Often when I get an idea I will actually write it down in my "sketchbook", rather than sketch it. I just don't like my quick composition scribbles. I've seen some artist's doodles that have an incredible vibrancy and life to them. Mine however, are usually mis-shapen blobs and confusing lines. I'm not very good at drawing an idea down on paper instantly from my brain.
With my finished pieces I have time to work out the composition, and usually use a range of reference materials to get every aspect of the drawing 'correct'. I am a firm believer in using reference photographs in my practice without shame - I like the thought that if I am drawing an elbow, I am also looking at an elbow, there is flesh and blood and sinews and tendons underneath the skin, I'm not just drawing a symbol for an elbow.
I do like drawing from life though. If I'm at a friends place, I like to reach for a scrap of paper and draw portraits. Luckily most of my friends that I "hang out" with are all artists, and don't find this odd!
This gives me a chance to study drawing the human form in a quick and expressive way, without relying on my brain to make things up.