Linus Pauling, a famous chemist once said: “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas”.
So if it is important to have a lot of ideas, we need to think about a proper way to collect them. There is nothing worse than having a good idea and forgetting it later again because we did not write it down.
1) Use a tool to collect ideas:
The traditional way to systematically collect your ideas would be a note pad, which you carry with you all the time.
I recently found a very interesting website - evernote - , which allows you to collect, store and access your ideas from multiple sources. They can be accessed from a PC desktop application, from a mobile phone or through a normal Internet browser and all are synchronized through a cloud.
You can add ideas by voice over your mobile phone or sending your idea to your email address at evernote. The search engine even allows to identify keywords inside images. I have started to work with the free version and it significantly helped my to easily collect and organize my ideas.
2) Work on your ideas:
Ideas by themselves have no value. They only get value when you execute them. It is important that you work on your ideas from time to time. A good way to assure that you work on your ideas regularly is to create an assignment in your calendar using the function of recurring schedules. During this time you will go through one or more ideas and refine them. When you feel that an idea is mature enough to be executed you can start the implementation as a project.
3) Connect your ideas to each other:
A major source of innovation is the recombination of existing things to something new. The same applies to your ideas. When you work on your ideas as described in the above bullet point I recommend to systematically look for ideas that fit together and that can be combined to a better and more interesting idea.
4) Share ideas or parts with others:
Communication with other people certainly is a major source of creativity. Look for possibilities to gain more knowledge and feedback on your ideas. It might also be good to see if other people already had the same or a similar idea. One of the most effective way to exchange ideas with others is to use the blogger community. You can have your own blog where you write about your idea or you go into other peoples blog on topics related to your idea and actively participate in discussions.
5) Lean more?
I still feel that I am a beginner in field and I would love to share experience with you. So please let me know how you collect and work on your ideas in the comment session.