During my internship in PR two summers ago, we had a Friday “class” in which Tom Handley (follow him at @prprofessor), a professor at Parsons The New School For Design, came in to share his knowledge, expertise, and experience in the PR field with us.
One of our on-going assignments was to bring in an advertisement, image, anything really, that had inspired us that week. After we shared what we liked about it with the group, we would mount it into a sketchbook/notebook (I used this one) and create “inspiration journals.”
I kept up mine up for awhile, but eventually, the notebook went unopened for days, and those days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months… until recently.
A few weeks ago, while I was home, I reopened my journal and realized how truly important it is to keep track of anything that inspires me, whether it be a great article, vivid photograph, gorgeous dress, cool campaign, or clever advertisement. Not only does it let me watch my preferences evolve, but it can totally serve as inspiration for any career path I choose.
One of my favorite blogs, nyc PR girls, noted the importance of keeping a journal/blog/Tumblr as well. When you’re in a creative rut, turning to things that inspired you in the past can definitely get the ball rolling on a new project or assignment.
If keeping a physical journal seems time consuming, there are digital alternatives as well: Pinterest is teeming with amazing pictures and links, Tumblr is a quick, easy way to post your own inspiration, and you can always create folders on your computer to save and organize anything you don’t want to lose.
To me, though, there’s still nothing like opening up a notebook collaged with pictures and language that impacted me in some way.
What do you think? Do you keep track of anything that inspires you? How do you do it? Do you prefer keeping track of inspiration digitally, or physically? Let us know in a comment!