How to have creative ideas

Everybody wants to be creative. Creativity makes life more fun, more interesting and more full of achievement, but too many people believe that creativity is something you are born with and cannot be learned.

In How to Have Creative Ideas Edward de Bono – the leading authority on creative thinking – outlines 62 different games and exercises, built around random words chosen Everybody wants to be creative. Creativity makes life more fun, more interesting and more full of achievement, but too many people believe that creativity is something you are born with and cannot be learned.

In How to Have Creative Ideas Edward de Bono – the leading authority on creative thinking – outlines 62 different games and exercises, built around random words chosen from a list, to help encourage creativity and lateral thinking. For example, if the task were to provide an idea for a new restaurant and the random word chosen was ‘cloak’, ideas generated might be: a highwayman theme; a Venetian theme with gondolas; masked waiters and waitresses. Or, if asked to make a connection between the two random words ‘desk’ and ‘shorts’, readers may come up with: both are functional; desks have ‘knee holes’ and shorts expose the knees; traditionally they were both male-associated items.

All the exercises are simple, practical and fun, and can be done by anyone. . more

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How to have creative ideas

How to have creative ideas

How to have creative ideas

How to have creative ideas

How to have creative ideas

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فكرة الكتاب الأساسية تدور حول استخدام جدول من الكلمات مزود في آخر الكتاب بشكل خارج عن المألوف لإنتاج أفكار إبداعية . أعجبتني كثيرا فكرة اللعب على الكلمات .

و أيضا ، كما الكتاب السابق الذي قرأته عن الإبداع الفكري ، يؤمن الكاتب أن الإبداع الفكري ليس إلا مهارة يتم تنميتها بالتمرس ، من خلال تمارين يومية .

مما اقتبسته من الكتاب :
The use of creativity and the practice of creativity is the best way to develop the mental skill and the mental habits of creative thinking.

With creativity, there is no ‘righ فكرة الكتاب الأساسية تدور حول استخدام جدول من الكلمات مزود في آخر الكتاب بشكل خارج عن المألوف لإنتاج أفكار إبداعية . أعجبتني كثيرا فكرة اللعب على الكلمات .

و أيضا ، كما الكتاب السابق الذي قرأته عن الإبداع الفكري ، يؤمن الكاتب أن الإبداع الفكري ليس إلا مهارة يتم تنميتها بالتمرس ، من خلال تمارين يومية .

مما اقتبسته من الكتاب :
The use of creativity and the practice of creativity is the best way to develop the mental skill and the mental habits of creative thinking.

With creativity, there is no ‘right answer.’ . more

Writers deal with writer’s block and designer’s often find that they get stuck for ideas too. There’s no shame in it but learning to smash through the block is a necessary professional skill. Time waits for no-one and when there’s a deadline looming… you’ve got to pull something out of the bag.

There are better techniques for getting creative than staring at walls, kicking cats and bellowing in frustration, thankfully. We’ve all tried going mad but it never seems to have any real effect. So with that in mind, why not try some of these simple ideas instead:

Quantity Leads to Quality

Less isn’t more when it comes to ideas. Brainstorming works because it allows us to be silly. Having a ton of ideas lets you wade through the dross at the end and pick the winners. It’s a very rare moment in life when the first idea that springs to mind is the best idea. So instead of seeking that “perfect thought”, just blurt out whatever comes to mind. Write it all down. Spend 30 minutes to an hour just chucking out ideas. Then whittle them down to something manageable and useful later on.

Look Within

Buddha said; “Look for happiness within not without.” In this process, you’re going to do the opposite. What are the things that frustrate you? What are the pain points in your own life? You can bet that some of those issues are issues for other people too. Instead of chasing rainbows and that next awesome tech moment… find the day-to-day problems and solve them. The great thing about these problems is that we actually want to solve them. You don’t even have to leave your desk to get in touch with yourself.

