Don’t Feel Overwhelmed: Terrific Tips for Organizing Ideas and Managing Projects!

If you read my Do You Want to Know the Secret to Writing a New Book? post on October 5th, you know that I am working on a new business/memoir book.

I had been feeling overwhelmed by the copious ideas and information I needed to organize for my new book. The photo is a just small sampling of all the material I am organizing. To solve the problem, I set up my storyboards in my office to view all the research material I collected. I learned to do that in 1993, while taking a Creative Leadership course at Disney University, the precursor to the Disney Institute, where I learned that Walt Disney created the term “storyboard.”

As Mr. Disney was walking through the Disney illustrator’s studio, he asked one of the illustrators how his project was progressing and if he could see the animation cells. However, the cells were all stacked on the floor in a pile and it was difficult for Mr. Disney to see the artwork. He asked the illustrator to put the cells on the wall, but that didn’t work because they were stationary.

Then Mr. Disney suggested a solution: pinning the animation cells on boards so they could be moved. Voila… Storyboards!

To not feel overwhelmed when organizing my books ideas, managing projects, and/or developing What Color Is Your Brain?® programs I utilize my Blue Brainstorming Storyboards. I begin with one of my 4′ x 4′ foam insulation boards, which is covered in dark blue fabric and is a perfect background for all the 3″ x 5″ index cards, just as I did when I facilitated my Visual Impact Planning sessions for clients.

It is easy and inexpensive to create your own storyboards. Begin by purchasing a 1″ x 4′ x 8′ insulation foam board at a home improvement store. Be sure to have it cut in half at the store. You won’t have to cover the board unless the printing on the board disturbs you. However, it shouldn’t for long because the copious ideas you have written on the index cards will cover the boards.

Next, purchase a box of 100 5/8″ steelhead push pins.They will not make permanent holes in the seal that covers the insulation board. I’ve had my boards for 20 years and they are still in perfect condition.

Now, you are ready for “Mess Finding,” a creativity term that encourages awareness and examination of challenges using the Osborne-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process. 

My photo is a perfect example of “Mess Finding!”

The following steps will help you begin your Storyboarding/Brainstorming session:

1. Write 1 idea per index card (or one article or story for my book)
2. Do not judge or discount any ideas
3. “Repeat Ideas” are good and represent a focus or special interest
4. Create “Headers” for your ideas when you see a pattern in your cards
5. Organize your idea cards under the appropriate “Headers.”

Storyboarding utilizes all the Brain Colors
Yellow Brain Organized Planning
Blue Brain Creative Imagery
Green Brain Logical Systematization
Orange Brain Resourceful Energy

If you do not want to create storyboards, you can use different color and size Post-it® notes to create your storyboard on a wall.

The storyboards are a  practical framework that quickly and easily appears to organize my book ideas, manage my projects, and achieve my goals!

It’s the Disney magic…have fun organizing any of your ideas and managing your projects!  

Discover your Brain Colors and Boost your Brain Power! Don’t forget about the FREE Chapter, #7 “Your Romantic Relationships,” from my original What Color Is Your Brain?® book, which you will receive when you sign up for my new Sheila’s Brain Blog section at the bottom of my homepage


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