My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

20 Sure-Fire Ways to Come Up With Great Ideas

This guest post is by Leo from Zen Habits. If you like this post, I recommend you check out his site or subscribe to his feed.

One problem that many bloggers face is the daily challenge of coming up with a good, useful post. After blogging for awhile, new ideas may be hard to come by. But great ideas are everywhere, if you know where to look, keep your eyes open, and know how to make use of them once you find them.

Always be on the lookout for great new ideas, and they will come to you.

The following are 20 ways to come up with great ideas, not just for bloggers, but for anyone:

1. Carry a notebook.

Have a little notebook that you carry around with you wherever you go, including to bed. I like Moleskine notebooks, but any pocket-sized one will do. When you get an idea, write it down — right away. Even if you have to stop the car in order to do so. Ideas are fleeting, and you must write them down before they’re gone again.

2. Read. A lot.

I read a lot of books, and hundreds of RSS feeds a day, and skim magazines when I can. I don’t watch TV. But whatever you read, read as much as you have time for, and new ideas will come to you from the ideas of others. Don’t rip off ideas, but use them as springboards.

3. Talk to people.

Anyone. Talking to others, about all kinds of topics, will inevitably lead to new ideas, if you’re open to them. Some of my best ideas come when I’m talking to my kids. Again, don’t rip them off, but often an idea from someone else will spark some of your own.

4. Use your drive time.

Any time you’re doing something mindless, use that time to think about a certain topic. I get tons of ideas from my commute to and from work. My problem is whether to pull over to write them down, or to scribble them at the next stoplight.

5. Exercise.

Running, for example, is a great way to come up with ideas. First of all, exercise gets your blood circulating, which seems to stimulate your mind. Second, you’ve got some quiet time to think. And finally, the peaceful scenes of nature that you pass when you’re running seem to inspire great ideas. Any kind of exercise will do, though.

6. Find inspiration.

There’s inspiration everywhere — in the stars, in the ocean, in a sunset, in the food you cook, in the people you meet, in the best blogs on the Internet. But seek out that inspiration — look for it daily, and find it in the little things in life.

7. Brainstorm.

Sometimes, it’s good to sit down with a piece of paper, and just jot down any ideas that come to your mind about a certain topic. Don’t censor them, no matter how dumb they are (and you should see some of my dumb ideas!). But alongside the bad ideas will come some pretty great ones. The key is to get them out as fast as you can. In quantity you’ll find quality … after some careful weeding.

8. Keep a running list.

For blog post ideas, for example, I keep a list on my computer. Whenever I need a new idea, I go to the list. When I write a new idea in my notebook, I’ll dump it onto the list. It’s important to have a central place to store all your ideas. Just keep adding to the list, and you’ll never run out! Plus, some of your ideas on the list could inspire more.

9. Come up with a twist.

Sometimes, you can improve on the ideas of others. Find a great idea, and make it better with a unique twist of your own. See how you can change an idea, how you can combine it with others, and mash it into something new. Often the new, changed version of the idea is better than the original.

10. Draw from your every day life.

I often think about the things that I do in my every day life, and how I can use them to write a blog post. Your every day life, from brushing your teeth to taking out the trash to the cool new project you’re doing at work, can be the basis of a great idea.

11. Use your interests.

What do you read about on the web? Often, others are interested in the same things. Write about what you’re interested in, even if you’re not an expert. Sometimes it turns out you have learned a lot more than others who are just getting into that area of interest, and you can combine all the knowledge you’ve found elsewhere into one great mashup.

12. Bounce ideas.

Got a smart friend, co-worker or family member? Bounce ideas off them. Sometimes, a great thing will happen: you’ll both start shooting ideas back and forth, until some really awesome ideas emerge.

13. Google it.

Do a quick search on the topic you’re thinking about. Often there will be dozens of articles on that topic, and those ideas will give you more of your own.

14. Draw it.

Sometimes putting something into visual form will give you new ways to look at it. If you’re not good at drawing, do a mind map, or some other kind of chart or tree. You’ll find new connections you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

15. Go for a walk.

Sometimes, when I’m stuck, a quick walk around the building will do the trick. It’ll stir new thoughts, give me a chance to clear my head, allow me to get some fresh air, and give me a fresh perspective.

16. Make a list.

I’m a list addict. They’re my favorite way to put my ideas down. I’ll try to come up with 20 ideas (like this list) or 50 or 100. The sheer mass of these lists will force me to come up with a ton of ideas. Or if I do a Top 5 or Top 10 list, this will force me to clarify my thoughts and focus on only the best ideas.

17. Step back, look for patterns.

Sometimes, you need to see the forest, not just the trees. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, you might be looking too closely at a topic. Step back, and try to gain a wider perspective. See where this topic fits into the overall scheme of things. Look for overall patterns. Approach the topic from new angles. This tip can really be amazing sometimes.

18. Get crazy.

See if you can come up with some really off-the-wall ideas. Don’t limit yourself to conventional stuff. Really be crazy. Be inventive. Sometimes you’ll be surprised at how good these crazy ideas are.

19. Come back to it.

If you’re stuck, make a note, and come back to it later. Sometimes taking a break from something, and doing something different in between, will be just the ticket to open your mind back up and give you a fresh perspective.

20. Always be open.

The key to all of these tips is to keep your mind open to new ideas, to inspiration, to everything around you. Constantly be on the lookout for these ideas, and you will find them. Then write them down immediately, and put them on your idea list. But never stop looking, and always have your sensors on.


Famous Quotes from Albert Einstein

Here are some of his most famous quotes.

* In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.

* Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius (and a lot of courage) to move in the opposite direction.

* A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin - what else does a man need to be happy?

* Imagination is more important than knowledge.

* Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish.

* One does not make wars less likely by formulating rules of warfare.

* Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.

* I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details.

* If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.

* The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.

* Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

* The only real valuable thing is intuition.

* A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.

* Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.

* I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.

* Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.

* Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

* Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.

* Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

* Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it.

* The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.

* The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

* Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.

* The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.

* We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

* Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.
* The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

* If A is a success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Work is X; Y is play; and Z is keeping your mouth shut.

* Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe.

* As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain. As far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

* I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

* The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead.

* How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?

* The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking.

* Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

* You see - wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: You send signals here, and they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.