Getting those Ideas from your Thoughts to Paper, Part 1

What happens to the ideas you jot down on paper? Do you check some off while others still remain undone? As Creatives, ideas pop in our heads all the time. My head could probably come right off my neck with all the ideas I get!

There’s so much I want to share on this topic so I decided to write it as a 2-part series. In part 1, I’m sharing how I determine if an idea I have is doable and how I write it down and map it out. In my part 2 post, I’ll share tips on taking those ideas off the paper. Let’s get cracking!

First off, if you don’t already keep a journal for writing down your ideas, I recommend you get one. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a simple writing tablet will do and if you’re involved with several projects, you may want to buy a tablet with dividers so you can keep all your projects separated. You can pick these up from your local Dollar Tree.

My mind works so fast that ideas pop in and out, but  I write down an idea on paper only when I believe it will serve a function, solve a problem, or enhance my life in some way. Not every idea is doable. For example, taking a cruise with no money saved. Obviously, nothing is wrong with wanting to take a cruise, but it requires action and if I don’t have the money, this is not an idea that’s immediately doable. However, If I’ve save some money and put it in a separate bank account over a period of time so I can take a cruise, then the idea can be a reachable target.

What types of ideas do I write down?

My ideas typically are centered around: (a) my blog; (b) crafting (crochet or knit pattern I’m making); and (c) home decor. So, let me take the blog as my example. I like to write down potential topic ideas, so I’ll list possible titles and dates and when I plan to publish each post.

Also, on paper I usually put my ideas in an outline form in this format:

  1. Purpose. Always important to start here. Why do I want to put this idea into practice? Is this idea to solve a problem? Do I want to share my knowledge or experience on a topic?
  2. Essentials. How soon do I need to get this post written? Will I need to do additional research? How much time will be involved? Is there a cost, i.e., pictures, etc.? Is this a solo post or will I need to collaborate with others for information?
  3. Management. If I’m writing a series of posts, what timeline do I want each post to publish? Are there other tasks under this series I need to do?, ex., interview a guest blogger and do a write-up, promote a product for sale, etc. 
  4. Completion. Once the post has published, what kind of advertising do I need to do?, ex., social media.

This might sound like a lot to write down, but believe me this kind of outline is so helpful to me and it helps my writing to go more smoothly.

My outline can also be adapted to just about any idea-turned-into-a-project. A planner would also help take your ideas off the paper, I use my Happy Planner, but we’ll talk more about the planning stages in Part 2. I don’t want this series to be too long so I’ll break here. For now, chew on what I’ve shared in this post. Part 2 will be coming soon!