Have your tools at the ready when inspiration strikes

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Since my high school days, I have carried some paper and a writing utensil with me at all times. Black-tie affair? Post-it notes and a pen tucked into my evening bag. Running errands? Spiral notebook and one of my favorite Bic pens tucked into my purse. Bedtime? A legal pad and pencil on the nightstand.

The reason is simple: I never know when inspiration is going to strike and I don't want to forget whatever ideas may come. The idea might be an article I simply need to write or a game for my daughter's birthday party. It doesn't matter; whatever it is, I've got the tools to record it.

You can do the same for forensics. Maybe you are at a friend's house perusing a book while listening to music and you find a piece that you might be able to use. Perhaps you are at a coffee shop and you spot an article you could cite, but you cannot take it with you. Or maybe you are at a forum of some kind and pick up a debating technique. Without the paper and pen, these gems will be lost to you forever, at least if you usually have as much on your mind as I do. A paper and pen allow you to jot a simple note to yourself so that you can look for the piece, hunt down the article, and incorporate the technique.

The tools themselves do not matter. A spiral notebook works as well as a few index cards. A pencil works as well as the most expensive pen. All that matters is that you can use these tools to record the gems you find every day.

This is great advice for speech and life. I am such an offender of the "this is so good I'll remember it" line...

sometimes i'll create a draft text or draft e-mail to remember an idea if paper and pen are not on hand...yay technology!

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