Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Light bulb File

Okay, raise your hand if you have ever had a great idea or saw on somewhere that you did not want to forget.  Now raise your hand if you jotted that idea down or tore it out of a magazine only to loose it later and wonder what you did with it. 

I was afraid of that...
So many of us have great intentions but because we do not have good systems we end up with lackluster follow through of intentions and ideas. 

A few years ago I started subscribing to a magazine that was so full of great ideas that I was terrified to throw them away.  I would mark pages, dog ear ideas and then stack them; however, when the time came to find one of those great ideas again... I would have to dig through each magazine or try to remember what issue it was in.  This dilemma inspired me to create my "Light bulb File", curious?  Let me explain how it works and how you can set one up for yourself so you never again are victim of another lost idea.

The Light bulb File

Step One: Purchase a three ring binder that is 1" wide or larger.

Step Two: Purchase a set of tabbed dividers and label them for the different type of ideas, inspiration, clippings, etc... Anything that make your "light bulb" go off when you see it or thing of it. It is that idea that makes you say... "I would love to do this!"

For me some of my categories were: birthday party themes, games with the kids, crafts with the kids, household decor ideas, organizing ideas, etc...

Everyone's light bulb has a different trigger so everyone’s labels will be different!

Step Three: Either use a clear plastic page protectors or a three-hole punch to slip clippings and papers into the appropriate categories. Also have blank paper in each category so that you can quickly jot down ideas that you think of or mount pictures that you take for inspiration.

The light bulb file is very simplistic by design... but it's true "wattage" or power lies in the hands of the user. I love the quote that says "Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) So much truth in that statement... it is easy to have or find a great idea... the next step is doing something about it.

I challenge each of you to make an idea file... your "light bulb" file if you will... and use it not as a safe keeping place where thoughts get trapped and not released into great action... but as a springboard to take you to new places in your homes, families, and businesses!


Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

That is such a great idea!! Lightbulb! Okay...thanks for stopping by on my SITS day!

cmcscraps said...

OMG! I have a LIGHT BULB file and didn't no what to call it. But you are so right that we have all these ideas and dreams of doing things and never get to them. I started a couple of years ago, because the magazine piles where taking over and I needed more space in my Craft room for supplies, so one by one I went thru the magz and tore out the LIGHT BULB pages and into my notebook they went. Thanks for giving my note book a name! I love organization and have become a follower of your blog! Thanks for some great TIPS! I found you off your comment on END OF THE RAINBOW Blog. You are welcome to stop by for a visit at

Simple Organized Sanity said...

Thanks for stopping by ladies! Lee, I am glad I made your lightbulb go off... :)

cmcscraps I am happy to hear that your notebook now has a name to it that is fitting of all the great ideas you have it and the great things you will create with it!


Lynnette said...

I switched from paper methods to digital methods a couple years ago. My Light Bulb File is saved in folders within Google Docs. It's a cinch to organize by topic, change things on the fly, and search & find things in a hurry!
...and if I want, I can also save photos of ideas & things I want to try there as well :-D

Simple Organized Sanity said...

Lynnette, that is a great point to... you can also scan magazine articles, and ideas into the computer and save them there too. Thanks for sharing!