productivity

5 Tips for finding creative inspiration in the most unusual places

Posted on June 29, 2009. Filed under: productivity, webdesign | Tags: , , , |

1. 5 level word association game

Step one: pick any object in your line of sight

Step two: write the first five things that come to your mind about that object

Step three: focus on one of the five things you wrote about the center object. Now write the first 5 things that come to mind about that word.

Step four: repeat step 3 for the next four items

Step five: now you have 31 items (1 in Step 1, 5 in Step 2, and 25 in Step3-4) that are sure to give you some type of inspiration about what your next course of action can be. See diagram below.

mindmap

Image create using bubbl.us

2. Create “new” uses for everyday items

I have always marveled at how a young child can imagine the most arcane things to be the most amazing in my eyes. This child like view of the world can be used by us adults too when we are finding ourselves in a creative rut.

The technique is simple: find some ordinary items you may find in your near vicinity and “create” 15 atypical uses for each item. After a while of doing this, you will find yourself approaching your creative project with a new and unique perspective!

3. Completely “unplug” your self

By unplug, I mean leave your normal place of creation and leave all your creation tools at that place. Do not think about all the work you have to do. In fact, try to clear your mind completely by sitting in a quiet place.

Take a while to reset your brain. After you feel you have sufficiently distanced yourself from the process, take a small notepad and pen/pencil and start jotting down ideas. Then let it go again for a period of time, only coming back to the notepad when you are ready to tackle your next creative project. You may be surprised by how creative your ideas were when you took the time to get away from your regular routine. Depending on the level of your creative stump this process may take only 1 hour or even a week or more.

Realize that creative inspiration is everywhere

Here is another example of how ordinary things can play a big role in your creative process. First, take several items in your near vicinity and write down 5 things you can appreciate about the design of the item. For most people this should be a fairly simple exercise. Now, write down 5 things you think could be improved about the design. This step is far more challenging, but if you can do this effectively you may find the creative inspiration you were looking for all along!

See Differently

Quite often creative blocks come from having access to too much information about the same things. It is often necessary to get away from your normal day-to-day routine so you can actually see differently -then you can possibly create something new and fresh because you are now new and fresh. I hope the techniques featured in this article have helped provide you with some inspiration for your endeavors.

hearicon006_125x125

About the Author:

Kalim Fleet is a professional web designer and blogger with over 6 years experience. The web is his passion as he splits his time between blog writing, software development and social media. He loves using and developing new applications for the web, mobile, and desktop.

Twitter Button from twitbuttons.com

Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

960 Grid with horizontal guides (PNG)

Posted on May 29, 2009. Filed under: productivity, webdesign | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Just a quick post for you web designers out there using the 960 grid system. I added horizontal rules to supplement the 960.gs download (1020 x 1020px). Both 12 column and 16 column are included.  These are .png files so it they be used as a layer in photoshop, gimp when wireframing new webdesign projects etc.

Download link:

.rar

960_grid_16_col_with_horizontal_guide

hearicon006_125x125

About the Author:

Kalim Fleet is a professional web designer and blogger with over 6 years experience. The web is his passion as he splits his time between blog writing, software development and social media. He loves using and developing new applications for the web, mobile, and desktop.

Twitter Button from twitbuttons.com

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

4 simple techniques to reduce your internet time wasting by as much as 70%

Posted on May 21, 2009. Filed under: productivity | Tags: , , , , , , |

We’ve all been there at one point or another. You’re moving along, knocking out your task list when you receive the message “FWD: FUNNY … YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS – LOL.” One funny video clip and two hours later you ask yourself, “Where did the time go?”

It is often very easy to lose track of time on the internet. Each website provides a wealth of information: articles you want to read but don’t need to read, articles you should read (but not necessarily now), links you should read providing even more information, comments, social bookmarking, and on it goes. It is easy to spend hours going through a website and following the links they provide. I will share with you some strategies I use that have decreased my internet surfing by at least 70%.

The “5” techniques are listed here. Read more details on each after the jump.

  1. Bookmarking is your greatest friend
  2. Create a schedule
  3. Use a timer
  4. Get help deciding what is worth reading while online

  1. “Bookmarking is your greatest friend:
    You don’t have to read every link you come across that interest you at this very moment. The internet has an unimaginable amount of interesting data and information that you couldn’t possibly address it all in one sitting. Use your bookmarks intelligently to categorize the links so you can refer back to similar items later. Social bookmarking site http://delicious.com can be used if you surf the net on computers at different locations as it gives you a website that you login to in order to access your bookmarks.
  2. Create a schedule:
    The schedule you create should not only itemize what times of the day you can surf the internet, but also what you should be doing while on the net during that allotted time. This is the time to utilize your bookmarking system. For instance, funny clips may be allotted to after hours or the weekend.
  3. Use a timer:
    This is a valuable little tool I have been using to keep tabs on how long I have been spending on the net – http://www.online-stopwatch.com/large-stopwatch/ . To use this tool you simply set a count down for, say 60 minutes and when the clock hits zero it will alert you. At that time you bookmark any pages you may still have open, then close your browser. If you are just finishing up reading a page, you can always extend the clock but I don’t recommend it – at least at first. The idea of allowing an extension is that you are making a conscious choice now to spend more time online as opposed to being oblivious to how much time is being spent.
  4. Get help deciding what is worth reading while online:
    The internet is filled with noise. Just like any other media, the aim is to get and keep your attention. Your goal should be focusing your attention so you can get the most out of your web surfing as possible. I suggest using RSS feeds for this purpose. Many websites will allow you to read their articles without actually having to visit their website by using RSS feeds they provide. You subscribe to the feeds of the websites you want to keep in touch with and you load them into your feed reader. I use Google Reader. Additionally, most feed readers also offer filtering functions which will allow you to decrease the number of articles you receive based on your criteria. This can save you more time by reducing the noise even further. Again, don’t forget to use your timer and bookmark unread items for later reading.

So there you have it. Hopefully using the above techniques will help you regain some of your precious time lost surfing the World Wide Web. Remember, just like a huge meal you can’t digest all the web has to offer in one sitting so pace yourself… and save some for later.

hearicon006_125x125

About the Author:

Kalim Fleet is a professional web designer and blogger with over 6 years experience. The web is his passion as he splits his time between blog writing, software development and social media. He loves using and developing new applications for the web, mobile, and desktop.

Twitter Button from twitbuttons.com

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...