The Art of Stockpiling (Part I)

I should clarify up-front this post is not about stockpiling “stuff.” We are talking today about stockpiling IDEAS. While helping someone this morning brainstorm ideas for a newsletter, it reminded me how many people struggle coming up with ideas, discerning the good from the bad, and keeping topics to one idea at a time. Most of us also struggle with remembering the good ideas that creep into our minds yet never make it to the implementation stage before being discarded or forgotten.

A colleague introduced me to the concept of an idea “parking lot,” which I now use to store ideas that are good but not ready, may be good but need to be developed or reevaluated, and ideas that probably will be discarded but you want to keep tucked away because they may morph into something else. I encourage you to start your own parking lot-whether handwritten or electronic-to “park” ideas for the future. If you want to categorize or organize them, feel free, but don’t feel compelled to do more than just get them out of your brain and into written form.

Stockpiling ideas in a parking lot provides value to your marketing activities. It can offer a rich source of content when you are pressed for time or creativity. Keep in mind that your stockpile does not have to only include ideas in their conceptual stage, but also fully developed blog posts, newsletter articles, advertising copy, or web content that is ready to roll out. Keeping all this information in one place can inform you when working on your marketing plan, save you time when you need to publish your next newsletter or blog, or inspire you when you need to get excited about your marketing and your business. At the very least, it will help you retain good ideas that seem to magically appear and disappear just as quickly if you don’t have a mechanism for capturing them.

Stay tuned for Part II – how to generate ideas for your parking lot…

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