In this week’s Five Things Friday, our graphic designer dishes on his go-to items for staying on track and inspired. Check out what made JP’s list of work essentials:

My Notepad. While most of my time is spent on the computer, nothing gets ideas down on paper and works faster than my notepad. I usually sketch quick layouts or jot down some ideas while working on a design.

Stock photos. Often cheesy and sometimes really hard to find what your looking for, but it would be difficult to do my job without them. Typically I’ll look for elements in a stock photo like a background texture, a vector icon or a landscape image that I can manipulate and use in a design.

Communication Arts. I’m heading into six-plus-years of my subscription to Communication Arts magazine. I find it essential to keep up on current design trends and find inspiration from the top designers in the industry.

Music. Listening to music while designing keeps my flow going and helps me stay focused. I turn on my various Pandora stations and get to work. If I really need to get in a creative zone I’ll listen to some techno/house music and bust out a design.

Adobe Kuler. When I’m starting a new color scheme I use this website more often than not. It helps get me started and it’s fun to peruse through the large library of color combinations.