I have developed a dependence on notebooks.
The hand-written notes I produce as part of writing are messy. At various times my notes fill spiral notebooks, duo-tang folders or three-ring binders. My notes are written sometimes to generate ideas, sometimes to record ideas, and sometimes to outline them. My notes are produced quickly and in great quantities, normally in ink, and with lots repetition, lots and lots of scribbles and occasional doodles. They are made of some complete sentences, many phrases, and oftentimes, individual words or even abbreviations. My notes include diagrams, circles, lines, arrows, and sometimes crudely drawn tables. They make no sense to anyone but me, and if I allow them to sit long enough without incorporating them into a story, they age to the point where they make no sense to me either. In this case, I tear them up (always tear, never crumble) and throw them out.
I cannot say for certain that this kind of activity is always helpful. Sometimes, for sure, it is. But other times, I suspect it is merely a good way to put off the real work of writing for another hour or another day.
So how many other notebook junkies are here? What are your notes like? And do they help you write, or merely procrastinate?