Methods & System

Capturing your thoughts! Why it is a must?

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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

Ideas come and fade out in seconds. Maybe one of them may lead you to your holy grail.

I’d like to discuss the importance of jotting down your thoughts and ideas instantly somewhere. And then having a system to work it further at a later time in this piece.

I am NOT talking about taking notes. What I am talking about here is entirely different from note-taking. Ground-breaking ideas appear out of nowhere and at any time. Mostly, when you are least expecting it. These thoughts don’t arise during work, not when you read a non-fiction book or an article at the office, not when you think hard for a solution or search hard for something.

Contrarily, these ideas appear in your mind when you are doing something polar opposite to serious work. While reading a story, while watching a movie, when talking to your children, at the gym, or anywhere inappropriate. Noting these thoughts down is a good habit.

There are two types of work or two types of roles. (I heard this through Shu Omi)

  • Manager,
  • Maker.

The manager wants to get things done and highly relies on task management, team management, and work assignment. Maker wants to create things, like writing a book, designing an interface of an app, writing a code, drawing new art, etc. Some may play both roles. Regardless of the roles, ideas and thoughts pop out in their head all the time. Most of them are relevant to their work, but do not appears coherently at the relevant time.

People get random ideas at random times about random things. Though they can’t act on it immediately, they can record it somewhere for later action.

Capturing is important. Don’t rely on your memory here. Your brain is a place where thinking happens all the time. It is not supposed to remember things. Practically it is not good at remembering, except for some gifted people. The retention time is smaller, especially for random thoughts.

💭 🔜 📝 Capture all your thoughts immediately, before it fades away. When capturing don’t waste your time estimating the importance of the content or how you going to use it later. “Just focus on converting your thoughts to text (or sketch), nothing else”.

I use the app Drafts to capture my thoughts and ideas instantly and later I process them. The text I captured may come out as a tweet, a chunk for my Alvistor Newsletter, a trigger for a blog post, a novel idea for my academic research, or simply become a task in my task manager. Check the below article if you want to know more about Drafts. Drafts(app) – An app for text and to do more with text… The free version of Drafts is more than enough for standard needs. [More articles on Drafts(app)].

You can also use Evernote (30+ types of information you can collect with Evernote) or any notes app to do the capturing. The faster one is better. For the Apple ecosystem, I highly recommend Drafts, and Apple’s notes take 2nd place in the recommendation.