I now have a different notebook for each different aspect of my work: my spiritual/inspirational studies, my practical duties, the lessons I teach in church, my writing inspiration/life. Each novel I'm working on gets its own notebook as does my piano practice and even my gardening.
I know that sounds ridiculous. That means right now I have ten different notebooks I'm using for various things, but it organizes my brain. I focus better when I write things down, when I doodle, when I sketch. I'm more on top of everything when I'm aware of what that everything is.
The kids are using their music practice journals constantly and consistently now, and IT IS MAKING ALL THE DIFFERENCE! First of all, it is making their practice time go faster (even for the boys!), and it is making them extremely conscious of how their practicing is going.
I asked them (thanks to CREATIVITY: THE PERFECT CRIME) to make an imaginary house where they keep all of their "musical secrets." Those secrets are any discoveries they make about how to avoid mistakes or how to make something better. It is eliminating "luck" from their playing. So when Calvin nails every note in one of his french horn songs (no squeaking!), he no longer says, "Awesome," and moves onto something else, he asks himself how he did that. He seeks for a physical reason why that worked, and if there is something new in that answer, something he didn't think of before, he writes the secret down in his notebook and puts it in his "french horn" house, to be "stolen" later when he needs it in a different song.
I'm not describing this well, and sometime I will have to try to explain how this is working, because I think it could make the difference for every kid out there struggling to learn a musical instrument, but my actual purpose of this post is to tell you about my favorite notebooks in the universe:
My kids have very few of these because they are so expensive. They use composition books for most of their note taking, but for spiritual and musical things, I've gotten them a moleskin so they can feel how special and important their notes are.
I have a moleskine for all of my different notes. I love the way it feels, I love how important my notes seem to be when they are bound so beautifully. In this world of digital, technological stuff, there is nothing more lovely than a great notebook I want to write in. If you have trouble finding the desire to take notes about anything in your life, get one of these books. I promise you, just the cost will help you be more inspired!!!