How to have creative ideas
Author/Copyright holder: Martijn Snels. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC 2.0

Scribble Ideas When They Arrive

How to have creative ideas

I’ve lost count of the great ideas which occurred to me whilst waiting in line to pay for something. I used to lose these ideas because I never wrote them down. When I got back to the office (or more lately home), I had nothing but a distant memory of an idea. Write down all your ideas, or use something like Evernote, as you have them. Keep them and review them down the line. Feel free to junk anything that seems really stupid in hindsight or which you’re never going to have time to act on but don’t forget to put some of them into action.

Look Without

Looked inside and found only a wall of static? Then look outside and not very far outside. What’s going on around you? What are people doing? Why are they doing it? Sometimes you don’t need to find problems – you just need to coax your brain into questioning mode. There can be quite a bit of fun in trying to describe the office as it is (writers) or sketching the faces of the people around you (designers) too.

Stop Being a Creature of Habit

Take a day off. Get up later. Have toast rather than cereal for breakfast. Walk rather than cycle to work. A little change in routine can do you a huge amount of good. The change lets us see the world in a slightly different way. That in itself can trigger ideas. If you start asking; “what’s different about this experience because of the change?” You’ll find that your creative juices start flowing in no time.

Have a Go, Don’t Give Up

UX designers know that life is an iterative process. We do something, then we make changes, we see if it works, if it doesn’t we go back to the drawing board. Part of being a successful creative is simply giving yourself permission to fail, to make mistakes and to learn from them. Take an idea, any idea, and play with it – see if you can bring it to life. If you can’t, work out why… that process itself will generate better ideas in turn. And so on ad infinitum.

Experience Something New

This is more than breaking routine. This is about choosing to do something you have never done before. Travel broadens the mind, as is often said, but so does visiting a museum or gallery, or pulling out a kid’s chemistry set and seeing what weird and wonderful things you can do. New experiences change us in subtle ways and they unleash our thought process to explore new things. It would be hard to be uninspired if we were stood in front of Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, or The Pyramids wouldn’t it?

How to have creative ideas

Stop Thinking

Distractions can also help break the block. When you truly can’t think of anything – stop trying to. Get out of your chair and go for a long walk. If you’re at home; jump in the bath. You’re not a machine and sometimes you just can’t produce on demand. So don’t try. You’d be amazed at how many “Eureka!” moments occur during relaxation (including the original Eureka moment)!

Try Linking Creative Processes

Expertise in an area does not mean that you know everything and that others cannot have useful ideas. Why not rope in some colleagues or friends and get them to try and create ideas with you? Just as with brainstorming exercises – the idea is not to pour scorn on every idea that doesn’t work but to get help with ideation in the first place. You can chuck out useless ideas later. You never know when a bad idea will spark a good one elsewhere.

Smother Bad Ideas

Sometimes a creative rut comes from pursuing a bad idea endlessly and finding yourself trapped with nowhere to go. Step back and ask; “is this the right thing to be spending my time on?” And if you find the answer isn’t a firm; “Hell yes!” then it might be time to chuck out that idea and go back to ideation for a bit (or try another idea from a previous round that you haven’t already).

Summary

The block is something all creatives face at some time or another. That’s OK, it’s because we’re all human. The trick is to try and dodge that block as quickly as we can. The ideas above should help you get started. Have you got any ideas that you think might help with this too? Let us know on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

How to have creative ideas

What makes the difference between a good idea and a great idea? Good ideas come along all the time and help people solve minor problems in work and daily life. Great ideas appear a little less frequently and require a little more work to execute. Great ideas aren’t necessarily the result of highly-paid think tanks or drug-induced vision quests in the desert. Often they are unexpected moments of inspiration that help keep the napkin companies in business.

The big challenge of generating great ideas is freeing yourself from the conventional, mundane thoughts that occupy most of your brain time. Here are seven tips to help you open your mind and stimulate your great idea generator.

1. Engage in Observation Sessions

Great ideas won’t happen in a vacuum. You need some way of getting your brain to think in new and creative ways. Commit time to specific sessions where you stimulate your brain into thinking differently. Being a New Yorker, my favorite method is people watching. A simple walk through Manhattan can introduce me to exciting activity and behavior that makes me think anew. Any crowded urban area, mall or zoo can do the same.

