My Creativity-Enabling Toolbox

Lidor WyssockyBlog

If you are a regular reader of the seempli blog, you already know that many of my posts are about how each and every one of us can develop and ignite their creativity. seempli — the creativity platform — is designed to help you master and apply your creativity on a daily basis.

But today I would like to highlight other tools I am personally using. They might not be the first tools that you think of when considering creativity tools. But for me, they are real creativity-enablers. Whether you will use these tools or similar ones, there’s an essential takeoff from this list: creativity starts in your head, but there are tools that can help you clear the way to an even higher level of creative results.

And just in case you are wondering, we are not affiliated with any of the tools listed below. I just use them and love them.

Creativity starts in your head, but there are tools that can help you clear the way to an even higher level of creative results.Click To Tweet

Todoist: Productivity That Supports Creativity

If you are not familiar with Todoist, do yourself a favor and try it. After years of trying out numerous other task-lists and to-do apps, I found Todoist more than three years ago, and since then this is my most used service seven days a week around the clock.

But what does a task list have to do with creativity? Well, for me at least — everything! Let me start with the best example I can give you: for the past three years, the entire work on seempli is managed using Todoist. Whether it’s a list of pending content to be written and published or the backlog of website features and improvement. And on top of that, throughout this time, I use Todoist to help me get control over other aspects of my life as well.

What makes Todoist not just a great productivity tool but also a creativity-enabling tool is the fact that using it is almost seamless — it does not break my creative flow. Let me explain. Creative ideas can come up anytime and anywhere. Some of them are just leads or triggers for future ideas (we’ll get to this kind in a moment) but some are really actionable — they derive concrete tasks that will require my attention. While I would naturally want to capture these tasks, I don’t want to address them immediately. In fact, addressing them as soon as they pop is not the effective thing to do. Even if these tasks are indeed important, I don’t want them to break my creative flow. Another idea with a different set of actions might be just around the corner. If I break my creative flow and start working on the tasks, I might lose a chance for better ideas.

What makes Todoist not just a great productivity tool but also a creativity-enabling tool is the fact that using it is almost seamless — it does not break my creative flowClick To Tweet

This is where Todoist with its natural and effective task management comes into the picture. Capturing tasks and even some notes, links, and photos, associated with them in Todoist is so natural that it hardly ever breaks my creative flow. And finding these tasks later is also easy and effective even if you have hundreds of active or future items on your list.

Evernote: Creative Insights on the Go

Which brings us to Evernote. Evernote probably does not need any introduction. There are numerous articles (and books) that can explain better than me why note-taking or journaling are excellent practices for increasing productivity, and Evernote is one of the most common note-taking services around. In this post, however, I would like to focus on one specific usage which is essential to creativity.

So, as you remember (and if you don’t, you can always explore my previous posts), creative Insights can originate from anything, anywhere, and at any time. Anything can be an inspiration or a potential raw material for a future creative idea. During a typical day, I come across dozens of Insights — fragments of reality — that catch my eyes (or my other senses). I don’t know if I will ever use them, but each of them is a candidate for becoming something new and surprising.

Creating an Insight Journal in Evernote is a huge step toward coming up with creative ideas later.Click To Tweet

After trying different ways to record these Insights, I found Evernote to be the most effective tool for that. Just like the case is with Todoist, the key issue in recording the Insights is to do so as seamlessly as possible without breaking the flow, and Evernote is just perfect for this task. Whether it is a visual Insight in the form of a photo, a short text describing what I see, think or feel, or a recording of a sound I happen to hear, Evernote will help me capture it and archive it for future usage.

Capturing Insights is of course only part of the issue. An important aspect of my creative process is to periodically go back and review these Insights, either in a specific context or just to see if some new idea pops into my head. And here again, the usability of Evernote in searching and reviewing the material I’ve collected, and the fact it is there with me wherever I go, supports my creative process perfectly.

I love both Todoist and Evernote for not getting in my way. I use them while doing something else, so I need them to be as transparent as possible. The next tool on the list does the complete opposite. It is designed to create a buffer between you and the real world so you could focus on one thing only: writing.

Write! 100% Writing

I don’t know if I can really explain this one. Maybe you just need to try it. I sit in front of my 27″ screen, and it’s all black with just this text in light gray, and there are no menus, toolbars, or any other fancy stuff on my screen, and yet I can still do pretty much anything I need to write this post. That’s the experience you get from Write! (well, except the 27″ screen which is not part of the deal).

After observing, capturing Insights, recording ideas, and being actively aware of so many things around, Write! is a quiet and peaceful island designed for pure writing experience. It is part of a growing trend of distraction-free writing tools, but it is unique in the perfect balance it creates between this zen-like experience and plenty of features which are there just in case you want them, but they will never get in your way or distract you. My personal favorite is the auto-completion feature which enables you to type less based on words you were already using in the current document. This and other optional features are beautifully implemented to blend almost seamlessly into your writing flow.

Write! is a quiet and peaceful island designed for pure writing experience.Click To Tweet

I use Write! to write anything which is more than a few sentences-long. From blog posts and articles to content for the seempli Platform and short stories. I love diving into this dark-gray screen (or white one if that’s what you prefer) and forgetting about everything else. In a sense, working on Write! reminds me of the feeling I have when I go on a photo walk at 5 AM, and the streets are almost empty. And if you turn on your smartphone’s airplane mode — you get an extra bonus.

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To make your creative flow work better, take some time to experiment and find the best tools that will support it. Today, more than ever, there are so many options out there so you can customize your workflow to its finest details. Investing the time in trying different tools and building your personal toolbox is essential to making the most of your creative skills.