The age of an idea does not relate to its value.
Ideas captured and caught in a moment are hard not to share with a colleague or friend; especially when a new possibility presents itself.
To create fully formed ideas necessitates keeping thoughts close to you and not immediately sharing them with others until the whole form is complete.
When an idea is vocalised, the sub-conscious mind perceives it made real, despite the conscious mind knowing the difference. Once the sub-subconscious mind perceives the idea to be real, any weakness in said idea will immediately erode confidence in it. In-turn as confidence is lost it removes the impetus to develop the idea further and the idea fades in to obscurity.
Hold ideas close like an expectant mother until they are ready to enter the world. Ideas are the responsibility of the designer until they are made real and placed in the hands of others.
I have accumulated knowledge over the years through observation, meditation on ideas and my own interpretations of knowledge taught to me.
Upon setting out in my career as a web designer in 1999 I kept a notebook, affectionately referred to as my “Dreamcatcher”. Apart from the obligatory sketchbook designers keep close, my Dreamcatcher captured ideas as they came to me. The nature of these ideas and the form they took wasn’t important, often they had no application to my current situation or context, but I understood that someday they may bear fruit. I recorded anything that made sense or had some value, periodically I would review what was written.
Returning to ideas and viewing them with “fresh eyes” is a liberating experience. Something hastily scribbled in the moment and filed away is easily forgotten. Returning to those sparks after a period of time removes the pride attached to the idea when written. Ideas that still retain merit when reviewed were transferred to an ideas journal.
In setting out on personal projects or deciding upon my next step in life my idea journal(s) are the first step. I would skim through and look for ideas that caught my attention, had some relationship with my task given or could be cross-pollinated in an interesting manner. It is important to understand at this point I am not advocating an entire solution to a project or even a partial solution. Problems should be broken down and design processes followed. An ideas journal is an aid to allow you to change your perspective on a problem, amend existing trajectories to solutions and a starting point for personal projects.