You’ve heard about an idea locker? Well how about an idea freezer?

This post from Jeremiah Owyang talks about one of my favorite ways to enjoy time disconnected from work: The idea freezer.

For him,  it’s a notebook that allows you to jot down ideas and to-dos as they come to you. The thought is that after you write thoughts down, they are safe, frozen for you to thaw out and use later.

I agree that we need a means of cataloging our thoughts. Most days, I have more ideas than I have time to fully process, but I want to ensure I never forget anything.  I used to keep a pad next to my bed, but then I had to turn on the light, wake up and write. If I had ideas while driving, it was unsafe to note them.

Then I discovered my idea freezer: voice recording. Instead of writing the thoughts down, I record them for later reference.

Before I got a smartphone, I carried a digital recorder and a cell phone. Switching to a Blackberry with the “voice notes” application meant I had the two in one place. It also removed another business device that has to be electrically charged (and removed from my pocket in the airport or left in the hotel room by mistake.) The Blackberry simplifies my life.

When I go on vacation, I still may see something that would benefit someone in our company or a customer relationship and do not wish to let the opportunity slip away. When I put the idea in my idea freezer I can forget about it. I have better peace of mind enjoying my time off.

To me, there is confidence in knowing that you’ve preserved your thoughts.

Do you have an idea freezer?

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Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham, Ala. Contact him via email
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