Writing on the Fly: How to Capture Fleeting Ideas

Writing on the Fly: How to Capture Fleeting Ideas

The ability to capture fleeting ideas is one of the most important habits for a writer. How many times have you had a brilliant idea, sure that you would remember it, only to find out that just a few minutes later, you lost that great thought? Regardless of whether you use pen and notebook, an app on your mobile device, or a Zettelkasten notes archive, it’s important to create a system that works for you.

I’ve carried a pencil and paper with me ever since I can remember. I imagine it started in kindergarten when I carried a backpack between home and school. To this day, I still carry a pen and a small notebook or notecards with me wherever I go. And since the advent of mobile devices, I also have note-taking apps to capture fleeting ideas. Although I’ve used Evernote, Trello, Google Keep, and other apps in the past, I’m currently using Notion. The key, regardless of your chosen tool, lies in mastering the habit of capturing ideas in the moment.

Capture Fleeting Ideas

Whatever you do, be sure to master this vital habit for writers: capture fleeting ideas. It may seem like a trivial tip, but this one habit can provide you with an endless supply of writing prompts. Each idea is like a gold nugget in a treasure chest.

When that next great idea comes to you, do you have system for capturing it in the moment and later retrieving it as part of your writing process?

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