How to Use Notebooks for Better Creativity

September 26, 2022

Why you should keep a notebook

Notebook by Charlie Naebeck. All Rights Reserved.

If you are like me, you run into mental roadblocks from time to time.

These are the moments where the brain freezes, and we lose all momentum and inspiration to create.

We forget all time and space and feel lost.

Some moments out of procrastination. Others out of lack of motivation.

And this is where I turn to my trusted notebook to start anew.

Why a notebook?

Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

A notebook or sketchbook can be a place to document ideas.

There are often times in life when you have a great idea and wish to remember something. Yet, you do not have the time to explore it to full fruition.

This is when you turn to your trusted notebook.

Its blank pages allow you to write, draw, paste ideas, collect photographs, and more.

It never judges what is in its realm. It only holds what you hold most dear for you to re-explore.

And it can be a great way to organize what is in the mind’s eye to understand.

I perform brain dumps where I free write everything in my mind and then re-organize and order things.

Revisiting ideas

Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash

A notebook can also become a time capsule.

When you are bored or uninspired, it is there for you to revisit ideas.

I can’t count how often I needed an idea for a photo shoot or to write an article where my notebook saved me.

It can hold what you need until you are ready to go forth.

Keeping track of progress

Photo by Hayley Murray on Unsplash

A notebook can be your best ally if you are like me and find motivation by looking back at how you have progressed.

You can use it as a journal to document a time in your life.

It can be a way to keep yourself accountable for your goals.

And you can remember important things or moments in your life.

Sometimes it is easy to get distracted daily, and a notebook can be a great way to remember what is essential.

Goodbye distractions, hello notebook

Photo by Svyatoslav Romanov on Unsplash

In 2022 it can be effortless to get distracted. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes but can be particularly luring by technology.

You tell yourself that you will check your socials once more before you finish something. It always happens three hours later.

You check text messages and emails and read other articles on Medium. Yet, several hours later, you have still not accomplished anything.

Put away the technology. Lock it in a closet with a timed lock if you must.

Take your notebook into nature or your favorite spot on an adventure with you. Write, draw, and work to your heart’s content.

I leave a session with my notebook feeling much more accomplished than a computer.

And it is tangible. Paper feels good in the hands.

Find your favorite writing utensil, or get creative by committing things to your notebook.


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Even if you are an accomplished individual in your life, a notebook can also keep track of triumphs and ideas.

Keeping a notebook is also a tremendous cathartic experience to give your mind a rest from a long day.

Sometimes giving yourself fifteen minutes to create something in your notebook can save the day.

And other times, your notebook can be the difference between losing a client and gaining a client when you need ideas.

Your notebook is there for you no matter what you do and where you go.

Hi, I am Charlie Naebeck
I am a husband, professional photographer, teacher, writer, and digital nomad. 
I travel the world with my family and camera giving others the gift of photography. 
Contact me here to book a photography lesson.
Or find my digital classes and Ebooks on Gumroad or Udemy. 
Voted in the top 10 photography teachers in NYC. Top photography writer on Medium. I also have written for The Phoblographer, Adorama, Dpture, and more.
If you like what you read, please consider giving me a follow on Medium.
Thank you!

How to Use Notebooks for Better Creativity was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.