How to Take Notes in the Shower

by Jimmie

Ever had a brilliant idea come to you while you were showering? Capture that creativity by taking notes in the shower with these handy tools.

It is an interesting phenomenon. We often have moments of insight or creativity while showering. What is it about bathing that causes us to suddenly see solutions to previously perplexing problems or come up with a brilliant blog series idea? Other times our thoughts are not especially brilliant but involve the more mundane (but important) chores of life such as "I have to remember to buy eggs!"

I'm not exactly sure why we get good ideas in the shower, but I do want to take advantage of that inspiration. I've had my share of running down the hall in a towel just to find a pad of paper and a pen, fearful that I would lose the perfect idea I just visualized in almost crystal clear fullness.

Here are ways to record your ideas while in the shower. No towel needed. Just pause in between the lather and rinse to jot down your thoughts as the water keeps running.

Our Best Ideas Come While We Are In the Shower

How to Harness the Shower Muse
Shower Head Stimulates Creativity?
Shower Head Stimulates Creativity?

Have You Ever Had a Flash of Inspiration While in the Shower?

Or in the Bathtub?

Write Directly Onto the Shower Wall

The Easiest Method to Capture Shower Inspiration

The easiest, low-tech way to capture your thoughts in the shower or bathtub is simply to write them down on the shower wall. Using something water soluble makes the memo easy to wash away later.

Of course, the easier to wash the words away, the easier it also is to accidentally lose your ideas from an errant splash. So find that spot on the shower stall where it stays relatively dry to make your note.

The idea here is to capture the main idea, not draft the next War and Peace. So you should be able to locate a small dry area for notetaking.

Besides jotting down inspired ideas, you can write other things on the bathtub wall as they come to mind:

  • to do lists
  • shopping lists
  • honey-do lists (lists for your spouse)
  • appointments

Often the act of writing it down is enough to cement it into your memory so that you won't forget. But if you do need to reference it, the words are right there on the shower wall once you are dry and dressed.

Admittedly, the bathtub markers and crayons are marketed for children. But if they work, who cares? They are designed to require a bit of elbow grease to wash off, so they are perfect for taking notes in the shower, especially if you are one who splashes. 

The Vis-a-vis pens, although more grown up, are also very easily removed with small amounts of water. So an errant spray could easily erase your brilliant idea. On the plus side, they wash off super fast with just flowing water (or a damp wipe).

If you are keeping pens in the shower, keep the organized with a caddy. You have a pen cup on your desk, right? Well, you need one in the shower, too, if you get flashes of inspiration there.

Sophisticated Ways to Take Notes in the Shower

If markers and crayons aren't your style, maybe a waterproof notebook or notepad would work better. Don't expect the quality of the writing surface to be identical to paper. It will be coated or waxy. But the idea is to record your ideas so they are not lost forever to the shower muse.

An advantage to a shower notepad is that you can take it out of the shower with you. But be sure to put it back after you have transferred your idea. Just as soon as you bathe without your waterproof notebook, you are sure to have a Eureka! moment. 

Note Pads that are Waterproof

Use them in the Shower or Bathtub
AquaNotes Waterproof Notepad
$7.65  $7.62
Scuba Slate
Only $11.99
Shower Notebook - Waterproof Note Pad
Only $18.88

Possible Reasons Why We Get Good Ideas in the Shower

Here are some possible explanations of why we tend to get many good ideas in the unlikeliest of places -- the shower.

1. We are not thinking.

This reason is quite counter-intuitive. We think better when we are not thinking? Yes!

Having a relaxed mind is a key to its working well. When you are stressed, you can't think. During the mindless activity of a relaxing shower, your mind is prone. This relaxed state allows our brains to think better! 

2. We are alone and undisturbed.

For the most part, a shower is a solitary situation. It is quiet, except for the soothing sound of the water. There are no distractions to violate your thought processes. Your smartphone is not in the tub with you, beeping out its demands. It's just you and the soap. 

For these same reasons, we get good ideas while driving on a long stretch of boring or familiar road or while resting in bed right before or after sleeping.

