I love technology – I have an iphone, ipad, kindle, macbook and all the stuff I could possibly want. I tell myself they are necessary for my work. The truth is, you will often find me in a coffee shop, my computer or ipad on, and me writing in a notebook.

My friends laugh because I often have 3 or 4 notebooks in my purse (Ok, it’s probably more like 5 or 6) – often ideas start in one and carry on into another and so I have to keep them all with me. While I’m admitting to this, I may as well explain that I have my favorite notebooks on auto-delivery so that I don’t even need to re-order them. Every 3 months a new set show up at my door.

I’ve been doing this most of my life, and how I wish I’d kept all my old notebooks. They got lost, thrown away, and sometimes purchased.  I had been working at a graphic design studio in London and when I left they made me a (very good) offer to buy all my notebooks from when I had worked there. I should have realized then that my future was in ideas.

There is probably some scientific reasoning about neuro-transmitters and the direct link to writing with a pen or pencil but I just know it works for me. I love that feeling of thinking with some paper in front of me. I don’t feel the need to make any sense or get it right, just to somehow project my thoughts onto the paper so I understand them.

This summer, treat yourself to a notebook, treat your children to one – go crazy – buy one for everyone in the family. Play with them, (this isn’t a school exercise) – be creative. Write lists, redesign your living room, make up stories, sketch outdoors, write down your feelings and your wishes, draw monsters and fairies and long-lost relatives, invent recipes, cut and stick pictures from magazine, take a rubbing of a texture you like, plan vacations.
What if each family member kept a notebook for a week and then you all came together and showed each other what you had done? What if….. (the possibilities are endless).

I love technology but there is still something about the simple things in life. I hear people complain that their kids are stuck to a screen the whole time, or have no imagination. A simple notebook may just be the cure to that.

So this week you’ll find me somewhere, drinking good coffee and probably thinking with the end of a pen in my mouth, I may be planning next week’s column, solving a problem for a local business, writing a bit of my next book or just drawing a monster with a bucket on his head, but somewhere close to be will be a notebook. I can guarantee it.

This column was first published in The Daily Advertiser on Tuesday 3rd July 2012, all rights (and stuff) reserved.