Sunday, January 11, 2015

How to Organize Ideas #2: What to write

Hi, it is Dr. NISHIO Hirokazu. This is my second entry on how to organize ideas. In my previous entry I explained about the concept: "Write first". By thinking on paper, you can reduce the cost to remember ideas. So you can think more efficient than to think in your head.

Today I will explain about "what to write". When you have to create new ideas, you may try to write new ideas themselves. It is not a good way. Thomas Edison said, "Some people think perfect ideas can be born, but it is not correct. Ideas are born incompletely and then brush them up." I'm sorry but I read the quote in Japanese book, so words are not same as he said. If you are interested in it, read the "Your Creative Power" by Alex F. Osborn's, the father of brainstorming.

In other words, you can't write complete ideas. Don't try to do it. You can only write incomplete pieces of ideas. Do not be a perfectionist.

You may try to write something related to the subject. It is also a kind of perfectionism. James Webb Young said, "an idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements." So, before you find an idea as a new combination, you don't know what elements will combine. You can not know whether things are related to the subject before you get new ideas. Don't try to write what is related to the subject. Instead of that, write anything that comes to your mind. It may be related to the subject.

Steve Jobs said “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”I think it is a similar concept.

Next time I'll describe about a nice framework when you want to find a solution for some problems. I use it in the workshop at the Kyoto University Summer Design School and it works better than I expected. See you next time!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

How to Organize Ideas #1: Write first

Hi, it is Dr. NISHIO Hirokazu. I have given several presentations about "how to organize ideas" in Japanese. It seems to be good for English speakers too. So I start to translate them into English.

Today I introduce a concept "write first". Why we should write first? Imagine whether it is easier to do calculations on paper or to do calculations in your head. Yes, the former is easier. Because you don't have to remember numbers, you can use your brain power efficiently.

To organize ideas, it is the same. If you don't write your thoughts on paper, you can't use your brain efficiently. So, at first, write everything in your brain, then organize them. That is the important concept.

I wrote the draft of the diary in 2 minutes in Japanese and then wrote the diary in 25 minutes in English. It is time to finish. Next time I'll write about "what to write".