Steno pads. Spiral notebooks. Legal pads. The back of an envelope. A cocktail napkin. Receipts. The corner of a newspaper. If you're like most entrepreneurs, you've got ideas striking you every hour of the day and night, and you grab the nearest writing implement and snippet of paper to scrawl a few words on. But how often do those pieces of paper make it into something more permanent?

With today's variety of note-taking and idea-gathering software, there's no excuse for stealing your kids' crayons anymore. Take a look at these multimedia opportunities for storing your thoughts, ideas, photos, blog posts, and more… and best yet, they're all free!
 
Evernote
Collect, sort, tag, and annotate a variety of notes and other information. Log in online or access it via your iPhone. Store your web clips, text clips, videos, audios, and more in a single file. You can even snap a photo with your mobile phone and save it. Oh yeah, you can share it with others! Find out more at Evernote.com
 
OneNote
This is Microsoft's version of a note book that lets you capture text, images, video, and audio notes and take and edit notes with other people in other locations. View and edit your notes from virtually any computer with an Internet connection or your Windows phone. Available with Microsoft Office. Find out more at Office.Microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/
 
Springnote
This is a free, online notebook based on wiki. You can create pages, keep them in your Personal Notebook or create a Group Notebook to share with friends. Store up to 2GB online. Add photos, comments, and more. Springnote for the iPhone is also available. Find out more at Springnote.com
 
Tumblr
If you're the visual type, you might want to take a look at this note book. Billed as “the easiest way to blog,” it's a fun way to create your own virtual bulletin board with pictures, photos, quotes, audio, video, and more. You can set your privacy level and collaborators, creating a bulletin board just for yourself, or one to share with a team or the public. There's also a free iPhone app. Find out more at Tumblr.com
 
After perusing these sites, you've probably come up with a dozen or more ideas that you quickly jotted down on a scrap of paper somewhere. Don't waste them – choose a note-taking solution and get your thoughts and goals down safely and permanently. You can't act on your ideas if you don't remember where you put those notes!

 

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