Moments of inspiration are fleeting and unexpected.

These blink-and-you’ll-miss-it opportunities are essential to capture and build upon. To bring these moments to life there’s a huge difference between hastily jotting down a sticky note and actually executing the project. Here are five ways you can master this process.

Jot it Down on Paper

For capturing an idea in the spur of the moment, nothing beats the old fashioned route of a pencil and paper. Keeping a notebook with you doesn’t require you to log-in, and there’s no Facebook beckoning your attention away from a fresh idea. Keep a small memo pad by your bed to get those ideas down that keep you up at night and try carrying a pocket-sized notebook with you during the day. We love Zequenz 360° notebooks because they’re flexible binding lets the notebook itself function as a portable writing surface. Moleskin and Rhodia also offered tried-and-true portable notebook options.

Create Space for Organizing Ideas

As you accumulate notes, clippings, and images, you’ll need a place to organize them. Set up a bulletin board or use masking tape to section off a portion of your studio wall! This can be structured to prioritize the project you’re most eager to try or can be arranged by type of project, eg: plein air projects inspirations, mixed-media experiments, 3-D artists you admire, etc.

Use Your Phone to Document Progress and Make Notes on the Fly

Whether you send yourself a text message or record a voice memo on your phone, making a habit of recording your thoughts can help you remember ideas that come to you on the go. We recommend using a dedicated App like Evernote or Google Keep. Just make sure to periodically look through what you’ve recorded and integrate these into your workflow.

You can do this by using one of the techniques below...

Set Deadlines for Projects

The best way to make sure you complete a project is to set a deadline and record it. A deadline forces you to hold yourself accountable so it's essential to be realistic. Artwork Archive offers tools to track your outstanding obligations and reminders to get started on new ones.

Begin with “Leading Tasks”

If you’re planning to work on a project tomorrow, a good way to be sure it happens is to take some preliminary actions today. These will help jostle you into action and make the first steps easier. Lay out the materials you’ll need ahead of time so so you can get started right away.

Looking for more ways to spark creative moments? Check out these 7 fun exercises to improve your creative thinking.