I had a brief thought of a blog topic earlier but I didn’t write it down and now it’s gone. That’s why it is so important to write things down. You should never rely on your own memory; I don’t care how good it is. Besides, if it’s in your head, how can others get hold of the idea and run with it. I know you could tell them, but life is so unpredictable. If you have a plan, write it down. Try to follow it if at all possible, but get it down somewhere where others can find it if they need to. You might not be available to pass the information on directly. Paper is the next best thing. It can also make it clearer to others. It’s why the human race developed writing in the first place, to keep things straight.
I suppose you could say that my mind is cluttered. I would say that at times, it’s positively chaotic. Thoughts bounce and jump around in my head, making it very hard to focus on anything. Writing some of those thoughts out on paper, or in another written form, like this blog, gets some of the bounding thoughts out of my head and helps me to focus on the others. Sometimes you write something down, come back to it later and wonder why you bothered to save it. Other times you come back to it and run with it.
Of course, writing things down is only half the battle. The other half is remembering where you put the note. My internal filing system, e.g. my memory, is unreliable; therefore, I try to ensure that if I write a thought down somewhere, I put it somewhere where I can find it. That’s why I prefer to note things electronically; it forces me to put the item somewhere. I usually put everything in my journal folder, which is just another name for thoughts. I could just as easily put all my little jottings into a folder called thoughts. No matter how hard I try, I can never organize my thoughts in the same way twice. The computer only has one way to organize things.
If I didn’t do that, there would be Post It™ notes all over my house. I’d be forever going around, reading a note and muttering that that’s not it. I’d look insane. Perhaps I am insane. Look at how this blog has rambled away from the excellent advice to write down stray thoughts as they occur to you. I always have my pocket pc with me to do just that, I don’t always follow that advice, which is why I lost that blog idea. Still in the course of writing that thought in my private journal, I found this blog topic, if you can call it a topic.
Carry a small notebook and pen or pencil, if your phone won’t let you make notes, or you don’t have a pocket pc, pda, or something. Don’t be afraid to write notes to yourself. You may thank yourself later. Just don’t answer yourself. That would be insane.