If you want to harness and hone the power of your inner creativity to do great things in your blogging business, one of the best ways to do that is to start an idea file. An idea file is a list of ideas that you can draw on anytime you need one. Think of it as your ‘backburner.’
Why You Should Keep an Idea File
The main reason it’s important to have an idea file is that it provides ideas when you need them, but there are other benefits as well. One is that it helps you organize your ideas. With several ideas written down and ready to go, you can choose which you feel most inspired to run with.
An idea file also allows you to capture ideas whenever inspiration hits. You can jot down the idea no matter where you are and add it to your idea file when you can get to the computer. This is more effective for generating ideas than setting aside a certain time of day for brainstorming.
Capturing Your Ideas
Although your idea file should be on your computer, you should be open to ideas everywhere you go. There are several ways to capture your ideas. You can jot things down on scraps of paper or carry a small notebook that fits easily in your back pocket. At the end of each day, add your ideas to the idea file.
Modern technology can help as well. If you have a smartphone, you can jot your ideas down in a memo file. You can also email them to your PC email address that you’ll check when you get home.
Side note: I love either using Google Docs or Evernote for this purpose. It’s always available to me by phone, any computer, or the iPad.
Getting Your Ideas Down
There’s a variety of approaches to writing down your ideas. You may write a single word or phrase, or find that it helps to realize the idea more fully. If you write down just a word, there’s a chance you’ll forget the details of the idea by the time you add it to your file. You may find yourself asking, ‘What does that mean?’
The rule of thumb for capturing ideas most effectively is that the first thought is the best thought. Write down whatever pops into your mind as quickly as possible. If an image, word or other outside stimulus inspired the idea, you may want to jot that down as well.
I find that washing dishes after dinner is a prime time for ideas. I’ve got a pad of paper on the counter and pencil ready for any of my “watery” ideas to bubble up from the soap suds.
Streamlining Your Idea File
There is no one method of keeping an idea file that works for everyone. Start with the basics as outlined above and see how it goes. You’ll find ways to modify the idea file concept to suit your particular needs. Remember, there is no right or wrong way. Just do it!
I’m super excited about my new project and hope you will join me on the creativity journey and my mission for the Rat Race Be Gone mentality.
Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who find they need to RePurpose and ReDesign their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.