Sketchbook/Notebook methodology

Sketchbooks and notebooks are one and the same when you are an artist. Sketches are notes and notes illustrations of moments of inspiration and enquiry.  The most important part of any system is to stay out of the way of creativity and spark that lights our fire. Pages of drawings can be free conventions unless deserving of categorization. 

Notebooks will have pages numbered before starting so as to allow for greater flexibility. This way, any page can be used day to day. 

Each page should be dated, have a heading and list attendees where applicable.

Index may be a useful addition if it doesn’t waste pages. Index could be a list of projects and relative page numbers listed in a row.

Daily list

Notebook is a perfect place for daily list management and lists should be rewritten at the end of each day.  TO-DO items can be generated organically or come from another system. Daily goals, targets and to-dos should be achievable in the time available, with new items being added organically throughout the day.  

Daily sweep

Lists and notes from the day should be reviewed and reorganized into a new daily list for the next day. Items rolling over should be assessed and or transferred into another system. 


Projects can be fleshed out and ideated in a notebook but should ultimately live in a more robust system where they can be managed and assigned effectively.

Notes are blocks of text without actions and can be of any length and can end in a page number at a later time to expand on an idea. p 22

Lists start with a bullet “•”. List items are assumed tasks that can be assigned or escalated to a project on another page. Events are denoted with an “o” URGENT items “[]” should be handled immediately or placed in a system/page better equipped to get it done. 

•     item one
•     item two
>    assigned – Fred
<    escalated to project p3
O   Meeting with Bobby
[]   URGENT to priority page or other system
✓  completed tasks get a tick
X   cancelled tasks get an x
–    waiting for others tasks to complete

List capture should be organic and free flowing with items being reprocessed, reconstructed or cancelled on the fly. As with a sketch it is vital that thoughts be able to flow rather than seeking perfection in either tone, structure or clarity.  


Post-its, napkins and other scraps of paper are an inevitable and valuable part of any functioning system and should be included in the daily sweep where the can become more permanent in nature and part of the broader system. 




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