creativity tools

On The Care and Feeding of Ideas: 10 steps in my personal process

On The Care and Feeding of Ideas: 10 steps in my personal process

Whatever else may be said of me, I am fundamentally a dreamer: I have ideas. Lots of them. Most are terrible (ask me sometime about my scheme to potty-train cattle), but every so often one will work out. And, like many creative people, when others see my work I often get asked “How did you ever think of that?” When I was younger, the process was as mysterious to me as to anybody else. But over the years I’ve learned a lot about where my ideas come from and what to do with them when they pop up, and the more I read about and talk to other creative people, the more I come to believe that there are, in fact, some more-or-less universal principles of creativity. And while there will always be something mysterious in the workings of the muse, I do not subscribe to the common belief that creativity is a magical gift bestowed on some and not on others. Like drawing, doing algebra, or speaking a second language, having original ideas is a mental skill that can be developed and, with practice, can become second nature. What follows is a brief list of the stations on my own personal “assembly line” of ideas. If you need an idea and can’t seem to have one, give it a read, give it a try, and see what shakes loose. If it works for you, remember it; if it doesn’t, throw it away. Experiment, as always, and develop your own process.

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Tools for Creativity theme

Tools for Creativity theme

For our last special theme of the year, we’ll be looking at the tools we all use to come up with the projects we pursue and how we manage them. We’ll be looking at physical tools, such as notebooks, drawing tools, whiteboards, and the like, but also, things like brainstorming and project-management software, and the […]

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Desktop AS Whiteboard

Desktop AS Whiteboard

Over at Curious Inventor (Atlanta, GA), they were inspired by the whiteboard benchtops at the Freeside Atlanta hackerspace. For $12, they got a 8×4 foot piece of panel board from a home store and turned it into a desktop they can write on.

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 Huge Cheap Whiteboards

$28 Huge Cheap Whiteboards

Chris shows you how to make some large cheap white boards… …the same material that they make most commercial whiteboards out of is available at most big-box lumber stores like Home Depot for less than $15. “Showerboard”, which is basically cheap plywood with a waterproof white plastic coating on one side. Its the same stuff […]

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Turn a Chalk Board into a Dry Erase Board

Turn a Chalk Board into a Dry Erase Board

McPhystal writes in about turning a chalk board into a dry erase board… – I’m a teacher and have been trying to convert old classroom chalk boards to dry-erase. I’ve tried epoxy spray paint, Krylon, and many other types of paint. I found that the best thing to do is to use oil-based/HIGH GLOSS paint […]

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