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24 ways to impress your friends

Good Ideas Grow on Paper


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Tom H

I was given a really nice sketchbook as a gift early this year, and I’ve carried it around for months.

I haven’t used it once. I will use it today!

I remember reading a news story recently that getting a group of people in a room brainstorming was LESS effective than each of them going off on their own. According to science anyway.

Those two sort-of-web-comics were great. Consider me inspired.


I totally agree with you guys.
Starting with the brainstorming and mind-mapping is the way: – The Creative Method is a good way of experimenting if something is going wrong in your team.
…and here comes sketching…
Whenever I need to figure something out, I usually go out with a notebook and a pen to see what happens… then you always end up with a lot of bad drawings, but they are so so useful, because unless you are a born genius, you need to make mistakes in order to learn from them. And then, when you don’t even expect it, you see it, you see your problem solved in your drawings that are nothing more than ideas thrown on a sheet of paper.

And still to be more productive, give your ideas time to grow. I mean give yourself at least one night to think it deep.

Good Luck!

David McDonald

Great post guys, never hurts to be refreshed on some of these excellent techniques – ‘Advanced Common Sense’ as the man says!

Some nice linkness stuff there too, cheers.

(Hey, I should design a ‘Linkness’ button ;-)

And you’ve been Instapapered!


I always have some paper around me. Sketching is the perfect way to start a project. Even for some stuff that’s really easy to do, like making a button, I usually start on paper rather then anything else.

An empty piece of paper can be daunting, but I’ve found that putting a few random lines of pencil on your paper can start you off quickly. If not, at least you can still erase it.


I always loved to draw/sketch, back in the school years all my books was full of it i just draw all the time. Excellent article !

Curtis Scott

I must stop throwing away my brainstorming sketches. Your post reminds me how I’ve forgotten how important a sketch book really is… makes me want to run out and get a one. Thanks for sharing!


I totally agree with you Christopher and Nicklas, the old school idea is completely true. To many people start from the computer but don’t see the whole picture first.

rod rodriguez

It’s a always a profound pleasure to drop by here at 24ways, so many interesting and educational topics. Drawing your ideas on paper is really a must for creative individuals, gives you more room to see what needs to be done before you sit down and turn your idea into reality.

I desperately need to start taking this path regularly.

Laura H. Winn

As an undergrad pursuing a BFA in graphic design, articles like this encourage me tenfold. While our projects have longer timelines in school, the critical thinking skills and idea process directly apply to other ventures I’m pursuing.

If I start to grumble about another round of thumbnail sketches for class, I’ll remember this article.

Ryan Swarts

Great post. I couldn’t agree more with the power of sketching. It’s more efficient and it frees you up to create something original. I had a post on my own blog recently on the same topic. Check it out:

Ben Lind

Great article. I’ve always felt that I was being hampered when I tried to get my ideas out just in Photoshop. Nothing seems to flow as well on the screen as on paper, even if you have a graphics tablet.

I also find that by the time I’m done with the first small element of an idea in Photoshop, the rest of the idea is already fading from my memory, meaning that while that first element might be great, the rest of the design might not be anything like I originally planned it.

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