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How to Store Ideas (From Someone Who’s Been There, Done That)

Ideas are the backbone of any business. Anyone can have a good idea, but that’s not enough. You need to come up with an effective way of storing those ideas rather than letting them slip through your fingers.

My goal with this blog post is to help you find the perfect storage space for all your ideas. I want to share some practical tips that I’ve found work really well. In particular, I want to share the bucket method. It’s something that I know firsthand works, because I’ve implemented it in both of my startups; my tour operation business, and my current company, Snowball Creations, which is a paid ads agency. 

And if you’re asking yourself “WTF is the bucket method?!” then don’t worry, we’ll get there. Or, if you don’t want to wait, just watch this video.

Grab a bucket

Okay, you’re probably chomping at the bit for some context. Now we’re about to chat about something that holds a very special place in my heart: buckets. 

You have these ideas, but then what? Having an idea is only the first step. You need to then make sure that you don’t forget it. And of course, you need to execute on it. 

Humans have the amazing ability to have a never ending flow of great ideas. That’s the pro. But every pro has its con, and in this case, the con is that most of the time, the best ideas don’t come to use when we need them. 

They don’t come to us in the boardroom, or the office, where we’re ready to design mind maps and start note-taking. Instead, inspiration strikes in the shower, in the back of an Uber, in a conversation in the middle of a club. 

This makes sense because when we give our unconscious a bit of a break while our conscious is focused on other things, our unconscious gets the freedom to get creative and come up with clever ideas. 

Unfortunately, if you don’t capitalise on that idea and save it, you’re going to forget it. I know you think you won’t, but you will. So that’s where the bucket comes from. You need buckets to store your different ideas.

A real-life example

If you’re wondering what the hell I’m on about, let’s take a trip down memory lane. When I worked in sales, I would need to manage leads from the point where they were a cold call, all the way to a closed deal. Therefore, organising ideas was essential.

So you can imagine that losing a lead or not logging it correctly was a deadly sin. The same went for missing an email. Hence the buckets. 

In my head, I would imagine these things as different buckets. Every time I had an idea, I needed a place to capture it, so it would go into the bucket. 

If you haven’t figured it out by now: a bucket is my way of storing ideas.

Make buckets your own

One of the key things you need to realise is that there isn’t just one way to store ideas. The important thing isn’t how you store them – it’s that you store them in the first place. 

For me, that’s buckets. For you, that could be using a CRM system, or another system that works for you. You need to find a bucket and make sure that your ideas are being captured in that bucket, whatever that looks like for you. Find apps and tools to help you develop your ideas further. 

You need to aim to keep it tight. Get the idea from your brain into your bucket without spilling a single drop.

Fun fact: your memory sucks

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: don’t rely on your memory to remember ideas!

When you’re out for drinks and your friend mentions something cool about a particular topic, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ll remember it tomorrow once you’ve sobered up. Instead, send yourself an email right then and there, so that when the hangover has worn off, you can look at your idea with a clearer mind. Make sure that you have easy access to your idea across all your devices. 

If you go to a course, or you’re in a meeting, take notes. Just because it seems straightforward now, doesn’t mean you’re going to remember the important stuff in a few days. If someone is giving away knowledge, take advantage of that. Write ideas down on a page, and then later go home and find an effective way of storing those ideas. 

be the lone wolf

If you want to stand out from the thousands of other people in your business niche, you can’t be doing the same thing that everyone else is doing. You need to think of new ways to come up with things. 

Be a doer. Don’t just have a great idea, but turn it into a reality by capturing it as soon as you can. Jot stuff down in notebooks. Add them to mind maps. Use an app. Make voice notes for yourself. Whatever. The method doesn’t matter; the action does.

Be consistent

Another thing that applies to nearly everything is that you need to be consistent. So, yes, it doesn’t really matter how you capture your amazing new ideas. But if you keep capturing them in different places or different ways, something will go missing. It will become a mess. 

Try to find a fun way of organizing your ideas. Make a mind map, create lists of to-dos, and use tools that help you create and keep track of your business projects. Find something that works, and stick to it. 

I’m going to take this chance to mention that I’ve been working on my own little version of this, called Forzeit. It’s still in its baby phase, but the idea is that this will be a place where you can turn your ideas into reality. It’s an all-in-one tool that you can use for note-taking, storage, inspiration, and projects.

final thoughts

That’s the bucket method! I’ve learned a lot through my time as a business owner, and one of the key things I’ve seen time and time again is the importance of keeping track of your ideas. I hope that this post has inspired you to do the same.

If you like my bucket mentality, connect with me on LinkedIn so that we can keep in touch and share ideas!

Disclaimer: This blog post is not responsible for any spills, leaks, or flooding caused by the adoption of the bucket strategy.