Keep a messy notebook.

This is a top tip for anyone coming up with ideas for product creation, marketing campaigns, plugins or anything else like that. Don't just keep a notebook... keep a MESSY notebook.

I'll explain.

If you get a new notebook you often refrain from making that first entry, it's almost like the notebook is somehow precious.  It takes time to get it "messy" which is when you real creative thinking can come out.

If you give yourself permission to just go for it from day one you don't curb any of that.  And if you scribble down every idea, variation on the idea, and so on you have an instant track back.

Some of my notebooks have the same thing drawn over and over where I am trying to crack a problem, it's just part of my process.  I don't care if it looks a waste of paper, notebooks are cheap and the more I doodle and scribble when planning the quicker I solve the problem or come up with a good idea.

I can look through an old notebook for inspiration, I have loose product ideas, some I never developed that I can revisit.  I have ideas for headlines and bits of sales copy.  I have every step scribbled in because I don't worry about keeping it neat and tidy.  Recently I started using notebooks without ruled lines, just plain paper.   No constraints - it kinda suits me.  I guess a bit like this maze challenge in the movie Inception:

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I am sure to many my notebooks look like the ramblings of a mad man.  But to me they are gold.  And they are only so precious to me because I wasn't precious about how I approached writing in them.