Seven ways to shape your ideas without having a computer

no computerYou do not always need a computer to shape your ideas. Whether it is ideas for a design, a new product or a business plan. What opportunities are there to develop your ideas?

Years ago I was an (image)editor of a magazine. We had an editorial meeting for the new issue each month. Usually we were six or seven, each one having his or her own task – layout, advertising sales, final editing, photography – and in addition, everyone wrote articles.

One of the editors more often than not had the excuse that he really had not been able to write because he had no computer that week. Nowadays I would deal with it very differently. I would now search for the underlying reason. But back then, I was just getting impatient. A computer is merely a tool, right

In those days it was not that common to have a computer at home. Now everyone has at least one computer. What is your strategie if it fails or when you are not comfortable with specific programs?

1. Writing is key


Write your ideas on paper. That can be a notepad, but also a flip chart. An additional benefit of simple handwriting is that another part of your brain is activated. So also for those who always work on the computer, it is very useful to regularly pick up a pen.

2. Cut and paste

You have an idea in your head, but you can’t get it on paper. Or you do not have enough ideas yet, just a vague thinking direction:

Collect a few magazines about your subject and cut out everything that appeals to you. That can be both photos and texts or words. Then group them together and create collages.

Designers and advertising agencies often make mood boards this way to have a discussion paper for the conversation with their client.

3. Take photos

If the image in your head can not be found in magazines, maybe you can take photos that represent what you want as a single image or collage.

Edit the photos by putting objects together, so that someone else gets the idea.

4. Record your voice

zonder computer

OK, you will need equipment for that. If you have a smartphone, it is super easy because it has a dictaphone app. And if you do not know how to operate it, you can call someone and ask if they want to record your conversation.

Then let a freelance secretary or virtual assistant transcribe the text if in the end you need it digitally. (Tip: on Fiverr you can find people who can do this).

5. Draw and sketch with colored pencil or felt pen

“I can not draw”. How often do I hear that. And I hate it. It is a limitative view and after all, this is not about making Picassos or Rembrandts. You are able to indicate exactly which idea you have in mind with a few lines or tones of color.

6. Use moving images

Another app that each smartphone has is a video camera. These videos can be combined with each other in the same way as the photos or the magazine pictures to create atmospheric impressions.

7. At the end of the day both pessimist and optimist are right

at the end of the dayI should have started with this point. After all, success is determined by your own view of whether you get something done. Mindset is the beginning of everything.

If I would have been more patient at the time, I could have figured out why our editor had such trouble with delivering pieces of text. So not only his mindset could do with a boost, but mine as well!

How do you shape your ideas?  Put it in the comment box below.

2 thoughts on “Seven ways to shape your ideas without having a computer”

  1. Ik heb altijd mijn iPad en laptop bij mij. De iPad om de offerte-aanvragen te zien en naar de klant te reageren. De laptop om in noodgevallen de aanvragen ter plaatse uit te werken. Dit komt tijdens de vakantie weinig voor omdat in de vaste klanten heb geïnformeerd over mijn tijdelijke afwezigheid.

    Verder maak ik foto’s van aansprekende onderwerpen en spreek ik oppoppende ideeën in op de iPhone.

  2. Altijd papier en minimaal een potlood, meestal ook kleurtjes bij mij en voor echte noodgevallen mijn sketchbook op mijn Samsung. Alle invallen gaan in een snelle mindmap, DE basis voor mijn creatieve leven.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.