We have a lot of valuable thoughts that we waste.
We think a lot throughout the day. A lot of our thoughts are fairly pedantic — pertaining to the things we’re focused on in the moment, and not terribly relevant outside of that context. But we have a number of thoughts throughout the day that are valuable in other contexts. The more we live, the more knowledge we have, and the more interesting we become, the more valuable these thoughts become.
We do very little (if anything) to capture them.
When we do capture them, they become a gold mine we can dig into later for idea generation, blog post topics, project inspiration, and content.
One of my most valuable habits (practiced patchily, but with overwhelming returns when consistent) is idea capturing.
Evernote is brilliant for this (it’s what I’m using to write this post now). All the little things throughout the day that are even vaguely more interesting than the context I’m thinking about them in get logged. Notes from advising sessions I might use to write blog posts later, interesting philosophical questions I want to explore, descriptions or visual snapshots I want to incorporate into my writing. All of it gets logged.
Even if I don’t use this log as a record to sift through to look for ideas, the act of writing an idea concretizes it and captures it, so I’m more likely to remember it later when creating content.
If you don’t already keep a journal, do. If you don’t already log ideas you encounter throughout the day, do — religiously.
Train yourself to treat as habit the act of identifying useful and interesting ideas, and logging them immediately for future reference.