Have you ever had an idea that you thought was so great it must be unforgettable, so you didn’t bother to write it down… then you forgot what it was?
If you don’t have a way to keep track of your ideas almost all of the time, you are bound to forget something sooner or later. Is risking the loss of a remarkable idea worth not doing something as simple as writing it down?
I’ve written about how always carrying a notebook around, can help prepare you for when you get random ideas, but there is more to recording your ideas than just being able to write down them randomly, and not forgetting them.
Make sure to write these points down somewhere:
Writing down your ideas makes them nearly impossible to forget.
Sure, you could rip out the page you write your idea on, or you could lose your idea notebook, but writing down your idea is a pretty certain guarantee that you won’t forget it later. Even if the idea seems pointless or stupid at the time you think it up, you may want to recall it later, and if you don’t write it down somewhere… you probably won’t ever remember.
Writing down your ideas makes them more than just ideas.
An idea is just a mental thought, until it is written (or typed) down. Writing down your ideas takes them from being just a thought, into being a real, feasible idea. In this way the creative ideas you have also become expandable; you will be able to physically see the idea, rather than just imagining it in your mind (seeing is believing). Being able to see your idea is the very first step in acting on that idea.
Writing down your ideas puts them all in one place.
If you find yourself bombarded with a lot of creative ideas often (or if you’re a creative professional), writing your ideas down in an “idea notebook” makes it easy to keep track of your ideas. An idea notebook means you always know where to look when you want to recall an idea (or when you need some creative inspiration). Don’t want to buy a notebook? Then try to collect all of your ideas on your computer or in a pile of scrap paper. Anything to put your ideas all into one, easy to find place.
Writing down your ideas makes it easier to think up new ones.
Once you are in the habit of writing your ideas down, you’ll quickly develop a knack for thinking up, and tracking, ideas. Before you know it you will have notebooks full of great ideas. The more you write the more you will have to write about.
Try and discover ways in your everyday activity to keep track of your ideas until you can get them together in one place and in one format.
Carrying just a pen or pencil around with you everywhere is a great idea, you can always result to writing on your own skin if you can’t find a piece of paper or something else to write on. If you’re the kind of person who gets inspiration while in the shower, you can buy a shower note tablet, or just use Crayola Washable Crayons to write directly on your shower wall. If you have a cellphone or PDA, use it to keep track of your ideas.
In my opinion, the absolute best way to keep track of ideas is to carry a small notebook with you everywhere you go. You can buy some that will fit into your pockets, or you can buy larger, heftier ones.
Download Prompts on your iPhone or iPad to get creative writing prompts.