Have you noticed how you often tend to come up with the best ideas when you haven´t actually planned for it? In the shower, in the car, on a run, when walking down the sidewalk, and so on. All of these situations are when you are on the go, and not in a situation where you are set up for capturing new ideas easily. Therefore, it makes sense to capture the ideas as best you can right then and there, and be able to access them easily later.
I tend to use cloud based solutions so I can access my ideas whenever and wherever. I have tossed away my scribbling pad, and use my mobile for everything – I draw, write and take photos to capture my ideas. I though I´d miss my old scribbling pad more, however I seldom return to it. Besides for the rare moments where I just need to scrabble ideas immediately, and take the easiest thing available…
The napkin above has been sitting on my desk for weeks – and I dare not toss it. It is almost as if I am afraid that the creativity the situation generated might vanish with the note itself – even though I have the ideas transferred from the “analog” to the “digital” cloud by now.
Anyways, my key message is this – ensure you are ready to capture your ideas at any place or any time. I´ve gathered some tips I hope are helpful.
5 tips for capturing ideas on the go:
- Sign up for a cloud service to ensure you can capture your working documents from all your devices. Here is a list of the best cloud services in a recent survey by PC Advisor in the UK.
- Try out Evernote as your meeting and personal note taker, as well as sharing documentation with your fellow co-workers. (I have been using it for years, and love it – I take all my notes there.)
- Digitize your ideas as soon as possible. If you use a notepad or napkin to write down your ideas, ensure you make them accessible digitally by writing them down in other places. You analog notepad should “live on” beyond its own pages.
- Offload your to-do-list from your brain. The creative center in your brain is easily filled up with to-do-things, and this clogs creativity. There are many digital tools that helps you put the to-do-list elsewhere than in your head: Todoist, Any.do, Carrot, Wunderlist, etc.
- Ensure you team can collaborate easily. If you want to go more “pro” on sharing your ideas – ensure that your team have access to tools and collaborative settings so they easily can access and contribute to the idea making. There are tons of professional team sharing tools out there – here is just a small sample, all doing different things: Delve by Microsoft, Jostle, Tibbr, Slack, Asana.
I hope these tips were useful and helps you capture, access and share your ideas more easily. Please feel free to follow my “Innovation Inspiration” board on Pinterest if you are interested in more similar stuff.
Photo: Analog idea capture – a napkin of my scribblings from a KLM flight recently. Talk about literally capturing ideas in the cloud