Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Simple Ideas for Saving Ideas

You know how you get a great idea and then you forget it? Yup--that's me.  All the time.  In an effort to correct this problem, I've started following some simple tips to remember all my ideas (and make sure they stick around).

1.  Put them down somewhere.  
Ideas need to be put down on something.  This is the key.  It doesn't matter if they're written, typed, or saved to Voxer--get them out into the open. 

2. Use your phone and capture moments.
I've started hand writing all my blog post in Notes on my iPhone.  For the longest time I didn't and now I'm a little ashamed.  I've found it's the most useful way for me to keep an idea for a blog post or school idea.......and complete it.  

It seems such a simple thing to do, until you realize it's not.  Practice, practice, practice.

3. Strategically place PD books around your house so you don't blow through them in one sitting.
I know, I know..I'm playing with fire by telling you to pump the brakes on your reading.
I've found that bits and pieces keep me plugged in for longer when it comes to my professional development. Small bites make a larger impression.  They simmer much longer.

These two will take me the entire summer to finish. They're filled with ideas that I don't want to miss...so I will take my time.

The coffee table by the TV is not a good place.
The bathroom is an excellent place. 
Don't ask me how I know this.

4.  Tell someone what you're thinking.
Nope, I'm not talking about emotional feelings.
I tell my wife if I have an idea for anything school/blog/kid-centric because she will check-in with me (over time) to see how it's progressing.  Let's be honest--I forget a lot.  I mean, a lot.  So I tell her my ideas and she keeps me accountable.

That's it. I'm sure that behind these reasons are some kind of scientific explanation that deals with a space-time continuum, but I don't know about that stuff. Instead, I've picked four practices that are attainable (also known as easy).  Sure, some of these are rudimentary and cliched, but that's kind of the point. Go with what works.

If anyone has an idea for keeping track of ideas when running let me know.  That's my next problem to conquer.

So the question still remains:  How do you remember your ideas? From simplistic to complex, what do you do?  Does it work?  Why is it effective?
I've got plenty of these too.



  1. Well, you know I LOVE Post-Its, and I have ALL sizes, so I usually will jot an idea on these colorful squares to help me keep track of my thoughts. I also keep a pad of sticky notes next to my bed because I constantly wake up with an idea thinking there's no way I could forget such a brilliant thought and then it's gone!
    Have you read Teach Like a Champion? I was wondering if I should read that one or the pirate one first.
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

    1. I thought about post-it notes--but they're not one of my go-to's (at school they work great). I've got other teachers that swear by them. I think I'l probably add them next to my bed. If I leave my phone next to me I'll check it too much at night.
      I haven't read Teach yet, but it's on my list. Maybe it'll become reading material for the throne--haha.

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  3. I loved this post until I got to the bottom with Dawson and now I REALLY love this post! One of the best moments in television history right there. I had real comments related to your post but then how I can focus on important stuff when you end with such a classic photo. ;)
    I am a post-it gal, but that clearly is not working because then I have scattered papers everywhere. I started carrying a little notebook with me everywhere and that does work. I'm always having little ideas here and there but lose them because I didn't write them down! So I'm really trying this little notebook thing. I love the idea of using the notes in my phone because I always have my phone with me! Thanks for a great post!

    1. It's hard to type as I relive great moments in television history...who would have thought Dawson could be combined with ideas? I use a lot of pos-its at work and a pad of paper, but I'm finding my phone is the best way because it uploads across platforms. I heard Erin Klein say she takes photos of her classroom's anchor charts, but I think that's a good way to remember to save note too if the phones not available. What works, is what I say!
      Thanks Sarah!