Creating an ideas/inspiration notebook has been on my to-do list for (seriously) over a year now. I finally did it over the weekend, and it took me about 10 minutes. Here's how you can make one too.
Start with a 3-ring binder. I like the kind with the clear pockets on front so I can label them, but that's just me.
For now I only need 3 dividers, story ideas, articles, and characters.
In my story ideas section, I keep all those little scraps of paper with various levels of ideas.
Some are scenes that have popped into my head, but don't yet have a full story. Some are introspection about things that happened to me in high school. Others are ... something else. One note card says, "Maddie always going to bed at 7."
I have only a vague idea of what that is referring to, and I have no clue how it would fit into a story, but there it is. Waiting to inspire me when I'm feeling dry.
The articles section is where I store any articles that I think could prompt a plot line. One is on an inside-job bank robbery these Kansas City area 20-somethings tried to pull off. When I read the article, I thought "Surely a character of mine would have been dumb enough to date one of these guys." But I don't know who yet, so I've saved the article for the right time.
The last divider is for pictures relating to characters.
Sometimes the pictures are faces that I would like apply to a character. Other times it might be an outfit or a room. You could also keep lists of names in this section, but I have a file folder for that.
What took the longest was taping my pile of idea note cards onto pieces of paper, but otherwise this thing was a snap to make. Hopefully when I'm suffering from writers block, something in here will jump start my creativity.
Do you have a system for keeping track of your story ideas?