Index cards

I’ve been drawing more on index cards than in sketchbooks lately. I keep a stack of index cards on my bedside table, and I have a few more in my belt bag. Index cards are great because they really can contain only one thought, so they’re not at all intimidating to start. I know I’ll finish the card. Index cards are also sturdier than the small notepad I carry around, and since I’m not tearing off pages, I don’t have to worry about fiddly little paper bits. Compared to index cards, a 8.5×11″ sheet feels like such a generous expanse. Although the extra space of a sketchbook lets me get deeper into a topic, it also sometimes results in half-drawn pages when I’m distracted by another thought or something that I need to do.

2014-09-10 Index cards

2014-09-10 Index cards

So maybe that suggests a new workflow for developing ideas. I can start by brainstorming topics on an index card. Then I can pick some ideas to flesh out into index cards of their own, and from there, to sketchbook pages. Blog posts can explain one sketch or collect several sketches, and they can link to previous posts as well.

2014-09-10 Possible workflow for developing ideas

2014-09-10 Possible workflow for developing ideas

This should help me think in bigger chunks

  • Mike Wilson

    You’re definitely going to want to check out this awesome dude: http://pileofindexcards.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

    • Yup! Saw that a few weeks ago (on Lifehacker, I think). Cool system! I’m still a fan of converting things into digital form, though – better for indexing and archiving… =)

  • Charles Cave

    The novelist Vladimir Nabokov used to write with index cards, and apparently Joseph Heller wrote Catch 22 (first draft) on cards. I cut up scrap paper into 3 x 5 inch pieces and use these notes, sketches, etc.