Have you ever run into a situation where a brilliant idea for a project pops into your head and you don’t have any immediate way to capture it before it is lost forever into the ether? Yea, me too. It doesn’t happen to me often these days because I take measures to ensure that I have a way to remind myself later of the idea. I now have a nice bank of ideas that, even if I lived to be 200 years old, I could never accomplish in this lifetime.
If you do a quick Google search (don’t do it now – read this first!) you will find plenty of suggestions on how writers (or anyone for that matter) can capture ideas when they come sneaking up on us. I like to limit my options. Sounds funny for a Renaissance Soul to say such a thing, but it’s true. This writer likes to keep it simple and to the point.
Without further ado – my two favorite ways to capture and manage ideas.
This is going old-school, but sometimes doing it this way makes good sense. The journal can be any size and made out of any material – it’s going to be in a pocket or a purse, so it really doesn’t matter what it looks like (okay, maybe just a little). I would suggest you go as small as you can to write comfortably in it when out and about. You can go with lined or unlined.
The point is to have something readily available to jot down your thoughts, ideas, and reminders. At the end of each day (or week, if that’s your thing) go back through the journal and take note of things that you may want to work on right away. The other ideas will stay securely in the journal for future reference. I often add sticky tags on pages that I want to be able to go back to quickly.
Both of these systems are electronic but they offer some great support in managing ideas (and lots of other things). I started out using Microsoft OneNote when I was a Windows gal at my corporate job, but now I have migrated to Evernote on my Apple desktop and iPad. Both of these systems allow you to electronically clip information that you find in the virtual world. A simple “click” and it is saved for future reference. In fact, you can even set up reminders for you to review the material at a later date.
You can also create notes as needed to jot down ideas, thoughts, and goals. Because they can be accessed from multiple devices, it’s easy to stop using sticky notes and napkins until you get back to your computer (not that I would know anything about that sort of thing).
If I had to pick one to go with, it would be Evernote simply because you can use it on any device and you won’t have to go to a new system if you flip between Windows and Apple devices. OneNote is pretty cool because it is set up just like a notebook with multiple sections/tabs and pages. If you use Microsoft Office on a Mac, you can use OneNote; however, I don’t find it as robust as the Windows version and you need to have a OneDrive cloud account to save the information. Try them both and see which one works the best for you.
Now, go do your Google search and see what I was talking about earlier in this post. But keep in mind, you don’t want to over complicate your writing process. Keep it simple and your ideas will be captured and available when you need them to be. (If you’re interested in a side-by-side comparison of Evernote and OneNote – check out this article here.)
Do you have a preferred way to capture ideas before you lose them forever? Let me know in the comments.
A gift just for you!
THE Manifesto for the Multi-Passionate
Do you feel like you have too many interests and you can't focus? Do you struggle with choosing one primary interest, so you do nothing? This ebook is for you! It is a hit of inspiration you need now. Go get it!
Corrie Ann Gray is a visionary writer, strategist, philosopher, and a damn good cookie creator. She is also known as The Renaissance Soul Writer and is the founder and director of the Clean Body Project, where she inspires individuals to live a holistically purpose-filled life.