Thursday, October 30, 2008

How to be creative

There is a lot of great advice on the internet about how to be creative, get inspired, start when staring at a blank page....
This is one of my favorite lists - from Gaping Void's Hugh Macleod.
Here is a sampling to whet your appetite:

15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.

16. The world is changing.

17. Merit can be bought. Passion can't.

18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.

19. Sing in your own voice.

The genius of his cartoons is the utter simplicty.
He is known for cartooning on the back of business cards.
If you haven't seen his work, check it out at

Monday, October 27, 2008

Color Me Organized is even more colorful

Coming up with ideas is difficult for so many people.
Not for us creatives!
Ideas come bubbling up all the time for me.
I had so many more activity and how-to ideas that I had to update the activity-play-book for the clutter challenged.

I've uploaded the newest version on (she said relieved - as if going through childbirth.)
Take a sneak peek here:

Here's a page that didn't go in the book.
It is part of the Color-Me-Organized workshop.

-- Allison

Friday, October 24, 2008

Creative way to get kids to clean up

I've got to tell you I nearly fell off my chair laughing when my wonderfully sarcastic friend Amy told me this story of how she got her 10-year-old son to pick up his room.

Amy said, Jay, come up to your room. There's a get together.
We're having a party.

Of course he was curious and amused and quickly followed.

Once in the room, Amy said Jay, let me make some introductions.
Dirty clothes, meet the hamper.
Mr. Hamper, meet Mr. Underwear.
And Jay put the clothes in the hamper.
Jay, meet your drawers.
And she kept going around the room introducing items to Jay and the spot they belong.
She says he was laughing the whole way through.
Having a sense of humor about it took the stress out of getting Jay to do what needed to be done.
I might serve mocktails if they do a good job.

Have you tried using humor to motivate you or others to get organized?

-- Allison

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Creatives do your own marketing?

Marketing advice is everywhere these days.
But everyone in business has a lightbulb moment - a favorite piece of advice that gets your wheels turning in a new direction.
The best piece of marketing advice I got was to stop doing my own marketing.
Us creatives think if we're visual we are certainly going to do work as good as any designer.
I was trying to make a great logo, print my own business cards, make flyers and more.
They weren't terrible, but they also weren't "professional" looking.
Oh yeah, I did my own web design too.
But now, I let the experts make me look good.
My stuff may or may not be your cup o'tea, but it shows I am investing in my own company.

What is the best marketing advice you ever got?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Creating Books

Creative people couldn't be living at a better time.
Our techie counterparts have made it soooo easy for us to take our ideas and make them into interesting and memorable products that can be used for ourselves, shared, and sold.
I'm talking about books. Picture books. Word books. Work books. And play books.
The internet abounds with places to put your creative works on paper.

Photography lovers have a multitude of options for creating picture books that are of artistic nature, or just a photo album for the family or to commemorate an event. I'm no photography buff, nor am I a graphic artist, but I was able to make a photo book for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary in minutes using apple's program straight from my iphoto library.

There are so many times these sites would be a great resource: weddings, birthdays, art portfolio, kids' artwork keepsake book, and I recently saw someone who scanned all of her concert tickets and made a book of concert memories. (Makes me wanna scream "freebird!") And how about a cookbook with photos? So many ideas, so little time. (a Right Brainer's curse) And for all you bloggers, you can turn your blog posts and photos into a book on blurb as well. (see example on their site)

Just a few resources for creating photo books are:
bighugelabs - lots of fun products
apple - using iphoto

For the writers, there are countless websites that allow you to create anything and everything you want in book form and on some there is no cost at all besides the printing and shipping. And what I love on many is that you can print one or thousands.
I have used myself for a workbook, tips books, and a coloring/how-to playbook for organizing. But there are so many places to go if you want a printed book of your own poetry, comic strips or any other writing.
Some options are:

Information about Publishing and Printing on Demand

If you are planning to sell your product to the masses, be aware of new policies that is putting into place.

Have you made any print on demand books???
Tell us about your book and the experience!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Right Brainers Rule #3 - Doodle Doing

Ideas don't always come in neat sequential lists. In fact mine hardly ever do.

The folks at Lobotome know this too and they've made a nifty list maker just for Righties. The List Me ,Doodle Me notepad is great for taking to the grocery store or sitting at your desk. (That's where most my doodles happen)

Little Otsu offers up baloon notes, a to-do list or whatever list that is lined on one side and not on the other.

And Little Otsu also has this to do pad - quirky lines on one side and blank on the other.

What do your doodles mean??
Find out here
And here
and here

Got any products for Right Brainers that you'd like to see here?
Send your ideas!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Right Brainers Rule Month #2

Try out a Right Brain approach you haven't tried before.
Organize books by color insted of by subject or alphabetical.

This is my shelf of organizing books - I still like to keep them by category.
Other people have organized entire book collections by color. (2nd photo from flickr)

When your brain thinks that way.
If you search for a book by its blue jacket, then you probably think by color. I do that.

I also think in categories simultaneously so it helps me to sort by topic first, and then sort by color.

If you like the look, try it! Let me know how you like it.
-- allison

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Celebrate Right Brainers Rule Month

October is Right Brainers Rule Month according to Chase's Calendar of Events.
To kick off the celebration, I interviewed Lee Silber, Author of Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain and Time Management for Creative People (and 11 more books).

You can hear how he thinks Right about organizing and how he suggests Righties do - Listen at itunes (search for Organizing Playground 10/7) or go to to download (should be posted by 10/9).

10 ways to celebrate Right Brainers Rule Month
10. Take your favorite Right Brainer to lunch
9. Do 3 things at once and do them all well
8. Come up with a list of 100 things to do with peanut butter
7. Organize the clothes in your closet by color
6. Assign a wall or bulletin board for sticky notes and put some up there with silly messages just for fun to break it in.
5. Turn a notebook or journal into your Idea Journal. Keep it by your bed at night with a pen and flashlight. Tape little notes into it.
4. Start an idea file for clippings that are a spark for you.
3. Write a song about how great it is to be Right all the time
2. Clear off your desk and mess it up again.
1. Think of only 9 things and be ok with it.
-- Allison

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Creative Women

Creative women starting businesses are sometimes put off by the traditional, masculine approach.
Spreadsheets are NOT what many creative women want to talk about.
They want to discuss their ideas with friends and like-minded women.
They let their ideas percolate for a while before they're ready to create their baby and let it hatch.
If this sounds like you and you have a business or are looking to start one, you may want to know about the Ladies Who Launch and their Incubator.

LWL was started by women who wanted their business to grow organically from passion to profits. And they wanted to energize other women to do the same.
The incubator is the intense 4-week mind-meld for small groups to help one another grow and progress.

If you want to learn more about Ladies Who Launch, you can start by going to their BYOB - Bring Your Own Business events around the country. The Atlanta BYOB event is in November. The ladies will tell you all about their awesome experiences.

Make your dream a reality, grow your business, or just come get
connected and inspired through Ladies Who Launch's BYOB (Be Your Own
Boss) event in Atlanta Thursday, November 13, 2008.
Ladies Who Launch is THE source for entrepreneurial-minded women who
want to live their dreams and love their lives. LWL is a multiplatform
lifestyle company which defines entrepreneurship as a lifestyle choice
and connects women online and in person to foster creativity,
community, and support. For more info visit

Allison Carter, The Professional Organizer says, "Ladies Who Launch is
an amazing, empowering, and energizing group. If you feel stuck or
just want to connect with like-minded women, LWL is the place to be."