Creative Organisation · life and lists

Keep it simple, stupid!


I’ve noticed the creative organisation topic floating around in the blogosphere for a little while now and I have to say in response, that I think in a way we set ourselves up for failure.  I for one have tried so, so many times to be more organised, more scheduled, more responsible, more in control of my time and actually achieve the things I want to achieve.

I’ve tried plain old lists, bullet point scheduling, a three day planning method, one big to do list and you know what? It’s all just too much.   I ended up hardly ever crossing things off my lists, feeling daunted by the size and number of my tasks.  I even spent more time writing more lists of things that then later needed further organising, making more work for myself out of thin air.  So I didn’t do the the things I needed and wanted to do.  I end up being a busy idiot – hard at work in all the wrong places.  Plus I wasn’t crossing anything off, so I wasn’t getting a sense of achievement and therefore no “wins”.

If that’s not self sabotage, then I don’t know what is. 

For ages I thought that procrastination was my problem, but, it was never that I lacked the desire to set up my blog or start writing crochet patterns.  I felt much more like I just didn’t know how to go about it.  Plus my left brain and right brain were so constantly at war with each other that I would organise one minute and create the next, not accomplishing anything at all so it was high time to gain control of my creativity.

So, I sought help – from YouTube of course.  Quite awesomely I found this guy who I totally recommend for anyone who wants to get their ideas sorted out and stop flapping around.

It didn’t take me long before I got to the video about the creative process. BINGO! Just what I needed.  Now it’s my creative process too and the best thing is that with this in place – all I need is my good old trusty daily journal to write in the days to do list.

So in hindsight I just needed a little direction and a good process.

My Creative Process

1. PREPARATION – Absorb as much information as possible, do your research and find ideas.  You could use themes, take a trip to the museum, use a design brief or just what you can see from your window for inspiration.  A quiet place to do this is always helpful.

2.  INCUBATION – Let your ideas brew, have a brainstorm, sketch it out, make doodles, make a mood board, make a scrap book of ideas…then let it simmer a while.

3. INSIGHT – This is when you get the “Aha” moment, usually when you’re doing something pretty ordinary, like walking or showering. I guess because you switch off to some degree.  You can totally make it happen by doing a low level activity.

4.  EVALUATION – Be self critical, but get feed back from positive helpful people.  Be sure they’re the type that won’t squash you and dismiss you, the type that support and give  constructive criticism is what you want.  Ultimately, you want to find out if this is a project worth pursuing, evaluate the time and money it would take.

5. ELABORATION – This is it! Time to test it for real, and see what people think, actual customers. Be certain to get that feedback.  Most importantly, just do the work.

How do you organise your creativity?


4 thoughts on “Keep it simple, stupid!

  1. Great post! I wish I could actually say that I was organised. You mention that you’re not a big fan of lists, but I love lists. Before getting a smartphone, I used to keep a physical day-a-page diary for years. I loved how it gave me room to write out what I needed to do everyday, and I’d cross off my list items with a special pink pen I bought from Kmart (you know, those cheap papermate ones, they’re the best).
    Now I use those digital sticky notes that you throw on the desktop (helpful, but I tend to ignore them). I use phone reminders for daily things I should be doing, like pelvic floor exercises (ugh!), and I write Word files that get buried in my junk heap of a laptop (but they’re there). You know what? Bring back the diary days!


    1. Oh my no! I love lists. I am a prolific list maker. Like ridiculously. I even have a book of lists. It was organising the balance between my creative things to do and the “paperwork/online/businessy” things to do that was my problem and that I needed a method. Now I have my trusty diary and just chuck up my to do list, knowing there is a method and process to help guide me along each step of the way. I love paper mate pens too AND I ignore sticky notes!


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