You took our post on why you should have an inventor’s notebook to heart and decided to treat your invention process more seriously. But now you are left wondering what you should record in your inventor’s notebook!

Tech gadgets might be your BFF, but, for your inventor’s notebook, paper and pen are your best bet. An inventor’s notebook is not only a storehouse for your next big idea, it’s also an important line of defense in case of any legal issues.

Get ready to treat this notebook like a member of the family. Carry it with you everywhere, because you never know when a good idea will strike, so don’t be caught unprepared.

Inside Your Inventor’s Notebook

What do you put inside of an inventor’s notebook? The short answer: everything!

Answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how. Clarify your idea or write down where the idea originated. Be sure to date and sign every page—in order, with witnesses. There’s no skipping pages in this notebook.

Document your progress and your failures. Inventors are famous for scribbling important phone numbers or addresses on scraps of paper…and then promptly losing them. Don’t let it happen to you!

Include your experiments in detail. Jot down the results, what you learned, what you will change, and the name of the participants (if any). Leave nothing to memory.

A Date Storehouse

Are you developing consumer products? Don’t forget to include your market research. If you have opted to go with focus groups, be sure to save their responses. It will come in handy later!

Charts, maps, or other data must have a home here, too. If it’s a large-scale item that is far too big to physically fit inside your inventor’s notebook, then file it away in a safe place for this specific invention, and mark the location of the file inside your notebook.

You’ve already read how to increase your creative thinking. Now, you need to start writing down every little thought, as small ideas can lead to greater concepts. Don’t wait until significant inspiration strikes. Remember that the road to invention can be a lengthy process and thoughts often build upon each other. So don’t discount those passing thoughts that intrigue you, because you never know how they might add up, and those elusive “eureka!” moments don’t often come right away.

As your invention evolves, attach updated photos, drawings, and schematics. Track your project visually. Hint: cross-hatched pages make sketching easier. If you’re applying your own special shorthand, there’s a good chance you might forget what you meant as the months go by. Share your definitions and any special terms you’ve created, or keep a glossary you can refer to.

A Place for Everything

Don’t let your dream fall by the wayside. An inventor’s notebook can keep you organized and efficient like you never thought possible.

The mere act of flipping through your notebook can act as a source of inspiration when confidence wanes—and serves as a visual reminder of how hard you have worked and how far you have come. Keep your momentum going.

When you are ready to make that dream into reality, contact us at Pivot International. We’re here for you.

From design to manufacturing, and everything in between, let our experience guide you along the inventor’s way. Browse our free eBook library for a kick-start.