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Organizing Ideas/Inspiration

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  • Organizing Ideas/Inspiration

    Have been implementing the GTD system since a couple of weeks now; however there is one thing that I haven't figured out completely:

    I have all kinds of ideas/inspiration that I want to keep track of but I need a way to properly organize them in a system that is easy enough to use, but also a system that doesn't get messy. I think a lot of people jot down their ideas on paper; but how do you make sure that you get back to it some time and get it in the right place?

  • #2
    I'm trying the wallet

    Hey. I have the same issue. I ordered the GTD notetaker wallet and am trying to force myself to write down my ideas on the pad. (I ordered a lot of extra pads). The idea is to tear off the sheets when I get to my office space and put the idea where it goes--project list, someday/maybe, etc. I love paper and my house is full of beautiful notebooks and composition books with one tenth of the paper used--ideas all over the place. I hope this wallet thing works for me.


    • #3
      organizing notes and ideas with Google Notebooks

      I've been using Google Notebooks more and more as a repository of various ideas and inspirations on various topics -froming active projects, to the wildest someday maybe dreams. I like the ease and format of Google Notebooks for capturing ideas in different "notebooks" and segments or chapters.

      Of course, current project list and next actions are tracked in my portable system, as the internet is not yet ubiquitous.



      • #4
        These kinds of ideas belong on a Someday/Maybe list or in a S/M folder. They will not be forgotten, as these items should be looked at during your weekly review to see if there is anything that you would like to "activate".


        • #5
          I write everything down in my paper notebook, then once or twice a week I type it all up into my Microsoft OneNote notebook, putting things in the right place or on the right list. My OneNote file is searchable and backed up, so I consider it my master archive.

          Fortunately I type fast. I find that retyping also makes me think and helps me remember stuff.


          • #6
            Are you using a Someday/Maybe List, and are you doing the Weekly Review? Does that not work?


            • #7
              Personal Brain

              I organize all next actions in outlook. Also some checklists I need on my Treo are put in the Notes section of Outlook.

              When it comes to someday/maybes I have too many ideas to get them properly organized in outlook. I use Personal Brain from (The free version).

              There I arrange them by Area of Focus. It's a bit like MindManager, but much better when it comes to cross-referencing information and lists. The same element can have many parents. (MindManager is better for brainstorming and getting the large-perspective, and working with strict-hierarchies)

              I have tried putting next actions in personal brain as well, but I like the speed in outlook when using shortcuts for assigning categories.

              Finn Ove
              Last edited by folium; 04-08-2008, 06:31 AM.


              • #8
                Options for capturing random ideas

                We all get ideas from time to time that our minds cannot link to a particular outcome or action. As long as you have a place to park these ideas and a periodic reminder to review them, your brain can relax and release them from psychic RAM.

                In his document Implementing David Allen's Workflow Processing with Microsoft Outlook, David Allen describes how one can use the Notes application within Outlook to capture "a hare-brained idea you didn't know what to do with". He suggested creating a category called "Ideas" and placing random ideas on a single "note" under this category. You can do similar things with Palm Desktop or other applications that have similar functionality. The list of ideas should be reviewed during the weekly review. If your mind has formulated some clarity about them, create the appropriate projects and next actions in your regular lists.

                If you use a paper-based system, either capture the idea on a piece of paper and put it in your tickler file or create a folder in your general reference material called "Ideas" and capture each one on a separate piece of paper and keep it tucked away. Make sure you add a reminder to your system so that you don't forget to review this folder regularly (tickler, weekly review checklist, etc).


                • #9
                  I've been using to get things funneled to the appropriate electronic system. For me it depends on where the idea needs to go. Jott is great for getting things into my personal and work systems (which I have to keep detached from one another with the exception of my calendar).

                  If I get a work idea while at work I write it down on a piece of paper and place it in my inbox on my desk or if I am at my computer I may place it in Outlook Tasks if it has an action tied to it.

                  If I get an idea that covers something I need to do outside of work then it gets placed in my Franklin Planner in the appropriate context. Sometimes this is the @ideas list.

                  The key is that during my weekly review I take a look at all of these lists and give these items some thought and decide what to do with them. Sometimes they go on my Someday/Maybe list and sometimes they become a project.

                  There's no one right answer but the key is getting it into your trusted system in some way so that you can review it when appropriate and make decisions on it.