How do you guys store thoughts and ideas?

by 26 comments
Hey, I'm just wondering how everyone stores their thoughts, ideas etc.

I tried to keep a journal. However, I get ideas all the time, insights, while driving, sitting at a friends house, wherever. So I'll end up with ideas on 15 different pieces of paper.

I also try to record voice notes into my iphone on Evernote.

When I sit down and start typing the ideas out, they'll be in a folder on my hard drive (dropboxed).

I'm all over the place. Wondering if there is a better system.

These are not always just copywriting ideas, but they will include them. These are marketing ideas, promotion ideas etc.
#copy writing #guys #ideas #stores #thoughts

  • Profile picture of the author Moriarty
    Personally I have a book that sits near me at most times. My ideas get scribbled down.

    Most of the time I get my inspirations from clients, so my ideas are targeted in their direction.

    M
  • Profile picture of the author KingOfContentMarketing
  • Profile picture of the author deezn
    Joe, I use evernote, but like my brain it's a jumbled mess of notes. I guess I should figure out a system on how to use it.
  • Profile picture of the author KingOfContentMarketing
    I use tags a lot. It's faster and I don't have to worry about which of 7 folders something should be filed.
  • Profile picture of the author ASCW
    Tiny notepad in my back pocket.
  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    Before I bought a Samsung Note, I used a Parker Jotter and the backs of receipts that are always in my pockets.

    For capturing ideas that flash through, but are unrelated to the task at hand, I keep a sheet of 18 by 24 inch watercolor paper on the credenza next to my desk. Let's me just reach over and and jot down the random stuff.

    The big paper is also great for brainstorming.

    For a system that captures everything, check out Gay Talese. He uses a bunker.

  • Profile picture of the author lotsofsnow
    Originally Posted by deeznuts View Post

    Hey, I'm just wondering how everyone stores their thoughts, ideas etc.

    I tried to keep a journal. However, I get ideas all the time, insights, while driving, sitting at a friends house, wherever. So I'll end up with ideas on 15 different pieces of paper.

    I also try to record voice notes into my iphone on Evernote.

    When I sit down and start typing the ideas out, they'll be in a folder on my hard drive (dropboxed).

    I'm all over the place. Wondering if there is a better system.

    These are not always just copywriting ideas, but they will include them. These are marketing ideas, promotion ideas etc.
    Same here

    Have not tried the voice recording thing but the rest: yep, using it and making a mess
  • Profile picture of the author wesb
    I try and keep a small note pad with me at all times even when I am driving. If an idea flash into my mind I jot it down as quickly as I can.

    When I get to the office I have what I call an idea book and I record my notes into this book. When its time to write copy or whatever I refer to my idea book.

    Not the best system but it works for me right now until I can find something better.
  • Profile picture of the author verial
    I switched from paper to Onenote. Onenote is on your computer already. (look and be surprised!)

    If you're an mac user, I have no suggestions (other than to sell your mac and buy an equally powerful PC with cash left over).
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    I think best with a yellow legal pad or standing at a white board. Hence I have a case of legal pads and an 8' x 4' white board.
  • Profile picture of the author deezn
    Ok I cracked Evernote. I was looking at One Note, which looks awesome. But no Mac version. I go between Windows and Mac fairly often.

    I love the notebook, file and page setup of One Note.

    I would love a 3 tier setup with evernote, but I can sort of replicate it with Tags. Tags. I hate tags but I'll guess I'll figure out how to use it.

    I love the White board idea and think I'll buy one, or try one of the computer mind mapping versions (not the same I know)
  • Profile picture of the author KingOfContentMarketing
    Here's something to keep in mind if you use whiteboards a lot. You can take a picture of the whiteboard and send it to Evernote from your phone. Evernote can read words in photos so you can keep a record of all your whiteboard musings and be able to search through them later.
  • Profile picture of the author ERPLeadsWriter
    First, I measure them and be honest about what an idea's worth. Most of the time, I filter out passing fancies because fun things are so easy to remember that they don't need writing down.

    Whatever is left ends up scribbled at the bottom of whatever document I'm currently working on. :p
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Ceskavich
    The simplest way to catch random ideas is to have a smart phone.

    You can use evernote as others have suggested. I simply use a notes app.

    Every idea gets it's own note on one of my home screens. They're color coded:

    1. Red - Tasks / actions
    2. Purple - Principles + Projects
    3. White - Insights into life

    ... Blue, orange and green change with various projects.

    Once a week, I gather together all loose paper and do a review. The tasks go on my project manager. The principles I try to put to work and then delete them. (Or create new projects for them.)

    The white notes get their own home screen. Which I can refer to when I need to re-center. I clear them up when they're no longer relevant. (Which is very rare...)

    Anything can work. I just like the smart phone because it's always on you. And you can store and sync things digitally. While pads of paper are likely to get lost.

    Hell, I even write long hand. But I can't store ideas that way.
  • Profile picture of the author staceythewriter
    I have a "brainstorm," "scrap" and "notebook" section in the memo area of my Blackberry.

    Voice notes are great too, when you can't stop to write. You can always transcribe the voice notes later.
  • Profile picture of the author Sue McDonald
    I have a note book beside me and if I am out driving, or doing something else away from my desk - I make a mental note to write down my ideas as soon as I get home. I try to keep some paper in my bag and if possible I might scribble something down.
  • Profile picture of the author KimboJim
    I'm a mess when it comes to storing ideas. I have a little drawer filled with notes and scraps of paper from when I was in high school. My Palm Pixi was full of notes, my new Droid Razr is full of notes, I have several notebooks and I usually carry around paper and a pen in case my phone isn't working.

    Basically, I have notes for ideas and thoughts everywhere.
  • Profile picture of the author nickstamoulis
    I stick with just a pad of paper and a pen. I find I can actually get thoughts/ideas out and written down a lot quicker that way. I know sometimes that makes it harder to find them again because stuff will be buried, so maybe invest in a multisubject notebook (or just divide up a smaller one) so you can flip to the right section and then jot down your idea.
  • Profile picture of the author chrisv24
    I just use a spreadsheet with post title and date written. Simples

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