Never Forget an Idea Again

You know how it goes: You’re busy cooking dinner, out enjoying a run, working out at the gym, slaving away at the office, or just settling down for bed at night, and then wham! Out of no where, a brilliant idea or task strikes that you don’t want to forget. Let’s face it, oftentimes, when inspiration strikes, it’s often at inopportune times. So what do you do?

Well, if you were me up until November of 2015, you might have done something like this: first I logged the idea in a Moleskin notebook (or a napkin, or a loose piece of paper and hoped I didn’t lose it). Then I snapped a picture of the written idea with my iPhone and the scanned it into my Evernote Inbox so that I could later transcribe it into Evernote, Scrivener, or wherever the idea needed to go. This paper tracking process became annoying because I try to keep a paperless office and life wherever possible.

Idea Management = Task Management

I love task management software and use two different powerful apps—Producteev for home, Wunderlist for work. But these apps limit the task display and I couldn’t see myself using them idea tracking (after all, an idea is often several sentences). I had learned to record things directly into Evernote, but I didn’t always need them there. I needed a better idea staging area that I could then transfer into Evernote and Scrivener. However, sometimes the idea I recorded wasn’t a story plot, but an action item (task) I needed to do. The use of Evernote didn’t make sense to me for task management, even though I realize it has a reminder system built into it.

TodoistLogoThat’s when I stumbled upon ToDoist. This app, available on most popular devices, displays the entire task as easily viewable paragraph that doesn’t required you to tap or click on it to force it to expand. ToDoist provides exactly what I needed to create the efficient idea and task management system for my writing projects.

My Idea Workflow

So now the process looks like this:

  1. I create a ToDoist Project for each writing project (to maintain clean organization). I use the Inbox only for things that affect writing in general and not a specific project. (e.g. a website idea for this or that thing; a reminder to check something out from a podcast I listened to)
  2. I freely add (wherever I am and from whichever device is closest to me) as many ideas and tasks into ToDoist whenever I want to.
  3. When time permits, I transfer the ideas for plots, characters, and scenes into Evernote or Scrivener.
  4. When I completed tasks, I could swipe to complete.

There are two benefits that I love about this.

  1. The psychological reward from complete tasks is something I’ve always loved It’s also a proven and healthy response for a task-completion habits.
  2. The ToDoist Karma feature plays right into this. So now, with ToDoist in my arsenal, I’m more efficient and organize, and when I complete items in todoist I know that I’m getting things done and I’m one step closer to publication.

If you have any tips or tricks, feel free to suggest them in a comment below!

This is not a paid endorsement for ToDoist. This is me geeking out about my success.