by   |    |   2 minutes  |  in Creativity & Innovation   |  tagged , , , ,

I’m often asked how you can be more creative and innovative—in reality, not just in theory. What practical tips can I share? This post is about how I capture tons of new ideas in reality, hands-on.

For me to be more creative, my smartphone is an absolutely must. So, for instance, when I’m;

  • On a business trip, I’m constantly on the hunt for new inspiration. I always visit the airport bookshops. I read the in-flight and train magazines. I read advertising on taxis, sport shops and news magazines and the “news” in tabloids.
  • In the supermarket,  I always go to the magazines and randomly flick through them to learn about new things or get input on things I am occupied with right now.

I DO ALL THIS TO CROSS-FERTILIZE NEW INFORMATION WITH EXISTING THOUGHTS AND IDEAS I HAVE IN MY MIND. MY PROBLEM IS TO REMEMBER ALL THE NEW INFORMATION.

I use Dropbox.  I take a photo of the article, tag-line or whatever I found interesting with my phone and upload it to Dropbox— automatically.

What’s Dropbox?

Dropbox is a free service that lets you take all your photos, docs and videos anywhere. After you have installed Dropbox on your computer, smartphone and tablet, you can capture and access the data anywhere at any time. So whenever I need to, I can easily reach the photo from any other device I have connected to Dropbox, such as my laptop or tablet.

Conclusion

One of your biggest enemies in the struggle to come up with new ideas is your memory. Remember, being creative is a volume business; you need hundreds of thoughts and ideas to come up with a new innovation service, product, punch line, sales presentation, etc. An idea needs to be massaged over and over again, but if you don’t remember the idea, there is nothing to massage. It’s as simple as that.

Using Dropbox, you take a photo of the idea, so you don’t forget it, and then you let your brain surf for new influences. Later, you go back to give it a second thought. Many things might be awful, but so what. Other ideas might be worth massaging and exploring further.

That’s hands-on. That’s how I do it.

2 Responses to “Hands-on Tip for Being More Innovative”

  1. Simon

    I ‘braindump’ into two different tools which I think are even better suited to the job – Evernote (which is completely cross-platform) and Things (which is excellent but sadly iOS/Mac only). Getting thoughts out of your mind and into a trusted system is a core principal of the Getting Things Done (GTD) philosophy.

    Reply

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