9 Great Ways To Capture Your Most Creative Ideas — No Matter Where You Are
After staring at a blank screen for the last 20 minutes, trying to write your next viral post (next, right?), you give in and give up. It pains you to let the blankness win, but you concede.
Next stop. Shower. No sooner does the steaming hot liquid permeates your pore than an idea flits into your head.
No paper. No pen. No help.
And there she goes. Too bad because it was a good one, too!
It Never Fails
Don’t you hate that? You stress and worry over ideas. You waste precious time searching through Facebook and flipping through your lists on Twitter (pretending that you’re going to actually come up with an idea). Then, you look up and the 15 minutes you intended to spend has turned into an hour.
Productivity averted – again.
Trying to generate ideas online is an occupational no-no. You know that.
So you leave your post to “relax” doing something else. And it never fails that as soon as you’re occupied, that great idea pops into your head. But you’re busy so you let it flit on through because you’re – well – busy.
You’re Out of Focus
You’re geared to work when you’re at your laptop. And you spend so much time at it that you just want a break when you’re away from it.
Don’t get me wrong.
We all love freelancing (as much as a piping hot pizza on a Friday night with our favorite beverage of choice). But, the fact remains, as workaholics, we sabotage ourselves by forcing productivity instead of enabling creativity.
That forced focus time creates the habit of letting go precisely when you should be holding on, but we’re too tired to focus when we’re not supposed to be “focusing.”
Learn To Focus Even When You Let Go
Letting go of the plug is the one thing that your brain needs to release all the greatness packed between your ears.
That’s why your shower is your number one idea generator. Not sitting in front your creativity’s arch-nemesis and standing under a stream of bliss loosens the hold that fear and anxiety have on your psyche.
And by forcing yourself away from your desk or laptop and forgetting what you need to do, you’ll release your Inner Creative Beast.
But beware. Releasing the Beast means you have to be ready to capture whatever ideas flow.
I said capture. Not capture and edit – did you catch that?
You’ll be tempted to critique and edit said greatness. Resist. Resist with all you have. Because your perfectionism is going to let that awesomeness fly right past your ears.
Trap your ideas as they happen. Yes, even in the shower.
Create The Habit Of Capturing Creativity Wherever You Are
With the right tools, you can take hold of your most creative and powerful ideas and keep them for when you need them.
Where You Are: In the Shower
If you’re a technology lover, this won’t be the place that you want to use Evernote. Nor is paper and pen going to help you.
But this handy Scuba Slate is just what you need. And at less than $10, it’s a powerful little investment. Hang it on the wall in the shower. And start writing as soon as any idea hits you. Hang up your editor until you towel off.
Another way not to lose any shower gold is recording your shower. Okay, yeah, it’s not for everybody. But it works. I simply turn on the recorder before stepping in and I start talking as soon as the ideas hit. (Warning: let others know that you’ll be in “conference” or you’ll more than likely end up with the entire family in the bathroom trying to figure out who you’re talking to.)
Where You Are: Walking
Nothing clears your head like the outdoors. When you’re out walking, tap into the strength of your Smartphone with Evernote. (During this walk, though, please don’t check your email or social media streams!) Jot down fresh ideas in the Evernote app as they hit you. But, act fast and don’t edit. When you get home, you’ll be able to access your notes on your laptop or computer from your Evernote web account.
Evernote rocks because you can tag your notes and keep them organized rather than having to fish through note after note randomly.
Pencil and paper are also great alternatives to your phone. (You remember these tools, yes?) I remember so much more if I write it down. Be sure to tuck a notebook under your arm and pencil behind your ear before you head out if you prefer old school to new technology.
Where You Are: In Bed
You’ve FINALLY pried yourself from your laptop and crawled to bed. You did your breathing exercises to help relax you (right??) and now’s it’s time to close your eyes. Nighty night!
OOPS! There it is! That grand new angle for your social media marketing piece! Holy cow. Now you’ve got to get up again!
Not if you have this awesome Night Writer. Keep this baby and a pad by your bed and you won’t wake the house with lights looking for a pen and paper on your nightstand.
(By the way, keep your phone and iPad away from your bed, they really mess up your internal rhythm and sleep patterns – so skip Evernote in this case.)
Where You Are: On The Couch Chilling
Movie’s on. Popcorn’s popped. Turn on your Smartphone and record a voice note, or use Evernote, but the newest baby in the App World is Social Cam. Record a short vid and share it to yourself via Facebook. Don’t worry, you can mark it only visible for you! The app is awesome and fast – but most of all – it’s free!
Minimal time, maximum results.
Where You Are: Mindlessly Tooling Around On The Net
One word: Pinterest. (Enjoy that board link :p)
Set up a go-to board for inspiration.
There are two other must have tools for your online leisure reading/inspiration seeking: Evernote Clipper for Chrome and Findings. They’re both rockin’ FREE tools, but Findings lets you highlight and clip only parts of pages, whereas Evernote Web Clipper will keeps whole articles, pages, or links.
Another powerful thing about Findings is that it’s also a developing social site. You can share (or keep private) your clippings through Facebook and Twitter. Other Findings users can find you via your clips and you can connect with like-minded clippers!
Now, you’ve got awesome ideas for trapping the creative goodness that flows through you when it’s not convenient. It’s up to you to put them to use.
What’s your tip for never losing an idea?