Every now and then someone asks me how I come up with ideas for my blog posts. It seems strange to them that someone can sit down and come up with an original idea for what to write about – like I can pull them out of a hat. Well here’s the truth: I don’t come up with them as I prepare to write. In fact, I might not even come up with them that day, week, or month. I write down my ideas when they come to me, because of one big factor: I don’t trust my memory.
Don’t Trust Your Memory
Apparently Elephants never forget – unfortunately, people do. I used to try to trust my memory – I would have a great though, idea or insight, and try to file it to the back of my brain for later use – but it never worked. I would forget the idea, or an essential piece of it. I have since learned from that. Whenever I get an idea, a though, or an insight, I write it down. You can use whatever you are comfortable with, but find something that works.
Personally, in the past I used the note function on my Smartphone (whichever you have). However, recently I discovered a great app called Evernote. Evernote allows you to take notes (or pictures, voice recordings, almost anything) on your phone, and sync them up to any other device. I have the app on my phone and laptop, and I can sync between the two. This allows me to manage my thoughts and ideas between the two areas, and keep better track of them. I have a note called “blog idea” that I routinely add to during the day, that way I won’t forget them – because they are written down
Write a Journal
To take it one step further, if we don’t trust our memories with basic things: ideas, insights, etc., how can we trust it with the grand image that is our life? A day makes up the mosaic that is your life, and you should treat everyone as important as such. That is why I encourage everyone reading this to start a journal. At the end of the day, write down your reflections on the day: what happened, how did it make you feel, what did you, what did you accomplish, what did you miss? It’s much easier to remember it at the end of the day then it is at the end of the year. The goal is not to get through your day, but to get from your day – to get value out of each day to be used in the next. So what are you waiting for, start a journal today and start writing down your thoughts!