Write It Down

Whenever you have an idea, write it down. Immediately.

It doesn’t matter how big or small you think the idea is. Just write it down. It doesn’t matter if you have other things to do, like changing diapers, fixing that horrible JengaScript bug, or debating on Twitter whether everyone’s a designer. There is always something that seems more important. But trust me. Write it down. Immediately.

It is totally up to you in which way you jot down your idea. You can use a notebook if you want, you can use your smart phone, or, you can also just draw a quick, hasty sketch on a napkin. It really doesn’t matter as long as you grasp the idea as long as it is still fresh.

By writing down the idea you will first and foremost, of course, make sure that you will remember it later. And as trivial as this might sound, how often have you found yourself pondering over what this idea was that you had yesterday but which is now gone for good, irretrievably lost in oblivion? Writing down your ideas frees up space in your head for new ideas. At least that’s what you might think. That’s what I was thinking, too. But what I noticed over time, is that instead of simply making room for new ideas, your old ideas still linger in the back of your head. They are still somewhere in there, patiently waiting to come back as soon as something magical occurs: An association. And maybe this is the most powerful advantage of getting stuff out of your head. That once you write them down, your ideas will get babies more easily. It’s a miracle. It’s as if your mind suddenly is able to draw associations freely without having to remember the whole story all the time. Without pressure. And this is so powerful. Your ideas connect, they merge, they diverge, they form new constellations and in the end you will often find out something you’ve never thought before. One bit at a time you will connect the dots and create something truly unique.

So whenever you have an idea, write it down. Immediately.


50 Webmentions

Photo of Baldur Bjarnason @baldur@toot.cafe
Baldur Bjarnason @baldur@toot.cafe
“Write It Down · Matthias Ott – User Experience Designer” This. Either get into the habit of noting things down on your phone or carry a pen and a small notebook. matthiasott.com/notes/write-it…
Photo of Holger Bartel
Holger Bartel
Good advice just before the weekend ;) There’s been many times, I had a thought, didn’t write it down immediately and later it was gone…
Photo of Michael Friess
Michael Friess
Used to be MultiMarkdown Composer and iaWriter. Completely moved to Agenda. Might use Notability more when shifting towards iPad + Pen.
Photo of leeeshaari
Always! I second that ????;Write It Down, by @m_ott matthiasott.com/notes/write-it…
Photo of dorobot
yes! agree! and then you steck them in your zetteldings und dann machen die da wilde sachen! ????;????;
Photo of DirkBark
Thx for the reminder ????;. Found that somewhere retweeted but had to look for the original ????;????;. Going to get a notebook and good pen today!
Photo of Holger Bartel
Holger Bartel
Good advice just before the weekend ;) There’s been many times, I had a thought, didn’t write it down immediately and later it was gone…
Photo of Matthias Ott
Matthias Ott
Ja genau! ????; Bei Dir ist das natürlich die Ultimate™-Version! ✨;????;✨;????;

On Taking Notes

Last week Matthias wrote about the importance of writing down ideas immediately. I have to agree, the best way to being able to remember something, is to write it down right away. I have had many thoughts and ideas floating around, but oftentimes when I don’t write them down, I can’t remember or recall them later. In a follow-up post Matthias now writes about the “The Single Best Way to Take Notes”, why ...
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@matthiasott I can confirm 100%. There are soo many blog posts I haven't written because I didn't do it immediately or at least shortly after I had the idea.
Photo of @matuzo
@matuzo Which doesn’t mean that your drafts folder isn’t full of unfinished posts that’d be worth finishing 😅;