One of the problems with our memory is that it doesn’t always work the way we want it to. That’s because our subconscious will often produce something useful for us and send it directly to our conscious thinking – you know the kind of things, you are daydreaming on the train when suddenly a thought hits you out of nowhere. That’s because something entered your subconscious maybe several hours ago and it has been working away, trying to come up with an answer for you. Once it has the answer it knocks loudly on the door of your conscious mind saying “here it is, here’s the answer you wanted”.
But at that point your subconscious does a quick about-turn. It hurries away, ready to get on with the next task, considering the job done.
Of course, it isn’t really like this – but you get the idea. Unless you make an active effort to store what your subconscious comes up with, it can drift away from your mind, never to return. How many times have you had a brilliant thought as you walk into a meeting, only to forget it by the time the meeting is underway?
The same thing happens with blogging. Each day there are millions of brilliant blog post ideas produced with many of them never seeing the light of day because they are forgotten as quickly as they were produced.
The issue is that bloggers are not capturing those brilliant ideas snapped out of their subconscious. So here are 7 ways in which you can capture your ideas the moment they pop into your mind, ensuring you always have plenty to write about.
1. Pen and paper
Yes, I know we live in a technical, web-connected, smartphone enabled world. But there is still little to beat a humble pen and a piece of paper when you need to capture something quickly. No matter where you are, you should always have a pen and paper with you because you never know when your blog ideas will spring forward from your subconscious. You do have a notepad by the side of your bed, don’t you?
2. Phone yourself
As soon as you get an idea, phone yourself. Because you are using the phone it will automatically be diverted to voicemail – where you can leave yourself a message with your idea. If you don’t like the notion of speaking to yourself then just send a text to your own mobile. Either way you can quickly capture your blog idea if you have forgotten your pen and paper.
3. Use a blog board
You can have a whiteboard, blackboard, peg board, cork board – who cares, whatever works for you. But the board’s purpose is merely to be a repository for your blogging ideas. As soon as one strikes you either write it on the whiteboard or pin a note to it.
4. Tweet Yourself
Set up a Twitter account where the Tweets are protected and hidden form view, essentially just a blank account. Then when an idea strikes you send it as a private direct message to your blank, dormant account. This will then act as a store for your ideas, all of which will be the direct messages you have sent.
5. Use Google Keep
Google Keep is part of Google Drive and it is a simple note-taking system. You just go to https://drive.google.com/keep/ type in your blog post idea and Google saves it for you on your Google Drive account.
6. Set up a blog idea form
Set up a page on your website that you prevent from being indexed by search engines and for which the URL is not obvious. Then on that page install a form that allows you to enter your blog idea. The form can be emailed to you, or saved in a database. But either way you can simply store a bookmark of the page and then whenever an idea strikes you that’s the page you go to and type in your idea.
7. Use Evernote
Evernote is out and out the best and most flexible note-taking system I know. Using it for blog ideas is brilliant, but using it throughout your business simply makes you more productive. You can create a notebook for blog ideas and then every time you get one you simply go to that notebook and jot down your idea.
So there you have it – seven ways to capture your blogging ideas. You have no excuse now for not having enough ideas to write about.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+