Time to organize and refine!

With all of the changes personal and professional in my life, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and brainstorming. What do I want for my creative life? What do I want to become my professional life?

I’m obsessive about journaling as a means to document my thoughts and reflect. And I usually handwrite my mindmaps and create lists to put some order to my scattered, hyperactive thought process. But recently I discovered Mind Meister and Coggle.

I really find both programs easy to use and they offer me some planning permanence. (It’s easy to misplace a piece of paper or forget to bring your journal.) They are both cloud based, so wherever I have internet I have access. Of course if you do carry around a notepad, you can have access with or without internet. They key difference for me has been my ability to maneuver and manipulate the branches of my map or the names of categories I create. Essentially, it streamlines the process for me and cleans it up (anyone surprised this fact appeals to me?). I really like Mind Meister, but its a monthly fee to have full use of their program so I’ve started using Coggle and I have to say I’m pleased.

Another tool I’ve been making better use of as of late is Evernote. I feel pretty strongly about not using the phone while driving. Yet sometimes my best ideas come while I’m waiting in the crazy traffic that can fill Dubai. I love that with Evernote I can quickly label a note and then orally record my ideas. (I wonder how many times people have seen me talking to myself at stoplights?!) It’s quick and easy and boom, I have a compilation of notes, again in the cloud, that sync easily to my office space when I have more focused, dedicated time to a project.

Lastly, I’d have to say Google Drive has become an indispensable resource for me personally and professionally. For blogging, it has cut down on my emails and allowed for easier collaboration with guest authors. I easily created a private document where i placed all of my interview questions for my last Creative Spirit Interview. I shared it with my interviewee and we had a shared creative space to edit, comment and refine the interview. For most blog posts I now write them in Drive first so I keep a history and backup of my articles, free from the world of blogging. Honestly, the reason I started working in my Drive is it is visually quiet and streamlined; I’m easily distracted in WordPress to check out bloggers I follow or to scope out my statistics. It helps me focus and channel my energy.

Artist Strong Action: Have you discovered any tools, online or offline, that streamline and support your creative process?