Ideas Gardens

‘Child tending broken baby seedling’ by Pink Sherbet Photography

In November I read with interest Doug Belshaw’s post Blogging: 5 thing’s I’ve learned in 5 years. All five are worth learning from, but one which stuck out for me in particular was number 4: ‘Have an ideas garden’.

Doug describes this as:

“a collection of draft blog posts that you come back to, adding pictures, further ideas, etc. until they form whole posts.”

A simple idea, and something I had done to a certain extent before, but this post made me formalise it. I started a note and began to write down any ideas which came to me for posts as they came instead of sitting down to write a blog post from scratch.

I have found this really valuable and have started keeping ‘Ideas gardens’ for many different things beyond blog posts, such as areas I want to develop in my work and in my personal life. To do this I use ‘Evernote‘ because it is digital and therefore searchable, and also the way it syncs across phone, iPad, and desktop means my gardens can be added to where ever I am without having to think to much about where to find things.

People often ask me how I have time to do everything I do on top of my job; blogging, twitter, writing etc. A big part of this has to be my use of ideas gardens to collect thoughts as they come to me rather than sitting down spending swathes of dedicated time on them.

Immediately recording ideas, and then tending them over time can be really powerful. Why not start your garden today?





5 responses to “Ideas Gardens”

  1. Julia Skinner Avatar

    You have inspired me Oliver. I will look into Evernote & start my own garden today!

    1. oliverquinlan Avatar

      Glad you found it useful Julia. btw, thanks for your continued support of our class blog, the children love your comments!

  2. Claire Lotriet Avatar
    Claire Lotriet

    This makes so much sense. It’s exactly what I need to do.

    1. oliverquinlan Avatar

      Thanks Claire, glad you find it useful. The credit for the original idea goes to Doug Belshaw, I have found it very useful.

  3. […] a note of some ideas for future posts, and I was interested to read that idea developed further in Oliver Quinlan’s post. He talks about the idea of growing an ‘ideas garden’ – an idea he originally took (as I […]

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