Use Both Sides of your Brain!

Many of us are trying to be innovative with one half of our brain offline.

Picture the scene — you grab a pen and your favorite notebook and start sketching out that great new idea. Ideas keep flowing as you pen your thoughts by sketching out your ideas that seem to pop up out of nowhere!

Then you change settings and continue to work on your computer — writing down your ideas using the keyboard, but you don’t feel as creative. Sure, you can type away and build out some of the ideas you had before, but now you feel more detailed, mechanical, and less creative.

What is going on here? The answer lies at the heart of fostering creativity — the ability to use the right brain and the critical hand-brain connection facilitated by using a pen- the reason why 99% of the computer software you use is doing nothing to help you be creative.

As you can see in this picture, the differences between the left and right sides of brain thinking are directly relevant to idea generation.
We need to be engaging on the right, which is intuitive, holistic, and often random. The randomness and holistic nature present themselves much better to write down your thoughts. It gives you the ability to quickly, non-logically, and non sequentially write down your ideas.

Conversely, when you are using a typical computer and notes program, you tend to be directed into a process, a sequence, and often the typed details.

Compare this image of a mind-map…

Example of a Mind-Map (Created using NoteDex)

…to the same information as typed out on a typical word-processor or notes program:

Big Idea

  • 1st Idea
  • 2nd Idea
  • 3rd Idea
  • 4th Idea

See the difference with visual creativity? 

If you don’t give yourself the ability to exercise right-brain thinking, you are doing yourself a disservice to your innovative process.

When working with a client or brainstorming, I almost always use a whiteboard or my pen-enabled tablet. The open nature of the interaction provides a direct brain-paper connection, which is more natural and doesn’t interrupt or slow down the flow of ideas. Using visually oriented, pen-enabled programs like NoteDex, I can sketch out and visualize my ideas. Once I have done this at a high level, I will then return to my desk to flesh out the concept in more detail using the keyboard.

So, go ahead and allow yourself to use the proper tools during the creative process, your results will be higher quality, more creative, and more successful!

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