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The psychologists say that we learn more taking notes by hand than we do taking notes on a laptop. Writing by hand allows us to not only store information, but more importantly to internalize the information. I know that when I need to learn something I write it down. Typically I never need to look at that note again as the act of writing itself has imprinted the information somewhere accessible in my brain. So there is some sort of problem solving that occurs between the pen, the hand and the brain.

Same with any other type of journaling, whether with words or pictures or both. Taking pen to paper (or pencil if that’s your thing like it is my friend Jane’s) is a great way to clear cobwebs, to answer questions and to ask the questions, to doodle a new idea with no pressure, and sometimes to just daydream while some other part of your brain is solving a life changing problem. Sketchbooks and notebooks and journals take us places that computers can’t. And it’s not necessarily about being able to draw…it’s about being able to think without thinking.

Notebooks are a place to think without thinking. Click To Tweet

Here are a few places to check out other people’s notebooks and maybe inspire you to get back to your own.

Austin Kleon: This isn’t his actual journal, it’s a journal he created to be his favorite journal. It’s pretty cool…I bought one when I heard him speak a couple of months ago. Click here to see how people use this journal.

Co.Design: Here’s a great story with pictures of the sketchbooks of 16 current designers.

Lynda Barry: Ms Barry is a cartoonist, so her Syllabus is full of drawings. And a whole lot of words.

Brain Pickings: Maria Popova put together a compilation of sketchbooks of all kinds of creators from architects to street artists.

Now I’m off to my own journal….have a great weekend and keep in touch,