Article 14: The Importance Of Writing Things Down



Kevin McGroarty - Round Table Member Since 2018

For the most part I’ve always kept a notebook on me. Like many (all?) of you, I get odd thoughts and inspirations throughout the day. I want to explore an idea with some writing or a sketch, or I hear about a TV show someone told me was good. Like many (all?) of you, my memory is turning mushier by the year. So I write things down in a series of notebooks. 

After I got a smartphone, I tried keeping track of things electronically, but I abandoned it after a few years of honest trying. I believe in the power of paper. Here’s why. The act of drawing and writing in a book is both an act of creation and editing. When I used my phone, it was too easy to just clip something without really processing it. Using pen and paper, I have to try to capture the essence of something, which engages my memory and creativity. Further, the relative permanence of paper and the analogue disorder of it creates some opportunities for discovery. I often come across something I wrote or doodled that I was not looking for but am glad I found in that moment. I can make connections between unrelated things. I can find themes of my interests. It is like browsing my mind without needing a psychologist. 


If you don’t journal or keep a notebook, I encourage you to try! At least for a few months. Don’t be intimidated. It isn’t about writing down your best stuff and it isn’t for anyone but you. It’s just a way to get down some of the little things that contribute to your fabulous self. To get started, check out bullet journaling. I am currently working with a very VERY light verson of it. I think it does a good job of lowering the stakes for journaling and gives ideas on how to keep everything in one book. I gladly moved to a one-book system. Now all my design, all my magic, my bits of quotes I love, ideas for gifts for friends and family, and all sorts more — all in one place. All lightly organized. Perfect.

Do you keep notes? How do you organize them?