If your creative life is like mine, then you need to have tools to inspire, manage, and cultivate your ideas. In my experience I have found that most “creative” types I have met are usually like me: all over the place. I’m doing one thing, thinking of something else. I’m having a conversation with and randomly get excited about an idea that popped in to my head.
The wheels in my brain are always spinning, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. I want to breathe in as much information, education, and experience as possible, but usually have a hard time processing so much information.
The more I explore my own creative process and work toward my constantly changing goals, I have a found a handful of tools that I use on a daily basis that have helped cure some of this all-over-the-place-ness. I thought I would share some of these tools so that perhaps you could also have some clarity in the creative chaos that sometimes makes your head spin.
Evernote! Let me say that again- EVERNOTE! If you have never heard of Evernote or have never tried it, go sign up right now. Although there are paid upgrades available, (I use the Premium version) the free version is wonderful and is great especially if you are just getting started.
So what is Evernote? Evernote is the ultimate tool for anyone and not just specifically for being creative. Most people like to think about Evernote as their digital brain. Evernote’s slogan is “Remember Everything.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me, sometimes with so much information it is hard to remember anything!
Evernote is one place that syncs on all of your devices to write, clip articles, set up todo lists, to organize your ideas, to journal, to do anything, the possibilities are end less. Just a quick google or youtube search will give you an idea of how powerful and versatile Evernote is. I would also recommend Brett Kelly’s eBook, “Evernote Essentials” to get started.
Bonus: Here is one extra tip for anyone who wants to use Evernote to take notes, or jot ideas but can’t have a digital device or who prefer pen and paper. I LOVE Moleskine journals and you can have the best of both worlds. Moleskine has created the Evernote Smart Notebook that allows you to capture your hand written notes in Evernote.
If you look for any advice on inspiration, leadership, or creativity in general, you’ll find or have found that reading books is almost the single greatest source of inspiration and wisdom. However, what if you don’t have time to read? The good news is that you do, you just have to find it. For me, I work eight hour days, five days a week. My evenings are usually full of activities, whether at home, in the photography studio, etc. I am lucky enough to be able to listen to headphones at work. I know not everyone can do this, but maybe during your commute, or morning exercise routine.
Just last week I “read” 5 books in my 40 hour work week. Audible is the simplest solution to audio books I have found. My books sync on my devices, it is connected to my Amazon account, and has an endless library of titles to choose from.
You can try Audible for yourself, I’m not just telling you that so you click an ad, but because once you try it and figure out what time works best for you, you won’t want to stop reading!
I have found while at work the best headphone are the MEElectronics M6 PRO Universal-Fit Noise-Isolating Musician’s In-Ear Monitors with Detachable Cables
Other than books, blogs are a great way to stay informed and inspired. Feedly.com is another free website that allows you to read all of your favorite blogs on one place. You can access Feedly on all of your devices and makes checking your blog feeds effortless. Feedly slogan puts it best, “Organize, read, and share what matters to you.” To get stared check out Feedly’s tutorial blog post.
One of the reasons I started this blog was just so I had a place to write. I needed a clear some space off my brain, my body’s hard drive. There are so many reasons to have a blog. From creating influence, to recording daily experiences. Every reason is great, but for me just having a place to put my thoughts and ideas into words is one of the best benefits.
Get your sleep! Your brain needs to recover and reset. Having a comfortable nights sleep in the right environment is essential to being creative. If you don’t get enough sleep and are tired and grumpy the next day, your creativity suffers. You can’t focus on your ideas, the details of inspiration, or the task at hand. All you can focus on is being tired….and grumpy. This is a hard one for me and I’m still working on creating good sleeping habits. All I know is when you don’t get enough sleep not only does your creativity suffer, but so does your relationships, your productivity, and your overall health and well being.
How do you deal with your creative mind when it starts to be chaotic? Do you use any of these tools? If not what tools do you use to boost and manage your creativity?