For the past 250 days, I've written (at least) one daily essay.
And the hardest thing I've learned to overcome since starting has been coming up with ideas to write about. You see, as a beginner I thought ideas would come to me when I sat down to write. I believed the more I sat down to write, the easier and faster these ideas would come.
But after a week or so I realized I was having tons of ideas throughout the day, but when I sat down to write, they'd be nowhere to be found.
So the problem was not generating ideas; it was recalling them!
"Your brain is for having ideas, not for holding them."
Since then, I've learned the key to having ideas when I sit to write, is to develop a system to capture them as they happen.
Here are 3 my favorite tools to do just that:
- Drafts App: Simple app on my iPhone. It opens in a new note ready to capture my ideas with text, voice or dictation.
- Readwise: I love this app. It's a centralized hub where all my book highlights end up. It also syncs with a Notion database so they're all searchable and ready for me to act on them. And not only that, but it also resurfaces a few passages from random books every day so I can review and get inspired. Love it.
- Notion: This is my central hub. Drafts end up here. Highlights from readwise end up here. My new essays start here as well.
This is my entire idea capture system. All of these apps have free versions you can use.
Let me know if you end up using any of these. And if there's enough interest, I might explore this part of my system at greater lengths…