7 Ways to Capture Ideas On-The-Go

Do You Have an “Idea Dump-Zone”? If Not, Here’s Why You Need One!

Here’s 7 practical ways to capture those slippery ideas before they get away from you, on-the-go!

An idea dump zone is essential for all entrepreneurs or busy people who have ideas popping up all the time. Ever had a winning idea in a shower or driving the car and swore that you’d remember it, only to completely forget it by the time you sat down to a paper and pen?

What about when you and another entrepreneur get into a fascinating conversation and the ideas start flowing so fast that it’s like drinking water from a fire hose? Ever been-there-done-that? Getting into the habit of valuing those ideas is like making daily deposits in the bank.

Catch that idea with a dump zone!With ‘idea dump zones’ you have all of those ideas to dig through to inspire you, give you your next product, next book, or next service.  Maintaining momentum in business is essential to growth and staying relevant.  When you’re under pressure and struggling to force an idea – it won’t be there, unless you’ve created your own dump zones for this purpose.

Here’s some reasons why this is an important habit to get into.  Note the word “habit” too. It takes time to get into the habit of noticing and capturing ideas. That’s why thinking about your dump zones ahead of time will help you to prepare for those exciting times of clarity, inspiration and vision.

Personally acknowledge and notice the idea. Not only does this build confidence, after time, you’ll begin to see patterns and themes that will help you to position yourself better as an expert in your field.

Having a dump zone allows time for sorting of priority and profitability or effectiveness. Jot the idea down, or record it in an electronic device and keep it in a specialized folder where you can easily get back to. This saves you from taking time consuming rabbit trails and will be there when you can make the time to give those ideas the attention they deserve.

Treasure TrunkWhat exactly is a dump zone and how does that work?” one might ask. Here’s some ideas

  • Types (think of this as your gold coins)
    • 3×5 cards
    • Word Document
    • Voice recorder
    • Blog posts – set as drafts
    • Post it notes – poster sized and desktop variety
    • White erase boards – large and small
    • Blank white paper – draw and doodle zone
  • Containers (think of these as your treasure chests)
    • Blog drafts
    • Audio files
    • Hanging files
    • “Treasure” box
    • Folder on your hard drive or in a cloud file storage system
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Creative Consultation – Creative Solutions Virtual Office

Consultation with graphic recording to visually illustrate what matters most to you in your business. Creative solutions and resources provided for you.

“I’m going in too many directions!” the woman sat across from me with her hand pressed against her forehead.  “I have a love/hate relationship with just about everything I’m doing, and I just can’t keep spreading myself so thin. What do I do?” 

I began asking her questions and listening very carefully to what I was hearing – not only in her words, but in between the lines. Pulling up my flip chart we began writing things down and drawing pictures that would have meaning to her. (Schedule yours now)

When we finished, she squealed and clapped her hands. “I can’t believe it! You are amazing! How did you KNOW?” I love it when people leave my office, or hang up the phone shouting with joy and renewed enthusiasm!

Where it all began, I can’t tell you, but what I can tell you is that not only has God given me a wonderful gift of encouragement and an artistic talent, He has opened my ears and my eyes to see potential in people.  Utilizing the skills, talents, and insights that He has given me, I blend them all together and literally Illustrate Your Potential!

This part of what I do personally is probably the most fulfilling and fun part of my own destiny and purpose.  To bring hope, clarification and meaning to people who thought they had blown it, or had no talent is more exciting than anything else I can think of.

A Purpose Discovery session usually lasts anywhere from one to three hours. I am available to do them by phone, or in person.  By doing it in person you have the added benefit of visualization as we plot out your thoughts and impressions on the flipchart  in front of you. 

If you are interested in finding focus, meaning and passion to what you plan to do for the rest of your life, CLICK HERE to contact me further about scheduling your own Purpose Discovery session!

“During my first visit with Shannon, I was able to see who I am, rather than what others think I am or shouldbe.  This was very helpful because I was a bit lost in my direction, but now have a focus toward my passion.  Matter-of-fact, after meeting with Shannon, I was scheduled to speak with a school principal and staff about the importance of passion.”                                           — JM

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Capture Your Ideas with Intention

EagleIf you are breathing, you are thinking. And if you are thinking, you are thinking of all kids of things, and during the day, you’ll have an idea, or a thought. The conversation in your head might sound something like, “I wish someone would invent something that would …” (and then you describe the invention) or, “I bet this would work better if I …” or maybe a funny thought floats through (ahem on myself) and you say, “Oh! This would make a great cartoon!”

Then you continue what you are doing and the idea passes through your brain and out the window.

Later at home you stop and think, “Oh yeah! What was that thought? I needed to write that down …” And just like a dream who’s memory passes all too quickly, you just can’t reach far enough into the day to remember the whole thing … or can you?

Capturing thoughts and ideas is like hunting prey. Sometimes they are out in the open and sometimes you have to search for on them. It takes a keen eye to see what others can’t, and a sharp memory to remember the details. Focus-visualize-conceptualize … with an  intention to remember, and take a snapshot of it in your mind before it gets away. Great ideas should be grasped firmly!

Better yet, pull out your smart phone and with the voice recorder app that you downloaded earlier (hint-hint) speak those ideas into your phone and save them for later action.  If you are like me, some of the best ideas come at the most inopportune times – like driving on the road! Ever try to jot down an idea on paper with one hand while keeping your eyes on the road? HA! Just try and read it when you stop!

One of the best ways to move to the next level on capturing an idea is brainstorming it with other people. I host several online chats and offline meetings in the Denver metro area to just brainstorm creative ideas and to make room for collaborations, joint ventures and strategic alliances. Why don’t you join us?

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