My zines are predominantly music related, so I try to listen to as much new music as possible and go to gigs (also at least one festival a year if I can).
Same as the OP I like to work “solo” and am conscious of other people being around – I like to spread out and have drone / ambient music on while I work.
I use Google Keep / Docs on my phone to make lists, notes etc and also have a journal for art / sketches / ideas. Trying to write things down as they occur is essential for me otherwise they get lost in the usual ebb and flow of day to day life.
I do find it hard to finish a zine and get the final edit together – #3 of my zine just finished took about 3 months to finally get finished up and it started to drag me down a bit. Thankfully got over the final hill and pressed print though.