Ideas, they’re like currency for creatives. You and I both know that one person who has ALL the ideas during every meeting. I hate it when I am not the idea guy. Good news is there are tools and tricks we can use to increase the number of good ideas!

Be Okay with Bad.

If we don’t let ourselves share a bad idea, we actually limit the total number of ideas we let ourselves have all together. Share all your ideas, especially if they’re bad. I find it can take 10-20 bad ideas before a good one comes my way. Find two or three people who can be your “bad idea filter.”

Become an Aggregator.

I love finding websites that allow me to surf through hundreds of ideas, which usually sparks something for me. If you’re looking for media ideas you may want to check out TripleWide Media, both are aggregators of many producers and a wide variety of media. If it’s print or design idea you need, check out Dribbble or the Behance network; both aggregators. Here’s what I know to be true: Inspiration breeds inspiration.

Befriend More Creatives.

If you want to become more creative, hang out with more creatives! It’s as simple as that. Financial guru, Dave Ramsey says, “if you want to become a millionaire, learn from millionaires, not a poor person.” It seems simple, but too often we go to the poor guy for financial advice. Seek out creative people to spend time with. You’ll learn far more than you can imagine by osmosis.

Organize Your Ideas.

The guy with a thousand ideas is no more effective than the guy with one idea if the guy with a thousand ideas can’t find the one in an effective manner. My go to tools for this is Evernote (ability to create tagged notes and folders of ideas) along with Google Drive (their online platform lends itself to great team collaboration).

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Create Something.

Blaine Hogan in his book “Untitled” recommends starting with a blank piece of paper every day and writing out an idea… good or bad. These actually help you become more creative because creativity is a muscle. It has to be worked out. If we just let it go dormant, we won’t know how to use it when we need it.


Here’s a picture to illustrate all of this creative muscle stuff that I recently heard from a friend. Tiger Woods spends hours hitting ball after ball on a driving range before any big tournament. He doesn’t do it because it’s new, but to be so comfortable with the regularity of his swing that when he steps up to the first tee it’s instinct. The same is true about creativity.

Work on your creative muscle before you’re in the meeting.

Figure out how to make an idea instinctual not a chore.


[photo credit]