Ideas come and go, if you’re lucky they come often stick around for at least a little while.
For the rest of us, ideas disappear just as quickly as they came. Then, when you need them most, there’s nothing there. You’re stuck scrambling to come up with a new idea or frantically trying to recall earlier ones through a game of “What was I just thinking?”
To avoid these problem situations, the solution is simple enough: just keep track of your ideas.
Here are a few time-proven, best ways to keep your ideas safe for future reference or reflection.
As a bonus, scroll to the bottom of this post to see how you could win a Field Notes brand kit and space pen for capturing all of your ideas now.
With Evernote you get a large array of features that make storing and tracking your ideas painless.
Sync your ideas list from your phone, update ideas from your computer, or even email notes to yourself from anywhere. You can access the Evernote website or utilize any of their powerful apps. The largest downside I’ve heard from Evernote users is that it can sometimes be overwhelming, and there’s certainly a learning curve to getting setup and started with keeping ideas. But in terms of power and capabilities, Evernote has got you covered.
Thinglist (iPhone only)
My go-to idea tracking app lately has been Thinglist, an app designed specifically for the iPhone.
There’s no online syncing, no desktop or web app, just Thinglist on your phone with custom lists. The real promising point of the app is in its simplicity. For tracking ideas or things quickly and elegantly, this is the app I recommend today.
Field Notes (Pictured)
Small, durable, and classically designed, Field Notes from Coudal are handy little notebooks that come in a lot of colors and speciality packs.
If you’re accustom to using the classic Moleskin journals, Field Notes will feel like a second home. Starting at just $9.95, these little guys are great to buy a bundle of and use often.
Creative savant and brilliant writer Merlin Mann swears by this method of idea tracking. He’s dubbed it the “Hipster PDA” and though it sounds a little fishy at first, it can be pretty powerful.
What is it? It’s a stack of index cards clipped together. You carry them around with a pen and that’s it. The largest benefit to this method for idea keeping is that you can do so much with it, it’s not limited by functionality or features, and because you can get cards in so many different sizes you can carry them in your pocket if that’s your thing.
Sometimes the best way to track your ideas is with a good, old-fashioned notebook. Behance offers Action Method books and notepads that make tracking ideas by hand effortless.
Because their products are designed to help creatives move forward with ideas, there’s a good layout that will propel you to write more and utilize the notebooks often.
Drafts (iPhone and iPad only)
I’ve talked with a lot of creatives who swear by Drafts, a note taking app that makes note taking the core of what it does.
Drafts makes taking notes effortless by instantly starting a new note whenever you open it. The app features some great bonuses though, like expiring to multiple places (like Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, email, and tons more), allowing for neat formatting or your notes, and more.
Want to win a free kit from Field Notes?
Simply “Like” the Creative Something Facebook page and leave a comment saying that you want Field Notes for tracking ideas. You’ll be entered to win two 80-page Steno Books, one Graph 3-Pack, one Mixed 3-Pack, six Field Notes brand Pencils, six Clic Pens, six Bands of Rubber, and a Field Notes 2013 Calendar. PLUS a Field Notes matte black space pen, perfectly sized to fit in any pocket. (Valued at $73.90.)
A winner will be picked at random on Friday, March 22nd 2013 and announced on the Facebook page.