Most of my ideas happen when I’m working on something else. I may be reading sales ads and the light bulb turns on. Heck, I can be staring at the wall and an idea pops in my head. But sometimes I don’t have the time to write it all down and need to research before committing the idea to my file. If I write down key parts of my idea, I will remember it for later on. So I write my ideas down on sticky notes.
My monitor is my holding place for those beloved notes. There is a note to research a subject, information on my characters, dialogue I’m going to use, and much more. They are my mind on paper like Twitter is your thoughts online. I placed them in one location because sometimes those little notes fall off. (It has nothing to do with the fact I take them off, write more on them, and place them back on the monitor. *whistles*) They all gather at the bottom of my monitor, and I can pick them up to replace the sticky back or start a section in my file for it. Otherwise, an idea will be lost somewhere in the house and I’ll find them when I no longer need them.
The real beauty behind sticky notes is the different colors they are available in. Currently, I’m using three colors to decorate my monitor. Pink is for things I’m for sure going to include in my WIP. Blue is for information I need to research. Lime green is for anything related to characters, setting, scenes, and plot. I place the notes on the monitor based on type: on the top research items, on the bottom items you are going to include and either side for everything else.
When there is no more room on my monitor, then I’m behind on updating the file for my WIP. It is time to sit down and work my way through each sticky note. File the ones I just completed, or I put back any I still need to work on. All notes are taped onto paper once I finished with them. That way I can reread them at a later date.
My system may be a little off the wall but it works wonders for me. Do you use something similar or something else to write your ideas down?