Do you brainstorm on paper or digital notepads?

corjohnson profile image Corey Johnson ・1 min read

I've always found myself bouncing between the two, but I never really internalize things that I've written digitally the way I do with writing on physical paper.

I think if I'm working on any gameplay idea whiteboard or paper is my go-to, because I can sketch things in the margins or scatter my notes all over, and I haven't really found a good digital tool that lets me do this.

Has anyone else ran into this? Or do you find it more helpful to do one over the other in specific contexts?


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I usually just use paper and a sketchpad, I feel like it's easier to write down your thoughts and doodles the moment you have them with paper.


When I come up with an idea I find whatever I can find and write it down. This helps if I see some kind of shape in my mind I can draw it right away or something to help give some context. I initially tend to do this on paper or whiteboard depending if I'm home or not when the inspiration hits me. Otherwise I'll default to notepad++ and start another of my hundreds of tabs to process later.

Once I start processing my thoughts I just make a ton of tabs with bullets and idea then combine them at the end of the session to be used later.

In terms of drafting/brainstorming tools, my wife is an aspiring writer and she uses scrivener to start her brainstorming and research shes gathering for her story ideas. It might be overkill but I can see a potential way to use it for outlines of gameplay or story.


That's a neat tool. I should send that to my buddy who is working on a book!


I find myself putting things down in a notebook for the sake of organization. If I need to reference it later or it's something like a to-do it works out better for me on paper. Same goes for anything where I need to trace through something. I like doing that on paper more than I do digitally, because it's easier to put things wherever you want instead of being stuck on the grid that digital notepads give you.

If I'm just jotting something down real quick that I won't need past today or this week then I just take a digital note real quick. Gets it down so I can remember to do it or remember a value or a link or whatever and then can just be tossed away. I'm guilty of currently having about 100 unsaved Notepad++ docs πŸ˜‚