So Many Ideas, So Little Time (or How To Tame Idea Overload)
Idea Overload is an entrepreneur's curse. We're a creative bunch—we can't help it.
The challenge is handling the onslaught of ideas, then doing something with the best ones—bringing them to life!The challenge isn't coming up with ideas—I do that in my sleep. Click To Tweet
Why do we struggle with creating, completing and publishing—consistently?
It comes down to these three issues:
- Having a place to store your ideastorms (and finding them when needed)
- Mapping, planning and working on the best or most profitable projects
- Putting the “finished product” out into the world.
In other words, you don't have a reliable system to capture, organize and implement your ideas and projects.
Am I right?Idea Overload is the entrepreneur's curse Click To Tweet
Don't sweat it, I've got your back!
In this article, I'll help you tackle point #1 above—saving your ideas and projects so you can find them when you're ready to (finally) work on them.
There's no right or wrong way to handle this part.
It boils down to your preference:
- If you prefer pen and paper –> carry a notebook and pen with you at all times.
- If you prefer apps and tools –> keep your smart phone or tablet on you at all times.
- If you're more of a verbal type –> carry a voice recording device at all times.
But, that's easy to say, right?
What ends up happening is you use a combination of methods:
- Post-It Notes stuck on your desk (guilty as charged)
- Smudged scribbles on your white board (guilty as charged)
- Incomplete mind maps on your tablet (guilty as charged)
- Random voice memos hiding in your mobile (for the collection of MP3 recordings on my hard drive—guilty as charged)
And don't get me started on notebooks! If you're anything like me, you have a half-dozen partially filled notepads lying around.
And that's when it all falls apart, isn't it?
Your ideastorms, though captured (somewhere) are, literally, scattered.Yes, I suffer from Scattered Ideas Syndrome Click To Tweet
When you're ready to DO something with them, you waste an insane amount of time and energy searching.
Frustration and disappointment ensue when you can't find what you're looking for.
You eventually give up and hope you do better next time.
The Solution: An Ideastorm Hub
The best way to tame idea overload—Create a reliable capturing system. I call this an Ideastorm Hub.
An Ideastorm Hub is one MAIN place to capture, place, archive, store all your ideas, projects and plans.
It's the ONE place where all your ideas live, hang out and chill for a while.
Then, when you're ready to organize, develop or build on them, you know exactly where to go.
But how does an Ideastorm Hub work, in real life?
I can't tell you how other entrepreneurs manage idea overload, but I can tell you how I do.
Hopefully it'll inspire you to come up with your own system.Tame entrepreneur overload by creating an Ideastorm Hub Click To Tweet
My Ideastorm Hub
My main hub is Evernote. It's where I store, organize and develop ideas and projects—for both myself and clients.
I use Evernote to brainstorm, organize and create—products, programs, presentations, articles, you name it.
I can walk away and know it'll be there when I return.
Evernote is installed on my laptop (PC) and on my tablet (Apple). So no matter where I am, I can dump anything and everything into my hub.
The best thing is, I don't need a wi-fi connection to access Evernote.
So when an ideastorm strikes while I'm in a waiting room, I simply open the Evernote app on my (un-connected) iPad, create a new note, and type (draw, dictate, attach) my awesome idea; Just like that, it's saved.
Back in my home office, I click the sync icon on my laptop and—voilà!—my ideastorm is safely stored in my Evernote network, until I'm ready to elaborate.
Pretty awesome, right?
You know why it works? Because I use it. Consistently. I've made it a habit.
And what happens when I don't have access to my Evernote account? (yes, it happens!)
I use whatever is available at the time (usually Post-It Notes or a purple notepad). I then transfer those notes to Evernote as soon as I can.
Do you have an Ideastorm Hub?
It doesn't matter what you choose, just that you choose.
Pick one. Use it. Rinse. Repeat.
If the first method you try doesn't work, try something else, until you find on that works for you.
An Ideastorm Hub could be anything, like:
- a dedicated Moleskin pad and pen
- note-taking software
- a speech-to-text program
- a sketchbook and markers
- a hand-held recorder
- a mind mapping application
- a binder with loose leaf paper
- a voice-mail service
- a virtual assistant
- or any other system that feels like “the” perfect fit
The most important factors to consider when deciding which method or tool to use are:
- It matches your communication style
- You can access it in almost any situation
- You turn to this method whenever you're struck with an ideastorm—instinctively, regularly and consistently
Can you think of a tool or method that meets the criteria?
In theory, the solution I propose is a simple one; In practice… well that's a whole other ball of wax, isn't it?
It takes practice and discipline to apply, but well worth the investment and effort.
Placing your business-related ideas, plans and projects in a focused and intentional manner produces a feeling beyond compare.
- You free up mental energy to concentrate on day-to-day activities.
- You minimize the chatter of a million ideas in your brain, because you're “purging” them as they come.
- Best of all, when you're ready to tackle your next project, you'll have an array of awesome ideas to pick from.
Ready to handle your ideastorms—productively?
Here's what you do: Commit to an Ideastorm Hub system—any one—for one month. 30 days.
When the 30 days are up, share your results—your wins, challenges, a-ha! moments and anything else.
Do it. Get more stuff done. Thank me later.I commit to using an Ideastorm Hub for the next 30 days —hold me to it @CristinaFavreau Click To Tweet