A common attribute of very creative thinkers, is that they never let an idea slip away from them. They deliberately capture their ideas and today, I’m recommending that you do the same. I am also going to give you a tip about how to work with the ideas you capture, using a simple pen and paper.
I will explain why the pen and paper are important in a moment. First, lets look at why I believe you should start capturing your ideas.
There are actually 2 good reasons:
- The first reason is obvious. By deliberately collecting the ideas you have, you are not going to lose or forget them. Sometimes, our memory can be a poor servant.
- This is less obvious. By capturing your ideas, you will quickly develop what I call creative thinking confidence.
Creative thinking confidence?
Yes. As you start to see the volume and quality of ideas you create, you become aware of just how creative you really are. As a result, your confidence grows and you become encouraged to think in increasingly creative ways.
If you have never deliberately captured your ideas before, you will be amazed. In many cases, people who previously thought they lacked ideas, ended up with more ideas than they could use, even after they cherry-picked the very best ones.
So, what’s the best way to easily capture your ideas, without it eating into too much of your time?
When it comes to creative thinking, your phone can be your friend
The majority of phones come equipped with a camera and audio recorder. Most also have a video facility built in. So, use them!
If you see something that inspires you, capture it. If you get an idea, record it whilst it’s fresh in your mind. Then, when you get time, take the information off the phone and put it onto something you can work with. Photos and audio recordings can be uploaded to your computer, and I will share a great free tool for doing that in a moment.
I recommend any audio recordings are either saved as audio files or jotted down on paper. I always use a pen and pad to write up audio notes and get my ideas fleshed out. I call it thinking on paper.
Thinking on paper
Although I am surrounded with technology, I find I always think better on paper. It seems that the process of writing by hand helps me think, by making me concentrate deeper on what I am writing. With a keyboard, I write pretty fast. By hand, I write far slower. There’s also something about the tactile nature of a pen or pencil, which has always assisted my thought process.
If you usually get your ideas down using a computer, give paper and pen/pencil a go. I have seen amazing results with my clients, when they started thinking on paper.
I also recommend you try Evernote
I recently started using Evernote, as an easy way to capture audio, images and useful links.
It works on most smart phones, and automatically uploads everything you do to the cloud, so your phone and all your computers and other devices are synchronized. The free version is excellent and provides everything that most people will need, though I recently upgraded to the paid offering, to support their work. You can find out more on the Evernote website.
But most of all, capture your ideas before they are lost
You may be just 1 idea away from a breakthrough you need. Make it a habit to capture your ideas and set time aside every day to think about them and work with them.
Some of your ideas will be of little value to you.
Others will be of greater value.
And some will be gold dust!