How to Keep an Idea Journal for Fun and Profit

How to Keep an Idea Journal for Fun and Profit

Have you had a great idea lately?

Whether you are a business owner, a home school mom, an author, a blog writer, a designer, an engineer, a wife, a husband, a student, a teacher, an administrator, an office worker, a retail associate, a truck driver, a dock worker, a salesman, retired – ah, let’s face it – no matter who you are, you have ideas. You have ideas about things you would like to do, things you would like to accomplish, things to improve your business, your school, your life.

But, what do you do with those ideas? Sometimes you act on them right away. “I have an idea, let’s go out to dinner.” (One of my favorite ideas lately.) At other times you cogitate on them for a while. “I would like to redecorate the bathroom.” And, there are times when you have a good idea that simply slips away.

Write your ideas in your journal so you won’t lose them.

3 categories of ideas

In my experience, my “great” ideas fall into 3 categories.

  • Great
  • Mediocre
  • Dumb

You’ll find that by putting your ideas into your journal you have time to think further, you have more insight, you have a chance to sift and decide.

Whether you maintain a separate journal just for your ideas or keep your ideas in your regular journal the following steps will help you make the most of your captured ideas.

Develop a system

Determine a system for capturing a variety of ideas. Just as your life consists of various aspects so do your ideas. Some of your ideas will concern your personal life. Others will have to do with business, or school, or entertainment, or spiritual concepts, or relationships, or any specific you choose.

You may designate special pages within your journal for each specific type of idea. Or you can choose to color code your ideas – using green ink for personal, red for business, blue for spiritual and so on. Or, you can use symbols in front of your ideas – stars for personal, an X for health, a circle for hobby or what have you. You may need to experiment to decide which method you prefer. Once you decide you are on your way.

Write your idea

Write your idea as soon as you think of it. Keeping your journal handy to write your ideas is optimal. But capturing the idea on a card or napkin or what is at hand is better than nothing. Just remember to put your idea in your journal as soon as possible.

Don’t try to decide if the idea is worthy yet. Just write it down.

Let the idea sit

Once you’ve written the basics of your idea, for example “Blog post about capturing ideas” — then let your idea ride. In this example the “idea” was captured on the Blog page of my journal and waited only overnight. But there are other ideas on that page which have been there for quite some time. Some of them will see the light of day and others will go bye-bye.

You need not be hasty about tossing ideas. Sometimes new information will come your way and your “half baked” idea will turn out to be a delicious piece of cake.

Write about your idea

Some ideas will fall into place easily and be used right away, while others will take more thought and investigation. The beauty of your journal is the freedom you have to think through your idea on paper before you make decisions concerning it. On a separate page ask questions about the idea.

Some questions you might consider. Will it work? How will it work? Why do I want to do this? What can I gain? What can I give? How long will it take? Who do I need to include in the idea? How will I finance it?

Run with your idea

Determining to give your idea a go isn’t the end of the idea train. As a matter of fact, some ideas transform over time. Using your journal to plan and develop your idea gives you the added assurance of being as prepared as possible for taking action.

Depending upon the depth and significance of your particular idea you may wish to simply execute the idea and go on to the next one. Or you may need to set a goal, plan your action steps, and work toward completion.

Ideas generate ideas

Using your journal to capture ideas, sort ideas, develop ideas and to work towards taking action on your ideas will have the added benefit of generating even further ideas.

So, if you are a sportsman hoping to improve your skills, or a business owner wishing to improve your bottom line, or a teacher desiring to be better at teaching, or anyone wanting to improve in any way keeping an Idea Journal is an excellent way to increase your Fun and boost your Profit.

Sometimes great ideas become your next goal. When they do, you can learn more about reaching your goal. You are encouraged to save your place in line by getting on the waiting list for the class Your Journal: The Tool to Reach Your Goals.

Just this morning I received this message from one of the students from a recent class, “Without having this caring group to be accountable to, I would not be where I am now.”

Want to get in on the good stuff? Click on Your Journal: The Tool to Reach Your Goals.

As a lover of words, pens, paper and the dictionary I'm a natural for journal writing. But, I wasn't always faithful to the task and had to learn the hard way. Some trial and error as well as input from my journal writing friends helped move me along. I have a burning desire to help people who want to use and get the most out of their journals and diaries. I see journal writing as a self improvement tool and a way to avoid costly mistakes, bad relationships and my stinky-self. Finding my kindly self is part of the journey which keeps me writing. I Journalate and so can you.

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