish.

2. Get a writing instrument. Keep it with the journal. A mechanical pencil with .7 HB lead works well for me. Thicker and thinner leads are available. Pencil can be corrected and won’t run if water gets on it. I’ve used ink pens in the past, but inks can be a problem. Whatever you use, keep refills handy. A plastic sheet or piece of heavy paper should be used as a pad, so the pencil (or pen) doesn’t cut through the paper.

3. First line, first page, write the time to left of the margin line, then day and date to the right:

10 am     │Thursday, January __, 2___

4. Write something/anything. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, but be sure to check it later to make sure you can read what you wrote.

                │ I am starting this journal because I get great ideas...

10:35 a   │ That wasn’t too bad. …

10:15 p   │ Friday, January __, 2___
                  Busy day; no time to write. One thought ….

5. Once started, your goal is to make at least an entry a day, even if it is only the date. Now that there’s a place to record ideas, thoughts, questions and moods, and review them each week, you can grow your creative ideas. It is a Star Trek Captain’s log of your space journey.

6. For privacy, don’t put your name on it. If it gets lost – too bad, just try to get the best ideas into the next volume. You can make your own code/language. Once you’ve filled a book, put the beginning and ending dates on the front. Then store them; read them – have fun watching your ideas grow.

7. You may not want to carry it around, so used 3 x 5 index cards, a sticky note or send yourself a text or email, or voice recording of your ideas. It is a place to noodle-out problems and opportunities. This conversation with yourself can help when you are mad at the world, which is energy, a fuel that fuels creativity.

8. Overnight success takes 20 years. Your best ideas may take your whole life to achieve. You may need more education, work experience and even, that other things be invented. If your ideas are that good and no one else is doing them, maybe that’s your purpose in life – what God wants you to do.

9. Have fun, creative ideas can be both serious and silly, there is no way to do it wrong. If your memory is perfect, then even a blank book will have been a success, since you remembered it all.