[Sidenote: Today is not just Tidy-Up Tuesday, it’s also Two-Post Tuesday. Check out my very first post on Losing It in Ottawa!]

Tidy-Up Tuesday is usually about tidying stuff, but I thought I’d take a different tack today and talk about ideas. Get them? Me too. And I’m hoping that since Sara likes them, she won’t mind me straying too far with her meme ;).

I don’t know about you, but my brainstorms are more like hurricanes, sending me spinning in six directions at once and leaving behind a really long to-do list.  Even when the storm is over, any effort to focus on a single idea gets thrown off by the waves of aftershocks.

See? I can’t even focus on a single metaphor.

The point is, the ideas tend to come fast and furious and at the most inconvenient times. I currently use a mish-mash of approaches to capturing and organizing them, from single-topic iPhone notes and Google docs to great big brainstorm ‘buckets’. After all, the rest of my stuff is pitched into bins.

The ideas range from blog topics to snippets of scintillating prose,  from killer apps to the “perfect gift”. Because much like when it comes to picking a restaurant, I can never think of anything when the moment arrives to do something about it.

The problem with big buckets is they eventually need to be sorted out. I now have a single Google Doc called “Bloggy Brainstorm” that’s 2633 words long. Point form.

The problem with organizing on-the-fly is not only is it too time-consuming, but you end up with too many buckets. You get 3 scattered buckets that should all be in one, and you lose track of this week’s meal plan in the sea of blog post ideas. Because I also have well over a hundred semi-organized notes that are either intended to be a single post or are their own mish-mash of ideas.

Begs the question: is there an app for that?? I’m currently learning to write iPhone apps (because I really needed another source of brainstorm detritus).  I think this may be my first app. Because otherwise how on earth will I keep track of all of those ideas?!?!

What about you? What do you do when inspiration hits? How do you keep your ideas organized?