Capturing Your Creative Ideas in Real Time
We creative people are always searching for ideas we can use for our projects. But inspiration is everywhere. You can get a creative idea at any time. Whether you’re on a walk, driving in your car, cooking a meal or working in your studio. And then what do you do? What do you do when a flash of inspiration hits you when you’re not prepared for it?
The thing is ideas are fleeting. They vanish as fast as they hit you. You ‘ll think of an idea and if you don’t capture it in some way, the next thing you know, you can’t remember it. So, capturing your ideas in real time is the only way you can ensure you have lots of inspiration for your next creative project.
Creative idea generation is the first stage in the creative process. So this is an important part of our creative process. It may take time to develop your ideas into something successful. So it’s a good idea to have somewhere to capture and store your ideas as you work on them.
Censoring your ideas blocks your creativity. That is judging whether your ideas are good enough as you get them is a no-no! So resist doing that. Record all your ideas. No matter what you think of them.
- There’s no big or small idea. There are only ideas
- There are no good or bad ideas. There are only ideas.
- There are no dumb vs smart ideas. There are only ideas
Now, here are several ways you can capture your ideas and inspiration when they strike you out of nowhere like it did for Newton as he sat under the apple tree when the apple fell down.
10 Ways to Capture Your Creative Idea
- Send yourself emails
- Leave yourself a voicemail
- Record voice memos on your phone
- Use a pen & paper. Have an ideas notebook or journal
- Record your ideas in a digital notebook for example Evernote
- Write on Sticky Notes
- Camera (take photos of your sketches and notes or of your visual inspiration)
- Use Pinterest
- Use notecards/ Index Cards
- Create vision boards/bulletin boards
You want to think about how to keep your information organized when you’re selecting a method for capturing your ideas. What good are your big ideas if you do a great job of capturing them but you cannot access them when you need?
How to Choose a Method for Capturing Your Creative Idea
- Choose easy to organize methods: Some of the idea capturing methods above, have easier organization, sorting, tagging and search abilities than others
- Limit your idea-capturing methods to just a few. This way your creative idea will not be scattered all over the place. For example, if you have some in your journal, others on your voicemail, and in your emails, it will be difficult to organize them. Because, let’s face it if you’re going to be frustrated searching for where you stored that big idea you’ll soon give up on this entire idea of capturing your big ideas in real time.
- Periodically consolidate your recording methods. For example, sync your ideas capturing apps across your computers and devices. And transcribe your voice memos and voicemails into your notebook etc.
- Review your big ideas. Ideas are not useful if you don’t use them. So review them ever so often to see what can be transformed from thoughts to things.
Ultimately, the best idea capturing method is the one you use.
Questions: Do you capture your creative ideas? Which methods do you use? How do you like your current creative idea capturing method? Do you have any suggestions for the list above?
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Cathey LaBonte says
Great topic Clara! I keep a sketchbook with me most of the time to jot down ideas or make some quick drawings. I also take a lot of pictures with my phone to refer to later.
Clara Nartey says
Awesome Cathey. Do you think your creativity will be the same if you didn’t use your sketchbook and camera to capture ideas?
kathy bagioni says
I use an app called, Captio, on my iPhone. It automatically emails the note to my inbox.
And, using the voice-to-text option allows me to leave more complete notes. That means later I don’t have to figure out what I meant by “vase – fractured – red”.
Clara Nartey says
Neat!! I love the speech-to-text technology. I use Dragon Naturally Speaking. Thanks for sharing the Captio app you use. I’ll look it up.
Maureen Lopes says
I have an album on my phone called Design Ideas to store photos. The draw back is I don’t attach any text about why the image appeals to me. Thanks for prompting me to think about that next step!
Clara Nartey says
My pleasure, Maureen.