8 Tips for Generating Ideas and 5 Sites for Inspiration

Ideas by Lauren Ashe Carlisle

Monday_Musings“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” – Marie Curie

Sometimes you just get stuck. Well maybe you don’t, but I do. I’ll be plugging along and then BAM! I’m stuck. I have to try a new approach, take a new route, find something that inspires me to keep going or go another direction.

“Ideas come from everything.” – Alfred Hitchcock

If and when you get stuck or just need a little idea generating pick me up, try some of these:

  1. Rest. Sometimes you just need a break – like when you’re having a conversation with someone and can’t think of something that you wanted to tell them, but when you’re not thinking about it, what pops into your head? Exactly what you wanted to say 3 hours earlier.
  2. Change your environment. Sometimes changing your location or even your position in the same location can jostle that idea around.
  3. Thumb through a dictionary, or even just a random book. The words can bring new ideas into your brain and help you 1) make new ones or 2) expand on existing ones.
  4. Talk to someone. There’s something to be said for being open minded and considering other points of view.
  5. Free write. Grab a pencil and write anything that comes to mind. It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to be grammatically correct, or spelled write 😉 or look nice or be presented to an audience of any sort. Just go with what comes to your mind. If you can’t think of anything to start with look around the room you’re in, pick an object and go from there.
  6. Think outside the box. Pick one item in the room. Write down, think about to yourself, or talk about with a friend all the ways the object could be used.
  7. Make a Mind Map. Mind Maps are a little different approach to taking notes or exploring ideas, made popular by Tony Buzan. A great guide to mind mapping can be found here and some really cool ones are here, too. (As a very visual person, I’m a big fan.) mindmap
  8. Pay attention to what inspires you and use it to your advantage. Go to it (your favorite spot to think), look at it (a magazine, flowers in a garden, a great sunset, an art museum, a photo or photo album), listen to it (classical music, bluegrass, hip hop, head bangin’ hard rock)  – whatever “IT” is, use it as a tool to guide you to your creative place.

“All the ideas in the universe can be described by words. Therefore, if you simply take all the words and rearrange them randomly enough times, you’re bound to hit upon at least a few great ideas eventually. Sausage donkey swallows flying guillotine, my love assembly line.” – Jarod Kintz, The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They’re Over.

à bientôt j'espère

Oh, and P.S. in case that’s not enough, here are 6 more sites for creative inspiration:

Where Do Ideas Come From?

{Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.}
Lauren is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!
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