2. Socialize Outside Your Normal Circles

Hanging around with the same friends and colleagues can get you in a thinking rut. Take advantage of all those LinkedIn connections and start some exciting conversations. New people don’t know all your thought patterns and old stories, so you’ll have to revisit your existing inner monologues. The refreshing perspectives will help to surface new thinking and possibly a lightning bolt or two.

3. Read More Books

Books are wonderful for creating new thoughts and stimulating great ideas. For a long time, I didn’t read much. When I added business books to my routine, it helped me learn more and expand my way of thinking. But several years ago, I started again reading fiction and histories. These stories really got me out of my daily headspace and activated my idea generator. Even if you can’t make the time for a novel, go hunt down a bookstore and spend an hour browsing. You’ll find plenty of thought stimulation.

4. Randomly Surf the Web

Google is great when you know what you are looking for, but the best way to generate new ideas is with unexpected learning. Take an hour each week and go on a web journey. Start with the I’m Feeling Lucky button and just take it from there. Try to pick the stranger and more obscure references as you surf and stretch your brain a bit.

5. Keep a Regular Journal

A journal is great for recording thoughts, feelings and the history of your life. It also is a great way to structure and develop ideation habits. If you don’t keep a journal, start today. If you already do, simply add the practice of finishing every entry with: Here is my new idea for the day .

6. Meditate

It’s hard to come up with great ideas when your mind is crowded with everyday thoughts and concerns. You need quiet space. Meditation will help you clear your mind of daily business and stress. Then you can quietly focus on your future — or solving world issues. Commit to two hour-long sessions every week and soon you’ll find new ideas flowing.

7. Use Structured Exercises

Structure breeds creativity. Simple exercises can get your brain working in a focused manner to yield great ideas. My favorite comes from author and Baylor University professor Dr. Blaine McCormick. With a partner, take ten minutes (timed) to come up with 42 ideas on a specific topic or problem. You may only think of 30 or 35 but no matter. You’ll find that there are at least two or three gems in the list.

All of these methods require a commitment of time and energy, but that’s the key to great ideas. You need to give your brain the time and space to work for you. If you try each of these methods, you are bound to come up with a great idea or two. Make sure you record them and set a plan of accountability. The execution is up to you.

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Tip #1: think like a kid.

Ed. note: This post was originally published in April, 2019 but we wanted to bring it back out the archives in hopes that it inspires you to make the most of this time quarantined at home.

One of my favorite things about watching my kids play is that it reminds me how much creativity lies within each one — we were born as creative people, whether we’ve cultivated that into adulthood or not. At 5, Phoebe becomes totally immersed in drawing, building and creating stories, and Henry (2) continually surprises me with the connections he makes between ideas that would never have occurred to my adult mind. Their natural free play is in stark contrast to the productivity-focused mindset I’m usually in; even my leisure time is often spent socializing or being connected to electronics, rarely activities that require much imagination.

It’s got me thinking about how amazing it would be if this creative spark were brought into our adult lives. Do we all have an inner artist longing to get out? I’ve been diving into the research and learning that reclaiming our creativity could actually be a big factor in discovering our passion, finding out what makes us feel most alive, and even being better at our work. Read on for 6 ways you can be more creative every day, and prepare to be majorly re-inspired.

How to have creative ideas

1. Draw, paint, doodle, watercolor.

Growing up, my favorite thing to do when I was bored was to grab my notebook and some markers, and just draw with no end goal in sight. I’d create rainbows, mermaids, solar systems — and I don’t remember feeling any pressure to make them worthy of hanging on the fridge, I just did it for the sheer joy of creating. Later on, I took up collaging with a stack of magazines each evening, and in high school, I fought the boredom of band class by secretly sketching dresses in my quest to become a fashion designer.

The sheer act of engaging in making art of any kind fires up all kinds of connections in the brain, so don’t fight the urge to doodle while you’re on your next conference call. I’ve been taking time each weekend to dust off my sketchbook and spend some time watercoloring with Phoebe, and it’s been so refreshing for my mind and my soul to make art just for the fun of it.

How to have creative ideas

2. Do something physical.

Research has shown that physical exercise helps to force you out of left brain dominant thinking and instead adopt a more creative mindset. Exercise also increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which sharpen mental clarity. Here’s a fascinating article that claims aerobic workouts may help stimulate imagination and new ideas.

