I never knew until around May/June of 2020 that I wanted to become an Idea Animal. Only today did I even give it a name and identify that Animal is my Spirit Animal :) .
This DESPITE, since I was a teenager, having jotted down (actually found my old scribble pads buried at my Moms house on a summer visit) or mentally filed away millions as an unconscious process.
Each day I record ideas somewhere:
- I have been a habitual user of Composition notebooks (50 cent at Target - volume discounts there and Walmart around the time schools go back to session in your hometown — stock up then) for years. (So in those).
- I use napkins and other disposable paper at my disposal while driving.
- Use Notes on my iPhone or iPad.
- Voice Recorder App on iPhone (great when I am on the go and even in the car).
- I have even turned some ideas into videos on my You Tube Chanel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPZvIdNoApc4nPCxmPX6VBA
Recording has been a long time tool and periodic burst of fury.
BUT as a thing, habit, process, RECORDING my ideas has come only after many years of trying to use my brain as a mental filing cabinet. Which has become less effective after 40. A friend of mine credited this MENTAL FILING CABINET as a massive advantage years ago. I could recall most anything on the fly (not photo graphic memory, just excellent recall). That is no longer a reliable. So now all gets written down. I figure having relied on this I cost myself 5-years of productivity and real action on many ideas (conservatively).
I have been working to refine this skill. And, also define the best time of day to start trying to RECORD ideas.
What’s working???? And why??? Credit for paying attention to what Tony Robbins says about emotions and James Altucher’s daily exercise to become an IDEA MACHINE.
Here is my process:
- Do some thought recording in the morning first thing. Has to be done after waking my mind up and getting myself into a good emotional state (otherwise its not going to yield much and could derail the day). To do so, leave your phone, TV, and conversations with others for later in the day. Meditating and physical movement really work. I also tell myself periodically that I am wasting time (if I actually am) to get my ass moving on something and initiate something (have to tell yourself the truth).
- Have a standing meeting with myself at 10 am to record ideas in a notebook (currently using a stack of small ones collected as swag at conferences over the past few years — CAN’T wait for those to return).
- I jot the idea (un-categorized, un-filtered, just raw) in a column labeled IDEA and then try and come up with a first step in the next column labeled 1st STEP (“Pro Tip” from Mr. Altucher).
3. Have a standing meeting with myself at 3pm to review the ideas I jotted down and put them into 1 of 5 buckets (if I can):
- Immediately Deployable
- Scheduled Event
- New Business Idea
- Learning Challenge/Skills Development
- People Challenge
4. Take action on an idea immediately if it’s that sort of idea. By example. Today I posted a Job Wanted “ad” on LinkedIn proclaiming that I am seeking to be the Chief Champion of You for my business Revival Development Services https://revivaldevelopmentservices.com or https://www.linkedin.com/company/revival-development-services.
A future idea is going on professional friend road trip to visit several folks in my old stomping grounds of the Bay Area — this takes some planning.
5. On the last Friday of each month I revisit all ideas recorded to make sure I have taken some action with it; including giving it a funeral and never returning to it if it is a “bad” idea. NOTE: Don’t be so harsh with a bad idea. They could simply need to be recast.
From step 5 many different things happen that may include:
- Find something to read about related to the idea
- Turn the idea into a process or work flow
- Create a Kanban Board in ClickUp
- Seek some outside help to move an idea forward.
- MY Favorite, invite someone for a beer I like to talk to and engage (maybe the idea never comes into play, but certainly more will come for you to record the next day)
- …………Who knows???
I hope this has been some help to you. Plenty of other good ways to generate ideas and up your creative in a few books I’ve read including Thinker Toys, Weird Ideas That Work, and………..
Feel free to send me any tips you have that you like.