Getting unstuck

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

Chris Brogan recently posted “20 Blog Topics to Get You Unstuck” — a list of brainstorming ideas to help one get past writer’s block.

Although he aimed this at bloggers, it would be equally useful in thinking of topics for a newsletter to customers and clients, or for an internal newsletter.

Another useful technique is to keep an open file for quickly jotting ideas when you come across them. A bookmarking tool like Delicious is perfect for this — create a tag like mytopics, and mark the bookmark as private if you want to collect your thoughts before sharing it.

At Big Big Design, we’ve recently started using Evernote for tracking thoughts and ideas. This is even more private that Delicious, and I love the iPhone app.

If you’re blogging, use a blogging tool like ScribeFire (Firefox plugin), to start a new draft of a post and keep the relevant links.

But really, you can just have an open text editor window sitting on your desktop. Click, click it’s open; jot the idea, paste in a link to remind yourself where you got the idea (so you can cite your source); and then get back to what you were really working on. When you’re ready to write, you’ve got a ready set of ideas at your fingertips.

Photo credit: “Hole in the wall” by Arria Belli