#21: Make an Idea Bank

Whatever you do, never let even the most insignificant idea slip away.

Put every idea that you can think of – the amazing, off-the-wall, utter crap, and bolts-of-inspiration-in-the-toilet ideas – into your idea bank.

After all, who knows when it might come in handy?

Of course, there are more reasons to keep an idea bank:

  • Don’t lose your intellectual capital. A forgotten idea is gone for good.
  • An idea might seem bad now. But not in the future when technology and attitudes change.
  • Break out of a creative rut by using old ideas or riffing off them.
  • Rejig ideas for different clients or purposes.

So dust off your thinking cap and make your first idea deposit.

Creating Your Idea Bank

I’d recommend using an Excel Spreadsheet, like the Content Calendar, because of its filtering capabilities.

Regardless, the choice of software isn’t all that important. If you’re more comfortable with MS-Word or something else, by all means go ahead. Use them.

What’s important is organising your idea bank. In general, your idea bank should contain and display necessary information.

Here’s an example:

Category

Name

Synopsis

Best Used as

Used In

Remarks

Content

Idea Bank

Save Ideas for a rainy day and dip into it when you need them.

Blog post; Reply to Twitter questions

Tech ticks

Part of 100 tips

         

This entry tells me what it’s good for, where it could be used, and if it has been used.

 

How do I Use my Idea Bank?

  • Got an idea? Always deposit it your bank.
  • Check to see if you have similar ideas. If so, just modify and update your ideas. I usually spend an hour or two a week updating my bank.
  • Every now and then, go through your idea bank. See if you can…
    • Develop a few ideas
    • Update them
    • Get reacquainted
    • Riff off on your ideas to create other ideas
    • Use them to break out of a creative rut
  • Reuse ideas for clients. Remember to tweak and contextualise for your clients! It’ll save time, energy and frees you up for other things.

This is how I create and use my idea bank.

How do you use yours?


A day, a tip | 100 days, 100 useful content tips

Tip categories: Create, Source, The Truth, Spread & Be Nice.
Got an idea, opinion or critique?
Please share it with me @ContentTicks.

 

Credits: Featured image from Razor512

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