Sometime ago, I came across this image on a blog, 8 ways to kill an idea.

These are all clever and very real ways to kill an idea on the work environment. But it made me think of way’s I’ve killed an idea, on a personal level, and I realized its missing a nine-nth one: Not writing it down.

Your brain is constantly storming with ideas and shifting thoughts every second (or even faster). Think of how you’re thinking of something, then that leads you to something else and then to even something else almost totally randomly.

Sometimes you might get a flash of inspiration or come up with a great business idea or problem solution while doing something else like riding the bus, eating sushi or watching TV. Your brain works so fast that is hard to keep up with it or keep track of every thought at every moment. This is why its very important to write down your ideas as soon as you get them. Have a small notebook or note-taking app in your phone ready for whenever the situation presents.

It is very important to write down all your ideas, even the bad ones. Remember that practice makes perfection. You can’t expect to come up with a good idea on the first attempt. Also, how would you differentiate between a good or bad idea if you can’t compare them side by side written down on a media? It will also help you track down ideas that you’ve already have, so you don’t end up repeating your bad ideas later on.

Some applications worth looking at for brainstorming and note taking are:

Emacs Org-mode
Freemind

About the author

Gabriel Saldaña Gabriel Saldaña is a web developer, photographer and free software advocate. Connect with him on and Twitter

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