• Tammy Layman-Hall

The Great Idea Master Spreadsheet

Use tech grouping like with like. Never lose the thread of your great idea -- unless you kill it.

As I organize my ideas, I notice my master idea spreadsheet tries to help me by auto-populating the cell with identical information elsewhere.

Being brilliant, I thought to myself, "I should group like with like!" Then, I'll see how many times I thought to write about that topic. Then, once I know who the heavy hitters are by the numbers, I will pursue that idea.

For example, I have leadership, time management, and kindness entries. Those are topics I know a lot about, too. Erosion and zero waste, especially in critical dune areas, also keep surfacing. I've got several entries for meal ideas for kids on the go as they wait between their extracurricular activities. There's a hefty amount of financial tips lingering on that sheet as well.

There are many benefits to this approach. Perhaps the more organized writer already knows what topics they will write about - I do not have any clear line of sight to what I really want to make my niche. By grouping my ideas, I can see that I am very knowledgeable about specific topics, like personal leadership. When I write my articles and stories, this helps me say, "you know, I get distracted by these topics because they are hot in the marketplace. I don't really know anything about that topic, nor do I like it. I know about these topics. I am good at this, and I am organized enough and have enough research on these areas, even if they are not currently selling at the moment." Then, it becomes an exercise to figure out how to align what I know about with the topics selling in the market.

As March is the last month of my first quarter, I'm looking at my Idea List to guide my second quarter topics. Then, I will focus on developing the content that I have. I'm going to focus on being productive.

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