How to have creative ideas

3. Embrace boredom.

I recently did a 48-hour detox from all my devices, and one of my biggest goals for the experiment was to learn how to embrace boredom. Why, you may ask? Because research shows that being bored actually propels us towards deeper thinking and creativity. The theory goes that a bored mind searches for stimulation, which moves it into the daydreaming state, which leads to new ideas. Read more about the studies here.

Instead of filling every extra minute with productivity or scrolling through your phone, give your mind some breathing room. Let your mind wander, and who knows? You just might have the “aha moment” you were working so hard to achieve.
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How to have creative ideas

4. Watch a TED talk or listen to a podcast.

I often find that tuning into a powerful TED talk or listening to an interview with someone fascinating is a great way to shift my perspective, quickly and without a lot of effort. There are so many inspiring people out there, and nothing makes me more excited about creative thinking than learning from someone who is out there truly innovating in their field.

How to have creative ideas

5. Generate way more ideas than you think you actually need.

Throughout my research, THIS is the single most common thread among super creative thinkers. People who are able to generate a lot of ideas (good and not-so-good) are much more likely to have a couple of brilliant ideas hidden in the mix than those who only come up with a couple of ideas to begin with. Block out time for free writing and come up with as many ideas around a problem as your brain can generate, even if they seem silly. Since creative people are prolific idea-generators, remember that they typically have more misses than hits. As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

How to have creative ideas

6. Make time for play.

Studies show that when we fully immerse ourself in just doing what we enjoy — in other words, getting out of our own heads — it stimulates outside-the-box thinking and silences our inner critic. Tinker with toys, build something, get outside… and most importantly, think like a kid!

Stuck in a design rut? Rob O’Connor of Stylorouge offers his tips to help unblock your imagination.

Stuck for design inspiration? Can’t get started on a project or still looking for a suitable angle? Struggling to overcome creative block?

Don’t feel bad: it happens to the best of us. You just need a way to kick your brain in gear and get the ideas flowing. Which is why we’ve put together a series of tips to help you brainstorm more effectively, followed by five fantastic apps you can use to make sense of the brainstorming process.

01. Be unselfconcious

At Stylorouge we employ a system of meetings where we throw things around unselfconsciously. People bring in notebooks and talk about things they’ve found that could come in useful. You don’t have to meet to generate ideas – it can also be part of a more general catch-up.

02. Get the timing right

For many people, late morning is a good time to be creative. People tend to be a bit more laid back after they’ve had lunch, so morning is often preferable. The first day of the week isn’t necessarily ideal, either, although we break that rule by throwing ideas into our Monday morning catch-ups.

03. Look outside for inspiration

It’s nice to be aware of what’s happening in the design field, but you can be equally – and often more – inspired by the things you see outside of design. For example, you’re working on a project involving a book cover, you shouldn’t be starting out by taking inspiration from other book covers.

04. Give full disclosure

Everyone involved in generating ideas should know everything about the brief. I don’t like to hold anything back – we’re all very transparent here. Even if there’s something that I don’t think is particularly important, I’ll still include it and just make it clear this is secondary information.

05. Question the brief

The process of coming up with great ideas is partly a question of analysis. You should be questioning everything and asking yourself: does this fully answer the brief? Is it a good solution? You need to be as objective about your own subjectivity as you can.

06. Sit around a proper table

Don’t sit around coffee tables that are too low. There’s a fashion for hotdesking and easy chairs, but it’s actually much more creative if you’re at a proper meeting table. It brings you much closer to people when you’re not scattered around like you’re in a living room and design inspiration can strike.

07. Go back to basics with physical things

Some studios lose their clutter, but we’ve got paints, brushes, paperboards and scalpels for people to use with their hands. When your designs exist on a computer you can start to feel like it’s not a physical experience, so these are reminders.

08. Be honest

It’s really important to be honest when you see what other people are suggesting and what tear sheets they’ve brought in. If someone is 100 per cent behind an idea but they know no one else is, it’s going to encourage them to make sure it really is a good idea from an early stage.

