Capturing Your Best Ideas, No Matter What: Some Timely Tips

Fishing capturing your best ideas

Patience and the right equipment will help you capture your best ideas.

Finding time in this busy season is a challenge. The holidays bring so much warmth, and they also bring lots of busy-ness.

Carving out quiet for savoring your moments, or for keeping up with everyday tasks that need to get done may feel impossible sometimes. And what about capturing your ideas as they come to you? It’s a lot to juggle.

Add a little snow to the mix, and it gets that much more complicated.

As many people here in the States are needing to find time to dig out after snowstorms this Holiday Season, I am reminded of the opening lines of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales:

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.

Many of us, including lots of our children and grandchildren, may find that these lines resonate and frame some vivid holiday memories. And the poem in its entirety is well worth a read – whether it’s new to you, or is an old and familiar friend.

But back to finding time during this season. If you’re a blogger, do you find it challenging to come up with ideas for posts?

Or maybe, with so much going on, your challenge is capturing your good ideas on the fly? Well, here are a couple of tips to help…

Capturing Your Best Ideas

Ideas often come when it’s not possible to act on them – or even write them down – so capturing them is half the battle. How many times has a great idea for a post come to you while you’re driving? Or on the treadmill?

  • I find it helpful to use my phone to quickly record an idea that comes to me. Or you might carry a digital voice recorder. Either one will help you capture those great thoughts that come when paper and pen are nowhere in sight.
  • Then, whenever I have the opportunity, I add these to a running list of ideas. Keep the list on your computer – perhaps in a note-taking app like Evernote or OneNote. Or. if you’re like me, you may still like using paper and pen — so you’ll just add your idea to your notebook.
  • Another helpful blogging practice is having a schedule of subject areas that you blog about.  This helps you focus your energies and organize your thinking, especially if you’re ever at a loss for an idea.

Finding Time with Some Tech Help

Remember the Milk is an on-line To-Do List tool that we’ve found very helpful here at The Time Finder. It’s usable on-line or off — which is a very helpful feature if you run into power failures or internet outages where you live.

We often use it to capture a very rough idea. The app allows you to attach notes and links to an item, along with due dates and priorities. With a rough idea, we might attach a due date and then revisit the item to refine the idea. Once we have the idea in focus, we can get even more specific, chunking it into smaller tasks, deciding how and when we want to implement, etc.

Have you used Remember the Milk or other web-based tools for capturing your ideas and tasks?  How have they worked for you? I’d love to hear.

And what if you could find another hour every day? You can!

For more Time Finding resources, you are invited to sign up and download our complimentary Finding Time Success Kit.  The Success Kit includes the Finding Time Boundary Template, and when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my weekly Finding Time Tips and my monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine!

Let’s explore time together …


  1. Hi Paula,

    Great tips!

    Personally, I love using a combination of a notebook (yep, real pen and paper) and Evernote to capture things when I’m without the notebook.

    Evernote is great as it allows me to see what I’ve added on my phone, laptop and iPad and has a search feature in case I forget which folder I saved something in.

    • Thanks for your comment, Sandy. I agree, Evernote is a very flexible and user-friendly tool. And then there’s always the ubiquitous yellow sticky-note, too.

      Bottom line, I encourage you to use what works for you, while keeping an eye out for ways to streamline and increase efficiencies.

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