Need to write articles or blog posts, but find yourself struggling to come up with good ideas? Here’s a single tip I guarantee will make a huge difference, or your money back–create a system so you can write down every idea quickly, easily, and immediately.
Because once you set up this system, your brain will start reacting. The thing is, your brain knows when you’re not ready for new ideas. It’s thinking “Why should I go to the trouble of giving this guy good ideas? He’s just going to forget them. Look, if I give him a genius idea for a blog post right now, how is he going to remember it? I know he’ll try to remember until he gets home, but that just makes me work even harder!” As soon as you set up a system to make it easy to save ideas and look them up later, then your brain says “Hey hey hey, what’s this? The guy finally got a system! Now if I give him a great idea for an article he can just write it down, and my work is done. Better start getting all these ideas pumping…” Find ways to make a note of any idea you have, anytime, whether it’s as you’re going to sleep at night, waking up in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, while you’re in the shower, on your commute (not if you’re driving a car, just focus on driving), during your workday, etc.
Suddenly your brain will start coming up with ideas all the time. You’ll be flooded with good ideas, and you’ll wonder how you ever suffered from writer’s block. Your problem will no longer be that you don’t have enough good ideas, but that you have too many and you have to decide which good ideas will go on the back burner. But that’s okay, you can always come back to them later. You’ve got them written down, so it’s no big deal. The important thing is to reassure your brain that anything it gives you is going to be written down and available for later use.
How do I track my ideas?
I’ve used a lot of systems including Trello, Wunderlist (now Microsoft To-Do), and spreadsheets. No, I haven’t ever gotten into Evernote, although I suspect I might, because everyone else seems to rave about it for things like this. But at the moment I would say it’s a tie between Trello and Wunderlist. Wunderlist is a bit easier for input and organization of ideas, but I use Trello to track my writing workflow, so I’d like to make it work entirely in Trello and keep everything in the same place. But the exact tool doesn’t matter so much. It could be paper. The important thing is that you have an easy way to write stuff down, no matter where you are and that you know you’ll be able to easily find it later. If your brain knows the ideas it produces aren’t going to get lost or forgotten, it will do amazing things for you.Liked it? Share it!
My approach depends on context. I like Evernote. My other tools are Moleskine notebooks and the Notes app in the iPod/iPhone.