I have a friend who, when beginning some new project, keeps meticulous notebooks full of ideas, drawings, articles, samples, or anything else that may come in handy later. The notebook is referred to over and over throughout the process to guide and solve problems.
Finally, when the project is completed, it’s used to compare the finished product to the original concept.
This is a very good idea.
I also keep a notebook—well, several notebooks actually—to aid me in writing. I don’t know what neurological mechanism is at work, but the physical act of putting pen to paper helps clarify thoughts and ideas better than clacking on a keyboard or tapping a screen ever could.
As a means of recording and fleshing out ideas, writing in a notebook is inexpensive, silent, free of distractions, analog…primal.