How to Catch Your ideas
An Idea on the Loose
Have you ever been busy in a task, like exercising or laying in bed an idea popped into your head? Did you say to yourself “that is such a great idea! I need to do this!” and then carry on with what you were doing only to forget about your idea and later find someone else executing the same idea you had a few weeks later?
Yes, this used to happen to me all the time!
I would think of something cool, but not write it down, and then I would forget the idea. A few days or weeks later I would find out someone else “had” my idea and were moving forward with it. When someone else implements your idea, it may be a little frustrating.
I knew I had to find a way to catch my ideas!
An idea is “a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action.” (Google, 2017).
Ideas may be plans, designs, proposals, suggestions, actions, Concepts, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, etc.
The world around you influences your ideas as well as your experiences and what you are acting upon or what you see others acting upon.
Ideas can be big or small. They might be short- or long-term. They might be something that you have no idea what to do with, but it came to you, and it is an idea for you.
Catch Your Ideas!
When your ideas come, you need to catch them!
When you think of an idea, you need to grab it and document it, A.S.A.P. to take ownership of that idea.
To catch an idea, you may write it on a scrap paper, text it to a friend or tell whoever you are with. But you must grab the idea and put it in your space so that you don’t lose it and find it with someone else.
“I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us—albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have the will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.” – Elizabeth Gilber, Big Magic.
Elizabeth Gilbert talks further about the concept of catching ideas in her book, Big Magic.
How to Catch Your Ideas
It might seem easy, but if you are a busy person, catching your ideas might fall by the wayside. It can be a challenge to stop what you are doing and catch your idea.
However, if you don’t catch it, you will find it with someone else (have I made myself clear on this yet?)
To catch your ideas, write down any ideas as it pops into your head. Now is the time to use those sticky notes, scrap paper, and notebook scribbles.
If you can’t write it, text it or tell it to someone you are with.
Whatever you do, do not just think it!
Create an Idea Repository
As you know from my other blog, on How to Keep Track of Unorganized Tasks with a Parking Lot Project, I don’t agree with sticky notes or scrap paper being a long-term storage strategy for what you want to accomplish.
Therefore, I encourage you to keep an idea repository.
An idea repository is a place where you can keep track of all your ideas! It can be a single notebook, a spreadsheet, or even a digital tool like Asana.
I use Asana for my idea tracking, and because it holds all of my project and task information, so everything is in one place.
Whatever you choose to use, it is important to take those notes and consolidate and organize your ideas into your idea repository.
The Benefits of an Idea Repository
- All of your ideas can be access from a single location.
- You can see a big picture; what ideas can be consolidated, strung together, or created into projects.
- Never run out of ideas! When you have a consolidated repository, you always have an idea to work through.
Idea Repository Walk-Through
In this video, I will walk you through my idea repository and how I organize my ideas using the free tool, Asana.