How do you catch your bubbles?

“Unless ideas are massaged into reality, they evaporate” Alan Fletcher

But, how do we capture our ideas?

In Year 6, every student has a “Bubblecatcher” in which they write notes, quotes, checklists, ideas and questions. It’s basically just a notebook, but it’s one they have been and bought themselves. The cool name comes from a guest speaker and author, who also happens to be a parent of a kid in Year 7!

I would like to put together a video to feature how people in the school use notebooks. If you’d be willing to say a few words and share your notebook briefly on this video, please let me know.

In the meantime, please comment and tell us how you catch your bubbles!!!


  1. Mr. Chad

    I use my “bubble catcher” every day. It is used for just about everything. Any ideas that stumble upon are quickly written down. I also use it to organize myself. Write to do lists as a way to prioritize the things that need doing now and the things that need doing later. If a complete stranger was to pick up my bubble catcher and flick through it, it would make no sense to them. I like that. It’s my own special mind map filled with key words, graphs, diagrams, brainstorms, tables, questions, pictures, lines, squiggles, doodles and a whole lot more. It is a very unique and personalized road map where I am the only one who knows how to read it. Like a code book filled with my head and no one else can crack it. My bubble catcher only makes sense to me. And that is all I need it to do.

    I would be lost without it. It is quick to record and I take it everywhere with me. You never know when your next idea is going to strike like lightening.

  2. nist6jk

    I love the bubble catcher idea, and the kids certainly do too. Quite a few of them bring their bubble catchers everywhere and remind me to do the same! There were even kids who brought their bubble catchers to the Year 6 camp information session because they didn’t want to miss anything important.

    I think it’s really important that the students chose their own bubble catcher, not their parents, teachers or nanny, for example. It means it’s something they really want to use and really enjoy using. I took a long time to choose mine, but it has such a beautiful cover on it that I get a real sense of satisfaction every time I write in it. This may sound a bit superficial, but anything that helps encourage the students to collect their thoughts more often and more efficiently is worth it in my opinion.

  3. Alicia Gilbert

    My ‘bubble catcher’ is called an ‘ideas book’. I have one for school and also home. I use my school ‘ideas book’ everyday as a way of catching my ideas as inspiration finds me! I carry my ideas books with me everywhere as you never know when a great idea is going to come. It helps me to be truely creative and not to forget those wonderful ideas. I also find it helpful as I can keep my ideas recorded; so I always have a way of remembering them. This way I can pick and chose from my ideas as needs be. I never throw away my ‘bubble catchers’ as to me they’re something special!

  4. Mr Chris

    I am enjoying using a Bubble Catcher on a personal level. I have played around with different ways of recording my ideas and thinking over the years and even tried using the computer tablet pen for a while. In the end I’ve come back to the little black book because it is so easily used, doesn’t need a battery and is simple. It sits on my desk at all times and I usually remember to bring it to meetings. It’s great to take notes at meetings and offers me an easy way to refer back to my thoughts or ideas when I need.

    I agree with the other messages above. I have really enjoyed seeing the kids come to see the value in them too. As a team, we have had a consistent approach to using the Bubble Catchers so the kids just see it as ‘the way it is in year 6’. It’s also been really good to see all of the teaching team modelling their use. When the kids see us writing notes during a guest speaker’s talk we are showing them an important skill and they see that we value their use. I think this type of modelling is often undervalued – we ask kids to do things and don’t necessarily do the same thing ourselves!

    It was certainly an important ‘first step’ to have the students go out and do the purchasing of their BCs. They enjoyed the opportunity to have some control and it wasn’t ‘just another book that the teacher gave them’. There is a range of different ones which is fine. They like the identity that it gives them and I’ve never heard a kid grizzle about having to use it.

    So in conclusion I’ll definitely be asking my kids to buy and use a BC in any future classes. The kids record so many great ideas and are learning great note taking skills with a purpose (Unlike we did when I went to school – remember taking notes about videos and writing great swathes of paragraphs based on the notes, regardless of whether it was useful or not!)

  5. Cristina

    Hi Sam, I know I am not part of your teaching community, but I LOVE the idea (I tweeted about it the other day!).
    I am looking forward to seeing the video as I am a fan of paper and pencil myself! 🙂

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