Tips to get great ideas

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re really looking for some tips to have good, high-quality ideas. The Information Age makes it even more exciting because having good ideas can separate you from others and put you ahead of the pack.

So how do you get high-quality ideas?

As it turns out, a great way to get high-quality ideas is to have a lot of ideas. It sounds so simple, but that’s really just it. There you have it, the main idea of this post is out. You’re good to go. But if you’re dying to find out why this is so, read on.

The only link between a mediocre idea and a high- quality of ideas is, in fact, a large quantity of ideas. Let’s play a bit of a “Did you know” game.


…that Pablo Picasso produced 20,000 pieces of art; and only a few of them were genius works?

…that Einstein wrote more than 240 papers of every genre and form? Only a handful of them are timeless

…that Bach wrote a cantata every week, but only a few became classics?

…that Thomas Edison filed a record number of 1,039 patents? Guess how many of these are “carved in stone”? Tens, hundreds maybe?

Got my point?

Good. So here is a list of tips for finding good ideas:

1. Capture and don’t lose all your ideas.

Avoid losing ideas. Don’t let an idea slip by once it comes to you. Whenever you get an idea, capture it as soon as possible. Keep pen and paper handy. Or you can be techie about it and use your electronic gadget to save your ideas. Whatever works for you. Write it down or record it with a recording device.

2. Don’t prejudge.
When you prejudge your ideas, you will tend to not save those that are either stupid or farfetched. This will reduce the number of ideas you have. Even if an idea doesn’t look normal or doable, let it sit for now. Later you might see it from a different angle which shows the usefulness of the idea. Time is also a factor here. Today, you might not see its value, but soon enough, in the future, you will put that stupid idea into good use. And if it really doesn’t, you can always place it in the bin later.

3. It’s all about numbers

You need to apply the 80-20 of marketing. Or the 1:5 ratio. In order for you to get one good idea, you need to generate 5 ideas. If you need five ideas, you need to have at least ten. And that’s just average. If you need ten ideas, find twenty. When you find more ideas than you need you’ll be sure that you’ll get at least a few great ideas out of a myriad of normal-looking ones.

4. It’s a muscle

You need to exercise those idea-producing muscles. Keep producing ideas regardless of your mood. If you’re an author, keep writing posts. If you’re a designer, keep creating new and eclectic designs. If you’re a teacher, keep looking for new ways to send the message.. Allocate time for it and make it a habit.

5. Accept the fact: you’re not perfect, and you never will be

Let me be blunt. You’re not perfect. You will get really good at something, but perfect? Nope. Not happening. So be aware of this and just move on. Your ideas will come. Trust yourself.

Your thoughts

What do you think? What are the other things that you’d like to add concerning having great ideas? What do you like to suggest?

Let us all know in the comments!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →