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How do you come up with new ideas for your business’ blogs, newsletters, e-zines, intranet site or magazine articles?
If you’re like me, ideas sometimes pop into your head. Other times, reading an interesting article may provoke some ideas or topics that you want to write about. Then these ideas turn into articles, generating more and more ideas.
But how to remember all of them? How can you store all these ideas to write better and faster?
Here are a few of my favorite ways to organize ideas and concepts for my website, blog, e-zine:
1. Create a large mind map of what you want to write about. Organize around one central theme that your articles will discuss in detail. If your blog or e-zine focuses on improving the Work-Life balance, for example, you can break this topic down into sub-themes (exercise, stress relief, nutrition, prioritization, etc.), and then into article ideas. Mind maps are fun to create and great for focusing on the big picture.
2. A word document. A classic organization tool for a reason, word allows you to organize notes easily and keep tabs on the topics you’ve already written on. Write down larger concepts, then break them down into smaller ideas. Capture your title ideas and include a few key points that the article will discuss. I like to have one document dedicated entirely to ideas, but some people prefer having a folder filled with multiple documents.
3. Write on index cards. If you have great ideas while running errands or waiting for a meeting to start, try a portable method. I like writing on index cards (and filling out as many ideas as I can) and transferring them to my main idea folder when I’m back at my computer.
4. Use Evernote to save thought-provoking articles and sites. If articles, websites, blogs or online discussions inspire you, Evernote can help you store those great articles that you’d like to write about.
How about you? What’s your favorite method for organizing your ideas? How do you prevent that terrible feeling that you have no ideas?