Growing Your Ideas

idea
Don't let the good ideas get away. From soyboy7 Flickr photostream.

If you are like me, then ideas come continually in waves. In the waves, there are a mix of promising and mediocre ones. The ideas are essentially raw materials to something that may prove fruitful.

Between making an idea happen as a reality and the conception of it, there’s a key middle step. You have to have a good capture process that makes it easy.

Here are some things I do to ensure I don’t lose good ideas and I have a healthy source of raw materials to harness if it makes sense:

  • Capture in Evernote. Evernote is a simple and remarkable tool. It can become your brain’s hard drive for capturing any resource information and ideas. I have the Evernote App on my iPhone which syncs to the cloud. This keeps everything up to date and synced. General ideas get captured right away, whether I am in a conversation with someone or coming back from a run.
  • Twitter posts of a thought. Twitter is easy and accessible from my iPhone and any of the computers I use. If I have a raw thought, it takes a little more brain power to turn it into something meaningful as a Tweet. If I see a resource I like online, I will Tweet it also. I review my Tweets over time for new ideas and the ones that still have context and I can get behind I move into a project phase.
  • Journaling. Writing out what is happening in life is not only cathartic but forces clarity. Reflecting about what is happening and how it is impacting me in a paper journal slows my brain down. I like reviewing it once in a while to find the ideas that still make sense.

These are the raw places where my ideas are captured so I don’t lose them. Moving the real ones into projects and tasks is the next step. Having a place to capture and incubate the ideas allows me to have an idea factory that can be drawn upon.

When there is time and distance with those past captures, I can look to see if I still have an emotional connection to take the idea to fruition. There is more context. A worthy idea typically keeps coming up and demands attention.

There you are. A few ways to capture your ideas and change your world. What do you think?

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