How many different ideas do you have filling up space in your brain, notebooks, word documents, and random scraps of paper?
If you are similar to me (and most entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners) you have more on the go than you can possibly contain in your brain.
I am pretty sure that I forget more ideas, or lose them in notebooks and scraps of paper, than I actually bring to life in my business. Which makes me sad.
I currently use Charlie Gilkey’s Free Weekly Project Planners to organize my days and weeks but I have never found a system that works to capture ideas and projects. Nothing has worked. I forget about things I jot down in notebooks. I accidentally erase whiteboards to capture some new idea. Lists of ideas and longer term plans end up in a pile of papers, discovered long after they could have been useful.
Linking ideas and money
So, today I decided to start testing a new approach by organizing my ideas based on what value in dollars they can bring my business, and how quickly they could generate this value.
Now, I am not saying that money should be the only determining factor in what ideas you work on. But, if you first reduce your list of ideas so that only the ideas that provide value to your community are left, then organizing them on how they will benefit your business strikes me as a solid idea.
My Idea Problem
This is my current idea and future project planning system. Within this pile of sketch books, notebooks, scraps of paper, and duotangs (I think that one is a Canadian word, they are like soft covered binders) reside all of the ideas and future projects that land inside my brain throughout the workday, weekend, and in the middle of the night.
The problem is, each of these idea receptacles then gets moved somewhere and all of the ideas becpme “out of sight, out of mind” and forgotten.
At some later date I will gather all of the different bits and pieces (as I have for this picture) and attempt to organize them into some sort of functional system.
It hasn’t worked yet.