My thanks to Literature & Latte for making this content possible. They’re the makers behind the amazing writing tool that is Scrivener & idea organizational tool Scapple.
Ideas are the foundation of many businesses & startups. They’re these seeds which everyone has yet not everyone nourishes. You see thats the thing everyone has ideas, literally everyone. It’s what you do with said idea that defines it.
I get asked all the time about how someone can take X idea & turn it into a business, someones potentially amazing idea, or those who simply have no idea & are in search of one. Ideas are apart of the process don’t get me wrong but they are literally step zero. Everyone has ideas & everyone thinks they have a billion dollar idea. Not everyone executes said idea.
So let’s dive into 5 tips when it comes to dealing with ideas.
1- Record it!
Ideas come & go. The act of recording them helps solidify them. Much like making a note of something you need to remember, an idea should be record to come back to, the very act of recording it in some format helps it stick.
You can go with the classic pen & paper method. Personally I keep a small notebook & pen handy at all times in case something every pops into mind that I want to write down, ideas included. This helps me make notes of things, expand upon ideas & list out pros/cons.
We also live in a digital age where technology is literally at our fingertips. There’s no shortage of apps in which you can use to record ideas. Be it in audio, text, or even picture based format.
In my own workflow I’ve adopted the app Scapple recently by the great folks at Literature & Latte. After using Scrivener for some time I finally made my way to trying out Scapple & immediately implemented it into my workflow. It allows me to create a visual board of sorts of my idea. Manifesting it in the way I want from clip arts, text bubbles, and free form editing.
Whatever method you pick just be sure to record it somewhere you can always refer back to.
2- Share Your Ideas
It’s a misconception that you shouldn’t share your ideas with anyone due to the fact that someone may steal it & or build it themselves. I believe that if your idea is the way you envision it then you should be the only one who can execute it as such. So don’t be afraid to share it.
Sharing your idea opens it to collaboration, criticism, and ultimately makes it a better one. If you have a business idea for startup then take it to people you trust & more importantly will be honest with you. Gather feedback in order to improve on the idea. Furthermore by sharing your idea you can crowd source people who’d be interested in your product, service, site or what have you. This allows you to get no pun intended an idea of who would be interested.
Generally most people leave their ideas as ideas. The ability to act on it isn’t as frequent as you think. So don’t fear people running with ideas & share them.
3- Ideas don’t have to be revolutionary they can be evolutionary
This is one I had to remind myself of. I’m constantly searching for what I feel can be the next big thing. However you need to realize your next startup, project, what have you doesn’t have to be a revolutionary one. It doesn’t have to create a brand new market or need people never knew they needed. It can simply be a evolutionary one. Evolving of things that exist in the world already. Improving upon services & products in order to bring something better & more evolved. So don’t fret if you can’t come up with the next Facebook, Uber, etc.
4- Solve A Problem
When it comes to not having an idea at all where do you begin? I think the best place to start is with a problem. Maybe its a problem that plagues you or something that the world suffers from. Big or small aim to solve a problem & from there an idea can easily hatch. It’s not easy, ideas can be inspired from anything the trick is to realizing which problems we want to focus our time & energy on.
5- Don’t be Afraid to Think Big
In contrast to #3 you shouldn’t fear thinking big. Most people tend to shy away from big picture ideas simply because they think its not possible. On the contrary, that fear is the reason you should pursuit big projects & ideas. The world needs more people willing to tackle huge issues. Things that take work & perseverance.
Overall ideas can change the world. However ideas alone aren’t enough. They require nourishing, hard work, and discipline in order to grow to their potential. Focus on things that matter to you, a wrong you want to right. Take that idea you talk so much about & actually put it into action.
My thanks to Curbi the makers of an amazing parental control app for iOS for sponsoring the web safety series of content. Curbi allows you to monitor, block, and curb your children’s iOS devices easily and safely. Ensuring the most priceless of things peace of mind with your kids on the internet. Try out Curbi today!
Nowadays kids everywhere have iOS devices be it their parents, siblings, or even their own. So its important to ensure their safety on the device to prevent any trouble, wrongful spending, or just general safety. Here’s a rundown of some iOS tips you can use on any current iPhone, iPod, or iPad.
iOS allows you to actually restrict you kids access to the device. This is highly useful in that you can tailor specifically what they can or can’t access. A great example of this being app-store purchases this prevents them from spending on your iTunes account and can save you countless dollars from kids who are purchasing things without knowing any better.
This is achieved by going to Setting-General-Restrictions
2-Guided Access Mode
GAM or Guided Access Mode allows you to actually lock the iOS device to one app. Normally this is used on devices within the apple store or presentation devices. However using this to lock kids to one app can be highly beneficial. It has the ability to prevent tapping in defined areas of apps or even set a time limit usage.
