“Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.” – Nolan Bushnell
If you’re like me, you’re never short on ideas. As a matter of fact, I often times have more ideas than I can execute. That doesn’t mean I don’t capture every idea and place it in my secure vault at my international headquarters for future recall… Now until I get that vault, I need to have another system in place that works.
I’ve noticed that ideas come in the most inopportune times. While I’m in the shower, driving, engaged in client work and meetings, out with family and even at sporting events. To be truthful, ideas are everywhere. Sometimes I see them and other times they’re unrecognizable.
The secret is that every idea you see make sure you have a system in place to capture the idea for future reference.
For me, productivity systems are always evolving, but here’s what I’m currently using to capture ideas.
Build Your Own Idea Capturing System
I’m still a pen a paper kind of guy. Sometimes it’s the quickest way to get an idea captured. Here’s what’s in kit:
- 3×5 Cards – You can never have enough 3×5 cards. Any time I have an idea, I write it down on a card and throw it in my inbox. When I’m away from my desk, I use a Levenger international wallet that holds 5-7 3×5 cards.
- Notebook – I always keep a notebook in my bag and usually flip back and forth between a Moleskine Journal and a Field Notes Notebook. I have a tendency to use these for capturing ideas that are more detailed than a blog post idea or a person I need to contact. My notebooks are used for more business planning and process development.
In addition to my analog setup, I always have a iPhone and iPad with me. I don’t have a preference what tool I use to capture the idea as long as I can make sure it gets recorded. I find myself using digital solutions while I’m in meetings, networking events and during family activities.
Here’s the apps that are currently working for me:
- Simplenote or PlainText – I use these apps to capture a quick idea on the run. This is my digital 3×5 card. Anything with a sentence or two, I use one of these apps.
- Evernote – Evernote is on all my digital devices. I use Evernote as my digital filing system. This is where I input all the information from Simplenote and my 3×5 cards. Business ideas and content ideas are filed in specific notebooks for future reference.
- Wunderlist – This is my task management tool that I use to plan and execute my ideas.
At the end of the day, ideas are just ideas. The key factor is that you execute them. However, having a system in place to capture ideas puts a little organization to the constant fire house.
Here’s what is working for me. I would love to hear what you’re doing.
Share your system in the comments section.
image credit: cybershotking