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Ideas on the Go

Emma Walton Hamilton / Blog  / Ideas on the Go

Ideas on the Go

I’ve been honing my Story Radar, and have found the holiday season to be more abundant than ever with respect to prompting ideas.  The problem is, most of them come to me when I’m on the fly… and if I don’t document them immediately, by the time I get home they’ve gone. So I’ve been experimenting with ways to keep track of ideas on the go, and have come up with a short list of what works for me.

1)   Write them down the old fashioned way – This requires carrying a notebook with me at all times, which is sometimes challenging to remember to do, let alone find room for in my purse.  I love Moleskins, since they feel so writerly, but I’ve also used Miquelrius notebooks, which I like because they have spiral binding and stay open easily. And of course, we have spiral-bound notebooks with the Childrens Book Hub logo on the cover that are very nice, too.

Peter H. Reynolds mentioned in our interview this month that he always carries index cards in his pocket, to jot down ideas or make quick sketches on, and also to flesh out his ideas, because they allow for shuffling.

2)   Write them down digitally – I love my iPad, but again, it’s not always convenient to carry around with me. What is convenient is my iPhone – and the ‘Notes’ app works well for capturing ideas on the fly. However, it’s not easy to type anything that requires detail on the tiny iPhone screen.

3)   Record them – This is my latest favorite method. I have the free app “Dragon Dictation” installed on my iPhone (I have it on my iPad as well). All I have to do is tap the app to open it, and tap the red button to begin recording. I say as much as I need to, and hit save. This miraculous app instantly transcribes my words to text, and it’s accurate about 90% of the time. One more tap and I’ve emailed the document to myself. When I get home and open my computer, the emailed idea is there, ready for me to edit, embellish or simply drag-and-drop it into the ideas folder on my desktop.

How do you capture your ideas?

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