I often get the questions from younger designers, “What is the one thing I can do to improve my work?” My response, “Carry a notebook.”
You never know where inpiration may strike, so having a notebook handy is a must. And even if it’s not an “inspirational” moment, it could be that you just plain old need to write down what the client in front of you is saying to you.
For all client meeting, I carry an iPad Pro with a Pencil. There are tons of great note-taking apps out there. These days I push even further past notes. I use some Adobe apps to capture colors, texture and patterns. The key to using an iPad as a notebook is to Keep It Simple. What is being said to you is the most important part of making better work.