Thursday, May 1, 2008

Keeping The Ideas Flowing

I am regularly thinking about writing assignments and drafting blog posts in my mind before they get started. Sometimes I think about them when I'm doing something else and before great thoughts and unique ideas escape my mind, I like to write them down.

A great way to organize my thoughts and ideas is my 'WIP' folder. My 'Work in Progress' folder lives on my desktop and is often filled with ideas.

I have many blogs including health blogs, cooking blogs, a WAHM's life blog called Momphabet Soup and some sites I've built around other topics as well and I try to make the rounds regularly to keep fresh content everywhere. A great way to do that is to refer to my list of ideas and continually add to it. It really reduces the pressure when I realize blogs haven't been updated in a few days and I have time to sit and get new posts in. Nothing is an imagination killer more than setting a deadline unless you have titles and ideas or half written posts or articles or outlines already done.

Here's how I organize it:

In my folder, I have individual word documents for each site I run and I refer to them as my scratch pads. If I want to tuck an idea away for later, this is where it goes. That way, when I'm ready to post something new on a health blog or my cooking site, I don't have to chew my lip and rack my brain for ideas because I have a list of ideas waiting to be explored. On my health scratch pad I currently have about 7 different blog posts either started or at least given titles which can jog my memory later on and spark some creativity.

When I come up with ideas for a client project that's on the go, I jot it down in a notebook that I keep by my computer but instead of fighting to find pieces of paper later on for projects I don't have to do right now (that might have all kinds of scribbles and doodles on them, Yes, I'm a serial doodler.), my WIP folder is a great way to organize my thoughts. When I've written the post, I pull it from the scratch pad and post it to the site. This accomplishes two things.

1) It saves me from losing posts because I've stopped writing posts directly in blog posts for the most part. Except this time with this post right now so I'm praying that nothing goes wrong here. Most of us have made the mistake of writing a blog post directly in the blog and then losing it. Come to think of it, let me cut and paste this into a notepad window before typing another word.

Where was I?
Oh yes,

2) It also shortens my idea list so I remove the blog post from the scratch pad after I know it's safely posted. Sometimes I write a full idea and sometimes I write a snippet. It makes it much easier and I often find inspiration for various blog posts throughout my day.

This reminds me...time to replace the little notebook for my purse. Sometimes I find inspiration for articles or ideas for my novel in public as well and hate when I've forgotten the idea by the time I get home. I have jumped out of the bath sopping wet to write down writing ideas as well. Something about soaking in hot bubbles releases the muse. I really should think about installing a whiteboard in the bathroom and using soap chalk. Hmmm.


Lillie Ammann said...

I use Google Notebook to keep track of ideas. It's especially convenient to save links I want to use. However, your Word file is better for actually writing the post.

Jen said...

Great ideas, Dana! Of course, my favorite is the soap chalk. I've asked the muse to wait until I get out of the shower but she seems to work on her own time table :)

Dana Prince said...

I agree, Jen :)

Lillie, I must check out Google Notebook..not tried that yet.


festplatte defekt said...

I like your great thoughts and unique ideas.Every people should think like you.

Dana Prince said...

Thank you Festplatte :)

Ashwin said...

Dana...You could use wordpress blogging platform for the simple reason that it has " edit time stamp" function that lets you post automatically at a predetermined time. That would mean that you can churn out posts on a day when you feel more creative but set it to post itself at the rate one post per day ( or whatever frequency you follow). Or alternatively, you could use the "draft" option for all those iterations the posts must be going through before being posted?

Yup - like Lillie says - Google notepad is quite an option too.

See this page for all sorts of Internet based tools for Collaboration and managing projects

One thing I can bet on -- don't even rely on your computer alone. Your word docs can let you down, big time :-)

Dana Prince said...

Thanks, Ashwin. yes, Blogger has a tool in beta for future time stamping your posts as well.

My word documents work really well for me though because I can organise based on blog or website but I know that anything can be unreliable :)

I'll definitely check out that website for some collaboration tools.

Fotobuch said...

I like your ideas Dana! Being a new blogger i think these ideas will help me in near future. BTW I was refered by "festplatte defekt" to visit your blog.

Dana Prince said...

Welcome, Fotobuch. I think you'll find plenty of helpful info for starting a blog in my archives. I hope you'll visit often!

Blogging is fun and very lucrative. Best of luck with it!

mountainbike said...

Your information is helpful for me. Thanks for your information.

Vic Grace said...

Thanks for the good ideas on organization. I then to have bits of paper floating around my desk and I have been thinking for some time that is time I got organized. I like the idea of keeping folders on the desktop for each blog. I only have two so I can imagine the organization you need for more than that.

lastminute fl├╝ge said...

I would mean that you can churn out posts on a day