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Take Notes

By Kim Vandenbroucke

Inventor, Innovator and Blogger

Brainy chick, Inc. and The Game Aisle When I started in this business I had a co‐worker who carried a little notebook with him and wrote down every idea he had – the good ones, the bad ones and the myriad of those in between. I quickly followed suit and found it to be one of the best habits I could have ever developed as an inventor and designer because ideas can be fleeting. One minute it’s there and the next your cell phone beeps with four new txt messages about a gif with a dog and a baby, and before you know it the idea has moved on. Poet Ruth Stone said she could feel the poems coming through the air at her and she knew she had to grab a pencil and paper quick or they would pass her by. Picasso said that when he started to work ideas would “well up in his pen” and he would try to capture as many as he could. Rod Serling, creator of Twilight Zone, said, “Ideas are probably in the air, like little tiny items of ozone.” Alll of these great artists agree that ideas do not appear fully formed nor do they come when we are searching, but something around us triggers them and we are tasked with capturing them lest they be lost. At times this may be difficult. Great ideas never seem to arrive at a convenient time. They manifest themselves when we are in the shower, driving cross country, during a dinner party ‐‐ but it’s our job as inventors and designers to hold tightly to these idea seedlings and give them a chance to develop into something further. Granted, some ideas take months, if not years to grow, but they’ll never reach their fulll potential if they aren’t captured in some way when they first make themselves known. Why the “pen and paper” portion of the title? Yes, we all have portable technology that never leaves our sides that can store thousands and thousands of ideas without nderstand the concept. cluttering our desks and offices with tons of paper. Our technology is easily searchable and can even translate verbal ideas into text, so why am I so insistent on using the very dated method of putting pen to paper? It has to do with the way our brains work. Psychological Science had a paper in it earlier this year that insists that taking notes by hand not only boosts the memory, but its ability to retain and un

Back in 2011, another study showed that the physical act of holding a pencil and writing something down attached additional information to the memory than if it had been typed, overall making it easier to recall in the future. So the question becomes – do you want to remember what that special feeling that waas there when you first encountered the seed of your idea? Will you remember all of thee details that were swirling around it that you might not have captured in your quick succinct note? If you’ve typed it, you might not recall it, but if you picked up a pen or pencil it could make all the difference.

(November 2014)

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