An artist’s notebook: a tool that all artists should have. I started mine in college, where I was using it to take notes on artists I liked, making notes on art shows I attended, keeping a list of ideas, and collecting photos for inspiration.
The more you use it the more notebooks you’ll need for different subjects. I have a collection of notebooks that I use for collecting photos fromdifferent magazines (photos of anything that inspires me). When you see the photos all in one place you get an idea of what your style is like and you also get to know your work better. You can start a notebook of photos or hang them up in your studio. And if you’re looking for things to sketch-- there you go. It seems like nowadays that is what people are using Instagram for. I once tried to get an account but I don’t own a smart phone, so instead I go around taking photos wherever I am and add them to my photo archives folder in my computer. Not only does that give me things to sketch but I’ll also use the photos I’ve taken for my Photoshop projects. Inspiration is everywhere-- you just have to look around, see what interests you and take the inspiration from that.
You can use one notebook for photos and another one for notes. You never know when ideas are going to pop into your head. Sometimes I get ideas for future projects, for promoting my work, for jotting down shows to apply for, and for making a note of new artists that I find out about. You can also treat it like a typical journal and talk about your artistic life.