Stop washing great ideas down the drain

For a long time I thought I was weird. Many of my more imaginative ideas happen when I’m in the shower or bathing the kids. Warm water and white noise seems to be my recipe for creativity. I’ve since discovered that this is quite common. Perhaps I’m not so weird after all…

the autowitch via flickr cc

the autowitch via flickr cc

Capturing ideas in this environment is a challenge and many of my great ideas (they seemed great at the time anyway) went straight down the drain, never to be seen again. This recurring pattern sent me on a search for a solution. Here’s three options for capturing ideas in an environment where paper isn’t an option:

1. A dive slate

My first thought was to use a dive slate. Divers have used a slate and a pencil for years to capture information and communicate underwater, so I couldn’t see why it wouldn’t work in the shower. Judging by some of the comments in the reviews, other’s have used it for exactly this purpose. I ultimately chose a different solution, but this is my next option if I outgrow my current solution.

2. Aqua Notes

Aqua Notes is a waterproof notepad. This makes it easy to record your thoughts and tear off the page when you’re done. The Amazon reviews suggest these work best if you use them regularly. The water-resistant coating breaks down after repeated exposure to water. This product didn’t suit me but is worth considering as an alternative.

3. The do-it-yourself (DIY) approach

Not long after I had the dive slate idea, I found some old 3.5″ floppy disks during a clean up at home. I’m not even sure why I still had them. I haven’t had a device capable of reading them for years.

I had the idea of repurposing these as a kind of dive slate. One wasn’t going to be big enough, so I tied three together with some poly cord and attached a pencil.

DIY dive slate

Do-it-yourself dive slate made from recycled floppy disks

You’ll need to find some light coloured disks. Insert a knife through the join along the edge and gently twist to pop the two surfaces apart. Keep the front and discard the rest. Eucalyptus oil works well for removing any glue residue from the old label.

A softer pencil works better (I’m using a 2B). I use a pencil eraser for clean up once the ideas are transferred into my task manager or reference system.

This is truly a case of function over form. It’s ugly but it does the job. And I love the irony of recycling a digital medium as analogue storage.

Question: How do you capture ideas when you’re in the shower? Leave a comment below.

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2 Responses

  1. December 14, 2015

    […] Pen and paper. This is still the fastest and simplest way for me to get ideas out of my head — even if the ideas happen in the shower. […]

  2. April 22, 2016

    […] slate. Ideas occur in inconvenient places. An earlier post covers how I capture ideas that happen in the shower. Weird I know, but that’s how I […]

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