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Organise Ideas with Virtual Sticky Notes

Organise ideas with Stickyboard 2 for iPad

Sticky notes are great when you are trying to organise ideas for a creative project. They allow you to freely move ideas around and swap out different options. However they are a bit of a pain, they fall off and are a bit messy, so I looked at digital options.

organise ideas stickyboard2

After trying out a few different apps I was pleased to find Stickyboard 2. The app provides virtual sticky notes which you can type on using your keyboard. The winning feature of this app for me was that I could also draw and scribble notes on the background like it’s a whiteboard. I used it in conjunction with my iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil.

I am using the app to try and organise my ideas for a workbook and I have been struggling with the structure. The app allows me to create virtual sticky notes and move them around. In the background, I have also drawn a grid to represent days. This lets me place each of my sticky note within a square.

What makes this app better than real sticky notes is that once you have something that looks promising, you can duplicate the board. You can then move your ideas around, knowing that your previous board is intact should you wish to revert back to it. It allows you to experiment freely. I have multiple versions of my workbook structure. I can keep experimenting with my sticky boards until I reach a solution that I am happy with.

Cardflow, a similar way to organise your ideas on the iPad

cardflow organise creative projects

The same company also have a similar app called Cardflow where instead of sticky notes you use digital index cards.

These are a little different from the sticky notes because you can hand draw and write on the cards themselves. Although you can’t draw in the background on the free version (you can on the paid version). The paid version also allows you to add links and photographs. These digital index cards could work well if you wanted to be more visual with doodles etc.


Get Creative Ideas from an App – Creative Whack Pack

Creative ideas app

There are a few different apps out there which aim to help you come up with Creative ideas. I must admit that I am yet to find one that totally works for me, but every now and again I will use one. My issue with most creative idea generation apps are that they tend to be quite generic, it’s the same with books on creativity. The app obviously does not know what I am working on and so I have to try and work out what would be the closest fit for my issue to get ideas. Let me explain, if I am trying to come up with logo design ideas, it’s a completely different kettle of fish to coming up with product or business ideas. So, how do I know which creative techniques to try? Without practice, I don’t, so it’s a bit of a case if trial and error.

The Creative Whack Pack

The best app I have found so far is the Creative Whack Pack, though it still sometimes leaves me perplexed as I try and shoehorn my idea needs into its structure. It is a good looking app and within it are fairly good instructions on how to use it.

How to use the Creative Whack Pack to help get ideas

You can either ask for a random card (whack) to try and get your creative juices going or do a workshop. With a workshop, you choose an issue or have the app choose one for you. Then, you choose the type of workshop you want to do. The workshop types are explained by clicking on the question mark button. Depending which you choose, you will be shown creativity cards from certain categories. The card fronts show an image with the main heading and then on the reverse, you are presented with further information and questions to stimulate different lines of thinking.

I think these cards act in a similar manner to using random stimulus. They have the potential to make you question your normal way of thinking and look in new directions. It’s a great idea and it has helped me on occasions in the past, but I don’t always find my creative problems fit that well within its structure, but maybe that’s just me.

The app creator Roger Von Oech also has a book called A Whack on The Side of the Head which talks about the same creative methods as are used on the cards which is also worth a read.

Creative Courage Summit Starts Today – 18th April 2017

If you are interested in being more creative, you might want to sign up free for Creative Courage Summit starting today, 18th April 2017. It is being hosted by Patricia Echeverria. I’ve just signed up myself. The Creative Courage Summit features creativity experts, physiologists and productivity experts.

creative courage summit

There are 30 speakers, a few of the names I recognise are:

I am sure you will know more.

Find out more at Creative Courage Summit Live



Weird and Wonderful Ideas Around the Web

One of the weirdest things I heard this week was while I was in a coffee shop. An elderly man went to use the loo, but came back to his family and said:

“they only had a single seater” I’ll go in the other shop.

Now my weird brain automatically pictured a loveseat toilet made for two that naturally would be called a twolet, though of course could also be used for number ones 🙂 .

Unfortunately, although this idea is weird it’s definitely not wonderful, but luckily I have found some ideas around the web that are both.

Pictionary-like Google artificial intelligence that guesses what you’re drawing

weird ideas google autodraw

A new experimental app from google lets you draw while it starts to present guesses to what you might be drawing.
Read more here.

An edible and compostable future water bottle

A new product called the Ooho is a sphere of water in a gelatinous packaging which could eventually become a future eco-friendly version of the plastic water bottle.
Read more here.

Spinach leaves converted into human heart tissue

Spinach leaves stripped of their plant cells can create a vascular network like a human heart.
Read more here.

A scarf makes it impossible to take celebrity photos with flash photography

A scarf has been made which has unique properties which reflect light back into a camera so flash photograhy doesn’t work.
Read more here.

Video chat with friends and family on a mobile robot

Company Omnilabs is launching a mobile robot with a video chat screen which will allow the user the at the other end to move round your environment.
Read more here.

Amazing origami artist that helps solve real problems

Robert Lang’s origami work has helped pioneer new answers to real-world engineering problems.
Read more here.

Is Virtual reality for our own memories really such a great idea?

An interesting article which discusses the good side of virtual reality, but also the downsides. Imagine for instance how great it would be to go replay a scene with a deseased loved on. The author however believes that this could cause issues with us getting stuck in the past unable to move on.
Read more here.


How Growing Up and Everyday Life Can Kill Creativity

A short film called “Alike” by Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez, from Spain, shows how we can learn a lot from children about creativity. It nearly made me cry.

The making of the film with English subtitles

found via

Postal Artist Scott Thomson Talks Mail Art and Creativity

mail art Scott Thomson

My guest today on the Idea Medic Podcast is Scott Thomson, from positively postal a postal artist and stamp dealer.

