Keeping an Idea Log

I occasionally give a free seminar on “Thinking about Thinking”. I am not an expert in this subject. However, I read quite a bit and practice some. Therefore, I find this as a way of sharing ideas and brainstorming with others.

One of the things I tell my audience is to keep an idea log. It is a simple journal of the ideas. You get ideas when you read books, talk to people, listen to radio, watch TV or taking a shower. These are worth recording. This is the very first step.

I keep one. I have been doing that for several years now.Since I cannot act on all of them, just the thrill of seeing one of your old ideas becoming a product somewhere makes it worth it. There is no specific format, but here is what I keep track of:

– The name of the idea (it is good to name it. Use a keyword or phrase)
– What is the source of the idea (so that I can go back to more if I need)
– When did I get it
– What am I going to do about it (next steps – research more, let it cook etc.)

I started with a notebook, moved to a notepad, then to a Microsoft Word document and now I use a wiki.

Not all ideas may be good. However, ideas are stepping-stones to other ideas. If you discuss your ideas with friends and family, you may get a lot of useful input. You can use this to refine the ideas further. I will guarantee that this will make you think more. Just try it. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Internet Librarian 2005 – Day One Keynote

This is my first time at this conference. It was fun. In his keynote, Lee Rainie talked about some interesting statistics and trends. Here is a high level summary:

Teens and Technology
Lee talked about the influence of internet and cell phones on the daily life of teens.

– 87% of those between ages 12 and 17 are online
– Usage of internet for shopping, getting news and playing online games has grown significantly
– Teens communicate by multiple channels simultaneously and effortlessly

The hyperconnected, actively engaged population called Generation M, already influence many new applications.

Lee pointed out some interesting trends.

– Internet of things (every thing will have an IP address soon)
– The long tail phenomenon outlined by Chris Anderson
– Growth of content creation and social tagging
– Increasing mobile access to internet

He concluded by pointing out Linda Stones concept of “Continous Partial Attention” and its implications on the future of learning.

I caught a couple of interesting sessions. One was “Thirty Search Tips in 40 minutes” by Mary Ellent Bates. She promised to put up the presentation on her website.

The other one was “Tips for Keeping Up: Expert Panel”. Gary, Genie and Steven shared many tips and techniques for staying in step with the fast-changing online information world. More about this in a future blog.

Links:

Digital Divisions

Teens and Technology

Multi-tasking becomes Continuous Partial Attention