NBI: Collecting and capturing ideas when they happen

nbilargeThe Newbie Blogger Initiative is here to help mentor new bloggers.  Visit them for some support or become a sponsor and help new bloggers out.

Ok, so you would like to blog but maybe you are struggling with collecting topics or ideas after working all day and coming home to feed the family. Well, I may have something that helps you collect all those creative ideas you have during your day. I carry around a small paper notebook, something i don’t have to power up or press any buttons, with a small pen i keep in the spirals. This is my collection device. It fits comfortably in my back pocket, near my work desk, or on the side of my gaming laptop. It’s inconspicuous yet easily accessed when I need it. It also is very temporary, it’s not gonna last long due to use. A moleskin has a longer shelf life but at an added price.  Now, my notebook can be any device that you are comfortable using and can be portable…not all those great thoughts happen when you are next to a computer.

How does this work? Simple, when one of your brain neurons goes firing away and something with blogging potential rises to the surface, take 5 secs to write it down on your notepad. This is key, don’t rely on your memory.  Also don’t worry about grammar or structure, just capture the thought immediately so that you can mentally put it a “parking lot” and let your mind wonder to other topics, like actual work. I don’t know about you but I get the craziest blog ideas when I’m working on work-work and not actual gaming. Think about it, you are at your paying job for at least 8hrs/day and my mind does tend to wonder at some point. We never stop thinking.  The important point here is not to rely on your memory.

Ok you at the end of the day you have a few pages of scribbles, what to do now?  Well you have optIons.  I like to take a few minutes and see what, if any, of my scribbles fit in any categories.  This is my way of sorting.  It could be gaming feature you’d like to see in more games or a rant about raiders vs casuals, or something you really liked.  Now you have potential topics…topics that need further developing but topics that you have captured in draft mode and can build upon as time allows.  This way, when you sit down to write a piece, you are not starting from scratch.  Granted not all of your post require this but this could be one way of gradually developing topics and at the same time remembering to pick up that gallon of milk you were asked to get on the way home.

PS. I’ve been doing this “collecting” for about 7-8 yrs now. It all started when I adapted parts of David Allen’s Getting Things Done which you can learn more about at his site.