Should you write down every idea you have?

Do you write down every idea you have and store them up or do you let them ruminate and see if they develop and nag at you till you can’t ignore them anymore? Depending on the situation, either one might be the right move.


The argument for writing it down

Pen and ink

There is no scientific evidence that suggests writing with a pen or pencil on a piece of actual paper makes a difference in the quality of ideas or the determination to execute it … but there is something that switches in your mind when you change up your medium of brainstorming.


In order to jog your memory, writing down ideas and phrases and concepts can lead you to combine things in new ways and create something that is very “you.” Plus, then you won’t forget that genius thing you had a dream about three weeks ago. 

Try a Commonplace Book

This type of notebook, used by past presidents and artists alike, is a place where you store anything you see that inspires you. The modern equivalent would be a Pinterest board. Quotes, images, concepts, articles, ideas - it’s all in one place to help you.

The argument against writing it down


Have you ever tried talking out an idea with a trusted friend or colleague? Verbal brainstorms can help you gauge outside interest in your concept, and will help you work out kinks in real-time, instead of in an editing phase.

Forget the planning phase

If you’re able, don’t take the time to brainstorm. Just start. Sometimes it is a scary thing to jump in with nothing but an idea, but it can help you stretch different muscles to be reactive to your art instead of proactive about an idea.

Are you a fan of keeping track of your ideas and reviewing them, or do you go where the wind takes you? Let us know in the comments!