Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Why Idea People Should Make Lists.. and Put the Oranges Down Already

I have always been the type to write lists. Usually, my lists are long and full of obscure plans for craft projects, movies I want to watch, skills to learn and things to do. There has always been something pulling me forward, compelling me to write down what I want, only until recently it's all be on paper..

Now I keep a collection of lists in Evernote - if you're a list-maker like me, it's an absolute must have app! I have it on my iPad, iPhone and computer (it's available for Mac and PC) and it all automatically syncs with each device so when I'm doodling around on my phone in bed as I'm trying to fall asleep, when I have ideas I can jot them down right quickly and access them when I open my computer during Lotus' nap time.

The way I organize it, I have a 'stack' for writing ideas, each idea getting its own notebook full of character sketches, setting ideas and plot outlines.

I have a stack called 'dreaming', with a notebook for life lists (random compilations of things I'd like to some day do) and a notebook full of quotes to remember and later illustrate, use as a seed for a story idea later on, or just comfort me when I feel like elephants are standing on my chest.

I just started a stack for blogging, with post ideas, little notes on graphic dimensions goals and plans I have for this space. I'm really quite excited about filling that particular notebook up, because the more ideas I have, the more I write, and the more I write, the more I feel like I'm contributing to this little community of bloggers I hope to be a part of!

Then, last but not least, I have a notebook for fitness, with my running training plans, snippets of workouts to try and my measurements, and a notebook for design ideas - I dabble sometimes in knitwear design, and I like to keep notes on the aesthetics that please me, imagery and inspiration that I can translate into the stitches on my needles. I haven't designed a new item in a long time, but it's nice to have my little notebook of things to try for when I need them.

I have a personal-sized filofax planner for every day to-do lists, to help keep me on track and remind me what I need to pick up at the grocery store but most of my exciting plans get typed out in Evernote. I highly recommend it for any creative folks who have their hands in a lot of projects.

Writing down goals and plans does something for me. I feel more free to pursue my ideas when I know they're safely written down somewhere and I can access them whenever the mood strikes me.

When I'm not keeping lists and notes, it's almost like I'm trying to juggle too many oranges, while trying to peel just one. I feel like if the lists aren't made, if my oranges aren't safely in the basket, so to speak, I'll drop them all, I'll forget my plans, and I won't get any juicy benefits of actually finishing something (and getting a damn orange peeled).

Whether the above made sense to anyone but me, I don't know, but the point is, write your stuff down. Write it down, get it out of your head, so you can move on to bringing about what you want in your life. Take advantage of whatever technology you have (if one can call a pencil and paper technology) and write your plans down in a safe place, so you can free your mind and energy to do what you want instead of trying to remember it all.

image courtesy of korosirego via flickr

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