Great ideas can come at any time. More often than not, we are usually preoccupied when the lightning strikes, and we tell ourselves we will write it down later only to forget what it was that was so amazing. No matter what your profession, a lost idea is lost money. A simple way to make sure your big ideas do not elude you is always have something with you to record it. There are many different ways you can record your thoughts.
- Keep a small notebook and pen in your pocket or purse.
- Carry a digital voice recorder with you. This is a wonderful device if you are alone and a flood of ideas comes to you. It is much faster than writing your thoughts down. Later, you can play your recording back and write it down.
- Many of you already carry devices such as PDAs and smart phones. Even regular cell phones allow you to record you thoughts through voice or text.
Once you have decided on the way or ways to record your ideas, be ready to capture those ideas.
Reading. When reading a book, do not wait until after you have read it to record your thoughts. Write in the margins or have a highlighter ready. You may even want to use a few different colors of highlighter to mark different ideas by category. If you do not like to mark up your books, make sure you have any of the previous recording tools at the ready while you read. The same goes for magazines, but people are not usually too upset about marking on magazines, nor do they tend to keep them for future use. Have some scissors ready and cut out the articles important to you. Paste these clippings in a notebook, folder, or journal to look at later. It is like keeping your own idea reference.
Watching Television. Make sure you have a recording device ready for those commercial breaks, or even during the show.
At work. I know, I know, work is for your job only, but how many times have you been in a meeting or waiting at the copier when an idea happens? Why wait until you get back to your desk. Write down that idea.
Sleeping. Many people wake up in the middle of the night after having dreamed of something that inspires them, only to go back to sleep and not remember it in the morning. Take a few seconds to write it down. Keep a notepad next to your bed. Better yet, keep a voice recorder. You are more apt to push a button and talk, than you are to write something while groggy. You will also be better off not having to try to read what will probably be unintelligible writing. Just make sure to keep your voice down if you have a significant other.
When recording your ideas, add why you think your idea is great. Also include any possible problems or obstacles and how you plan to avoid them.
Image courtesy of Cayusa