If you’re like I am, you’re almost always thinking about whatever is stressing you. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, your brain is always going. It doesn’t even matter if you are aware that you’re thinking about your stressors, your subconscious is cranking away behind the scenes; that’s why you may suddenly come up with a great solution to a problem that you weren’t even thinking about.
No matter what the reason, though, ideas will come to you. Some good, some bad, some big, some small; ideas will suddenly pop into your mind when you are least expecting it. What do you do with the good ones, the ideas that you want to remember? How do you capture them so they are not lost forever?
It could be something big like an idea that will completely solve one of your problems, or it could be something relatively minor, like a call you have to make or something you need at the store.
Don’t you just hate it when you remember that you had an idea, but can’t remember what it was? It’s not just the frustration; you’ve lost the value that the idea would have brought you unless and until it pops back into your mind (and you don’t forget it again).
If you don’t already have one, you need a system to keep track of your ideas, because once they’re gone, they’re gone. It just so happens that I have one.
The most important part of any system of this kind is to capture the idea in some form; the exact form you choose should be based on your own personal style. Here are two choices: paper or digital.
The paper system involves putting pens and small pads of paper around your home and office. When an idea pops into your head, write it down (a simple reminder will do) and put the paper in your pocket. Make sure that the papers all end up in a central location by getting into the habit of accumulating them in specific "staging areas" until they find their way to that central location.
The digital system involves getting a digital voice recorder (DVR), available at electronics stores for $25 and up, depending on the number of minutes of recording time.