From Inspiration to Creation: My System for Capturing Ideas to Making Them

  • “can you stack these?”
  • “I need sweet potatoes” (guess tired me was multi-tasking)
  • “using subjects to learn other subjects”

Step 1: Capturing Ideas

The first step is to capture ideas that come to mind. Since creativity starts in your head (where thoughts collide and potential projects mix together) it’s important to have a mechanism to get those ideas out of your head. Once they’re out of your head, you can take an honest look at what you have and shape it into something more tangible. However you do this, the most important aspect is the ease of access. You want to be able to get this idea onto paper/into a file of sorts ASAP.

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Here’s my quick capture page on Notion. I throw literally anything that comes to mind into here.
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My old ideas notebook. Yeti mug for scale.

Step 2: Put them into a “commonplace”

This step can be ignored depending on how you develop your creativity system. If you’re using one book for ideas, then this is your commonplace book and your quick capture page. It’s where you throw any and all ideas together and let them mix. If you use a digital approach like I currently do, it may help to have a separate page where you can put ideas into simple but separate cards/tags/points and look at them in an organized fashion (but still have them in the same place).

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A commonplace book is a hidden gem in a creative life.

Step 3: Project Boards

The third step is creating a “board” or place for individual projects, where you put the new ideas you’ve thought up. This step is the vaguest and is really dependent on your goals and how you work best.

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Here’s a snapshot of my Writing page on Notion. If I have a subject I want to write on, I’ll pull ideas from the commonplace and put them into subpages! Here’s a sneak peek at some of the subjects I’m currently working on. No promise I’ll have them finished anytime soon.

Poli Sci grad, Comms Strategist, great at remembering names and terrible at pronouncing them. I write on political psych, practical philosophy, and random stuff

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