Ways To Stay Creative: Making Lists

To kick off a new, ongoing series on ways to stay creative and where to find creative inspiration, we’re going to talk about the importance of creating lists. I’m not talking about your grocery list or a list of supplies you need to pick up at Staples. This is more along the line of the type of list that is going to help keep you feeling inspired, inventive and exercising that creative muscle of yours.

Something that Justine recently touched on in her The Bullet Journal: Why It Is & Why You Need It article is how our brains process and retain information differently on paper than they do on a screen. One of my favorite magazines and websites is called Mental Floss. In their 4 Benefits of Writing by Hand article, they share how your Reticular Activating System (RAS) in your brain is activated and stimulated the minute you put ink (or lead if you fancy a good pencil) to paper, and what the RAS does is essentially act as a filter for everything your brain is trying to process, so it places importance and emphasis on what you’re focusing on and makes it more important to remember and retain. So when I talk about creating “lists,” I’d like for you to do them the old-fashioned wayon paper with a good pen or pencil.

There’s a book called I Was Blind But Now I See by James Altucher that has been on my “Must Read” list (I have a lot of these kind of lists) where he states the importance of becoming an idea machine. The way to do that is by creating an “Idea List’ every single day. What that consists of is coming up with a topic or theme and writing down ten ideas about it and that support it. Whatever comes to mind is what you write down. Nothing formal, nothing too structured. Just get the thoughts going and the brain working.

Idea Lists can be for your personal or professional growth and development. I have multiple ongoing Idea Lists for personal projects that I’d love to one day complete (the 14+ fiction and nonfiction books I’d like to write) along with an ongoing “Industrie Content” list that gets new article pitches and ideas added to it on a daily basis. And because I’ve been routinely “listing” things out, I now have an actual physical book that I’d like to write for the beauty industry, although I’m not at liberty to discuss what that’s about right now.

So let’s get all those ideas out of your brain and onto paper and hopefully stir and stimulate some new ones. To help get you started, I came up with 5 Idea Lists (some personal, some professional) for you to consider and start working on:

  • 10 creative names to describe hair color for different seasons.
  • 10 unique (and non-cheesy sounding) names for new salon services.
  • 10 questions I’d ask if I was interviewing a personal idol.
  • 10 things in nature that are inspiring.
  • 10 hobbies I’d love to master.

It’s probably best to keep these lists all in one place because once you start them, you’ll find yourself revisiting them and compelled to add more.

So go out, buy a swanky looking new journal, or if you’re feeling adventurous, I urge you to create you own Bullet Journal.