Ideas are priceless and fleeting: keep them safe.

Ideas are priceless and fleeting: keep them safe.

Ideas are priceless and fleeting: keep them safe, keep them from drifting off and evaporating.

Have you ever had a great idea, perhaps in the middle of the night, perhaps at any other time? Have you ever then forgotten what it was?

If you have ever had an idea at all, then the above scenario is probably true for you. There is no cure, but an Ideas Journal is excellent prevention.

Your Ideas Journal is a place to write down any ideas that come to you at any time, whether they seem immediately relevant or if they are ideas for some time in the future. Maybe at 2 am you will not have your ideas journal handy, but please do have a pad and pen beside the bed to jot down ideas as they come.

I keep paper and pen beside my bed and when inspiration strikes in the middle of the night, I scribble down on the pad what it is. In the dark, just making sure I leave plenty space between lines of writing then I can be sure of being able to read it in the morning.

Then I turn the page on my pad or paper, so that is I have another brilliant idea before dawn, I have a fresh sheet of paper willing to receive it. Of course, if you have a bedroom to yourself, you can turn on the light and do it the easy way!

If I am out and about, I have electronic sticky notes on my phone on which to jot down ideas.

One way or another, ideas need to be captured in writing at the time they first come to you. They have a very limited timespan and once they are gone they are usually impossible to find again.

Whenever I have ideas noted down in different places, I always add them as soon as I reasonably can, to my Ideas Journal. I have kept one for years.

To my mind, an Ideas Journal puts me under no pressure to actually do whatever the idea was. It is an idea. It is something to consider, perhaps to think over and develop farther, perhaps to decide that, yes, it’s a great idea but I can’t see me ever actually doing it. But it stays in my Ideas Journal anyway. How do I know what I’ll think is feasible in another few months or even years?

In fact, as I am writing this, I have just come up with another idea which I have just taken the time to note down in my Ideas Journal. I don’t know when I will do it, but it’s a pretty hot idea, and too good to forget.

If you, like me “suffer” from a zillion ideas, an Ideas Journal is imperative because how on earth could we remember so many? And we can’t tell at this point which will be the winners and which we will ultimately decide not to follow through on.

If your ideas come at a more decorous pace and don’t inundate you all day, then an Ideas Journal is equally necessary so you don’t lose one single one. Each idea of yours has a much higher percent chance (since there are less altogether) of being the best you’ll ever have. Don’t lose it.

One way or another, ideas are a priceless gift to each of us, and we owe it to ourselves, and maybe to others who would ultimately benefit, not to lose any of them.

I was looking through an old Ideas Journal recently and came across an idea I came up with several years ago and never did anything with. I had totally forgotten about it. But what a great idea it is! I am currently making plans as to how to use it. If it had not been in my journal, it would have been gone forever.

An Ideas Journal is not something you can make yourself sit down and write in once a day at a set time, as some people recommend for general journaling.

Ideas are inspiration, so you write in your Ideas Journal when inspiration strikes, and if inspiration strikes (as it does) at inconvenient moments, then jot it down somewhere temporarily and add it to your Ideas Journal as soon as possible, while you are still able to recapture the moment.

As you journal your ideas, expand on them. 

You are in the flow at that moment which you may or may not be when you read it later. So let the idea just explain itself, how it looks, feels, where it might lead, how you see it developing, what options you can see. Just let it take on a life of its own and record it all.

Later you may see terrific value in some of that expansiveness, or you may not, but you never know ahead of time which are diamonds and which are just pebbles, so write it all down.

Regardless of your lifestyle or your life situation, the chances are you have ideas.

They come to you for a reason. You may not know right now what that reason is, and you may not right now see any benefit in the idea. But write it down anyway.

You wouldn’t throw away a priceless gem that came your way just because you didn’t have a jewelry setting ready and waiting to receive it, would you? So don’t throw away your ideas either. There are priceless gems among them and time will tell which are which – but only if you still have them to evaluate.

Journal your Ideas. Now there’s an IDEA!

Fiona MacKay Young

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