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This App is Perfect for Capturing Random Thoughts

Do you struggle to know where to put those on-the-fly notes without losing them? Separate the daily clutter from your digital files with this new app!

A crumpled sheet of paper with the word "idea" written on it

Have you ever sat down to work on something, only to have your mind filled with random thoughts? It's like when you are trying to concentrate on an important task, that's when your brain decides to remind you to start the dishwasher.

Maybe you've experienced those moments of clarity while taking a shower and thought to yourself, 'I need to write that down'. Where do you go? A journal, notes app, or voice memo most likely. With so many random thoughts coming and going each day, however, those little notes pile up. The result is a chaotic mess.

If you know anything about me, you know that digital organization is a huge part of my life. Owning several businesses on top of normal life activities leads to a pile of files. I made the decision a couple of years ago to go paperless and haven't looked back since.

My current setup is entirely based on iCloud using Apple's stock apps. While the Notes App has been perfect for organizing personal notes and files, one area that has been difficult to master is those spur-of-the-moment notes. You know when you hear something you want to remember and fumble around to write it down before you forget it?

These random thoughts typically go into a "scans" folder in my Notes App that I sort through at the end of each week. The issue that I've found is that most of the time, the thoughts are so short it's difficult to justify creating an entirely new page just for that. Plus, it hardly seems like the most efficient way to organize myself. It may sound minor, but when my marketing resources folder is filled with dozens of snippets, it becomes a lot harder to see the notes with more substance.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I finally found the solution! It's a fairly new app with hardly any reviews called Thoughts - Inspiration Manager.

Checking the Productivity App Check Boxes

I'm picky about the apps I use these days. It's ridiculous how much some companies charge to use a glorified calendar sometimes. Imagine spending $120 a year to use a calendar. Couldn't be me!

There are several key features that are in my mind when testing a new app:

  • Does it offer a lifetime membership (if it's paid)?

  • Is it adding or removing steps from my workflow?

  • Does the aesthetic match the rest of what I use?

That last point is petty, but I don't care! Let me break down why each of these is so crucial to me and how the Thoughts app gets it right.

The Thoughts App - pricing menu
It's so refreshing to have an app that let's me choose how to pay.

One Subscription to Rule Them All

Starting with lifetime memberships, I would rather pay a premium upfront and be done with it. As a businessman, I understand the allure of a subscription model. It's lucrative and keeps customers coming back. Lately, however, it seems like basic services are trying to find trivial ways of getting us to pay subscriptions. Just take a look at what Amazon wants to do with Alexa in an attempt to monetize it.

While the Thoughts app does have monthly and annual subscriptions you can opt for, I was pleased to see a more than reasonably priced lifetime membership fee. That option alone places this app near the top of my list by default.

Use Tech to Optimize Your Workflow

Technology should work for you, not the other way around. Today's app stores are littered with millions of apps, most of which are essentially broken.

On the other side of that spectrum, we're seeing more of these all-in-one apps like Evernote or Obsidian. Don't get me wrong, both of those apps do some amazing things. There's a reason they are so popular in the productivity and organization market.

At the same time though, I see people using these apps for one or two core features, leaving the rest untouched. This could be because they don't need those features. More likely however is that integrating those features into your life doesn't come naturally.

This is where my current Notes App setup fell short. It felt clunky to open the app, create a note, jot down a few words, and then go on with my day. There are too many steps. With the Thoughts app, I open it, jot the note, and it's done. Using an algorithm, the app's widgets circulate through your collection helping to keep them from on your mind.

the thoughts app widget on an iPhone Home Screen

Along with being easy to integrate into my workflow, I also don't want interruptions throughout my day. Notifications are a massive distraction, especially when they are promoting something.

Thoughts doesn't have any of that. It simply goes in the background, popping up only when I need it, then backing off again.

Random Thoughts Shouldn't Have a Random Design

Ok, this last point is nitpicky, but We're here for that at Focus Forge, right? Your work environment can make a big impact on your productivity and mental health. Working in a sterile space can inhibit our ability to think clearly.

The physical space you work in is just as important as your digital space. Why does the Apple Ecosystem work so well for so many people? Because it's standardized and clean. Your experience going from one Apple device to another is relatively unchanged. Yes, that comes at the expense of more advanced customization, but it also makes the user experience feel smooth.

Apple wallet app with a Mastercard displayed

The Thoughts app carries the clean Apple aesthetic into your workflow. In other words, it fits in well with my other apps and feels complimentary. Call me crazy, but when I'm working through a mountain of tasks, slipping in and out of a dozen different apps can feel clunk if just one of them adds extra steps or clutter.

On the new Journal app, you simply tap the + at the bottom of the screen and you start writing. Other more feature-dense apps will take you through a checklist of choosing a prompt, selecting a date and time, and what information you want to include. Those extra steps can detract from the reason you're journaling to begin with. It's less organic and more mechanical.

The Thoughts app feels organic. It has replaced doom-scrolling with a short feed of quotes and random thoughts I've added, which limits itself to only a dozen or so posts. There is no bloat or clutter, and when I'm on the run and need to jot something down, that's how it should be.

So next time your day is interrupted by a random thought or idea, think about where you'll write it down, and how likely you are to remember it by the end of the week. For me, I'll have it brought to my attention regularly, thanks to the Thoughts app.


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