This can be enabled by going into Settings-General-Accessibility-Guided Access
Overall these built in iOS tips are great tips packed into the OS that most parents may be unaware of. They’re great ways to control the experience of your child and limit or prevent harmful usage on the iOS devices. However all of this can be achieved even easier within an app solution. Curbi for example does all of the above from restrictions, time limits and even more but a simpler package. Furthermore the benefits of Curbi extend in that it monitors your children’s usage tracking information and reporting it to you even when your away.
You can’t always monitor your kids usage and actions on a device let Curbi handle that for you. Check out our overview post we did on the service for more info on setup. Overall these tips provide a safer experience for you and your young kids be it on their own device or yours.
My thanks to the team over at Literature & Latte for sponsoring this post & series of content on writing. They’re the makers of the essential writing app Scrivener for Windows or OS X. Providing an all in one writing studio that allows you to edit, outline, storyboard, and most importantly write in an efficient system. Use it for scriptwriting, books, essays, and more. A must have for all writers.
Outside of this site I do quite a bit of writing both personally & professionally. Whether its for clients, my own personal archive, or my other sites I like to write. That said it wasn’t always that way & I view writing as this muscle that needs to be exercised frequently. So I wanted to throw together some tips and advice to improving your writing workflow. The process in which you write & tools you use to do so. Now keep in mind everyones workflow is unique and you’re free to tailor it to fit your own needs. Rather I wanted to provide an outline of my workflow and tools I use to better help others out there improve in their areas of writing.
Physical & Digital inspiration-
They say to keep something handy be it a physical notebook or digital app for when inspiration strikes. However when it comes to writing inspiration doesn’t just always strike. Rather to improve your overall writing workflow I believe in practice. Of course keep something handy for whenever an idea strikes or something you want to express & just write it. Don’t worry about grammar, structure, or what have you just write. Writing daily helps implement a routine & improve your writing fluency.
Using great sites like 750Words allow you to build up your writing skills by tasking you to write 750 words on a daily basis.
Text expansion when it comes to writing has been something has saved a ton of time & unnecessary keystrokes. Using an app like TextExpander allows you to take let’s say an e-mail signature for example.
CEO & Founder DigitalDojos
Rather than constantly typing this I can set ;sig2 to automatically translate into that. You can very technical with this of course having it type out current dates & times, common answers to questions, and so much more. Saving you a ton of time when writing out anything as the app is supported in anything that has a text field.
Using a cloud storage service can highly improve your writing workflow in various ways. First and foremost keeping your content be it manuscripts, books, essays and so on in the cloud allow you to keep them off site. This means if your local copies are ever damaged or corrupted you have the stored safely in the cloud. Additionally cloud storage allows you to access your files anywhere you have internet access so you can write on the go on a variety of devices. Be it Dropbox or Google Drive syncing files to these services has never been easier. On top of all of this a service like Google Drive allows for collaboration editing. This is very useful in projects where you have multiple people overviewing a document & gives a live look at whats ongoing.
My own Workflow:
So when it comes to time for me to write I approach it a systematic way depending on the project I’m working on. It can be a blog post, formal letter, essay, and a variety of other things which allows me to adjust the methods I use.
Most importantly I always focus on the writing itself. I write first & edit/revise later. The best way for me to overcome a blank page is by filling it with whatever I have on my mind or have to tackle. In conjunction with the following steps I try to always follow.
Gather all material I need beforehand. This helps in terms of preparation in that I have everything I need in one place be it an app or document. Scrivener provides an amazing feature to do just that. Allowing you to couple everything in one place to easily focus on your writing and reference your research material links, web pages, sources, in one place without interrupting your workflow.
From there I tend to outline my projects. Providing a visual look at what I’m about to put together. This helps in structuring my content and in a sense gives me a template to work off of. Now you can outline yours however you please some people prefer a mind map, audio notes, or just a typical outline number/lettering system like I use to structure my posts.
With bigger scale projects extra organization is required & having to sort through files, research, material, can be very cumbersome. I prefer to keep my content separated in folders or tags much like what Scrivener offers in it’s binder. You can color code notes, make collections, and easily branch out files/folders. Of course this may mean physically organizing your material if you don’t use a digital solution. I find the easier and more accessible my material is the easier it is for me to focus on writing.
As simple & complex as it is the last step is to sit down and write. Focus on writing and putting together what I’ve visualized & organized and worry about the details afterwards. Dropping in video/picture media, grammar, formatting. I try to let myself just create before fine tuning it. This allows me to look at the work again with fresh eyes after I finish writing. All these steps in conjunction make up my writing workflow. Filled with practices, apps, and various tools that have helped me improve my writing overtime. More importantly knowing it’s something that I have to constantly be doing & improving upon.
Look to establish your own workflow with tools & tips that work best for you. However if your serious about writing & or do it for a living you can’t go wrong trying some of the apps mentioned above.
Be sure to check out the previous post we did in line with our series of content on “Writing Workshop” highlighting the
Best writing tools for Mac OS X