7 Ways To Help Spark Creativity When You’re Not Feeling Creative

I consider myself extremely lucky. I get to lead a work life where I constantly get to be creative. In most cases, my creativity is my paycheck. Directly. We come up with products and services, get them built and hopefully – somehow, someway – find some customers. Thanks to those customers my kids get to eat, we have cloths and shelter. All’s good.

With this constant dependency on creativity, it’s burdensome when I run out of ideas. When I get into these slumps I have a list of things that I try in order to get back on track. These are the progressions I go through – like a quarterback going through his options to make a big play downfield.

This list is personal for me, but it may be helpful for others who are stuck in temporary creative hell.

1. Change my physical venue
This is usually my first option. When I come out of the huddle of the quarterback of my creativity, this is my primary receiver. When I sit in the office all day in a creativity rut, I grab my laptop or a pad of paper and head for the hills – the hills can be my local coffeshop or a park or anywhere else. A change of venue tricks brain into thinking differently.

2. Swap my tool set
This one has been huge for me as of late. I used to think it was a personal flaw that I use so many damn tools to get things done.

I wanted to be the guy that has a single discplined way of doing stuff. Structure. There are some folks that are ALL digital and they have everything perfectly organized in tools like Evernote and Onenote.

I wanted to be one of those guys.

But that’s not who I am. I’m scattered. I have short attention spam. I need things to feel new.

I have dozens of notebooks and I download countless apps all the time out of curiosity and boredom. I take notes sometimes or write directly into evernote, onenote, IA Writer, MSFT word – sometimes even into txt files. And you know what? That’s OK. Actively changing up my toolset is a great way to get my creative juices flowing differently.

3. Play with my kids
When I put everything down and just loose myself in outdoor play with kids, I come back stronger than ever. Kids are the most creative beings on earth. Getting back to their way of navigating the world is a great way to clear out all the bullshit adult guck and build up the grows in my brain.

4. Draw Something
This is very similar to my #3. As adults we do so much self editing. It takes us longer to do things and we take less chances because we think of how we’ll look and we overstate actual consequences.

Drawing is a great way for me to get my brain to stop editing. No erasing, no trying to make things look good, just draw and see where it takes you.

5. The treadmill
Excercise is any easy one for most people. Unfortunatrely, I’m not the most natural gym rat. But when I do grab some headphones, fire up some music and hit the treadmill I am so much better for it.

6. Instrumentals
I am a huge hip hop fan. But I find it hard to work and be creative while listening to it. To this day, one of the longest creative and project grinds that I’ve endured was my college thesis. During that time, I leaned heavily on jazz music. There were two songs that I specifically had on repeat that I still go to when I need a shot of creativity - Naima by John Coltrane and Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock.

maiden-voyage

Over the years I have built up a pretty strong digital jazz collection, I have also ventured into music by artists like Bonobo, RJD2 and Tycho. I find that lyrics stunt my thought as I go down the path of listening to the lyrics and wondering what the artist is trying to convey. With instrumentals, it says a mood and my brain just kind of wanders from there. They mood that the music sets is a great paremeter and creativity needs some boundries so it works well for me.

7. Visit my barber
I feel like the most dangerous man in the world when I’m fresh out of the barber’s chair. I went from getting my haircut a couple times a month to a couple times a week because of this. There’s something about just being fresh and clean that clears mind and allows me to get back to my creative grind.

This Is a Generic Brand Video



Dissolve is a very cool company that lets businesses purchase snippets of HD video that they can use in their content and marketing initiatives. Someone took their content and created this awesome generic brand video highlighting some of the lack of creativity in brand videos.

God bless the internet and the people who populate it with their creative efforts.

The Entertainment at Let’s Get Social 2014 was Amazing


At the Social Media Marketing World conference this year Mary McCoy from Continuum Marketing Services sang a song about the ills of social media. The entertainment break was a warm up for a keynote by social media strategist Jay Baer.

Cutting to the chase, Mary put herself out there. Is it slightly hard to watch? Yes. But Mary put herself out there and I love her for it.

(h/t Jim for texting me this link)

Cincinnati Reds Infielder Brandon Phillips Spoils ‘Game of Thrones’ in Baseball is Better Campaign

Lots of people are gearing up on Sunday night to watch Game of Thrones and Cincinnati Reds infielder Brandon Phillips is trying to spoil the ending for them. The video is part of Playstation’s “Baseball is Better” campaign promoting their award winning MLB 14: The Show video game.

(via Next Impulse Sports)

Samsung Releases Galaxy 4 Teaser Video

Samsung’s momentum is undeniable. There is way more excitement around the next Galaxy than there is around the next iPhone. When is the last time that has happened? Today Samsung released a teaser video for Galaxy 4 – Samsung Unpacked. The video also implies that Samsung will be showing the new phone at a press event in NYC on March 14.

(h/t Mobile Syrup)

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson Star in New Google Movie

This week, a trailer was launched for a new film with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson called “The Internship”. Typical Vaughn and Wilson banter as they try their luck at scoring an internship with Google.

Apparently, Google is not shelling out any cash for the film, but it can’t be a bad recruiting tool.

(h/t The Recruiter’s Lounge)

5 Best Sports Apps for Super Bowl Weekend

It’s that time of year again. The weekend where we crown the world’s best team on the gridiron. The weekend where for one Sunday, our friends and families indulge us for a few hours and actually participate in football watching with us. For just a few hours, even if it’s for Beyonce and four million dollar TV commercials, they join us. We eat together, we drink together, we watch America’s game together. The one thing that won’t change this week is that folks won’t leave the house without their mobile devices. Therefore we want to make sure that you and your guests have the absolute perfect apps for Super Bowl Sunday.