09. Play word games to generate ideas

Try using what you might call ‘essence words’ to get your ideas down – words that encapsulate the spirit, personality and message you want to put across, even if they seem crazy. A day or two later you might find that something resonates with what’s on your mind.

10. Take a break and let things sink in

If we’ve got time, we’ll share ideas and then take a break for a couple of day, so we can let each other’s ideas sink into our own minds. The second time around, it’s often much more fruitful, and we tend to have more visual material at this subsequent stage.

11. Try one of these apps

Creative inspiration and pinboard apps are perfect for organising and initiating brainstorming sessions. Here are five of the best.

MindNode

MindNode is an intuitive and easy-to-use mindmapping application that will help you generate new ideas and organise your thoughts. iCloud & Dropbox support means you always have your mindmaps with you.

Moodboard

Organise your inspiration with Moodboard, a great app for creating moodboards on your iPad. With this nifty little tool you can easily collect, organise and share the things that inspire you. Features include 12 custom backgrounds, 12 custom frames to enhance images and the ability to add, scale and rotate text on your boards.

OmniGraffle

With the awesome OmniGraffle app you can create diagrams, flow charts, org charts, and illustrations. Last month the app had a major update that added new drawing tools interface as well as better support for iPads with retina displays. At just under $50, it’s pricey for an app but it’s extensive toolset makes it worth every penny.

myPANTONE

Colour giant Pantone’s mobile app myPANTONE is a must-have for every designer. Clever software allows users to capture over 13,000 pantone colours by selecting specific part of a digital image. And not only that, it also creates colour palettes for you and then stores them in its ‘portable colour memory’ section for future use.

iDesign

iDesign allows you to ‘make professional quality designs, illustrations and technical drawings on the move using your fingers’. The 2D vector drawing and design app for the iPhone and iPad has a unique offset drawing tool, which allows you to draw accurately without your finger getting in the way. A great tool to quickly sketch down new ideas on the move.

Have you got any ideas for drumming up design inspiration that you’d like to share? What methods have worked for you in the past? And what hasn’t? Tell us what you think below.

Words: Rob O’Connor

Rob O’Connor works for creative consultancy Stylorouge.

The magic happens at the intersection of ideas and execution.

How to have creative ideas

Jun 13, 2018 · 4 min read

Let’s say you want to write a book.

But you’ve never written one before and it’s even been a while since you wrote your last college essay.

You’ve got an idea, enthusiasm, and no clue where or how to start.

Here’s what I’d recommend.

The first step to bringing a creative project to life is to recognize it requires two different things— ideas and execution.

While these components are related, it’s helpful to approach them separately when you start because each requires its own unique skills and mindset.

This is the f un part (if you can get out of your own judgy head long enough to enjoy it).

Spend an hour (or more) writing down a list of ideas related to your project.

In the example of writing a book, this could be a collection of ideas for stories, characters, settings, scenes, genres, character names, themes, and whatever else comes to mind that might be interesting.

Let your mind wander and don’t put any pressure on the idea phase — don’t judge your ideas as they come to you, just get something on paper.

If you need help getting into an idea-generating mindset, here’s a trick.

Write down the sentence fragment “What if…” 50 times on a piece of paper and then complete each of those sentences with questions related to your idea.

In the case of writing a book, it might look like this:

“What if…the good guy was actually the bad guy?”

“What if…the story was told backwards?”

Once you’ve filled out your 50 sentence fragments, pick one that interests you and use it as a jump-off point for another list of “What if’s” that relate to it.

For example, maybe that question about the good guy being the bad guy could be followed up with questions like…

“What if…the good guy only discovered his evil instincts after something terrible happened to him?”

“What if…once the good guy turned bad his challenge was to figure out a way to turn back to good?”

“What if…the good guy was actually a good girl?”

This kind of brainstorming will get you started on the right track to fleshing out and discovering valuable ideas for your project.

But that’s only half the battle.

The other half of the equation is to hone in on a creative process that works for you — the nuts and bolts of how to take your ideas and turn them into things.

In the hypothetical example of writing a book, you’d have to figure out things like how a plot works, how to develop characters, and how to come up with a title.

