Saturday, January 16, 2010

Step 16: Little Black Book

On Friday I organized an innovation session at work to get a broad cross-section of my business partners to consider new product ideas that we should explore in 2010. Each exercise we did had a prize associated with it, and for one of those exercises I won a black moleskin appointment book. I keep all of my appointments in my calendar in my phone, so I wasn't quite sure what to do with this appointment book. It's much too sleek to let it go to waste.

I decided to record my daily "big thoughts" - inspirations for these blog posts, things I did especially well each day, and great opportunities for learnings. For the past two days, I've found myself recording new ideas and resources that I should tap for my various projects. This tiny black book has become a book of intentions.

For some time now I've been searching for and crafting the perfect filing system - a single place to keep all of my links, magazine articles, references grouped by project. I haven't been able to find that place just yet. I've tried my own excel spreadsheets, my Google inbox, Evernote, a number of online resources, an intricate paper filing system, etc. It seems I've tried just about every option and each falls short a bit. With the entry of this little black book, I realized that maybe that perfect filing system doesn't exist, and maybe it doesn't have to. Perhaps items of interest can, and should, be stored separately.

I started to image this little black book a year from now, pages and pages filled with inspirations, or at least pieces of inspirations. I imagined myself flipping back through its pages and being inspired all over again by the notes and messages scrawled across its pages in my own handwriting. Perhaps to build an extraordinary life we all need a place to record our wildest learnings and dreams. Perhaps in our commitment to write down these dreams, we have the greatest chance of bringing them to life.

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