At work, I spend a lot of time thinking (about work related things, for the most part!).
Now, some will no doubt have a million high tech tools that suit them well. My own choices keep getting downgraded to low-tech solutions.
The two main things in my office toolbox I couldn’t do without? My A3 whiteboard, and A6 notepad.
My current task is putting together a new application. Which is great fun – but for some of the components of it, I occasionally need to brainstorm or communicate my thinking to my colleagues so we dont trip over each other so much. My A3 whiteboard comes in very handy here, as I can sit people at my desk, show them some code, show a supporting internet page, and also have the entire diagram laid out (and quickly edited) – without needing to waste paper.
My pad gets used mainly to make notes to myself. I have a couple of new pages a day, mostly. I use this to write down my own arguments for/against a particular issue before going to talk to other people about it. This is still a fairly new habit of mine, but it is paying off. I have a tendency to jump from point to point then back again if I allow myself. Having my thoguhts ordered on a notepad before entering a meeting means I can keep myself on track from point to point.
Best point about both? I can easily carry them around with me. Personally, I always feel more official when I have my notepad with me – unlike carrying around my phone, which I suspect looks like I’m handling my social life all day. It’s like having a clipboard and a lab coat. All I need to complete the look are some nerdy specs, and I can totally start giving off a perception of a brain, despite evidence to the contrary.