Getting your business ideas out of your head and on to paper

June 4, 2012

Go out to dinner or lunch with a business owner and most of the time you won’t be in for a broad, stimulating, topical conversation. Mostly, you will be in for a SWOT analysis of their business, all the ideas they have, the state of the economy and the next big thing they are working on. Business owners are not known for their interest in others or self-awareness.

So if this is you (of course I’m not suggesting it is!!), here’s a quick tip to keep all of your brain waves under one roof and under control.

A simple notebook with a pen or pencil, carried around with you at all times can be the difference between you continually being ‘in your head’ and being slightly more relaxed. A notebook can serve as a safety net to catch all your good and not so good ideas and can be used to then sort and prioritise your ideas at a later date.

Holidays are a great time for notebooks. After a few days, you can get into a relaxed state and are then able to switch off from your business. Ironically, it is in this relaxed state where the great ideas come so having a notebook around you saves you from having to keep everything in your head and minimises the risk of forgetting.

A notebook can also serve as a tool to capture to do lists which can be accessed later. For more on this, check out ‘Getting things done’ by David Allen. It’s a task management system that I don’t use myself but I do know people who swear by it. The ‘moleskin’ notebook is a crucial weapon in the task and time management battle.

A notebook can also be used for journaling purposes. If you have never looked into keeping a journal, it is well worth trying out. Journaling can act as a dumping ground of all your gripes, worries, successes and failures. Good for the moment but also good to look back on in the future. Journaling can increase self-awareness levels considerably, always good for a business owner!

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