Learn how to use capture habit for better content marketing.
Ideas do not come flashing down on a fixed schedule; they tend to arrive when you least expect them. You don’t always get ideas at convenient times in convenient places.
As much as you would want to sit down at some scheduled time and brainstorm, your thoughts are on their own schedule.
Has it happened to you that you’re slowly drifting away to sleep when you come up with ideas for something that you’ve been working on the entire day? Sometimes they occur at the most inconvenient times, like when you’re driving, in the shower, or just waking up.
An American psychologist George. A. Miller has recognized that an average human memory generally holds seven pieces of information, plus or minus two. So if you add #8 to the list, something falls out.
When working as a content marketer or running your own business, you get a gazillion ideas that come to your mind randomly, whether for a new product or service or new content or campaigns.
Sometimes, you may like an idea on social media that you want to come back to, so you save it, but then there are times when you leave it at the back of your mind. But, when you actually want to look back at those ideas to ‘execute,’ you may struggle to find that same post as you may have too many saved posts and have no time to browse through them.
This is where the capture habit comes into play and can improve project situations, content creation and marketing, and life in general. In this article, we’ll see why you need to capture thoughts, ideas, and concepts and how developing capture habits can make a huge difference in your personal and professional lives.
The human mind is fragile; hence every idea, thought, or information that interests you must be captured and recorded either manually or digitally into a place where you can review it later.
So, don’t play “catch and drop” with your thoughts. Make it a habit to capture and save ideas into writing as soon as they strike your mind. You allow them to live in a system that reflects your interests and goals. Capturing important ideas and thoughts allows your mind to wander to other exciting ideas, giving you peace of mind in knowing that you’ll be able to continue where you left things off.
Content creation and marketing involve coming up with new ideas ever so often, whether it’s topics, campaign ideas, circulation ideas, or potential marketing ideas. However, you don’t always come up with the best ideas while you’re at a desk working or in meetings; that would be too easy and convenient for the human brain!
As a content marketer, you’re constantly learning and consuming other content in the industry, talking to customers, and many more activities where it’s always beneficial to develop a capture habit to take notes.
Here are a few solid reasons why you should start developing a capture habit:
- The first reason is apparent. By collecting your ideas, you will not lose or forget them.
- It allows you to expand on the captured information, whether adding details or correlating with other ideas.
- It helps you remember at least some part of the information, as writing with clarity needs focusing your attention for long enough.
- It saves your precious productive time as capturing thoughts, ideas, and information requires time and energy.
- It helps you to have a clear picture of all your possibilities and make good decisions consistently.
- It helps you feel aligned with the other teams, as having a list of ideas helps everyone stay on the same page.
So, capture all your thoughts on paper or digitally without letting them float around in your head, where they will appear at inappropriate times, stress you out, and be forgotten when much required. Without a capture habit, you have to trust your short-term memory to remember those great ideas until you can add them straight into the system they belong in.
Before you begin, designing a suitable workflow with a combination of habits, tasks and inputs are highly beneficial. Your workflow can comprise your daily writing, where you write without any filters or edits.
Include your ideas; if something pops up in your mind, write it down immediately. You may have notes from reading blogs or books, so document those notes and highlights. All these valuable inputs will determine the output; hence, it’s best to set up a system and stick to it.
Everything in your mind acts as noise, and as a content marketer, your brain is always full of ideas. You may have loads of ideas crowding your mind about totally different things, such as ideas for brand awareness, SEO, authority, lead generation, and so on.
So, identify 3-5 goals in a categorized manner so that you can capture your ideas manually or digitally into each category.
Quick capture tools are the way to go if you want to capture or write down ideas, and you’ll probably need a few different ones to capture various kinds of content in different contexts.
For example, you can have an evolving Google Doc and keep adding ideas or thoughts to it and strike them off once done. You can also use project management tools like Trello or Asana too. However, be vary and try not to mix too many tools; otherwise, you will lose track of what is stored where.
Small steps, taken consistently, lead to bigger and better results. When you start something new, it’s always best to start small and smartly. Suppose you have a few good ideas, make a list and categorize them but don’t force yourself to populate every idea on your category list.
Your main inspiration here should be writing or taking note of the ideas as you go or as they come to you. So, don’t fret even if 3 out of the 5 in your lists are empty initially.
Capturing thoughts, ideas, and information requires capturing enough contextual information. Whenever you’re making a note of an idea, don’t forget to add a sentence, a few links, or your chain of thoughts behind it so that you don’t forget why you even thought of it.
You can even add audio notes, images, etc., for your notes to capture enough context. This makes it easier and helpful for you to continue where you left off in the future.
You cannot remember everything you’ve saved over time, so you must occasionally practice reviewing your ideas and notes. If you think an idea looks similar to another one or you come across a company that has done something similar, revert to your idea and update it with the new information available.
Think about how you can make changes to that idea with more depth so that you make the most out of it. And if at all you feel that a concept no longer aligns with your company, don’t be afraid to strike it out from your list altogether.
Keeping track of your progress becomes more straightforward when you organize your notes where it’s easy to locate when you seek. Be realistic and specific in setting your goals. When you are done with implementing an idea, strike it off your list to avoid losing track of what is done and what is yet to be done.
With a high volume of ideas on your list as a content marketer, it’s imperative to note how a particular idea is performing. This allows you to measure the success of that idea or, if not, gather feedback and make required modifications for immediate progress. By tracking the performance of the ideas you’ll be able to decipher what to do more of and what to ditch.
Sometimes you may forget about your capture system or get too busy with other things, as happens with everyone. Don’t beat yourself up or ditch the system. All you need to do is restart and try not to miss two days in a row.
Every human experiences an influx of ideas and thoughts that come in and out of mind, creating a chain reaction of other thoughts that are just as temporary.
It is vital to ensure that what you capture is really useful and relevant, as capture habits are not necessarily about volume. Instead, capture things that matter and are helpful to you to help you progress with your life and projects.
Developing a capture habit will make a massive difference in your work, for yourself, or your colleagues. Value your ideas, offload them from your memory and record them outside your brain. Once you start building your capture habit, you’ll stop losing ideas, research, and inspiration that come to you or you come across every day. So, go get capturing!
If you’re stuck and need help in staying consistent or refining your content marketing strategy; feel free to reach out to me.
You can also contact my team at Contensify and we can help you achieve your content marketing goals in no time!