You’re traveling in a bus, thinking and suddenly one great idea comes into your mind about a project you’re working on. Meanwhile you are thinking of important tasks you have to do that day. On the top of it, you’re involuntarily planning about how you will prepare for that test or for that project.
Okay. Okay. Wait. I need to note this or I’ll forget it which I can’t afford!
Exactly. Ideas are the most important thing for a person who is involved in creative pursuits regularly.
There are many examples of situations like these. When you’re going somewhere, when you’re coming from somewhere. When you get an idea for your blog while you’re in your music class. When you get an idea for your music practice while writing a blog post!
Aha moments don’t ask before coming.
Besides, ideas themselves are of many kinds. Some relate to creating things, some relate to planning, some relate to long term goals, some relate to short term goals. You may want to note ideas for day to day things and short term goals in a place where you can frequently see them.
So it is clear why it is so hard to manage noting ideas-
- Ideas are too many
- They may come at odd times
- They are of different kinds
Result- Mental block
So how do I note my ideas?
After a long time of experimenting (and fun), I’ve found a stable method for myself.
Okay, I basically have two diaries for this as you can see in the picture.
I’ll explain how I use them one by one.
The smaller diary
- This is the diary that is small enough that I could carry it with me to my school.
- It basically includes the list of things I plan to do on different days, my recent areas of focus like ‘the psychology test coming next week’.
- In the back of the diary, I used to note things that I wanted to do ‘some day’. Since it was the last year of my school, full of exams, I could not do whatever I wanted to do the moment I felt like doing it, so I would keep noting them down for later. Now that I’m free after exams, I’m doing all those things.
- All the ideas that urgently need to be noted somewhere go in this diary. I usually use one or two keywords and it works for me.
The bigger diary
- All the ideas related to big and long term things that require planning go here. For example, ideas for my blog, or planning for my career.
How do I deal with the problem of ideas coming at odd times?
Let’s say, I am outdoors and I don’t have my diary with me. I make a note in my phone. If I don’t have anything, I rely on my memory and as soon as I reach home, the first thing I do is write them down.
Another example, I get an idea for my long term goal, say my blog and I am in school. I note it down in my small diary, and as I reach home, I note it down in the bigger one.
The concept is to make stages if you can’t write something at its ‘right place’.
This works for me. It may or may not work for you. That’s why I say, keep experimenting, keep doing things until you evolve your own way which is best suited for you.
So how do you manage to keep track of your thoughts?