It's possible I'm just a product of my twenty-first century upbringing, but when I'm struck with inspiration or a story idea I find myself jotting it down in an email to myself rather than scrounging for a pad of paper and a pen. I have a whole folder in my email service full of one-sentence emails I've written to myself.
Sometimes I wake up from a particularly vivid dream and grope for the phone on my nightstand so I can write the idea down in an email before I forget. Sometimes I'm taking my kids to classes and think of something cool in the car that I simply must write down in an email before I forget, so I pull over and send myself a quick email in the parking lot of a Jiffy Lube.
I'm assuming this is a new habit for writers brought about my smart phones and unlimited email storage. I can imagine writers as few as twenty years ago probably carried little notepads around everywhere they went so no idea ever got left behind.
To be honest, I like brainstorming on a pad of paper best. I like to sit down with my husband and a notepad, talking through story ideas and writing down the salient points. In a lot of ways, I think computers will never truly replace the feel of a pen racing across paper.
However, there's something comforting about knowing my ideas are available anytime and anywhere I have Internet access. I also email copies of my works in progress to myself, so my drafts are always safe and available even if my hard drive throws a fit.
How do you keep track of your ideas? Where do your archives live?