3 simple habits that help me have and keep ideas

Bruno Rigolino on

I have ideas all the time.

When I don’t, I take a shower or a walk. There’s no shower I finish without something to write down or no walk without stumbling into an idea. When I’ve already taken a shower, or I’m not in the mood for a walk, I get a book to read. I always have ideas reading people's ideas.

Having ideas all the time is good. But only if you can keep them. To save ideas for later, you need to prepare yourself. Here are 3 simple habits I have:

#1 Read holding a pencil

I decided that I will highlight text and write in the margins of every book I read (and own), no matter how fancy its edition. I don’t think about it anymore. It’s like deciding if you are going to take pictures on a trip or not. You always take. Every journey deserves documenting. Every book I read deserves to have my personal touch.

#2 Take notes in plain text

It’s minimal, fast, and has constraints that prevent designers from wasting time with styling when they shouldn’t, and there are apps for almost every system you can possibly use. It’s searchable, light, and durable. I don't even have trouble meticulously organizing every note because I can use features like MacOS Smart Folders to organize and find anything in seconds.

#3 Tag bookmarks

I configured my browser to require tags every time I save a new bookmark. As a designer, I bookmark from font families to promising apps, tutorials, color palettes, etc. Without tags, hundreds of bookmarks become useless. There is no reason to curate links if you can't find, organize, and share them later.