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« Does your career need a Passion Catalyst? | Main | Creative self-exploration through mandalas »

January 05, 2004


John Moore

Actually, one of the best things about blogging is that it gets me to write down a lot more of ideas that I ever did before. So that would be top of my list! Right alongside would good old-fashioned talking to people about them, much more fun than rolodexing!


I will second John and say that blogging is a pretty good way to capture an idea. It makes you think it through a little bit more than you would normally do just in your head - probably because you know that SOME people will see it. So it is probably equivalent to a one-way conversation.

Another excellent tool is Microsoft OneNote. I use it quite a lot these days. The beauty of this piece of software is that it lets you take notes quite spontaneously without forcing you to organize them. It does have just enough organizational capability so that you can find your notes later.


Marc Orchant

Maxim is spot on. OneNote is a tremendous tool for quickly capturing an idea when at the computer (or carrying a TabletPC, I guess). I especially like the SideNote feature. A quick double-click on the OneNote icon in the tray and you can grab an idea for later filing and/or combining with other notes.


Along the lines of leaving a voice mail, I will email myself. I have been wanting to get a OneNote, but haven't quite gotten to it. And I do blog a lot of thoughts that don't get in the personal journal I carry everywhere with me. I would like a pocket recorder for the hour commute. I miss things because I can't write them down while driving.

Tim C

Why don't idea gems get captured?

The answer is simple: many of us switch to a different brain.

Unfortunately it is impossible to make records in that brain without switching back. Lost.

Our brain wiring varies. For me I am more able to speak than write. This is good because speaking is very fast. Writing is not. Writing also precludes gazing.

I have used this to remarkable effect when surveying buildings looking for abnormalities.
Later on I can replay the tape and get the pictures in mind. I can walk back around the building.

Alas... real innovation always comes when there is no method of recording anything. Even if I manage to remember there is something important I need to remember I have huge trouble recalling.

A further problem is that I've never found a way to put ideas onto a PC. Don't bother suggesting because the chances are that I've looked at it. I do comment that the closer ideas tend to be assocated with the Apple Mac. I believe this because those people have a different mindset, ultimately though the block problem is circular. There is no tool because there is no tool.


Like one of the commenters above, I often email myself with snippets of things I want to remember, URLs I want to follow, and such.

I also capture many ideas in Tinderbox (, which is currently Mac-only but is planning a Windows version in the near future.

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