Whether you’re a content creator or upper level management, sometimes, we all run out of ideas. It’s just the nature of the beast. Thankfully, the web is rich with resources to help you get back on track.
Apps to boost your productivity:
- Coffitivity: According to recent studies, working in a totally quiet environment can actually decrease productivity. This simple app mimics the sound of a coffee shop to give you enough realistic atmospheric noise to keep you focused without the distraction of a loud office.
- Candor: A brainstorming tool that focuses on empowering teams to come up with ideas before meetings instead of largely unproductive groupthink exercises. All ideas are collected and shared autonomously, taking out the “popularity contest” factor and allowing everyone to contribute while teams judge ideas fairly on merit. Definitely worth checking out.
- OmmWriter: A desktop tool that eliminates all windows and improves the writing experience with a minimal interface and blissfully zen soundscapes.
- Self Control: A free software program that takes things one step further, blocking all mail servers and access to websites for a set amount of time. Drastic, sure, but sometimes necessary for those of us addicted to social media, RSS feeds and keeping our inboxes at zero.
Tools to spark ideas:
Portent Idea Generator
- Visual Thesaurus: A word association tool, plain and simple. Thinking of words in more abstract terms can lead to unexpected variations that can help break old habits and inspire new perspectives. Be warned: the full experience requires paid membership, but users can experiment with a free trial.
- Portent’s Idea Generator: There are lots of blog title generators out there, but Portent doesn’t just throw out suggestions haphazardly. Instead, the tool breaks down each element of the suggested title, leveraging insights about current trends, how to stimulate critical thinking and best practices in targeting audiences.
Helpful resources on creativity:
(Caption: 99U by Behance)
- 99U by Behance: Articles from across the web with proactive tips on how to create more intelligently (and efficiently). Highlights include 7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and 5 Classic Creative Challenges.
- Brain Pickings: A vast and thoughtful library of thoughts on a variety of topics that range from literature and art to science and technology, Maria Popova’s blog is accessibly erudite, with rich articles and unique infographics all created to get your wheels turning. Some of our favorite posts are An Anatomy of Inspiration, Neil Gaiman on Where Ideas Come From and How to be an Educated Consumer of Infographics.
- TED: This bad boy needs no introduction. Sometimes, all we need is a few sage words of advice from some of the world’s best and brightest.
- Google Alerts: Setting industry-specific alerts can deliver tons of relevant content to your inbox daily. Save links, curate ideas and come back to them when the muse strikes.
Your own work: Here’s where things get really interesting. Whether you go back and combine two ideas for a new thesis or simply rehash an older idea in a new way, your own content is a veritable well of inspiration. Restructure, update, contest or transform. The ball is in your court. Now get writing.
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