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Brainstorm and Plan on the Go with Your iPad and ideaWallets

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Did you ever waste a great idea because you didn't write it down when the inspiration came, and later you couldn't remember it? Jason R. Rich shows how you can prevent this common problem by using ideaWallets, a low-priced but powerful app for the iPad, to record and organize your ideas the moment they arrive.

Sometimes, the fastest way to develop and nurture the best, brightest, and most innovative ideas is to brainstorm. By allowing your mind to think in new directions, tap its creativity, go off on tangents, and pursue ideas from different perspectives, you're more apt to generate the desired results from your brainstorming efforts.

One of the tricks to successful brainstorming is to document everything. You never know when a seemingly irrelevant or off-the-wall idea can transform into something that will lead to incredible innovation. Your Apple iPad can be an extremely useful tool for brainstorming because you can develop and document ideas using words, audio, and graphics as you document, organize, prioritize, and connect your ideas.

A handful of third-party apps designed specifically for the iPad can help you to cultivate your brainstorming sessions and document ideas whenever and wherever they happen to formulate in your brain. Many of these brainstorming apps can also be used to organize and manage complex projects, and because they're fully customizable they can be used in ways that are consistent with your current work habits.

One of the most powerful and innovative brainstorming tools available for the iPad is Winzz, Inc.'s ideaWallets ($5.99), a powerful iPad-specific app that's designed to help creative people to brainstorm and manage projects, using a customizable virtual index-card system. In this article, I'll show you how to use ideaWallets to develop, collect, organize, and manage your ideas.

Introduce Your Brain (and iPad) to ideaWallets

With ideaWallets, you create, develop, and store each idea on a single virtual index card. On each card, you can place text, photos, voice memos, and/or sketches that you create or have stored on your iPad. Your individual cards can be color-coded, titled, associated with keywords (or a description), and then organized in a variety of ways.

You can edit your idea cards at any time, and you can reuse them simultaneously in a handful of different and unrelated projects. Using the various tools your iPad already offers, including the virtual keyboard (for text entry) and touch screen (for creating onscreen sketches), as well as its digital voice-recording capabilities and the ability to manage photos, almost any information that's currently stored within your iPad—or that can be created using an iPad—can be cut-and-pasted or associated with a virtual index card.

Whether you think best using words, sounds, visual images, or some combination of those methods, the ideaWallets app allows you to incorporate any or all of these elements into your brainstorming sessions. The app even includes what it calls "thinking tools," to help you conceive and document new ideas.

Because each idea (and the content associated with it) is attached to a single virtual index card, each card can be used alone, or the cards can be grouped into any number of separate projects. This capability allows you to associate, connect, and view different ideas during brainstorming sessions, while simultaneously keeping each individual idea or piece of information separate.

By grouping the virtual cards, you can organize projects or switch from one point of view to another, without forgetting any details or accidentally overlooking ideas that you've generated.

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