Thursday, March 20, 2008

Idea/GTD Book

Ok, so in the last post I talked about how I had ideas flooding my head one after another. "What about this?" "Oo, this would be cool" "I want to avoid doing this:______" etc. I am still a little cluttered with ideas and don't know the exact direction I want to take all of this yet, but right now I'm creating, and that's something I love to do. I was telling a close friend yesterday that I've never felt such a fire inside to do something career related. This is all very exciting stuff, but I'm quickly seeing the importance of keeping all of these ideas organized and being ready for when the next idea strikes.

One of the first things I did when my ideas began to flow was grab a standard size notebook to start writing things down. Nothing is concrete yet so I'm not holding back with any thoughts that pop into my head.

Problem I wasn't always getting ideas while sitting at my computer with my notebook by my side (sitting atop my idle midi-keyboard no less).

Time to backtrack a couple years.

My first small business experience was in the summer of 2005 working for the Sunglass Menagerie at the Jersey Shore. My position was "office manager." My desk was essentially the hub for the franchise's six stores - all located in southern New Jersey. I had logistical, marketing and general management responsibilities. The owner and his brother were always handing me new assignments anytime between 8 am to 1 am. They were sporadic and became hard to keep track of. Within my first week at the Sunglass Menagerie, the owner, Peter, grabbed a small brown box from the shelf filled with tiny notebooks, tossed it on my desk and said "here, take one and ALWAYS keep it with you. From now on, when we give you anything to do, you write it down in here so you can't forget." Because I was still in my first week, I'm assuming this was personal advice and not a reactionary measure to me screwing up. Regardless, this tip might be one of the best pieces of advice I received that entire summer (not to short change the many many other great experiences I received working there).

To this day, I always carry an idea/GTD (get-things-done) notebook wherever I go. Whether it's for a grocery list, a to-do list, or having the pen and paper ready when the next new idea strikes, your little 19th century friend could be one of the best ways to increase productivity or catch the next big thought that comes into your head and is too invaluable to lose.

Since deciding to pursue my business idea, this book has proven more valuable than ever. It helps me keep a going "to-do" list for the 9872354972645 things I need to get into motion and always welcomes me with a crisp new page for my next brainstorm.

Every person I've suggested this to has always been amazed at how convenient and well it works. If you get your kicks out of putting things to the test, give it a shot and let me know how it turns out.


the alternative intern said...

it's so hard to follow your idea closely if i have no idea what it is. seriously. i've been interested in starting something too, so when i saw your note on facebook i was curious. but i just don't get it. you could mean anything at all, and i find myself literally just skimming over and over to get to details. i love details. doesn't everyone?
are you ever going to let people know what's up? so far you just write about how you want to keep your positive thinking up, it's all in your instincts it seems. let me know some details :)

Chris A. Leone said...

Alternative Intern:

First, thanks for your comment. You aren't the first person to let me know of your frustration in finding out what my idea is all about :) If you have an idea for something and you're like me, you're probably really careful about who you mention it to. As I said in my first post, the life of the blog (and the idea itself) would be really short if someone came along and took it for themselves because I was careless and told everyone about it. I understand you (and everyone else who reads) is interested in what I have up my sleeve. As I make more progress and start talking about the industry and market I'm pursuing, I'll be forced to divulge some of the details you're interested in.

Hang in there and keep checking back :)


Chris A. Leone said...

...and I forgot to add - there's much more to this blog than the details of my diabolical business idea that will be on the cover of Forbes in two years. This is about the experiences I have, the people I talk to, the things I learn along the way as well as interviews and encounters with some people who have been very successful pursuing their own ideas. All things I'm betting are right up your alley.


RJ said...

Dude...Love the notebook advice. I'm taking one with me this summer.