Where do you keep your ideas?

In yesterday’s post I shared my process of how I come up with my best ideas. Today, continuing our series of posts in support of the World Creativity and Innovation Week, the next question has to do with storage.

If you’re like me, and is in brainstorm mode all the time, you have tools to store your ideas. And in the connected world we live in today, these tools are with us all the time.

For example, I’m a heavy user and Advocate of Evernote. It’s become part of my personal learning system, and have written about how Evernote is my Insight Bank. Evernote goes wherever I go via the Evernote app installed on my Android powered smart phone, it syncs with the Evernote app installed on my computer and can even access it through any browser. My notes/ideas are only a click away.

Another tool I still use is the timeless Moleskine and pen. Yup, I own hardcovers and soft covers in both the big and pocket-sized versions. There is a drawback in storing your ideas on a notebook. You can’t organize them as you would on Evernote where you can tag them or add them to separate notebooks. But I’ve found that not having them organized provides one with a very serendipitous experience.

Because you don’t know what to expect, you’ll stumble unto something you were not looking for.

Anyway, knowing where to keep your ideas and keeping them at hand is a talent. That’s why I created my Insight Bank on Evernote. It has notes on problems, opportunities, things I’m looking out for, daily clips or any material that I think will be useful for me at some point.

Now it’s your turn, where do you keep your ideas?

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  • Following up on my reply yesterday, here are some tools/resources I use for storing ideas:

    1. thought journals.  I don’t use anything fancy, just standard notebooks.  I’d like to say I have these perfectly organized, but at any given time I usually have a couple of notebooks lying around with ideas, thoughts and “to-do’s” listed in them

    2. Twitter. I use my Twitter feed (@jawbrain:disqus) to post interesting and relevant articles.  Most usually center around the topics of innovation, creativity, marketing and social media.  If anyone has a good resource that allows you to archive/organize your Twitter feed, that would be great.  The one big problem here is trying to locate an article I may have tweeted the link to months before.

    3. Pinterest. One of my favorite new online tools is Pin-A-Quote that allows you to highlight a quote in online text and “pin” it as an image on your boards.

    4. my inbox.  Probably not the best recommendation, but when I find an article very relevant to something I’m working or I want to save thoughts when I’m out and about, I typically email myself the information.  there are about 20 emails from myself right now sitting in my inbox.  This is to help prevent the “out of sight, out of mind” problem as some of these other resources.

    I look forward to seeing other ideas on here

    •  Hi Jason @jawbrain:disqus  – @jawbrain,

      Thanks for sharing.

      To add to your 2nd and 4th points, a few other things Evernote let’s you do is you can tweet links to account. This is great archiving because Evernote also a very fast and efficient search engine. You can just create a Twitter archive notebook and voila!

      Much like other publishing tools like WordPress, Tumblr, Posterous let you post directly through an email, Evernote also let’s you email your notes, snapshots, and audio clips directly into your account.

      I’ve found that moving all of my ‘to read’ notes away from my email app was the best thing I did. Email is just to disruptive, too many things callings for ones attention. And if you check multiple emails accounts at once, good luck.

      I haven’t really jumped deep into Pinterest but Pin-A-Quote seems interesting, will definitely check it out.

      Hope this helps.



      • Thanks. Evernote has actually been on my to do list for months.  I have the app setup on my phone and the account is created.  Just haven’t bothered to start using it.  Sounds like I really should.  Appreciate your feedback as well and the insightful posts to start these conversations.

        • @jawbrain:twitter  Cool! Yeah, there’s unexplored potential with Evernote. I’ve experimented and keep experimenting with other tools, but Evernote combined with Mindjet (mind mapping app) is a Killer App!

          Let me know how it works out for you.