These are creative elements, but they’re more tactical and technical in nature than the pure creativity of the idea side of the equation.

Your ability to bring your creative project to life will hinge on your ability to figure out a way to get the work done.

How will you work? When and where will you get it done? How will you stick with it? What will it take to bring your vision to life?

Here’s one way to figure that out.

Just like you set aside time to brainstorm ideas, set aside an equal amount of time to research, learn and fine-tune your creative process.

Consume material similar to what you hope to create. Watch interviews with other creators. Research how others executed similar projects and how they approached similar challenges.

Immerse yourself in the world of any creative project you take on.

The goal isn’t to mimic what others have done, but to expose yourself to enough ideas and approaches that you can pick and choose the elements that work best for you.

Use your creative process time to educate yourself and find the inspiration you need to get your project off the ground.

Let’s say you commit time to the parallel paths of ideas and execution on alternating days.

Eventually, something amazing will happen — the paths will intersect.

The inspiration and knowledge you acquire through studying the work of others will blend with the original creative ideas you generate. Each will inform the other and help bring your work to life.

In our book example, a character development tactic you learned another author uses may make the twist you sought for your main character apparent.

That random idea you had for an underwater scene you may now recognize is a perfect fit for an opening moment like the one that grabbed you in another book you read.

As the puzzle pieces fall into place, the divergent paths you’ve traveled converge and you realize you’re no longer trying to figure out how to start your creative project…because you already have.

Now, you just have to figure out how to finish it.

But that’s a story for another day.

By Neil Stevenson

Many businesses are getting wise and ditching the one-size-fits-all flannel suit approach to the workplace. But do they have any clue what to replace it with? For a while, everyone wanted to make their office look like a children’s playground. Today, the trend is to try to look like a coworking space or a coffee shop. But are those ideas future-proof? And do they actually create the conditions that creativity needs to thrive?

The short answer is not really. Though we agree that every office must be tailored to the specific needs of the people who work there and the kind of work being performed, we polled IDEO designers and found some universally winning environment designs that deliver a jolt of creativity. Here are 13 tips for how to supercharge your space:

How to have creative ideas

Image by General Assembly

1. Install a communal table or other gathering space

At General Assembly, there’s one giant table that can seat 30-plus right in the middle of the main space. Students, instructors, and staff gather round it to share ideas in an unstructured, organic way. Each campus around the world has their table made by community artisans with locally sourced materials, which helps remind people of the importance of place. —Danoosh Kapadia

At Disney Animation Studios, John Lasseter had the conference rooms in the center of the building torn down to make room for a coffee shop. The space served as a large space for folks to come together and collaborate. —Kat Chanover

2. Make things moveable

When people become glued to a particular place, their perspective stays glued, too. Put things on wheels, or having rotating desks allows people to meet new coworkers and invites collaboration. And don’t sit next to someone who does the same thing as you—if you’re an engineer, sit next to a designer. Physical silos are real. —Xin Xin

One of my favorite things about the d.school at Stanford is that the walls in most of the building can be moved and reconfigured. An open space can become a private project space in a matter of minutes (and vice-versa). —Katie Clark

How to have creative ideas

3. Display your values

Placed all around the IDEO Tokyo office are key phrases projected in neon lights. Next to our Maker Space it’s “Talk Less, Do More”; in our lounge it’s “Make Others Successful”; next to the door before you exit it’s “Take Responsibility”. Although these are just 3 of the 7 key IDEO values, the signs serve as a daily reminder of what we all believe in. —Mike Peng

4. Hide the clocks

OK, maybe not all the clocks. But consider introducing spaces where people can get a break from the cruel Master Time. Sometimes creativity needs constraints to flourish; sometimes it needs the freedom to take as long as it damn well pleases. —Lode Starstrom

5. Situate joy

In our project space, there is a drawer that only contains British chocolate of the most velvety quality. The team knows it’s there. When that drawer opens. well, it’s very exciting for everyone. Sometimes they even exclaim, “Milky Time!” Design your space to trigger moments of joy, or surprise, or ritual. —Alex Gallafent

