How To Multiply Your Creative Productivity

Feb 16, 2014

[su_dropcap style="flat" size="5"]T[/su_dropcap]The notion that idea makes money is known to all of us. As Napoleon Hill famously asserts all great fortunes start with a great idea but question remains: "where and how to get ideas? However, the answer to the question is not as elusive as the result. For entrepreneur Paul Graham -"the way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It’s to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself", for ad man James Wood Young-it's collecting lots of information, raw materials -as Young claimed, and connecting almost irrelevant things together, and for Samuel Arbesman-building anything amazing is a chemistry-it means putting things together and combination of different items give birth of a jaw dropping new idea. No doubt creativity is a combinatorial art.

The act of getting ideas is a step wise process and we must follow the steps religiously. The very first step of generating good ideas is collecting and warehousing raw materials which can be processed later on to produce fine ideas.

But how can one store raw materials for getting ideas in a structured manner?

In response to this very question of storing ideas famous writes & thinkers come to our aid, as Jessamyn West famously proclaimed "People who keep journals have life twice" but the most beautiful and poignant anecdote on the importance of keeping a journal may be come from Ray Bradbury. In a 2010 Paris Review interview Bradbury proclaimed:

Ray Bradbury

As soon as I get an idea, I write a short story, or I start a novel, or I do a poem. So I have no need for a notebook. I do keep files of ideas and stories that didn’t quite work a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago. I come back to them later and I look through the titles. It’s like a father bird coming with a worm. You look down at all these hungry little beaks — all these stories waiting to be finished — and you say to them, which of you needs to be fed? Which of you needs to be finished today? And the story that yells the loudest, the idea that stands up and opens its mouth, is the one that gets fed. And I pull it out of the file and finish it within a few hours.

[su_dropcap style="flat" size="5"]F[/su_dropcap]Franz Kafka, one of the greatest literary minds of all time, looks at the importance of keeping a note book from a more personal and individual perspective. Kafka finds the diary as a means of discovering oneself in different state of minds and moods and also understanding changes within oneself in time being. He says:


One advantage in keeping a diary is that you become aware with reassuring clarity of the changes which you constantly suffer and which in a general way are naturally believed, surmised, and admitted by you, but which you’ll unconsciously deny when it comes to the point of gaining hope or peace from such an admission. In the diary you find proof that in situations which today would seem unbearable, you lived, looked around and wrote down observations, that this right hand moved then as it does today, when we may be wiser because we are able to look back upon our former condition, and for that very reason have got to admit the courage of our earlier striving in which we persisted even in sheer ignorance. 

Compliment with this wonderful meditation on Bullet Journal-a analog journal keeping system to keep you supper productive and organized in this digital age. 

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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at

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