Today we’re going to talk about tools you can use for capturing ideas. Build this up and it’ll serve as a repository that you can come back to later. And, if you’re like me, you’ll impress yourself by the range of thoughts you have. But there’s one thing you have to always remember… Capture the idea! Because you will forget it. You’re not that good. It’s nothing against you and your memory. But you’ll have amazing ideas at the most inopportune time. Guaranteed. For example, just last night I woke up in the middle of the night with a great idea. I presume that it stemmed from a dream, but I don’t remember. In fact, I didn’t even remember the idea. But I did remember fumbling for my phone and texting myself while I was half asleep. Now, I can act on the idea. That wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t capture it. The thought would have went away as soon as I fell back asleep. Full disclosure: I’ve used every one of these at some point or another. I don’t have a favorite. What I use depends a lot on my environment, convenience and which app updates quickest for hardware updates.
Pinterest thrives on helping you capture your ideas. It’s why people love it. You collect all the different pieces then put them together in boards to form your dream life. But let’s put aside the addicting charm of the platform. Let’s think practically. You can use secret boards to upload photos of things like: receipts, your brainstorming whiteboard, scrap paper and the napkin that has you next great idea on it.
We’ve talked a bit about the power of Trello boards recently. And idea capturing is just another great thing you can do with the program. Put all your great thoughts into an “idea” board. Simple as that.
Once upon a time, I used Evernote all the time. All. The. Time. I’m still a huge advocate of the program. I’d recommend Michael Hyatt’s remarkable article for anyone that wants to use this brilliant platform to organize their thoughts and life.
Great articles often spark ideas, strategies or tactics. If I want to implement it later, I’ll use the tool’s “Save” feature. Then when I need some fresh ideas or strategies, I’ll head over to Feedly and dig through all the resources I’ve accumulated. Here’s a sample of a few titles in my “Saved for Later” section of Feedly:
- The Ultimate List-Builder’s Resource Guide: 111 Links to Double or Even Triple Your Traffic
- 62 Little Joys of Everyday Life That We Need to Appreciate More Often
- The Ultimate Guide to Changing Your Life
Man, now I wanna go read through some of these articles again! I forgot some of those were in there. See the beauty in this?
I love Slack. My team and I use it every day to communicate. But you can also use it to capture ideas. Create a private channel for yourself and write notes as you think of them. Works like a charm.
6. Notes for iPhone
I use this one the most right now. Living on-the-go makes the native iPhone application easy-to-use. And I can sync it up as a Google note, which makes it even better. It’s not the greatest solution, in my opinion. And I’ll probably switch into a more sophisticated system soon. But when I have 1,000 things going on during a day, I don’t have time to setup something better. Quick, easy and convenient. That’s what I need in my life.
7. Post Its
Good ol’ fashioned Post-It notes. The downside: You can’t keep them forever and things can get out of hand fast. I didn’t stick with this method for that reason. But recently, Post-It got smart. They now have an app that helps you file the ideas for later. Brilliant. I may just give this method another try in the future.
8. Moleskine Notebook
I haven’t used a Moleskine in years. But when I did, I loved it. You can find tons of options with these handy little notebooks. I enjoyed using the Cahier journals for idea capturing. The soft cover and small sized worked well for carrying with me anywhere I went.
There’s 12 different tools to test out. See which ones work for your lifestyle and which don’t. You won’t find an one-size-fits-all solution out there. As with most things in business and marketing, you’ve gotta test it out for yourself. The most important thing: capture the ideas. Which tools have you used in the past? Do you have any that you could add to the list? (I know you do!) Share them below in the comments.