Many readers of this blog are bloggers themselves. It can be difficult to get ideas to a finished blog post. Even if you aren’t a blogger, some of the process I use may help you to capture an idea and put it in to action.
I don’t know about you but my very best ideas are when I can’t make note of it. When I am driving in my car, or biking, or kayaking, or taking a shower, or something else, I have some of my very best ideas. By the time I get to a place where I can write my idea down, I have lost it. Even if I remember a part of my idea the full emotion of my idea is lost.
Recording the idea
The full emotion of a thought is lost quickly if I don’t fully capture the idea as soon as I think it. A great suggestion from a friend in my accountability group is to record myself. You can carry a small recorder with you or if you have a cell phone, you can call yourself to leave a message. This is terrific because I can add my voice inflections and ramble on as the idea builds in my head when I speak.
I sometimes use Google Voice to leave a message for myself. If you aren’t familiar with Google Voice, it is a free program from Google that provides a phone number (anyone can call like a real phone number, including you of course). Google Voice will also attempt to transcribe the message to text. You can listen to or read the message.
Recently I have been using Evernote for voice recordings. What I like about Evernote is that with a simple push of a button on my smart phone I am recording my thoughts. No need to wait for my voice mail greeting to finish before talking. I can get right to my idea immediately. Once I am done recording I push “Save” and it automatically uploads my recording to my Evernote account.
As an example, I have provided an un-edited recording I made for myself (please forgive my rambling but remember that is the reason for recording). This link will require you to download the audio file to play from your PC.
Beginning the digestion process
Later when I have time, I can listen to my voice message or recording and begin writing. Many times, listening to myself while writing will spur even more thoughts to grow the idea. I always begin writing my drafts in Evernote. (I will write more about Evernote in a future post.)
I work on editing my draft in Evernote until I feel it is in pretty good shape. At some stage I come to realize it is time to put the draft in to WordPress.
Once my draft is in WordPress, I review the post again. It amazes me how much more I catch just because the content is now in WordPress. During my review, I pull out tags that I think are key to the relevancy of the blog post and assign categories. I also select a photo or graphic, add links and add a relevant quote or two if possible.
I then use the “Preview” function in WordPress to see what the post will look like once published. I think this is a critical step as I try to see the post as a reader of the post and not the author.
Once I am satisfied that the content is all it can be, I begin scheduling the post. WordPress has a scheduling feature that lets me automatically publish a post any day and time I choose. I also launch my Hootsuite account and schedule links to the blog from my Twitter and Facebook accounts.
The final step is to monitor comments and respond. This is of course the highlight of enjoying the finished product.
When you have an idea, how do you make sure the idea isn’t lost?
What are some of the best ideas you have been able to take from idea to implementation?