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Capturing Ideas (Part III of the Behind The Scenes series)

Capturing Ideas

Ideas, thoughts, and wouldn’t-it-be-great-ifs are always in abundance when you run your own business.  These ideas can strike without warning as a flash of clarity, or become a longer term goal that you’d like to get to.  

Whenever you get the inspiration, you just have to note it down somewhere (anywhere?) before you lose it!  How do you do this without a confetti of Post-It notes and scraps of paper all over your desk?

Here’s how I keep track of my ideas.

The ‘old fashioned’ way

As you will have guessed, I spend A LOT of time sat at a computer.  My whole business runs through being connected online to my clients, to apps, to the Cloud. Technology makes up a lot of my world, so you’d think that I’d use technology to note all my ideas too. But no!

I am a huge fan of the notebook, and I love nothing more than scribbling ideas, plans, thoughts, odd things to remember later in them.  There is nothing like a new notebook with empty pages just waiting to be filled!  

My two favourites are collections at Moleskine and Smythson.  There is always one on my desk and in my bag and I use it a lot!  I note down the start of ideas or things I’d like to look more at, and then transfer the ones to take further to Asana (see Part I).

Moleskine now do a notebook that integrates with Evernote so if you’d like the best of both worlds, you can capture pages from your notebook via the app and they will appear and sync with Evernote. Clever!

The writing is on the wall 

Another must have for when I’m feeling more creative is Magic Whiteboard.   There are often several sheets stuck to the wall in my office with ideas on the go!  

It’s a great way to see things more visually and can often help thinking too.  I often glance at them and think “no, that’s not quite right” or “let’s add this” and pick up a pen and write on the wall!  

Keep in sync

If you’re not a fan of anything unless it is online, then my recommendation would simply be Evernote.  It is easy to use, syncs across all your devices, can keep not just notes but web links, pictures and documents too.

Where do you keep all your ideas, and how do they get from the page to reality? 

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Praise for Virtually Does It

She’s smart, and works really well when you let her understand your business and what you’re trying to achieve. The chances are that she’ll have ideas you won’t have had. And that if you run with them, you’ll get a better, more value-added outcome, than you’d imagined.

Christine Livingston, Livingston Consulting