Do you use Evernote to capture and store your ideas?
Congratulations! I’ve never seen a more powerful and flexible tool for doing this.
But are you using it to MANAGE your ideas?
In other words, are you using it to evaluate your ideas, identify the best ones and crafting action plans to bring them to life? If not, then you don’t have an idea file – you have an IDEA SARCOPHAGUS. A place where ideas go – to die!
It’s a common problem. You had good intentions by storing your ideas in Evernote. But until you implement them, they only have POTENTIAL value.
If you want to realize TRUE VALUE from your ideas, you need a process. But don’t worry – you don’t need to create one from scratch. You can use a simple 5-step creative that has been successfully employed by creative people for decades. Here it is:
- Investigate – Invest time thinking about and researching the problem. Deconstruct it into its pieces and understand its essence. Identify the right problem to solve – not a symptom.
- Ideate – This is the sexy part everyone loves to focus upon – brainstorming ideas. The more divergent the better! Brainstorming tools and techniques can help your brain think in fresh directions – outside of your normal rutted paths of thinking.
- Incubate – Walk away from your ideas for a day or two. Your subconscious will continue to mull over the ideas you’ve generated. When you return, your existing ideas may suggest new ones, or improvements on them. Add them to your idea list. Look for opportunities to combine ideas, too.
- Evaluate – Create numeric criteria for evaluating your ideas and score each of them. The highest ranking ideas are those with the greatest potential for success.
- Activate – Devise plans to implement your best ideas. That’s where the VALUE is!
How does Evernote fit into this picture?
It can serve as the platform for all five steps of the creative process – from problem definition to implementing your best ideas.
I’ve summarized this process in a new Evernote Creativity Roadmap, which you can download here. It explains what happens at each step of the creative process, and the ways in which Evernote can be set up to support it.