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The Tale of a PRO and his Notepad July 29, 2009

Posted by billyburnettgbc in Uncategorized.
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“I should stop myself from dying if a good joke or a good idea occurred to me” – Voltaire

For one of my modules at university I was required to build a simple relational database, a project that lasted an entire term and an ability that has since remained idle (not too much need in the world of PR). However one part of that course which has followed me since my very first lecture was when the lecturer told us to invest in a notepad to jot down ideas, be it on the bus or when chatting with friends over a pound pint in the student union.

Since those hazy days my daily life has changed, as well as the technology I use, however that same principle of an ideas notepad has remained constant. My notepad has however become digital and is no longer confined to my own scrawling, but can feature audio recordings and include photos as well. It’s also not confined to pages or able to be lost, as it now exists online and according to Business Week, I am in pretty good company.

Author of The 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss, reportedly also has an online notepad, though he much more elegantly refers to it as his “augmented brain”. The service we both use is Evernote, a web-based service and software application running on smartphones and PCs that helps people organise their thoughts into a rich, always-on and organised form.

As a PRO, a key component of my daily role is coming up with new and interesting ways for my clients to get into new media, be it a half page in The Financial Times or in the Downtime section of Computer Weekly. The rise of social media over the past few years has also meant the frequency and range of ideas has swollen beyond the capabilities of any paper notepad.

Even last night in the gym when following a routine set-out by iFitness (what did I do before my iPhone) a news programme came on the television and I immediately went for my iPhone to tap out a note to self. This, of course, resulted in glares from fellow gym goers for breaking the unspoken rules of ‘gym etiquette’, but the idea was good and I knew I wouldn’t remember it otherwise.

With PROs rising to the challenge to not only adapt but leverage the changes that are taking place in our industry, the importance of coming up with AND remembering a good idea has never been so valuable. Thanks to Evernote the remembering part has been solved, now I just need to wait for inspiration…..