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Step 1 - Keeping track of ALL your ideas

The first, and the most important part of the three steps is to make sure that you make a note of every bright idea you have.

You can use a physical notebook, an app on your phone, an online notebook such as Evernote, a tool such as Google Keep, or a collection of paper napkins ... whatever works for you.

One of my favorite solutions, as it is quick, easy and always accessible, is to use your email account.

  1. Create a folder in your email account called IDEAS
  2. Email your lightbulb moments to yourself
  3. Set-up an automated filter to move any emails from you, that also have the subject IDEAS in the subject field, into your ideas folder. If you don't know how to do that just drag them into that folder every now and again to keep them all in one place.

There are two reasons that this is a great solution.

Firstly, you can always send an email to yourself no matter where you are and no matter which devices you have with you, and if all your batteries are flat, just ask to borrow a friends device and send an email to yourself from that device.

Secondly, if you are using a service such as Gmail you know that your IDEAS folder is going to be there as long as I have you have a Google account, which in all likelihood will be for many years.

No matter which method you choose to use, make sure that you get into the habit of storing every idea (including the really dubious ones) for one very simple reason ...

At the point of inspiration you don't know which of your ideas will turn out to be pure genius and which ones will be dudsPaul Smithson

I've lost count of the number of times I've had the most amazing brainwaves that seemed like they'd been transmitted to me by a special source, only to realize that it was completely bonkers, stupid, and impractical when I reviewed the idea several weeks later.

When making a note of your idea do NOT judge it. Just make a note of it and move on.

One more crucial piece of advice that I learned the hard way on numerous occasions.

It is very important that you remember to always provide a brief description of the idea and not just a title.

In the rush of daily life, it isn't always possible to add a little flesh to the bones at the time you make a note of a lightbulb moment, and that is just fine, but before too long has gone by you need to go back to your notes and just write a sentence or two about exactly what your idea is about.

Trust me. This is very important.

You don't want to be reviewing your killer ideas swipe file in two years only to come across a whole heap of cryptic one-liners that you haven’t a clue what the thinking was behind them.

I speak from experience when it comes to not adding a little descriptive text to my killer ideas swipe file. I’ve made that mistake countless time.

When I look at my ideas swipe file (which goes back years now) I have several entries that for the life in me I don't remember what the essence of the idea was, let alone the idea itself.

One example I can share with you is 'Create the business strategy app I was discussing with Mel'.

That was from three years ago.

The idea had come to me when driving to the office, and I spent an hour discussing its merits with Melissa, an old colleague, but now I don't have a clue what this amazing business strategy app was, and alas nor does Melissa. The good news is it probably wasn't quite as thrilling as I thought at the time as if it had been I'm sure one of us would have remembered.

So you need:

  1. A place to store your ideas
  2. To make sure you store every idea that you have in that place
  3. To promise yourself that you will either add a little flesh to the bones at the time you enter the idea or you will do so within a week or two, before that genius moment has faded.
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If you are not already making good use of Evernote (or something very similar) you really need to take a look as Evernote can be a repository for pretty much everything in your life.

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Since graduating from university I have started five seven-figure businesses and now I want to share that passion for ideas and business with you and to help you to transform your ideas into reality.

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(c) 2019 Paul Smithson