Don’t keep ideas in your head


You shouldn’t use your brain to store your ideas. You need to get them out of your head and into a system.

Too many times I’ve told myself “I’ll write it down later”, only to have forgotten what it was. Or I’ve written it down on a scrap of paper, only to misplace it.

That’s frustrating.

I prefer to have my main “laundry list” of ideas in one place, rather than across different notebooks and apps. At this point, I’m not sketching anything out, just jotting down a note. The idea doesn’t need to be completely figured out, but enough that I can come back to it later and expand on it.

I like using cloud-based notes (in my case, Apple Notes) as I can input from multiple devices. It’s also much easier to find my ideas. It’s important to be able to input your ideas easily. You never know where’ll you be when you come up with an idea. Make the process easy.

Apps like Things, One Note, Google Keep and Wunderlist are all solid, cloud-based systems to store your ideas.

You may be wondering “Why can’t I use my sketchbook to store my ideas?” If that’s your preference, then I would suggest having a separate section, or use a table of contents, to list them. Storing your ideas will only work if you can easily find them. Your sketchbook doesn’t have a “search” function.

You may come back to an idea months, or even years later. I don’t know about you, but the thought of searching through a stack of sketchbooks isn’t very appealing.

The Field Notes’ notebooks have a great quote on their packaging: “I’m not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now.”

Don’t rely on your memory. Write it down. Immediately.