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The effortful way

Job one is doing the job.Continue readingThe effortful way

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Islands and icebergs

Spent all week working on something and I just trashed it. Wasn’t coming together. Hate to do it because you never know if you were almost there. Sometimes you’re hating it and hating it, and you keep sailing on, and then blam-oh! There she is! I see land, boys! But maybe you stopped just before…Continue readingIslands and icebergs

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Sometimes the box is more fun

One of the first times I presented on ecosystem mapping, an attendee shared an image of their own map they’d been inspired to create. It was interesting, colorful, and information-rich. But also? It wasn’t what I’d call an ecosystem map. At first I worried about the quality and clarity of my presentation. But others shared…Continue readingSometimes the box is more fun

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Being the thing

Recently finished reading Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I probably should have read it before I wrote a book about writing? But I’m happy to report it didn’t leave me second-guessing my guidance in Writing for Designers. Just envious of King’s prose and storytelling skills. Like many books on creative practices,…Continue readingBeing the thing

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It doesn’t keep

Reflections on how I use paper and notebooks.Continue readingIt doesn’t keep

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Scratchpad

An ode to the tools that help us remember.Continue readingScratchpad

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The Only Bad Idea in Brainstorming

Going through some old scans and found this card from when I was working on a talk about brainstorming. This still stands out to me as one of the more important aspects of a sucessful ideation meeting: Decide at the beginning what you’re going to do at the end. If you don’t constrain a brainstorming conversation…Continue readingThe Only Bad Idea in Brainstorming

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A Different Kind of Freedom

One of my favorite quotes of late, on freedom: Like most Americans, I shrink from the thought of subservience of mind or person. I too cherish the word freedom. But I want to be free to be painstaking if I want to, to be responsible, to be involved; to be free to exercise whatever intellect…Continue readingA Different Kind of Freedom

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I’m not more creative than you, I just write things down

Want to feel more creative? Write things down. Use a pen. And a piece of paper. And when you think of a thing, write it down. Continue readingI’m not more creative than you, I just write things down

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Design Jigs

It’s rare that I make a particular design deliverable in the same way on more than one occasion. The folders of my work laptop are filled with diagrams, maps, sketches, and frameworks that were used, at best, two or three times. Often only once. The most common deliverable I produce is a jig. In metalworking…Continue readingDesign Jigs