How To Manage and Maintain Your Creativity On The Go

When you’re a busy writer, you need tools to help you get your writing done when and where you have the time. Tools can be anything from a notebook and pen to a smartphone and beyond. It’s really more about the tools you need to get the job done, and not so much about which specific tools you use.

As a creative person, you need to be able to create when the mood strikes you. Plus you can use any downtime you find during your day to write and be creative.

When Incubus singer-songwriter, Brandon Boyd, is on the road, his traveling artist toolkit includes a notebook, pencil and watercolor set. These are the tools he needs to be creative on the go.

What do you need? That’s up to you to decide.

Here are some suggestions to help you out:

Notebook and Pen

At the very least, as a writer, you should always have a notebook and pen/pencil on you. You will constantly run into ideas throughout your day—ideas for stories, ideas for characters, locations to set scenes in, etc—you’ll want to have a way of writing it down.

You could also keep your work-in-progress with you and that way you can brainstorm on it, take notes when you need to and keep things moving with the writing.


If you can afford it, I highly recommend you get a smartphone. They’re one of the best tools for writers on the go.

Not only can you use it for getting writing done, but you can also manage your projects, keep track of anything you’ve sent out for publication, take notes, make voice memos, inspire your creativity with brain-teaser apps and more.

You can pretty much do anything with a smartphone, which is why it’s the perfect creative tool for a busy writer. (Be sure to read: 3 Things Writers Should Look For In A Smartphone for tips on buying your next smartphone.)

A smartphone is essentially a miniature computer, which means you can have everything you need right at your finger tips: a dictionary, thesaurus or access to Google anytime you need it to research something. I can’t stress enough how amazing it is to have a smartphone when you’re a writer.

But it even has one additional use: business.

If you make any money from your writing (or plan to), a smartphone is a great investment because:

  • You can manage your business using downloadable apps and tools that come on the phone
  • As long as you use it at least half of the time for business purposes, you can write it off on your taxes

Can you think of any other smartphone uses for writers?

Optional Tools

At the very least you should always have a notebook and pen on you. But there are other tools you might want to consider for your traveling toolbox. You might not need them, but it could be fun to bring them with you for a few days and see what happens.

Additional tools could include:

  • Artist Tools—they make mini versions of practically everything these days, which means you can find minis of artist tools like colored pencils, markers, watercolor paints and more. It could be fun having these tools with you from time-to-time.
  • Sketchbook—other than a writer’s notebook, you could also have a sketchbook with you so you can draw, paint or sketch. Sketchbooks work for anything from landscapes to fashion sketches to still-lifes and portraits.
  • Inspiration—if you’re inspired by photos or by reading a favorite poet, for example, you could keep this kind of stuff with you on the go too. Then when you do have the chance to write, you have a way to inspire yourself immediately.

With a few simple tools, you can manage and make use of your creative energy even when you’re on the go.

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How do you take your creativity on the go? What tools are in your traveling toolbox?

Photo courtesy of denn

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