Keep an Inspiration File

Digital Cleanse Day 19:

Keep an Inspiration File

You need an inspiration file. If you live a digital life, you create some sort of online content. But to create GREAT online content you need inspired ideas. Not the same, old. tired ‘happy hot dog day” desperation messages. The solution is to keep an inspiration file.

An inspiration file can be a folder on your computer, a tag in your Evernote account or a pile of papers on your desk. Whatever method works for you is great! The point is you need a single place to put everything that inspires you.

Inspiration can come at anytime. During a walk on the beach. While you’re at the movies. During a tedious mandatory meeting. While you’re at an energizing conference. During a mindful meditation. While reading magazines in a bubble bath.

Inspiration comes in many forms. A quote from a book. A snapshot of the forest. A snippet from a podcast. A moment of clarity at the doctor’s office. An advertisement on the bus. A lyric from a choir concert. A colour palette. A photographic style.

Capture the inspiration.  Ideas can be fleeting. We get distracted and its easy to lose our train of thought. Ideally, you’ll pop the idea straight into your inspiration file. If that doesn’t work in your current circumstances, you can:

  • Call yourself and leave a voicemail.
  • Email yourself the jist of the idea.
  • Snag a photograph with your smart phone.
  • Grab screen shot with your tablet.
  • Send your spouse a text.
  • Keep a notebook and pencil in the nightstand.
  • Write it in the dust on your dashboard.

I’ve done all of these, as circumstances warranted. Don’t feel silly. Just use the tools you have on hand before the inspiration leaves you forever. An image or a few keywords are all you need to re-trigger the inspiration when you can transfer it to your inspiration file.

Remember that you are going to be inspired by the ideas in your file. You’re not going to use them verbatim. I’m not advocating for copyright infringement or intellectual property theft. However, you should feel free to use your inspiration as a springboard for your own ideas.

What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.” ~Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist

Your inspiration file will grow and evolve over many years.  What inspired you in 2006 may be of no interest in 2016. You’ll use some ideas and not others. That’s OK. It’s much easier to create from something inspiring rather than .  Use your inspiration file as a starting point.

Its easier to complete more … when you don’t have to create own design from scratch.” ~Becky Higgins, author of Best of Becky Higgins Sketches

Book Covers - Best of Beck Higgins Sketches and Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

More on the 30 day #digitalcleanse tomorrow. Hope to see you then!

(If you missed yesterday’s installment, take a couple extra minutes to explore Delete Unused Facebook Groups. For links to the complete Digital Cleanse series, click here.)