Capture & Save Your Creative Ideas

Capture & Save Your Creative Ideas

Creativity can strike at any moment, but if we don't capture those fleeting ideas, they can vanish and be lost forever. This has happened to me more times than I can count, and it's a cringe-worthy moment every time I realize the creatively guided thought slipped away because I told myself, 'Oh, I'll remember that.' Only to go days without saving it somewhere, resulting in its loss.

Fortunately, there are numerous methods available to help you capture and preserve your creative sparks, and I'm here to discuss the ones that I rotate and use weekly!

1. Use a physical journal, notebook or planner.

When I need to step away from my digital resources, I can always count on my tried-and-true pen and paper for jotting down those in-the-moment ideas, especially when I am at home or have dedicated time away from home and know that I will be sitting or waiting for a bit. I always take one with me on my trips out of town just in case I get the cozy feels and need to work a little magic with words on paper. 

Last summer, I created a handful of starter creative journals to showcase my craft skills, and I have even taught a small class on how to make these. You can find my current few in my online store if you're interested.

2. Use phone notes.

This has become a top favorite for me, especially in the middle of the night or early morning when my mind is open and full of ideas. I get a lot of inspiration and resolutions to try out during this time, and the notes on my cell phone are also segmented out for different kinds of ideas, where I can immediately categorize and save them. I have created many impromptu outlines there too, and it's been a huge help for me. Whether you're waking up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea or brainstorming in the morning, your phone's right there to catch those thoughts.

3. Email yourself.

I've often taken notes on my phone and emailed them to myself for use in my blog posts. Email serves as an underrated notes keeper and has its own space where notes can be captured, avoiding cluttering your inbox with ideas. This ensures that your ideas are accessible across multiple devices and can be easily organized using labels or folders. 

My best tip here is that when you send yourself notes, ensure they go to the email account that best corresponds with the ideas you've captured. This ensures you can easily find them later if you need to refer back and don't have immediate access to your phone.

4. Use Google Docs or MS Word Docs

Using Google Docs or MS Word Docs is what I would call the OG of note creation. It's arguably one of the primary methods for capturing our best ideas and notes today, especially for those who prefer the online/virtual device view for their ideas. I resort to this approach when I need to visually spread out my ideas with more space and be able to fluidly refer to and search topics across the internet for assistance. Although I can do this with my phone, it doesn't always allow me to be as efficient and do things as smoothly and quickly as with my laptop. 

When the ideas are flowing too quickly and strongly, I immediately resort to this method. Creating a dedicated Google Doc or folder for my creative ideas offers the convenience of cloud storage and collaboration, allowing me to access and expand on my ideas from anywhere with an internet connection.

5. Use different social media apps.

Utilize social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Threads, Pinterest, and many others to express your thoughts and ideas. Choose your favorite platform. Use captions or short videos to capture your initial concepts, and revisit them later to expand and develop them further. I've employed this method numerous times and have been able to elaborate and create additional new ideas and content based on those snippets of notes. 

Another way to maximize this approach is to consider the apps that allow you to post privately until you are able to expound or provide context to your ideas later. Sometimes, the activity on different platforms sparks new conversations and creativity that you can use later. 

6. Audio and voice note recording.

Don't underestimate the power of audio recording and voice memos. I recently started re-engaging with this method on my phone's voice app and notes app. I'm able to get a written transcript of the voice notes for up to 10 minutes of talk time. This is helpful for me as I can capture broader ideas and abstract thoughts aloud and challenge myself to bring them to a conclusion within that time frame. It's great practice for future talks that I might revise and share publicly on my YouTube channel or here on the blog.

7. Create a project board in a project management tool.

When I'm ready to tackle ideas head-on with precision and structure, a project management tool is my reliable and focused companion. It provides a systematic approach to capturing ideas, outlining plans, and converting them into actionable task lists, all centralized in one accessible location. Personally, I rely on Freedcamp for managing such ideas, but there are numerous other tools available, each with its unique strengths. Finding the right tool for your specific needs and workflow is crucial. Consider exploring free access options or trying out free trials to identify the best fit for your processes.

8. Get crafty with a hands-on project for trial and practice.

Engage in a hands-on project for trial and practice. As a dedicated craft designer, I find that immersing myself in hands-on crafting is the most effective way to bring my ideas to life. When my ideas are connected to a tangible process in the making of a physical craft, taking immediate physical action towards the process is the best way to determine what works and what doesn’t. This approach may also resonate with fellow artists or creators who work with various mediums. Sometimes, whether formally recognized as an artist or not, this hands-on method provides a refreshing departure from conventional thinking and fosters a different kind of creativity—whether it involves taking a break and experimenting in the kitchen or exploring other forms of creative expression. Thus, keeping a hands-on creative project at the ready for these moments is just as indispensable as relying on traditional pen and paper. 

| Also read: 5 Reasons Crafting Is Good For You

Here are some actions you can take next:

  • If you found this post helpful, fuel my creativity and send me a coffee!
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  • Browse my digital google site for free worksheets and guides.
  • Stop by my YouTube channel by handle @lalocreativity where I share life, creativity and intuitive tips connected to a thriving creative journey.

Which one of these ideas do you gravitate towards the most? Which ones would you like to try? 


Want more info, have questions or want to work with me? Just drop me a line below!


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