Annie Lennox: How Paper Drives My Creativity

Capturing ideas in digital format makes them easy to sort and access, but ultimately what matters is that you capture them in the first place. Music legend Annie Lennox is a firm believer in writing things down as soon as they occur to her.

Picture by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

In an exhibition on her career staged at the V&A in London last year, Lennox noted the essentially random way many of her compositions started:

My life has been accompanied by a paper trail of ideas, scribbled hastily in an assortment of notebooks, napkins or any surface that I can conveniently grab, before the initial impulse evaporates from my mind.

Paper isn't the only solution — I was reminded of this quote because I noted it down on my BlackBerry when I visited the exhibition. But whatever the format, the principle "Note it down as soon as you think of it" remains central to creative and organisational tasks.


    Only reason I have an iPad and iPhone is to note ideas when out and about. Difference to pen and paper is that I can sketch and idea and at the same time record a vocal idea and the list goes on. My best creativity happens on the bus.

    My best creativity happens on the toilet. I call it "Downloading Braincells".

    I am just like this, I have STACKS of notebooks and loose leave pages of all kinds of things. Maybe I should invest in a scanner...?

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