Organising your ideas

Organising Ideas – The 1 Habit That Helped Richard Branson Get Ahead

Richard Branson, the British billionaire, entrepreneur, commercial astronaut, and business mogul is not only widely acclaimed for his accomplishments in the world of entrepreneurship and business, think Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Health, and Virgin Galactic to name but a few. He has broken world records for the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing by ship and less than a year later he did it again, crossing the Atlantic this time, in his hot air balloon the Virgin Atlantic Flyer.

He crossed the English Channel in an Amphibious vehicle and to top it all, Branson is the third oldest person to brave space travel. He did this as a passenger onboard the Virgin Galactic Unity 22 in a suborbital test flight for his spaceflight company Virgin Galactic.

This man is not only brave, he is ballsy and unquestionably business savvy. If we could draft a list of famous people we would like to meet and learn from he would definitely be close to the top of the list.

What may come as a surprise to some is that he attributes his success in the world of entrepreneurship and business to his daily habit of journaling and self-reflection. He claims that it is this disciplined and persistent habit of note taking and jotting down every single idea, small or uninformed as it may seem, that has propelled him to the top.

This daily habit of organising ideas ensures that no detail or insight is forgotten; if it isn’t jotted down right away, there is a good chance that it will fade away and be gone forever. This practice of consistent self-reflection and daily journalling has been fundamental in helping him achieve the level of success he enjoys today.

In his own words, “I can’t tell you where I’d be if I hadn’t had a pen on hand to write down my ideas (or more importantly, other people’s) as soon as they came to me.”

Branson is not alone, throughout history many influential people across countless fields have been known to keep personal journals to document their lives and ideas. Philosophers such as Aristotle and Socrates kept detailed accounts of their lives, while renowned figures in business, science, and entertainment followed suit with records of their own thoughts and ideas.

Notable historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Marie Curie were all known for dutifully keeping journals. Recognizing its power to improve productivity and creativity, these icons openly expressed how important journaling was to their success.

More recently, greats such as Lady Gaga, Ariana Huffington, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet and Jennifer Anniston have also been known to follow this daily practice.

Organising Ideas

Organising Ideas: Why Should You Capture and Organise Your Ideas?

As a business professional, you constantly need and can come across lots of ideas. Some of them may be great, some of them may be good, and some may not be useful at all. But how do you remember the worthwhile ones? How can you ensure that all your ideas don’t get lost in space? The answer is to capture and organise them as quickly as possible. Let’s look at why it’s important to do this.

The Benefits of Capturing and Organising Ideas

When you take the time to record your thoughts and organise them, you create an invaluable resource for yourself. Idea capturing allows you to better understand what is going on in your own head and provides clarity on what is important to you and your business. It also helps ensure that any valuable ideas that cross your path don’t slip through the cracks but instead have a permanent place where they can be found easily when needed.

Organising Your Ideas

Once you have started saving your ideas, it is essential that they are organised in a way that makes sense for you or your business. There are many ways that you can organise your information and the trick is to find a system that works for you.

Nothing beats a good old fashion notebook and pencil, but I have more recently moved to a digital notebook after discovering Goodnotes and Apple pencil. This allows me to quickly and easily record my thoughts and ideas on the go with the ability to search digitally when I need something without having to page through numerous handwritten journals. I also use Trello, another wonderful Kanban style list maker and collaboration tool.  

Find a system that works for you, consider putting related topics together so it’s easy to refer back to later on when needed. Or if brainstorming big-picture concepts, jot down each idea separately so each individual concept can be considered carefully before making a decision about which one should move forward. Use abbreviations, shorthand or develop your own icons or colour styles to easily recognise and find concepts when you need them.

Idea capturing and organisation can be extremely helpful regardless of whether it is used personally or professionally. By taking the time to record your thoughts and organise them into meaningful categories or topics, it will ensure that valuable information isn’t lost or forgotten over time as well as provide clarity on what is important in terms of achieving goals or objectives set out by yourself or others within an organisation.

Use the following quick and easy tips to help you get the most out of your note-taking:

  1. Find the system that works for you. It may be a pen and paper, Goodnotes, Trello or simply the note function on your phone, it doesn’t matter, just do it consistently.
  2. As soon as an idea comes to mind write it down. You may think you have a memory like Einstein’s, but leave it until the morning and that flash of inspiration can fade away.
  3. Don’t judge the quality. All you need to do is record all the thoughts and ideas as they occur, they flashed into your thinking for a reason.
  4. Brainstorm and expand on your thinking later. Something you recorded a while back might be the inspiration you need for a new project, or perhaps you can link two ideas together into something completely different.
  5. Store your notebooks for future reference. Browse through old notebooks and look for new patterns or associations that could spark ideas.

The practice of a daily journaling and organising ideas has led to the development of many great new business concepts and inventions.

Start small. Capture your thoughts and expand on them later. So next time an idea comes to mind – make sure you take the time to write it down!