You are sitting around or working, and a sudden idea hits you. Could be something to add to your shopping list, or a note to call someone, or a brilliant idea for your next novel. What do you do with it?

1.     Continue working because you’re sure you’ll remember it later?

2.     Tell someone else, hoping they won’t steal it?

3.     Write it down?

That was a test, and of course #3 was the right answer.

I had an idea for this post as I was doing something else—answering an email, actually. But I stopped and quickly opened a new Word .doc and wrote down the title and a few lines. I will come back to it later to flesh it out, and that will be an easy column for me to have ready some time in the future.

And now I’m back. Before I got here, however, I thought of a couple more ideas and “captured” them as well.

Ways to save ideas:

1.     If I’m on the computer, I open a word processing doc, either a new one for something I plan to flesh out later as a document, an old one to add to I’ve already started about the same subject, or key it into a .doc I’ve labeled “Notes.”

2.     If I’m not on the computer, I always have a small notepad nearby, and I jot the idea down there.

3.     If you have a handheld device or smart phone you can make notes on and can do so as quickly as you could writing them down by hand, that’s another way to do it. I love my laptop, but I’ve never used any handheld device enough to be able to make a note easily and quickly, so I carry a small notebook in my purse instead.

Do you have other ways to capture your ideas? Please share in the comments.