I had a great idea for a blog post yesterday.  I was heading down the road doing my day job and it hit me,  the best idea I’d ever had.  In fact it was such a great idea I am quite certain it would have been the post that went viral.  It would have put me on the blogger map.  We’re talk page views and likes and shares and tweets, you name it.  I even remember thinking I would probably get a call from CNN, MSNBC, and even FoxNews because they would want to interview me about it 3 weeks after it had quit trending.

But, when I sat down to write this morning I couldn’t remember what it was. It was gone.  I couldn’t remember it to save my life.  Usually, when I have an idea about something I should write about I take a quick moment  to stop and put it down in Notepad or Evernote on my phone.  This time I didn’t and it is quite possible I’ve torpedoed my blogging career forever and I’ve only been doing this for about 6 weeks.

So, in an effort to keep you from ruining your life and destroying your blogging career before you even get started I have a few tips for you about ideas and what to do with them.

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1. Get a System

In case you weren’t aware of it technology is everywhere these days.  It’s actually quite amazing too, they (whoever these mysterious “they” are) have invented all kinds of neat little gadgets.  There are even phones THAT YOU CARRY AROUND IN YOUR POCKET! I know right!  Also, there are all kinds of great apps you can use for taking notes and “writing things down.”  Of course the most popular is probably Evernote, which I use for some things, and you can even use the Notepad app which comes pre-installed on most devices.  Believe it or not, you can even still get good old fashioned sticky notes and Bic pens.  The point is, find something that is useful to you and more importantly something you’ll actually use.

2. Take the Time to Write it Down

Yesterday, when this life changing idea hit me I was driving down the road and I didn’t want to take the time to pull over and write it down because I was in a hurry.  If I had taken the extra 3 minutes to stop I could very well be on my way to fame an fortune heretofore unknown to mankind.  Instead here I am wiring about an idea I’ve forgotten.

3. Be Specific

In my notepad there is a note that just says “miniature monarchs.”  I wrote that down on February 25th and I have no idea what it means.  I am sure it was probably another one of those posts that most bloggers dream about.  The one that is so big and draws so much traffic that it actually breaks the internet.  But now, it’s just an archaic 2 word hint that I am clinging on to in hopes I will one day be able to retrieve it from the ADHD abyss in my brain.  When you right something down, don’t just write hints but write out an entire phrase or a thought.  If possible write down a quick 3 point outline.  Three short sentences that will give you the main points of your idea.

4.  Always Have “It” With You

I love the idea of an app on my phone because I always have my phone with me.  I suppose it’s obvious that if your system isn’t accessible it isn’t usable.  So don’t get too complicated. Keep it simple and easy so you can take it with you.  You never know when you may find a cure for cancer and it’d be a shame if you just didn’t write it down.

You may not cure cancer but you may have an idea that could change someone’s life even if it is just an idea to have a fun day with your children.  It may not be a world changing medical breakthrough but they will likely never forget it.  How may times have you forgotten something and thought, I wish I had written that down?

brad.schmidt@bradschmidt.netAdviceDreamsFailureTips
I had a great idea for a blog post yesterday.  I was heading down the road doing my day job and it hit me,  the best idea I’d ever had.  In fact it was such a great idea I am quite certain it would have been the post that...