On Keeping a Notebook in the Digital Age

A few days ago I had a moment of sheer panic because I couldn’t find a pen. I went through the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross stages of penlessness (Denial: Maybe I don’t need a pen? I don’t need a pen! Anger: Where is my goddamned pen?! Bargaining: If you give me your pen, O nice, accommodating waiter, I’ll leave you a bigger tip) and finally got to the final stage, Acceptance: Alternatives to Pen.

In Scott Belsky’s book, Making Ideas Happen (also recommended, especially if you manage people in a creative industry), he distinguishes between ideas and “action steps” — separating your notes, sketches, etc., from things that need to be done.