Think Tank: Never let a good idea get away again!

November 28th, 2011
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

So I have these thoughts…a lot. No not that kind! 😉 I get these fun ideas for neat projects or crazy inventions as I am driving in the car, singing in the shower, lying in bed or even in the midst of coding. Really creative ideas that may or may not be realistically viable but worthy of entertaining nonetheless. I get really excited and start working it over in my mind. It feels like inspiration. Then something happens… Life resumes and I need to deal with the actual task at hand. No worry, it was such a compelling idea that I will surely remember it later when I have cycles to devote to it. And then I never think about it again. Or even worse, the next day rolls around and I all of the sudden remember that I did think of a cool idea the day before, but I can’t quite bring the memory into focus. Does any part of this sound familiar to you?

Write It Down

“No more!” I declared. Nothing gets remembered unless it is written down. Hmm, idea notebook? TextEdit file on the computer? I did the text file thing for a while but I kept forgetting that it was there or didn’t have access to it at the time. No worries… Evolution of the computer to the rescue! Transferred things to on the iPhone. Not good. Too jumbled, un-organized, too much information presented in-general. I knew of the million and a half “getting things done”, task management, mind-mapping and brain organization apps/ecosystems out there. But I found most were too general for what I wanted and too heavy. Well, if you want something done…

Version 1.0

I decided that I was going to create a web page where I could dump all my ideas instead. It would sort and organize the ideas so that I could easily review them when I was looking for an idea. I am not a web programmer and so it was kind of fun to learn about the latest in AJAX-ish web technology and poke around a bit with it. I got something up and running within an evening and it actually worked pretty well. No longer was I going to lose those awesome little nuggets of inspiration. I called it “Think Tank“.

Gone Native

Some time passed and I was thinking about how one of these days I should really re-write the Think Tank web page cleanly using modern web standards and methodologies. But then it dawned on me: “You’re a native iOS programmer. Why don’t you do what you do best and implement Think Tank as a native iOS app?” Yea! Then the interface would be nice and fast and I could take advantage of all sorts of iOS goodness as well. What’s more, I could then put it on App Store for others to take advantage of. I set to work and quickly got it up and running. I have been using it myself for about 3 weeks and it just what I wanted. Simple, straightforward and fast. Now when I get an idea I just whip out Think Tank, jot down what is in my head and get back to what I am doing. And now that Think Tank has just been released on the App Store for $0.99 anybody else can take advantage of it now as well.

Think Tank: Never let a good idea get away again!
Get Think Tank from the App Store

2 Responses to “Think Tank: Never let a good idea get away again!”

  1. kalon Says:

    Awesome! I have that same dilemma, wondering where to put random spouts of inspiration. I’ve mostly just used note apps and todo lists. I’ll have to check out your app now.

  2. Spencer Nielsen Says:

    Let me know if it works for you 🙂 I want to put in more features and gradually refine it but I want to make sure that it stays lean, mean and very focused on the specific goal of recording and organizing ideas.

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