I remember a Far Side cartoon from way back which showed four pictures in order, with each picture showing how technology has progressively shrunk. The first picture was a mainframe computer, the second a desktop computer, and the third was a laptop computer.

The fourth was a notebook and pen…

When you’re in the ideas business – and, let’s face it, that’s most of us – you need to keep a recording device close to you for those flashes of inspiration. A mobile phone is the handiest, perhaps with a dictaphone app. I don’t know how many blog post ideas have come to me in the car, away from my home office or phone, only to disappear into the ether because I had no way to commit them to memory before the next distracting thought dislodged them for good. Dozens I would say.

Sometimes you have the good fortune to be at your desk, or your phone’s on the bedside table, and you can capture your lightbulb moment. Then you hope your computer or phone doesn’t take more than a few seconds to spring into action, or isn’t preoccupied with an update, or the idea risks being lost like an outgoing breath as another thought – invariably one of numbing everyday, humdrum banality – smothers it.

That’s why I always like to rely on the trusty pen and paper, both of which will instantly function nineteen times out of twenty, allowing me to commit my thought to posterity.

That said, if you lose the thought in the time between having it and picking up a pen that’s close by, you have a different set of problems.

Advertisements