Archive for the ‘This List Goes to 11’ Category

11 Inspirational Resources

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

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My favorite inspirational resources:
  1. Presentation Zen. Great web site. Awesome book. I visit daily… Not just about better presentations, but about better story telling and the philosophy of sharing that story effectively.
  2. Seth Godin. A new take on marketing, with an emphasis on the story and customer.
  3. HOW Magazine. Usually filled with amazing visuals, as well as practical design-related articles. 
  4. Layers Magazine and Photoshop User Magazine. When I'm stuck on "how'd they do that", this is where I turn. Both have great tutorials. Layers website is free, but Photoshop User requires membership (I pay for my membership each year with the member discount savings on software, hardware, etc…)
  5. iStock Photo. Once I know the mantra/story of the project, I usually come here for the perfect visual(s) to tell the story. This site has user-submitted stock photos that are $5-$10 each, depending on resolution.  
  6. Guy Kawasaki. Former Mac software evangelist, and current author, speaker, and venture-capitalist. Usually something funny or interesting here. 
  7. TED Talks. Technology, Entertainment and Design. Great stories told by great story tellers.
  8. Church Marketing Sucks. Title says it all. Thoughtful essays on telling the story of churches more effectively. 
  9. Alton Brown. The man who reimagined the cooking show (cameras in the oven and refrigerator, puppets!), with emphasis on the story and process, not the recipe. His Feasting on Asphalt (and Waves) mini-series and a great look at often overlooked pieces of our culture.  
  10. Lifehacker. While primarily tech-oriented, there's some fun and interesting things here. I like the approach of finding ways to use things in ways they were not originally intended. If you're an Ikea fan, try ikeahacker
  11. Scrubs. This wacky TV show about young doctors is another case where a television show format has been reimagined. It's an acquired taste for some, but does not get old for me. New shows on ABC in January!  

Alternate Work Locations to Inspire Creativity

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

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Sometimes, looking at four different walls is enough to get out of the creative slump, so give these a try:
  1. Coffee Shop. Preferably a local independent. WiFi access is a plus, but going unplugged may also be helpful.
  2. Library. Loads of inspiration and information are just a few steps away – magazines, books and librarians! 
  3. Mall. Soak in the energy of the crowds, do some people watching. Go into stores you usually don't visit and savor the newness.
  4. Home. Enjoy the quiet. Ignore the chores, phone, and the temptation to "just rest your eyes."
  5. Trade Offices. Invite a co-worker to trade offices with you for a few hours. 
  6. Park. Head outside to a park bench. Be inspired by the great outdoors. 
  7. Airport. Now for something completely different… Invest a few dollars in short term parking, head to ticketing area and grab a seat. There's a certain energy at airports that's hard to find elsewhere. 
  8. Church. For another space with an energy that's radically different, try visiting your local church. Many (not all) are open during the day and will allow a visit to the sanctuary. Of course, if you're already a member, it's even easier.  
  9. Car. Sometimes it's the journey, not the destination. Listen to the radio, bring along your favorite music and sing along, drive on a road that's new to you… So many options.
  10. The Shower. I do some of my best random thinking in the shower. No phone, no radio, no instant message, no email. A great space for 10 minutes or so of thoughtfulness.  
  11. Rearrange the furniture in your office. If you can't go out, at least you can make "in" different. 

What are your favorite alternate locations for creating? Is it possible to request the freedom to get out of the office?