Scott creates mail art, which is art you create and then send in the post to another artist or art lover. Mail art was originally conceived in an effort to make art less elite. Scott’s latest project is to create 365 queens heads each filled with a different pattern that will then be sent off in the post around the world.

Tools and Books Scott Recommends

Creative idea generator –

Patterns and colour swatch inspiration –

Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art, by Jennie Hinchcliff  – Amazon

Twitter Art Exhibition

Mailart People to Follow




You can find out more about Scott on his website on Facebook and on Twitter

Some of Scott Thomson’s Mail Art

Dalek from stamps
darlek mail art by Scott Thomson
Dove made up of stamps

A piece of mailart created by Scott

Mailart 365 stamp project

mailart 365 scott thomson

All images © Scott Thomson

World Creativity and Innovation Week 15 -21 April 2017

world creativity and innovation week 2017

I have just discovered that this Saturday, 15th April 2017 is the start of World Creativity and Innovation Week. I have never heard of this before so have done a little research. Below is an interview with the founder of World Creativity Work Marci Segal.

World Creativity and Innovation Day was started in Canada in 2002 in response to a newspaper headline “Canada in Creativity Crisis”. Initially, it was just a day, April 15th, Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, but then was expanded to a week in 2005. The premise was that companies, communities, schools and individuals improve moral and engage people in different ways through creativity.

In the video Marci Segal talks about some of the creative events which have taken place:

  • A small group of women have potluck dinners together where each of them cooked something they had never made before.
  • Large corporations held creative weeks for their employees.
  • Communities organised festivals and parades.
  • A school organised a show about Leonardo Da Vinci.

The week is to encourage everyone to be more creative, from an individual to the largest corporation.

Turning a business school classroom into a beach

Let your mind wander

I will be continuing to blog and create cartoons, which I am already doing as part of #the100dayproject.

What will you do for World Creativity and Innovation Week?

4 Helpful Tools for Inspired Mind Mapping – part 2

If you are mind mapping and get stuck for inspiration there are several different things you can try. One possibility is to use online tools to help you semi-automate mind mapping. Start by producing a mind map as you would normally, but when you feel you have exhausted your ideas try using some of these tools.

Semi automated mind mapping

The Visual Thesaurus – automatic mind mapping of words

Let’s try inputting the word “sight” into the visual thesaurus. It provides you with an automated mind map of related words. You can then click on one of those words, I chose spy, and it expands to a mind map around the word spy. Take these words and add them to the mindmap you started previously and see what new directions it takes you in. You can also press alt and click on a word to be taken to google images, which I will cover later. – cost $19.95 year

Visuwords – automatically mind maps related words

Visuwords is similar to the Visual Thesaurus, but it is not as clean looking. That said it’s free to use. Just as you did with the Visual Thesaurus type in a starting word, I tried lens this time and it created a mind map around that word. Then click one of the words it produces and it expands again. I find that its a bit glitchy and sometimes you have to click more than once. Add any interesting words to your existing mind map and see if they help spur more new ideas.– free

Rhymezone – find words related to your subject

It’s nowhere near as pretty as The Visual Thesaurus, but Rhymezone can still help with coming up with more ideas for your Mind Map. Type in a word and then choose the type of words you want such as related words, descriptive words, phrases, rhymes etc. Then hit search and see what words it suggests. Add any words to your mind map that you think might be useful and use them to generate fresh ideas. – free

Google images – use images to find ideas for your mindmaps

Try typing some words from your existing mind map into google keywords and see what images you get back. You will probably need to try a few. I tried typing in the word “sight” and as well as hundreds of eye pics there images for “love at first sight, out of sight, musical notes which kind of looked like eyes – music to your eyes theme, fight for sight, miracles in sight. These could all be added to your mind map to springboard new ideas.

What tools do you use to help with mind mapping?

see also  Mind Mapping for Ideas The Basics – part 1

Brendon Boyle from Ideo on Toy Invention

If you are interested in toy invention, check out this Stanford eCorner Video with Brandon Boyle from Ideo. I have put together some notes below based on some key toy invention points.

The different hats a toy inventor wears

  • Inventors hat – the toy idea generation stage
  • Builders hat – prototyping the most promising toy ideas
  • Sales hat – getting people to buy the toy invention ideas

The toy invention funnel in one year

  • 4000 – post-it idea
  • 400 – Rendered
  • 50/60 – prototypes
  • 5 or 6 – sold
  • 2 or 3 make money

Observing behaviours of children at play

child toy invention plane

They go into people’s homes and watch how kids play and talk to the parents. They call this modern day anthropologists. Try and take a behaviour that they notice in the kids and put that into a toy somehow. In the video, he shows a really clever idea for a toy plane they made for three years olds. The plane’s wing’s tilt when the child moves their arms.

Rapid Prototyping toys and game ideas cheaply

When they are prototyping, they try to do things as quickly cheaply as possible. For a Sesame Street phone app they developed called Monster Maker they created a large cardboard cut out of a phone and had an actor behind. The actor would act out the scene when someone pretended to touch the screen.

Brendon says prototyping is really useful because we “think with our hands,”

Two or three toy idea brainstorms a week with the team

He believes that brainstorming in a group gets a bad reputation because people don’t know how to do it properly. His team brainstorm both as a group and then have quiet periods where they scribble ideas on their own. No-one can claim ownership of any of the ideas. They will break their problem down into lists

Who do you pitch the toy inventions to, the child or the parent

Brendon: It depends on the age

If you are interested in learning more about toy invention. I have some more interviews and articles over on my invention blog.