These are the best iPhone and Android sports apps for the big game.

Call It: Football by Space Ape Games
Over the years, the drinking game has grown lots of popularity. Every time a presidential candidate starts his sentence with “look”, you drink, etc. People love to gamify their television viewing and Call It: Football makes football viewing a lot more fun…even for boring games. Call It Football allows users to basically place bets for each part of the game: Who will score first? Who will have the lead at halftime?. This is a great app for the people who are at your party, but aren’t necessarily the biggest sports fan. Great way to get them involved.

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Download Call It Football here.

Thuuz Sports by Thuuz Sports Inc.
Thuuz might be the coolest app that you haven’t downloaded on your phone yet. Thuuz pulls in play-by-play data from all sports and places an algorithm on that data to give you a rating for each game – i.e., how good is the game and should you bother watching. Thuuz is your perfect companion for the Super Bowl party this weekend. While you’re in the kitchen fixing the second round of chicken wings and grabbing your next beer, Thuuz will alert you when something great is happening. Actual Super Bowl games can often get drowned out by the surrounding festivities – with Thuuz you can get your party on while never missing an exciting moment.

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Download Thuuz here.

49ers Gameday Live by YinzCam
The 49ers Gameday Live app will give you lots of ammo before you head to your Super Bowl party. If your team didn’t make it to the big game you may not know all of the star players from the competing teams. This is your answer. Do a little pre-game homework and you’ll sound like a smart NFL analyst when your going for second’s of 7-layer dip: What have Colin Kapernick’s stats been this season? What is Patrick Willis’ background? It’s all here.

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Download 49ers Live here.

Baltimore Ravens Mobile by YinzCam / Ravens Sports
Similar to the 49ers app above. Actually made by the same company. Is Ray Lewis distracted by allegations that he rubs deer antler juice on his elbows? How does Ed Reed think the defense will cover the 49ers receivers? You’ll get the story and more with the Baltimore Ravens Mobile app.

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Download Baltimore Ravens Mobile here.

SBLVII Guide by NFL Enterprises LLC
This is the app you’ll need if you’re actually lucky enough to be in NOLA for the big game. This map-based app integrates location services to tell you what parties, live music, bars and restaurants are going off near you. Get yourself a Hurricane and a po’ boy and spend a little time with this app to make sure you’re doing things right for Super Bowl weekend.

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Download the SBLVII Guide here.

Article originally posted January 31st, 2013 on CosbySweaters.com

5 Great Apps for Guys

Whitney Adams is a freelance writer for AndGeeks.com. Whitney’s articles tend to delve into the more technical and complex problems that society struggles with when it comes to technology. She loves breaking those problems down and offering clear, bite-sized solutions for the average user. When she’s not online or surfing Pinterest, Whitney and her camera enjoy taking walks around her quaint home town and exploring the antique markets.

There are thousands of apps that are out on the market, but not all apps are created equal. There are some apps that are girly or childish, and then there are some that are made with men in mind. These apps are designed by men, for men. These apps well help you keep fit, avoid traffic tickets, and much more.

FanFinder
If you are a big sports fan, then this is the app for you. FanFinder helps you find bars and hangouts that have fans of your favorite sports team so you can watch the game among friends. To use this app, the first thing you need to do is find your favorite sports team whether they are with the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA Football, or NCAA Basketball. Then you can pick the team that you absolutely cannot stand. The app then shows you the best hangout spots for you. You can also go onto their website and will be able to see when your team’s games are, who they are playing, and what bars you can go watch them at. This free app ensures that you will be able to watch the game among other fans, and not have to worry about your rival team’s fans bringing down the mood.

Manliness
This app is The Art of Manliness and lets readers of The Art of Manliness, take their website with them where ever they go. The app gives you access to a ton of articles, how-to videos, and everything else that makes that site the authority of manliness. The Manliness app is free and is currently only available for the iPhone.

Trapster
Trapster is an app to help you when you are on the road. It gives you live updates from other users about the current road conditions and speed traps. With your app you will be able to see where users say there is live police enforcement that is checking cars with a speed gun as well as known enforcement points. Besides showing you where you could get a ticket for speeding, it also shows you road conditions, school zones, toll booths and a variety of noted hazards like construction and pot holes. You can also track you road trips and upload them to Facebook and Twitter, or if you are traveling in a caravan, you can communicate using the app. Trapster is a free app and is available for a variety of phones.

iFitness
For men who like to get and stay in shape, iFitness is a must. This app allows you to view different workouts and store your favorites so you can create a specialized work out just for you. Unlike many fitness apps that require access to the internet, 3G, or 4G, this app can give you your fitness plan even if you don’t have internet access. Majority of cell phone plans now require you to have a data plan and some apps use data if you don’t have internet. Since iFitness works offline and won’t go against your data plan, even in the gym. The only time the app require internet is when you need to update your app and sync workouts to iFitness’ server. The app gives you step by step instructions for different workouts and pictures to demonstrate the proper way to perform the exercise. iFitness is like a personal trainer in your pocket.

Weber’s On the Grill
This app is perfect for any barbecue or grill master, or someone who just likes to fire up the grill. Weber’s On the Grill app gives you over 250 recipes and lets you store the ingredients to an itemized shopping list. While you are cooking, you can watch a short how-to video to help you prepare the best meal on the grill. It also gives you a timer and time guides for different types of meat like chicken, fish, and red meat as well as vegetables. The app is cheaper than a nice cut of steak at $4.99 for each device you install it on, like the iPhone, iPad, or an Android phone. The iPad app has a few more options than the iPhone app, and at times it could be frustrating because the iPhone and iPad apps don’t sync together. However, this is a great app for men and their grills.

Image CreditJohn Karakatsanis