Getting a great idea is like a mystery, you never know when it will come knocking at your door. Einstein got his ideas from shaving. I often get mine from reading or re-reading a book. How do you get yours?
Well, maybe your brilliant ideas come to you when riding a bike around your neighborhood, or while you’re standing in line somewhere. Our processes may differ but there’s a thin line that connects all of us.
Be it shaving, reading a book, riding a bike or standing in line, our ideas all come at random moments. And there is a downside to getting a great idea at a really random, almost absurd moment – for the most part we’re not well prepared..
Einstein probably frantically searched for a blank piece of paper on which to write his idea. Perhaps being the genius that he was, he just wrote it down mentally in his mind.
I scribble mine in a note app provided by my smartphone. You see, not only do our sources of ideas differ, but we also differ in the ways in which we store those ideas.
If you ask people how they store their ideas, you’ll get a lot of answers. Here are some that I managed to collect from here and there:
- Inside my brain (I seriously saw this answer on Quora).
- Google drive, because it’s easy to share.
- Ever heard of Evernote?
- Tweet it out, then favorite it (although whoever follows you could steal your ideas).
- Post-it, in all the colors of a rainbow.
- Idea box, or idea jar. Write your idea on a piece of paper, then store it in the box / jar.
- Apps like Wunderlist, Any.do, Pocket, etc.
- Scrap of paper I happen to set eyes upon, although I may never see it again after.
- Post it on InstaStory: text, photo, or a video post.
Which one of these suggestions have you already utilized or would like to apply in the future?
If you haven’t used any of them and solely depend on the ‘still available’ space within your memory, I recommend you try one of the recommendations above (except the ‘inside my brain’ one, of course!).
Why? Because as time goes by, no matter how good your memory is, you will forget. It’s true.
You will forget half of what you learn in 2 weeks and 90% in 2 months, if you don’t get multiple repetitions of the information.
It would be a total waste to have a great idea stored half-heartedly for it to just disappear without you even realizing it, right?
Because, think about it, that idea might have been your big break.
Since the examples I mentioned above might be too time-consuming for you to check out individually, I’d like to share with you the top three potential methods for storing your ideas.
Of course, deciding which to use rests on your needs and personal preferences.
1. The Classic One: Notebook
Wait. Don’t give me that but it’s too heavy a stare yet. I admit it might be inconvenient to carry your notebook everywhere you go, but it is a great place to store all your ideas. It’s effective.
By writing your ideas down with your own hands, you’ll remember them better.
Some people even argue that by storing ideas manually like this, there’s a better probability you will expand upon the ideas as you write, as there are no distractions coming from the notebook.
That frees your mind to focus on what you are thinking and writing.
Besides nowadays you can easily find a notebook that’s made of lightweight material and is not even bigger than the size of your palm.
I have to say, though, this classic notebook move will probably be better suited to those who are used to carrying a bag, and a pen, everywhere.
If you’re the type of person who will start writing on a piece of scrap paper pulled at random out of your bag, or doodling on tissue paper, then the notebook it is.
2. The Techie One: Apps, especially Evernote
For those who are technologically-oriented, don’t bother buying yourself a notebook. Go to your phone’s app store instead. There you can download apps like Wunderlist or IdeaSketch.
However I would suggest using Evernote. While working on this article, I discovered that a lot of people are using Evernote for a lot of valid reasons.
For instance, it enables you to collect information from literally everywhere, and place it all on one single page.
It’s also easy to organize, can be accessed both online and offline – not to mention that you can sync the mobile version with your PC at home – making it easy for you to continue your work from wherever you had stopped.
3. The Not-That-Techie-But-Not-A-Notebook-Type-Of-Person-Either: Well…
For those who are in between, not exactly very motivated to search and try to find a good app that works for you, or shudder at the image of writing your thoughts down on a clean white sheet of paper in a notebook: you can try using whatever help is currently available on your phone.
Since I consider myself a prime example of this in-between type, I can give you some insight.
First, you can use your phone’s calendar. You can type in a simple and short thought, like check if anybody’s selling *peep* right now or need a book about starting a business for dummies.
The great thing is, you’ll know exactly when that idea popped up, since you’re filling it in that day’s date. You can even set a reminder!
If the calendar doesn’t work for you, since the space is quite limited — try out the notepad. On some smartphones, you can even draw or write stuff in different colors.
Not that bad, eh? You can also utilize the voice memo feature, which is perfect when you cannot type your idea.
So that’s it, folks. Are you the traditional person who prefers to pour your ideas or to-do list onto the pages of a notebook?
A tech-savvy gal or guy who enjoys trying different idea-storing apps? Or someone who is happy enough to write your ideas down on your phone?
It’s all good, because the most important thing is not where you write your thoughts down but doing so in a place that will help you remember your ideas so you actually do work on them.
Start storing, people. And good luck with your really great ideas!