Top 10 Tips to Keep a Record of Ideas

8:10 am 13 Feb, 2013


There are so many times when an idea strikes your mind, and opens a world of possibilities for you, and then suddenly, after a few hours, it seems like some parts of the idea went missing from your memory. This is the reason why recording them on the spur of the moment becomes rather essential. Fortunately, ideas can be easily captured with the help of various tools and techniques available to you. Given below are the top 10 tips to keep a record of your ideas successfully.


10. Micro Cassette Recorder:

There are some spontaneous moments when you’re driving a car, exercising, or taking a morning walk, when suddenly an idea strikes the mind, and you wish there was something you could record it on. One good option for times like this is to have a micro cassette recorder in your pocket or bag. And, even when many may consider this as an ancient option, don’t forget, it is a simple push record device, unlike others, where reaching the application may waste time.
9. Pocket Notepad and colored pens:
So many of us are already in the habit of recording things in our small pocket notepads, but trust me, the monotonous blue ink, can sometimes make even a bright idea seem dull, and lost in the text. Having colored pens is always interesting. Even post recording the idea; you’ll feel like returning to the beautiful and colorful pages of your notepad.
8. Speed Writing:

Speed writing has been advocated for quite some time now. The technique is simple, you need to write the central idea as a statement on a sheet of paper, and then using a timer, set anywhere between 10 to 15 min of time, and start penning down all your thoughts about the idea. Don’t worry about the handwriting, grammar, or sentence construction, just jot it all down. You’ll get plenty of time to refine the idea later.
7. Flip Charts:

Flipcharts are especially useful for board meetings, when your team is brainstorming about various ideas on a topic. You can write big enough text to let them all see it, and once an idea has been singled out, just flip the chart and switch to the next idea. This ways you can keep going till the finalization of an option. Flipcharts can also be used near your desks, the place where so many ideas keep wriggling around your brain.
6. Use Voice mail messages:
In times, when there is no paper or pen, or any other form of recording device, the best option is using a voice mail. Leveraging technology, this method comes handy with all of us having cell phones at a 24 hour disposal with us. You simply speak out, or dictate the idea in your own mailbox, just like you’d send a message to a coworker. This also allows you to also instantly share your ideas with your colleagues and friends.
5. Drawing:
Whether you believe it or not, but even Da Vinci was an advocate of drawing down all ideas. You can simply use any piece of paper, be it a napkin, or a paper from a notebook, or diary; the purpose is to put it down in physical form. Fix a time, say 10 minutes or 15 minutes and draw everything associated with the idea in mind. Later, review the drawings to decipher the seriousness and viability of your thoughts.
4. Mind Mapping:

Mind mapping is an old technique of recording ideas, and still remains as much relevant in the present times, as it was when first originated. The idea is to quickly jot down an idea using keywords and phrases. Ascribe a fixed time to yourself, say 10 minutes. Take a piece of paper and draw or write the central idea in the centre of the page. Finally draw branches from it, and write other important keywords that strike you. Later you can use this rough copy for drafting the final copy of your idea.
3. Smartphone and tablets:


A few years ago, before the advent of mobile phones, Personal Digital Assistants used to double as idea notepads as well, but now the technology has become obsolete. The replacement is Smartphone and Tablets, that are not only small in size, easy to carry, but almost fully fledged computers in your hands, with applications that allow you to jot down your ideas on the spur of the moment.
2. Index Cards:
While many of you may consider index cards as a conventional means of recording ideas, don’t forget how useful they can be even in the present times. It consists of a bundle of small cards that can be kept in your pocket and used for writing ideas as they strike the mind. They become even more useful, when your digital devices are running out of battery, or in case you’re not too tech savvy.
1. Personal Notebooks:
Even after the lapse of ages, there is no supplication for what a notebook or a journal can do for you. Most handy and convenient to use, they are available in different sizes. You can choose the ones with lined pages, or plain pages, colored pages, or simple white pages. And, unlike your electronic devices like laptops and phones that might take up a few minutes to boot up, or reach the right application; recording in a journal with a pen is the easiest.


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