I have a lot of great ideas never reach fruition for the simple reason that I fail or forget to take note so that they can be executed at a later time. This includes ideas for blogging. Every day, in persons I encounter or events I happen to observe, or places I go to, there’s bound to be something relevant to blog about. But unless I remember to do so later on, the thought will forever be lost.
For instance, I do a lot of thinking in the bath. But it’s a bit inconvenient to take an electronic gadget along with me (even if it’s as small as my Asus Eee), or even a pen or pencil and notepad (I hate soggy paper), and especially not my Moleskine notebook (sure, it’s oil-proof paper, but is it waterproof?). Of course, not everyone gets their Eureka! moments in the bath–unless perhaps you’re Archimedes. So in those instances I try to be conscious enough to make a mental note to make a physical note of my ideas.
But I tend to be forgetful and I have difficulty keeping focused.
So it’s always a good idea to have a handy means of keeping note of ideas. For some an electronic voice recorder does the trick. You can take it anywhere, and you can simply talk into it, and you can review your voice memos at your own time.
What’s great about voice recorders is that you can record voices other than your own. You can do interviews!
A digital voice recorder is the ultimate gadget to have when an interview needs to be done. You might, for example, bump into someone of important interest while being out and about. Let’s say you are at a blogger’s convention and have a few moments to talk to Darren Rowse of ProBlogger — wouldn’t it be a wasted opportunity if you couldn’t record an interview with him? Your readers might appreciate something like that. Depending on the type of blogs you write for, that missed opportunity could be very painful.
What about those of us who are more visual rather than aural in orientation? Perhaps a digital camera would be more ideal. After all, it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I’ve had many opportunities to take snapshots of interesting objects and views.
Trouble here is the bulk of my equipment. I shoot with a digital SLR, so unless I have the camera on hand (which is about 80% of the time) and can whip it out of its bag quickly, the moment is lost. And I have thousands of unorganized photos in my collection. So there you have it–my photoblog or blog image ideas are like lost streams of consciousness scattered around in thousands of images stored in my Picture folders and archived in DVDs.
But then there’s also an advantage when you bump into someone you’d like to interview. Photo ops are as valuable as recorded interviews, after all. Then there are those times when you encounter newsworthy events you can actually report on your blog. Photos can come in very handy.
Come to think of it, things don’t have to be as complicated as having to bring along a full-fledged digital camera and voice recorder everywhere I go. Even my inexpensive mobile phone can do that, as most other modern-day mobile phones do. It can take picture, record voice memos, and even video clips! Sure, quality wouldn’t be as good as when using a real digital camera, a real voice recorder or a real video camera. But it’s something I can always carry around in my pocket and whip out in a moment’s notice, ready to capture images, sounds or videos.
And for those quick personal information management (PIM) and simple note-taking needs, my phone also does wonders. Actually for this purpose any mobile phone with text capability will do, even if it doesn’t have photo, video or sound recording capabilities. One can simply type a short outline as a text message, and then save it as draft to later on expand and expound on. So for me, my phone serves as one of those gadgets that help me note down blog ideas.
However, my problem now is actually expanding or working on those ideas. My phone, my notebook, and even my online todo list are overflowing with great blog post, design, or business ideas but I could not work on them all at the same time! But that’s the point of note taking. You can have a record of all your ideas. Some of them might be great. Some not so. And you can prioritize and work on those that you think would prove to be valuable. For blog ideas, it’s just like news reports and feature articles in the magazines and newspapers–not everything can make it to press. It’s like movie or TV outtakes–not everything can make the final cut.
So don’t be afraid to jot down ideas. One of those might turn out to be really great ideas that can change the world!
Back to my question–what’s your favorite blog-idea taking tool?