Capture your Ideas and Evernote to the Rescue

Every 25 days I need to come up with a new series idea. The last thing I want is to be at day 24 and have zero ideas. To help with this, I use an app called Evernote which you can use both on your phone and desk/laptop. I have zero affiliation with the company but have become a super fan over the past years. Evernote is basically a digital notebook system organized with individual notes in each notebook you create. You can add photos, text, even a digital recording to any note. It is the best tool for organizing my thoughts. I have a notebook for each activity I do: Creating, Teaching, Learning, etc. I have different sub-notebooks stacked into these broad categories. For example, I have a notebook labeled Artists where I add information on artists that inspire me under my Learning notebook. Many people have written different strategies for organizing your Evernote systems. Just google it and you will be amazed. How you organize it is less important than just having a "brain dump" place to capture your thoughts.

I keep an Evernote notebook filled with ideas for different design and color ideas. I used to have one notebook for designs and one separate one for colors. Now I just throw the photo or written ideas into a notebook called Design and Color Ideas. It was too arbitrary to separate the ideas because the two aspects color and design really feed off of each other with a synergy. So I find it is best to keep them together in a combined Evernote notebook.

Not only does this help me feel somewhat more prepared to come up with a new series every 25 days, it also reminds me that I will not run out of ideas. I have a notebook full of them. Honestly, some of the ideas are @#!^. I have many photos of bathroom tiles that I will probably never use. But 1 out of every 10 ideas will give me at least a thread to hang on to. For example, looking through my current notebook, I have the following items:

Photo of the front windows of the Lincoln Center in New York City
Photos of rocks and minerals from the Nikon camera small world website
Link to Textiles from the Denver Art Museum

Photo of a printer error from my home printer which will lead to a series idea some day

You may think you will remember all these great ideas that you may have.  But I guarantee you will not remember them. The iPhone camera is my best tool for capturing ideas. I take a photo and add it to my Evernote notebook directly from my phone. Sometimes I write down an idea on a piece of paper and take a photo of the paper. Whatever works. You just need a mechanism to capture all your ideas in one place. I know someone who uses a mini field notebook he carries around with him everywhere to capture ideas and to-dos. Some people use sketchbook journals. Just find a way that works for you. I am a digital girl because I think best with minimal clutter. Plus the ideas are as close as my phone. 

If you feel you are out of interesting ideas for your form of creative self-expression, spend time this week refreshing your interest. If you see it as a form of play and document what you find, you will have a record to refer to when you need a boost and have fun doing it. This also helps you get in the habit of refilling the well.  We need inspiration to keep creating.

Set a goal to capture at least one idea a day and record it with your chosen method (digital or handwritten) for this whole week. To help you be accountable, email me or leave a comment on the blog at the end of the week and tell me which was your favorite idea and what you are going to do with it. Ideas are great but the next step is to take action.