Updated: 02/21/2012, Jimmie
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Kelly on 02/08/2013

So awesome! I just pinned this to remember. :-) Makes a lot more sense than keeping my phone just outside the shower & hurrying up so I can write it down with still-wet hands...

Jennifer Lambert on 01/02/2013

I love this. Though I wish I were more alone and undisturbed. Seems like someone or somecat always comes in!

Ragtimelil on 07/09/2012

Wonderful! I never thought of writing on the wall. I'm a grownup now. I can do that!

Tolovaj on 05/27/2012

Good ideas are always coming when we are not distracted with outside noise and showering time is one of rarest opportunities where we can actually listen to our own thoughts. I didn't know there are waterproof notebooks on the market...

Jerrico_Usher on 05/17/2012

You ever watch that show Eureka? The first few seasons the sherriff lived in a house that was a converted silo but it had a living computer in it that would talk to him, even in the shower- I was thinking how cool would it be to have an interactive recorder that's voice activated installed so when your showering you can simply say "record" and bounce your ideas into the omnidirectional microphone- then you could use speach to text software built into many programs these days to convert it to text then just edit it into your article, list of ideas, etc... :)

Jerrico_Usher on 05/17/2012

1 of 2

Great article! I love the kids soap crayons idea!

I have actually put quite a lot of thought into this years ago when I was studying the brain and wanted to figure out this phenomenon so I could somehow duplicate it at my desk :)

What I came up with:
(You said):
"It is an interesting phenomenon. We often have moments of insight or creativity while showering. What is it about bathing that causes us to suddenly see solutions to previously perplexing problems or come up with a brilliant blog series idea?"

My Take (similar to yours)
I too have wondered this and came to the conclusion that it's the isolation from stimuli or rather the focusing of stimulus (vs. all the complexity that is outside that shower). It's also the fact that the water soothes you and makes you feel meditative, safe, isolated from any distractions.

Your movements are also constricted to a limited set and thus this limits the things you have to think ahead about (i.e. not tripping over the bump in the carpet or over a toy etc...).

In this state your mind is actually freed up and processing power is tripled! The same phenomenon happens at bed time- that period where your almost asleep but your brain is racing. Both scenarios take you into a "theta" brain state where creativity runs rampid (we dream in theta state).

One reason dreams are so vivid sometimes is that we truly have relaxed our body and reached a stage of sleep just beyond the Delta (deep dreamless sleep- or recuperative sleep) state and entering theta (closer to the waking state) super relaxed is what gives us those powerful and highly creative dreams!

Jerrico_Usher on 05/17/2012

2 of 2

The bottom line is the shower and going to bed, the darkness, the stillness, the meditative state of the body, all lead to the brain being able to relax it's thought stream away from, for lack of a better term, responsibility thinking, and into child like exhuberance thinking where there are no rules, no limitations, no stresses (if your stressing a lot you won't have a creative shower or theta experience before bed)- this is where creativity prospers and thrives. With all that garbage on the back burner now those thoughts that have been standing in line for days or months tend to "when the cats away the mouse is at play" so to speak!

When you leave the confines of the shower and re-enter the world of clutter (not mess so much as everything in the room that has associations of thought attached to it that muddy up the thinking) your mind clicks back into responsibility mode and all the things in the room tend to make you think about a gazillion things at once (by association and memory triggering) and all those great ideas you had in the shower start to get crowded out by other thoughts and "the inspiration is gone". cool huh?

That can be a wizzle all it's own :) (feel free to take all my words here if you want to create it- I got 30 in the oven no time to make new ones haha). Thanks for the stimulation!


Chihuahua0 on 03/28/2012

I need to try this--but I'm not sure how my brothers would react. :p

buttonhead on 03/23/2012

Some of my best ideas come to me in the shower. I love the idea of hanging a waterproof notebook!!!

Meagan on 02/10/2012

Perfect for people like me who are constantly writing thoughts, notes and reminders (my mind is always running but my memory is terrible)! Now can you please help me solve the flashes of inspiration while cycling problem? :)

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