Ideas Lost in the Shower

Ideas Lost in the Shower

I was in the shower and had a ton of ideas that just slipped away…the chill New England air blasted them right out of my head. Most irritating.

I was thinking maybe I could put a white board in my shower, but then I remembered seeing underwater writing tablets on a documentary. That would be perfect!

As it happens, other people have had this brainstorm before. Check out this Cool Tools entry. The device is called a dive slate. It has a “golf pencil” (whatever that is) attached to it via surgical tubing. I also saw that there are “quick erase” magnetic dive slates that use magnets to write—I’m guessing it’s like one of those children’s toys. I am curious whether the resolution of the slate allows for fine writing.

I mentioned this idea to my buddy Jeff, and he said, “You need a waterproof journal“. It’s a spiral-bound notebook for use “in the field” in all kinds of weather (by bird watchers, for example). Use your Fisher Space Pen to write in it; it’s pressurized and writes upside down and in wet conditions. Outdoor Activity stores might carry the journal; you can get space pens at Staples. I like to touch stuff before I buy it, personally speaking.

For you DIYPlanner and PocketMod fans, do a search on waterproof paper to find the good stuff for your printer. You could make the ATW version of your productivity system! Booyah!

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  1. Kunal 19 years ago

    Two words for you: magna doodle. I remember hearing an anecdote of a developer that would put one in the shower and write code.


  2. Bryan 19 years ago

    Having contemplated this very same concept for about 6 months, I’ve been trying to come up with a way to record audio from the shower.

    I’ve thought about dive slates, but never stumbled across waterproof paper.  I’m a little hesitant to bring my Fisher Bullet into the shower.

    I think my daughter has some elmo crayons that might allow me just to write on the wall.

    I wonder how David Allen captures ideas in the shower.

  3. David W. 19 years ago

    A ‘golf pencil’ is just a short standard yellow #2 pencil, about 3” long and usually without an eraser. Used to keep score on regular and miniature golf courses. I think it’s the same pencil you see in church pews.

  4. Dave 19 years ago

    Magna Doodle! That was the toy I was thinking of!

  5. Dave 19 years ago

    For recording audio in the shower, maybe using a digital camera in movie mode inside one of those waterproof enclosure could work. The only problem is that the camera might slip and capture more than just sound :-)

    There are a few waterproof sound recorders I’ve seen online. Maybe an intercom or radio system designed for marine use could be installed. It would be RAD to have nautical gear in the bathroom :-)

  6. Beth 19 years ago

    When I was a kid there were these big chunky “pens” that looked sort of like those bingo markers, and they had soap “ink” so you could write on your bathtub or shower tiles, and then wash it off.  You could see if those are still around, though unfortunately I think they only come in varying shades of pink, haha.

  7. Robert Williger 19 years ago

    Great idea.  A few years back I was doing some volunteer work with an organization and bought a bunch of waterproof notebooks as I frequently would be out in the rain loading buses and supervising teenagers.  I never actually used them and still have them.  Glad to see I know have a purpose for them as I have also had the idea in the shower.

  8. Dave 19 years ago

    Beth: I wonder if they come in BLOOD RED…that would be totally cool to scrawl, “BUY DOZEN EGGS…OR ELSE!!!” in bleeding washable marker :-)

    Robert: That’s awesome! One thing that’s been worrying me is mold. And maybe I need to get a waterproof executive desk set for my bathtub. :-)

  9. Emily 19 years ago

    Hmm, would this kids’ “floating art desk” work for you? :)

  10. Old Grey Troll 19 years ago

    I’m a diver and I have both kinds of dive slates. The magnetic dive slate is very low resolution. It is a very nice tool for conversing underwater, but not a good way to record notes. You might get 2 sentences on it.

    The pencil dive slate is much better for notes. Resolution is the same as paper. I’ve used them very successfully doing fish population surveys. Erasing your notes can be a problem. I’ve found SoftScrub to work well.

    I’ve got the waterproof paper notebooks for field notes. I haven’t tried them specifically underwater. I HAVE tried a fish population survey sheet that seems to be the same material. It wraps around my regular slate and is held down with a rubber band. Works really well and you don’t have the erasure problems.

    If you are REALLY curious, I could scribble samples on my magnetic slate, take a picture and post it for you.

  11. Dave 19 years ago

    Hey Old Grey Troll,

    Thanks for the info on dive slates! What is the surface of the regular dive slate made of? I’m imagining it’s some kind of textured surface that can hold on to graphite from a pencil…I could see that being a problem erasing.

    I’d be curious in seeing what the magnetic slate resolution looks like. The low res might be enough for some applications.

  12. Leng 19 years ago

    I love the idea of using kids’ bathtub crayons! (maybe it’s cuz I’ve got babies on the brain…) You can find them in any toy section.

    I remember when I was a kid, I wanted an invention that would hook my brain up to a typewriter (this is pre-home-computer), so I could write stories in the shower. It would read my brain and I could just “dictate” the story straight from my brain to a dry piece of paper. :)

  13. Beth 19 years ago

    I just saw this:
    on gizmodo, and remembered this post.

    It’s an erasable shower note tablet!

  14. Rachel 16 years ago

    When my mom and I shared a bathroom we used Crayola crayons that were specifically made for writing on bathroom walls to write notes to each other. They wash off with a washcloth if you need to but otherwise the messages stay for a while. The only problem is, like with most crayons, after a while they become dull and you have to write in big chunky letters.

    Most of my deeper thinking about life and what I need to do come to me in the shower. It stinks ‘cause I don’t have a way to record them! I think I might just get those crayons again though since I have a pretty big shower.

  15. Cal 15 years ago

    I use AquaNotes…a waterproof pad of paper that suctions cups to the shower wall.  It also have a suction cup holder for the cedar-based pencil. I generate most of my creative ideas in the shower…this definately helps me remember them.

  16. Alex 14 years ago

    Smartphone… in a ZipLock bag. Just make sure the lock is perfectly closed. I keep one in the bathroom, it does the trick, and it’s really inexpensive.