N is for Notetaking

You want to write. You have a million brilliant ideas, clever sparks of inspiration. But you have a problem. All your genius ideas seem to strike when you have not the inclination or ability to develop them into their full brilliance. You meet a quirky fellow at a networking event, who, you think to yourself, would be an ideal character for your book, but you have to sit through a three-hour luncheon before you’re able to jot down his mannerisms, and by the time you get home, you are so drained from small talk and drunk from wine, that you forget you even met the man. Or, you’re having coffee with a friend, and she offers you a snippet of advice that wows you; that helps you to see clearly and you know it’s important for you to write it out and stick it on your desk, as a constant reminder. But the advice comes through her own struggle, as she pours out her heart about a recent loss. It would hardly be appropriate for you to pull out your iPhone.

How do you capture these ideas, these gems, before they slip through the cracks in your mind and are lost, potentially forever? I often think, as I take out my laptop and struggle to release even a word or two, that it is not ideas I lack; it is the net that catches them. So I’m building a net. I’m

taking out my phone (when appropriate) and writing a memo to self for later. I’m carrying a notebook and pen with me when possible, and when I have a dull moment, rather than play candy crush, I’m writing the inspiration that’s all around me, if only I would learn to open my eyes and see it.

There are lots of smart ways to use technology to aid you in recording and maximising your ideas. Click here for one writer’s practical guide (that I admit is slightly over my head) on which apps to use and how to use them. I tend to just stick to pen and paper, the built-in Notes function on my phone, and my laptop, although I’m also trying out a few other apps such as Evernote, and I regularly use my WordPress app (though more for admin than ideas).

How do you capture your ideas?

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3 thoughts on “N is for Notetaking

  1. I have a note app on my phone that is full of ideas that I quickly jot down. At least once a day I’m writing some type of note, idea or something to remember for a story or possible character or something else. On a side note, I grew up in a town named Selah. Kind of weird seeing the word on a picture.

    1. Yes thank goodness for my phone – it definitely helps me to capture ideas. Although it is also a source of procrastination! That’s so cool that you grew up in a place called Selah! I just googled it – is it in Washington? I shall hope to visit there one day. I bought this journal from my church – it is a word often used in the Psalms.

      1. Yup, it is in Washington. It’s in a small valley that’s well known for hops, apples and cherries. In fact, if you’ve eaten a cherry, drank a beer or munched on an apple, theres a great chance it’s from that area. I’ve heard that the word Selah was used in the bible, though, I don’t know how or what it means.

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