Thought Collector (from printot from old VTech device)

More on the thought collector idea.

How do you organize your thoughts? Lots of thoughts happen concurently… swirling, misty thoughts which spiral around and around… It’s hard… nay, impossible to keep track of them all.


So, what is one to do?  Do you try to find the fastest method of keeping track of every single thought?


What is difficult, is that thoughts are gems… ideas are gems… yet, many are just rocks, plain, uninteresting or unimportant.  Yet, how can one decide that while they’re thinking?


The thoughts arrive, and one almost has to make a value judgement: Good thought: Keep, Bad thought: Delete.


But for many of us, making value judgements on thoughts and ideas is a very difficult task: every thought has merit, every idea is a good one – at least to ponder.

Perhaps a capture mechanism *is* the best idea. Capture every thought – collect them in some kind of glass jar, like catching fireflies on a summer night…. all blinking and shiny, illuminating the otherwise thoughtless and drab existence.


What do you do once thoughts are lost?  Lament their passing?  Move on, and hope they pass this way again?

I don’t know if there is an answer that is just-right for everyone.  I can only speak for myself, in the hopes that it touches someone else as well.


Thoughts move too quickly to be collected in full.  Perhaps one can learn stenography, and use that to capture thought.  Since thoughts occur at approximately 400-800 wpm, it might be possible for a stenographer to capture his/her own thoughts at every near real time.  Typing is too slow to capture thought.  Speaking is faster, but also too slow, plus which some people, like myself, have an underdeveloped mind-to-speech connection.


The answer seems to be: Find the method of capture and collection that works for you, and work within its limitation, accepting that thoughts WILL sometimes whiz on by.


Typing works for me.  I’m not the fastest typer in he world, but after years and years of writing e-amils, I’m comfortable with the slower speed of typing.

Typing on a word processor or some kind of e-mail system seems to work best for me for several reasons:

1) The thoughts com out as fast as I can type them.

2) I can edit on the fly, correcting transposed letters, letters that I missed in the words while typing along, etc. [the backspace key is my friend!]

3) With e-mail clients, I get the added benefit of instant gratification.  As soon as I hit the “send” key, what I wrote is going some place.  This is even more satisfying than printing, in that others have a chance to respond: I got to say what I wanted to say, and there is the opportunity for instant feedback.


Printing, thought has an extra dimension that e-mail doesn’t have…


Perhaps it’s the luddite in me – the one that wants to simplify things, eschew fancy technologies… but I firmly believe that print is the best method for long-term capturing of thoughts.

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