How to have creative ideas

6. Put creative tools in the way

When there are creative tools in the main space, more stuff gets made. Don’t silo the maker space. Out of sight, out of mind. In sight, in practice. —Clark Scheffy

7. Build a home-y kitchen

The kitchen should not feel corporate. It’s the nest where new ideas hatch! Pay attention to details: use real utensils and glasses, not plastic, have employees help wash dishes. And nothing signals a communal, homey feeling more than leaving the butter dish out! —Becky Bermont

8. Activate empathy

At Airbnb, the conference rooms are designed to be replicas of favorite rentals around the world. There’s a picture of the actual space at the entrance. That helps immerse you in the Airbnb customer experience, a great reminder that you’re there to make that experience better. —Kristin Kelly

How to have creative ideas

9. Use nature to support well-being

At my former workplace, CookFox Architects, the firm incorporated the principles of biophilia into their office design. All 80 employees had a direct view to the outdoors, and natural light poured in from three sides of the office. Potted plants were placed in every possible place throughout the office, and there was a rooftop garden where they kept bees and plants that attracted butterflies and birds. Carpet, bathroom tiles, and paint were done in ocean-inspired colors, and decorative lighting structures mimicked patterns found in nature. Biophilic design is said to unburden our cognitive system, supporting it in collecting and recognizing information in the quickest and most efficient way, as well as generally supporting wellbeing. —Alisa Ahmadian

10. Cultivate permission

Allow employees to put stuff on the walls. It goes without saying: it’s better to have things on the wall that you’ve created, versus expensive art you’ve paid someone else for. —Zach Hobbs

11. Provide spaces for projects

Clear space where workers can leave projects-in-progress without worrying about the mess. I wish every home and every workspace had this. In school maker labs (such as the Innovation Lab at Nueva School), I’m always pleased to notice big shelves for students’ work-in-progress projects. —Sally Madsen

How to Have Great Ideas is the essential guide for students and young professionals looking to embrace creative thinking in design, advertising and communications. It provides 53 practical strategies for unlocking innovative ideas.

Strategies include improvisation techniques, changing the scenery, finding hidden links, looking to nature for inspiration, combining unusual sy How to Have Great Ideas is the essential guide for students and young professionals looking to embrace creative thinking in design, advertising and communications. It provides 53 practical strategies for unlocking innovative ideas.

Strategies include improvisation techniques, changing the scenery, finding hidden links, looking to nature for inspiration, combining unusual systems, challenging set boundaries and many more. Each strategy is packed with great examples of successful contemporary and historical designs – from a designer dress made out of old converse trainers to ticket machines powered by recycled bottles in China, via the reimagining of famous brand logos and mis-use of photocopiers.

Packed with practical projects to kick-start inventive thought in idea-blocked moments, this book explores creative thinking across all visual arts disciplines. . more

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A rather superficial look at creativity, comprised of a lot of quotes from famous creatives, ample imagery but the briefest insights from the author on creativity itself. The book asks merely to be skimmed rather than read and does not have the coherence that it ought to in addressing creativity to any depth. While well-presented and appealing to the eye, anyone looking for an in-depth book on creativity or creative thinking would do well to look elsewhere. It might appeal as a starter book on t A rather superficial look at creativity, comprised of a lot of quotes from famous creatives, ample imagery but the briefest insights from the author on creativity itself. The book asks merely to be skimmed rather than read and does not have the coherence that it ought to in addressing creativity to any depth. While well-presented and appealing to the eye, anyone looking for an in-depth book on creativity or creative thinking would do well to look elsewhere. It might appeal as a starter book on the topic but the lack of depth on each of the themes addressing and the lack of scaffolding and guidance on the projects that are suggested leaves much to be desired in pursuing guidance on the topic.

Two red flags for me: 1) declaring “winners” in the first project of the book – creativity ought to be about collaboration if a group is working; and 2) a lack of a coherent, clear commentary on the doubt and inner critic that some people may grapple with – there are moments where it is briefly hinted at in passages titled, “Think like a kid” and “Just get started” but the depth of these “chapters” is hardly sufficient to assure people that these challenges are part of the creative process and are worth wrestling with. . more