Why You Should Write Down Your Ideas

March 24, 2014 Leave your thoughts
Build Those Connections
Build Those Connections

I write down pretty much anything I think about that’s related to something I’m working on or would want to work on. Many have wondered why. Here are some of my thoughts on why I write down ideas and why you might want to too!

For starters, ideas come and go like cotton candy on a rainy day. After the rain has passed, one can understand what was there, but the nuances in terms of its size, form, and taste will have been lost. Without some way of taking note of what exists, an idea can quickly lose a lot of its substance.

The ephemeralness is just too great captain!

I also suggest taking notes because it helps free up the mind.

Long ago, I took a psychology class and found out that the maximum number of things an average person can hold in their working memory is 7 plus or minus 2. To allocate an idea to one of these spaces is to make the processing of other things more difficult.

If you’ve ever found yourself going somewhere only to be hit with sudden inspiration, you should know how difficult it is to maintain the concept in memory–especially if you’re primarily doing something else. Write the idea down and now you’re free to process even more information. This has been really helpful to me in working on tasks that require a higher level of processing or creativity.

With ideas written down, one can take advantage of associations that more easily occur visually. Seeing ideas on paper or screen, you can make connections between them that might otherwise not occur simply by thinking about them.

This is how Hackronyms came about. I had ideas written down on a notepad from a long drive between SF and LA. Looking at these ideas later; I started circling different ideas, linking them together, and making new notes. Next thing I knew, two main concepts became one and the initial version of the game came about.

For anyone that doesn’t write down ideas, I hope this encourages them to do so. Who knows what awesome things may come about as a result of doing so.

Do you also write your ideas down? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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