how do you think of original ideas? original party ideas or DIYs? unique blog posts or photo shoot concepts? i use a very simple trick i learned back in school when i was learning about how to create logos…

word association!

let’s say i wanted to think about ideas associated with “summer.” then i would start a blank page in my notebook or on my laptop and i would write down every word that reminded me of that season…watermelon, beach, sunburn, sprinklers, popsicles, heart sunglasses, denim shorts. then you break it down even further…each of those words has even more ideas, feelings or memories associated with them. what do heart sunglasses remind me of? lolita. what memory does sunburn spark for me? getting my hair braided on a cruise as a kid and getting sunburned so bad in between each braid. and now all of a sudden i am thinking about braids…and then hair tutorials. see what i’m getting at here?

your mind can take you on a crazy path if you allow it to. if you look for inspiration only on the internet, your mind gets clouded with other people’s ideas. it’s overwhelming. i was talking to a friend last night and she said she likes to spread out a huge piece of paper on her kitchen table and just write whatever comes to mind. she calls it “word vomit.” have you ever tried this? give it a shot! -bri



Add your own

  • 1. bethany baker  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:20 am

    So helpful! and SO Needed that tip!

  • 2. Kelley  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:25 am

    great advice, bri! i love this post. i’m starting a new blog, launching in a few weeks, with my fiance and we’ve and have been brainstorming like CRAZY for fun post ideas and different ways to communicate our ideas. one thing i’ve been doing lately is looking at physical things around my house (candles, plants, lights, tea pots, patterns on clothing, etc) and thinking of different ways to use them or just thinking about them in entirely different ways. i love the ‘word vomit’ idea–will be trying that later today : )

  • 3. Marjorie Lacombe  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Definitely the best way to go — the internet can be helpful but the most original ideas seem to always come once you’re away from the computer!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  • 4. Juste  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Very helpful post! Thank you for sharing , Bri!:)

  • 5. Fabiola  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Great advice, thanks bri!

  • 6. Ainsley  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    This is just the best idea! Totally going to use this when I am thinking of inspiration for weddings! Thanks! <3

  • 7. Alyssa DeHayes  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Great advice! Thanks so much!

  • 8. Jess  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:40 am

    This is really great – Thank you for sharing! I have been very stuck lately and this will be extremely helpful.

  • 9. Annie  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:40 am

    LOVE IT!! Thank you for sharing!! Awesome tip – especially for this budding beginner of a blogger…

  • 10. Dariela  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Such great advice! I also do that for logos but it didn’t occur to me to try it on anything else!! Thank you!!!

  • 11. Shelley  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:45 am

    That is a great tip! Thanks so very much and I will definitely use this technique!

  • 12. Sam  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:58 am

    This post was so helpful – thank you! I feel inspired already :) :)

  • 13. abigail  |  May 16th, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I love this! I try to use a word wheel to come up with metaphors, puns, and personifications as well. Sometimes a “before, during, and after” thought process helps me as well. But usually it ends up looking like word vomit. :)

  • 14. Priska  |  May 16th, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Thanks so much, I used to this many years ago, also for writing and journalism, but got really entangled in the internet in the last few years, and kind of forget how interesting these word trips are. Can’t wait to start associating!

  • 15. Latrina  |  May 16th, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Oh, I love this! Makes you really wander… why in the hell have I not thought about this sooner? :P

  • 16. Emmali  |  May 16th, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Yeah, sometimes you feel all brainwashed after spending time on the internet searching for inspiration, and everything you need is just to get back to yourself and your own inspiration sources :)

  • 17. gloria catherine designs  |  May 16th, 2013 at 10:40 am

    i remember being taught that in packaging design at fidm. my teacher used to call me crazy because i had so many ideas and not enough structure. she made me sit at the center table with nothing but a pencil and paper, she called it “mind mapping” it is such a great exercise!

  • 18. giulia  |  May 16th, 2013 at 10:47 am

    this is really one of the best creative tips i’ve ever seen!!!

  • 19. Kreetta  |  May 16th, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Oh,yes! I have forgotten this – thanks for reminding! Great tip!

  • 20. SomeDopeGal  |  May 16th, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Thanks! This is amazing

  • 21. Bitty  |  May 16th, 2013 at 11:15 am

    wow, sometimes this is all we need to hear.
    Thanks for endless inspiration, both online, and inside of our own heads. You rock girl!

  • 22. Jen  |  May 16th, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I love this! So helpful!

  • 23. Lauren  |  May 16th, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Great post! Thank you for sharing!

  • 24. Vanessa  |  May 16th, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Awesome and refreshing tip!

