History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Idea Tracking for Authors

If you’re like me, you may often have more ideas than you know what to do with, and not enough time to implement them. But equally important to time for implementation is a method of tracking those ideas that works for you.

I keep my ideas in a lot of places: I’ve got a tag in my email, a section of the notes on my phone, and space in my writing spreadsheet (which serves a great many purposes). Some of them are just snippets of dialogue or an interesting premise. When I’m looking for something new to write, I sift through these lists of ideas to see if anything strikes my fancy.

There are certainly more efficient ways to track ideas. Getting all of my ideas in one central location would be ideal, but I haven’t found a system that works perfectly. In a perfect world, the central location would be something I could access from my phone and a web browser, so that I could add to it whether I’m at the computer or not. But my phone also isn’t always usable when I’m away from the computer (like when I’m driving), so I might need something that could take voice input. And, ultimately, I’d probably need a way to shuffle the ideas around so that perhaps a new arrangement might present a connection that I hadn’t previously thought of.

I think what I’m envisioning, as I consider this variety of needs, might be old school notecards. I might initially still record my ideas in whatever method/format I can, and then remember to transfer them to notecards regularly. Then I could shuffle up the deck of notecards and look at them in a new way.

While your needs for collecting and tracking your ideas may not match mine, hopefully I’ve given you some things to consider as possibilities for your own idea tracking!

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