My creative ideas usually come in the middle of the night, while I am driving to a customer appointment or at one of my kid's sporting events. So, how do you find the creative yet still stay focused?
We all balance a hundred things, right? Here are some of my favorite tools that you can try.
1. Old fashioned notepads - I know, I know. I help people with online marketing for a living and my #1 is a notepad? Ha ha. Well, I found that my husband did not appreciate the glow of my cell phone as I typed in my latest ideas in the middle of the night. Plus, long ago, I learned to write in the semi-dark. So, I keep a notepad beside my bed. When I wake up with that brilliant thought, I jot it down. Then, the next day, I rip it off and take it with me to the office so I can add it to my list.
2. Triplog - While I use a notepad for ideas, I hate writing down my mileage. And, folks, I travel all over Minnesota and Iowa seeing customers. So, I use Triplog. I set it to only sync during the day into early evenings. Plus, it does not record my weekends. And, it is GPS activated so as soon as I go over 5 mph, it kicks in. All I have to do is let it run. Bliss. :)
3. Sticky Notes App - I love this app. I have my grocery list on it, a list of movies I want to rent, notes about website changes, ideas (yep, I do digital too) and more. Even recipes and a Christmas gift list. You can color code it and check things off. Satisfies my need to check things off - accomplished. Plus, I can open an text note and hit my mic on my phone and talk. Then, my smart phone records it all and I can save it on my sticky note. Hellooo convenience. It is my portable notepad.
Of 'course, there is brainstorming. I love coaching small businesses on ideas to help them grow. The key is after you have the creative ideas and those "ah-ha" moments is to put a plan in place. Make sure you look at what it will cost to implement your idea and what revenue you can expect from it. Once I shake out some of my ideas, they are either impractical (staff, expense) or I lose my passion for them. Let's face it, in the middle of the night, every idea seems like a good one. :)
If you have a staff or even part-time employees, make sure you ask for their ideas as well. They work with customers daily and may just have that new idea that will increase sales and drive traffic.
So, go be creative! You can do it!