A reader just let me know that the comments function had not been working. Got it fixed. So you can now leave me some comments!
It’s important to have a place to store all the ideas that you have captured. I have used both paper files and digital ones; the main point is to have a spot where you always deposit your ideas so that you can find them later.
In the beginning stages it is not important to create an elaborate filing system. It’s a waste of time. As you work on a project you will probably restructure the categories so any filing system you choose now will
Thoughts don’t come in a linear fashion. They come at odd times. They interrupt us day and night. Our brains have a habit of working on things even when we aren’t consciously thinking about them—which is a good thing and we will talk about that later. So, we find that as our mind works, thoughts will pop into our consciousness unbidden.
Even when you have sat down to plan a project the ideas still don’t come sequentially. (Here’s a little secret. If
Ideas are the raw materials you will use to build your plan. So it is important to generate enough. In the beginning it is more important to have a large volume of ideas than to have just the right one. Having a multitude of ideas will allow you to hone in on the right ones.
What blocks the flow of ideas?
The most common blocker is the fear of expressing a bad or foolish idea. This is especially powerful in a group.
I was once in a meeting where we were planning an orientation process. It was the first meeting so we were just getting started. Someone mentioned the idea of having a series of classes and the whole room went immediately to planning the number, length, and content of each class. One person even started scheduling them on the calendar. But we hadn’t even considered what the best strategy would be. We hadn’t considered audio CDs, interactive DVDs, a series of printed booklets with quizzes attached, one-on-one mentoring programs, or online interactive games—all of which have been effectively