Get a notebook; use it hazardously; watch madness ensue

“To help yourself to cultivate serendipity, you should keep a notebook with you at all times. The moment any idea or observation comes, you note it down. You keep the notebook by your bed, careful to record ideas that come in those moments of fringe awareness — just before falling asleep, or just upon waking. In this notebook you record any scrap of thought that occurs to you, and include drawings, quotes from other books, anything at all. In this way, you will have the freedom to try out the most absurd ideas. The juxtaposition of so many random bits will be enough to spark various associations.”

Robert Greene

I’m calling it my haphazard – unorganized mess – notebook, and I can’t believe I haven’t thought of it before. Outside of a date denoting new days, it will be complete mind dump.

And that passage right there? The passage I quoted? I read it and became enlivened. I was so excited that when my manager told me he was going to get a haircut I said, You’re a beautiful man, but if you feel that’s something you need to do, then I encourage it.

I cannot believe I haven’t thought of this before. Think of Leonard da Vinci: he had a notebook. Charles Darwin. Nicola Tesla. Geniuses throughout history kept track of their running thoughts through notebooks.

I’ve been using Evernote for my note-taking but no longer — there is freedom in expression when you only have a pen, paper, and burning ideas. And I’m really, really stoked to follow in the footsteps of Greats.

That may be me getting ahead of myself. I’m really excited about using a notebook for haphazard idea planning, but so be it.


Get a notebook. Use it haphazardously.

Watch madness ensue.


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