  • 25. Ana  |  May 16th, 2013 at 11:50 am

    This is great idea to get new, fresh inspiration. Thanks for sharing it. And yeah, I had the same problem with braids and sun when I was a kid.:)

  • 26. Danie at Pasadya  |  May 16th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Love the tip! I’m so visual, so I never thought to use my words. Will definitely be trying this. :)

  • 27. Melinda's Musings  |  May 16th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Great suggestion. I’ve been feeling a lack of creativity for a while now, and I think that’s partly because I spend so much time in front of a computer! The times I feel most inspired are when I just go for a walk – sans iPhone too. No photos, no music, just feelings!

  • 28. Julianna m  |  May 16th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    That is such a good idea! I did this a lot in college, but I’ve forgotten to, in this real world madness.

  • 29. Anne Marie Jackson/Pattern Occurring  |  May 16th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    What a great tip! Thanks. I always read a book/poems, listen to a new album, get outside for a walk, listen to a history podcast. then my mind swirls with new prints and patterns. The internet can be very constipating and intimidating as there are so many talented people out there. I prefer to dwell on the fact that i am processing images and ideas in my own way. Hey we can all do that right!
    Thanks Bri

  • 30. Sara  |  May 16th, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Mind mapping! I use this all the time and love doing it. It’s crazy what random associations I come up with – that aren’t so random after all.

  • 31. kim  |  May 16th, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    What a great idea! Thanks :)

  • 32. Chelsea  |  May 16th, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous tip Bri! You always inspire me and I’ll definitely be using this trick from now on.

    Chelsea & The City

  • 33. Jolene  |  May 16th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I also do this! usually works great!

  • 34. Kory  |  May 16th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    This is such a good idea! I’m definitely going to have to try that out. I usually look back through my old ideas, or think about posts that would relate to the season we’re currently in when thinking of blog post ideas!

  • 35. Justyna  |  May 16th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    wow ! i feel so inspired right now. its so cool idea <3


  • 36. Yasmin  |  May 16th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Love this idea, reminds me to get back to the drawing board. Getting on the internet is too easy, and like you said your mind starts getting clouded and your ideas start looking like everyone else’s. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 37. Jasmine  |  May 16th, 2013 at 5:04 pm


  • 38. joana | myseastory  |  May 16th, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Bri, I love these tips. I sometimes use mind-maps, they are so much fun and you can use to brainstorm ideas or organize yourself.
    I used it when i was a learning manager in a hotel, it was such a fun and creative job!
    have a look – http://www.tonybuzan.com/about/mind-mapping/

  • 39. Sam  |  May 16th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Great idea! It is difficult to always think up new things that haven’t been done yet.

  • 40. Janet  |  May 16th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Love this! I’m just starting out in the creative field and this is such an awesome tip!

  • 41. Naomi Liddell  |  May 16th, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I love this, it’s very similar to my own tactics. Although I do like to write each word on little scrap pieces of paper so that when I’m done I can group them and batch write them. It’s actually really fun to do too, right? xo

  • 42. Jasmine  |  May 16th, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Yup, definitely a good one!
    I learnt about this in advertising design class back at uni.

    I always use this method when thinking up names for ventures, including my own blog and business :)

    i like the idea of using it for blog posts & DIYs!

  • 43. Sharna  |  May 16th, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Ah, the pen and paper.. very forward thinking. ;)


  • 44. Lotts  |  May 17th, 2013 at 1:05 am

    This is just wanted I needed to hear/read today. The internet can be so overwhelming at times, my best ideas come when I am doing something completely different.

  • 45. Kelly  |  May 17th, 2013 at 5:33 am

    amazing- i absolutely love this. it’s kind of like comedy improv, I hope I don’t take to shouting out random words in my apt. xo

  • 46. Dana  |  May 17th, 2013 at 6:10 am

    thats a wunderful tip.

    i do it in a similar way.
    but that was long ago. thanks for reminding me.


  • 47. Tanya  |  May 17th, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Thank you for this tip! I work in corporate creative world and everything is so derivative (God forbid we have an original idea that is not supported by marketing research and trend boards and what our competitors are doing) that it’s hard to remember the “good” way to be an artist.
    I forget that the best things I do (for myself – DIY, writing, and creating) were born of train of thought process (though, in my case, it’s more of a “butterfly of thought” – not linear at all, and the points of stopping don’t line up and the direction can change without a warning ^_^ )

  • 48. Casey  |  May 17th, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I REALLY needed this blog post. Thank you so much! Xx

  • 49. Happy Weekend! : Hey Love&hellip  |  May 17th, 2013 at 7:39 am

    […] Thinking of Original Ideas | Design Love Fest […]

  • 50. Jess  |  May 17th, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Great tip! I feel like I’m always scouring magazines, blogs, books, etc. for inspiration, or just brainstorming on a notepad.

