Dixie Darr

In creativity on July 23, 2007 at 7:01 am

Idea File

“Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.” Emile Chartier

Most of us have ideas that we never act on. In fact, I sometimes think ideas are a dime a dozen. What’s really rare and valuable is someone who will put those ideas into action. That’s why I think it’s funny that potential entrepreneurs are afraid to tell people their business idea because that person might steal it. Writers do the same thing, keeping story ideas close to the vest.

Keeping a file of those ideas as they arise can help in a couple of ways. First, it gets you in the habit of paying attention to your ideas, and therefore, in the habit of having ideas. Second, the file becomes fertile ground to mine for ideas when you need them. You might find that something you thought of long ago will work today in a completely different context.

It doesn’t matter if you keep the ideas on index cards, in a notebook, in a computer file or a voice recorder. Use whatever works for you, but try to keep things in a central location so you know where they are when you need to access them.

This is such a good idea that Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind writes a column called The Idea File for the Wall Street Journal’s center for entrepreneurship, the Startup Journal. Blogs (like this one) are another place where thousands of people record, share and track their ideas.

Of course, if you are more the implementation person than the idea person, that’s fine, too. You can use magazines, books and the Internet to mine for ideas you can act on.

© Copyright 2007 Dixie Darr. All rights reserved

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