Nicholas MacConnell has always been fascinated by the brain and individuals who used theirs to the max - Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Nikola Telsa - great innovators whose ideas and inventions changed civilization forever.
The Solana Beach resident spent more than eight years researching the commonalities between their thought processes to see if anything can be gleaned for the rest of us. He found three things: They used both sides of their brains, visualization and always carried a notebook.
"You want to be a genius?" MacConnell said. "Carry a notebook."
But not just any notebook.
MacConnell has developed the Brain Organizer Notebook, a one-of-a-kind spiral-bound notebook to help anyone think more like a genius while organizing one's ideas, goals and dreams and simplifying one's life.
"It's the ultimate tool for life organization," MacConnell said. "There is no other thing like this."
The Brain Organizer Notebook is designed to encourage users to tap into both sides of their brain: the more logical and sequential left side and the more visual and artistic right side.
For each task, goal or idea, users lay out all the necessary pieces to achieve that goal on two facing pages called a "MindSet." On the left side, thinkers write down the actions needed to complete the task, as well as any questions that need answering. The right side is where users draw their completed task, achieved dream or new invention.
By practicing visualization while making lists, neurons start tingling in both hemispheres of the brain, opening more pathways for an 'a ha!' moment, MacConnell said.
MacConnell shared his "Secrets Inside Genius Imagination" talk and Brain Organizer at last month's Friends Night Out program at the Solana Beach Library.
"I didn't realize that the notebook was such an important facet in the lives of geniuses, and by following suit I would enhance my creative process,"" said Julie Ustin, the president of the Friends of the Solana Beach Library.
The Brain Organizer is designed to help users focus rapidly on thinking through the issues, and then allows them to relax, knowing the information is stored in the notebook, available to instantly recall at any time, MacConnell said.
This is critical to bringing "action and direction to your dreams," MacConnell said. "When reality comes into focus, that's when people take action."
That is the other thing the world's great thinkers had in common: They were also great doers.
With the challenges society is facing today, ingenuity is more critical than ever and MacConnell said he hopes his invention can help nurture the imaginations that develop solutions.
Along with the Brain Organizer, and working on a book about genius imagination, MacConnell is hosting monthly "Genius Brain Training Workshops." The next one is scheduled for Jan. 10.
"It's beginning of the year, it's a great time to have an organizer and come into a new system," MacConnell said.
For more information, go to brainorganizer.com or call (858) 205-4731.