  • 51. genevieve  |  May 17th, 2013 at 7:48 am

    thanks so much for this advice! sometimes i find spending too much time looking at other people’s beautiful work (which is so easy to see on the internet) makes it hard to remember that my own mind can be just as creative and inspirational. definitely needed the reminder to sit back and think my own thoughts/cultivate fresh ideas every now and then. :-)

  • 52. Kathleen  |  May 17th, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I love to brainstorm ideas that way too, I learned recently the technique is called mind mapping. Works so well for creative projects.

  • 53. Michaela  |  May 17th, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I’m convinced you are just naturally flowing with creative ideas! But this post is extremely true and a great way to get those juices flowing. It truly gives you your own creative material instead of thinking… Hmm I’ve seen a lot of bikini posts lately, lets do that!

    Keep it up!

  • 54. Shelby M.  |  May 17th, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I’ve always been curious about how other people generate ideas! This is a great post (and technique) that I’ll be holding onto.

  • 55. lyndsay  |  May 17th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    aww. first off, love that collage – such awesome colours and screams sunshine holiday! word assocation for sure – or mind spiraling or mind labyrinth, as i call it! i just have to remember to write things down or sometimes they are gone like the wind! ^__^

  • 56. Dayna @kaleidoscopebrain  |  May 17th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I feel like you always bring freshness to the internet (and to my mind!), that makes it feel like its outside of so much of the blog/pinterest/web mess (…as much as I love it all). You are the best, Bri. :)

  • 57. Lisa L.  |  May 17th, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    This is great advice! Thanks for giving it. I will definitely be thinking this way from now on. :D

    Mostly Lisa

  • 58. Peonies and Pancakes  |  May 18th, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Love the advice. Thanks for sharing. I usually do think of images and colours rather than words. I feel pictures evoke feeling and memories way more than words do, for me at least. Hehe..

  • 59. marissa @ the boot  |  May 18th, 2013 at 12:45 am

    this is great advice! and you’re so right about looking for inspiration within others’ ideas, it just doesn’t work! i always take a long walk outside in my italian neighborhood, look at the old ladies on their balconies and stare at the food stands! it helps every time!

  • 60. The Weekly Wrap - Piktola&hellip  |  May 18th, 2013 at 6:10 am

    […] Bri shares a simple trick to come up with new, original ideas […]

  • 61. Second Floor Flat  |  May 18th, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Making lists and creating word association charts are my go-to way to solve anything. It sounds super nerdy, but it really helps to make any project easier to tackle and will put any goal within reach. Glad someone shares my enthusiasm!

  • 62. Kelly Breedlove  |  May 19th, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Love! Love! Love! Helps me to stay on my path and keep it creative and fun in the process.

  • 63. Nikki  |  May 20th, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Thanks for this tip! Sometimes I am paralyzed by the thought of all the good ideas being taken, but that’s usually because the internet tends to make it seem that way!

  • 64. HANNAHLUXDAVIS  |  May 20th, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for sharing!! :)

  • 65. Sara  |  May 21st, 2013 at 5:59 am

    That’s a fantastic idea! Sometimes you get so bogged down in the current that it’s hard to or you forget to mix it up!
    Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  • 66. Vivi  |  May 27th, 2013 at 4:59 am

    this is a great idea. i’ve used it at school as well, when we had to come up with a concept or branding ideas. it was crazy how many words came out!
    the “word vomit” also works, i guess it depends on what you are more confortable with and with what technic you will get the most.

    thanks for reminding me of this tool… i left it ages ago and i’m definitely coming back to it! :)

  • 67. Sandra Costa  |  June 6th, 2013 at 11:45 am

    i just love your tips-for-life posts.

    Blog da Sandra Costa

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  • 69. meligrosa  |  June 9th, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    WORD VOMIT >>>>> OMG <3

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  • 72. Mauricio  |  November 9th, 2013 at 2:36 am

    First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question which I’d
    like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.

    I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any recommendations or hints? Thank you!

  • 73. Cassie  |  May 27th, 2014 at 11:51 am

    thank you so much for the idea! I did it the other day without even realizing it!

    I think its also helpful especially when you have 32966891376 things on your mind


  • 74. mycolorscreen.com  |  April 24th, 2015 at 7:33 am

    I think the admin of this web site is actually working hard for his website, as here
    every material is quality based stuff.



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