Tip of the Week #35 – Write It Down

Marketing Coordinator Michael Bradley shares a tip of his own this week.

Tip of the Week #35 – Write It Down

My tip this week is decidedly non-technical. As a marketing coordinator for PrintVis, I am tasked with a simple, essential duty: Get people to hear and learn about our product and our company. This mostly means taking advantage of technology and our ever-increasing ability/facility to share information electronically.

But my tip is more of an admonition: Write. It. Down.

Write it down.

Good ideas can be fleeting. When one shows up on your mental doorstep, don’t let it get blown away by the gale of other data swirling between you and it. Grab a pen and make a note to yourself – sometimes just a single word can act as a placeholder which you can access later.







Catch Your Ideas

The genesis of so much that we now enjoy was once an unspoken idea. Light bulbs of inspiration in our heads going off at intervals, sometimes routinely, sometimes rarely, depending on the person and where they are in life.

But when we’re inundated with data (inundata’d?) most every day, how many of us have forgotten the importance of escaping our devices and screens and paying attention to that little light, or voice, inside us? It’s easier now than ever to lose a good idea or forget some simple but crucial thing (like an item at the grocery store) in the whirlwind of distractions around us.

Concentration and Contemplation

I believe it’s not only healthy, but essential, to take time every day and willfully shut off the constant chatter we endure.

This is where good ideas are born, in that place of quiet concentration. Even if writing it down means writing code for print MIS software – an undisturbed place of focus is going to bear much more fruit than incessant hustle and bustle – inside or outside your head. I’m sure our PrintVis developers would agree.

Posterity and Viability

The American radio show “A Prairie Home Companion” this week had host Garrison Keillor revisiting his birthplace of Anoka, Minnesota. He interviewed his high school biology teacher Lyle Bradley (no relation). Keillor is now 73 – so it’s quite amazing to hear from his high school teacher, now 95 years old.

Bradley is a WW2 veteran who went on to become a biology teacher. Keillor said that during school Mr. Bradley never mentioned his war experiences to his students. But during the show he told the story of reuniting with his comrades some years later, and realizing that the shared wealth of their powerful, painful and dramatic stories could only be preserved by writing it down.

“It’s the only thing that persists,” he said, referring to the written word. So together they published a book in 2007, recounting their stories.

The point here is, if they hadn’t, where would those stories be? Documenting your ideas, your stories, your work, is the means of preserving it, not just for posterity, but for viability.

So don’t let good ideas escape. Write them down. Send an email to yourself (I do it all the time) if that’s all you can do at the moment. Being able to edit and share texts such as Case Studies, White Papers and Release Notes electronically – in a matter of seconds – is a great thing that expedites and enables all sorts of work. But when the electricity goes out the tangible, written word remains.

All the best ideas took their first breath there, transferred from a quiet mental spark to a written word.

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