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What NOT to Say to a Designer and Why
Collaboration 5 min read

What NOT to Say to a Designer and Why

Miscommunications and misunderstandings in design can cause bottlenecks and delay projects—not to mention permanently damage the relationship with your designer. Learning how to talk to a designer so they have the specifics they need from you to complete a project (but enough freedom to incorporate their creativity as well) can cut down on the number of iterations and help build a good relationship for future projects.

Top 10 Add-ons for Adobe Premiere
Marketing 5 min read

Top 10 Add-ons for Adobe Premiere

For video professionals, Adobe Premiere Pro is one of those powerful tools that allow you to bring a vision to life onscreen. And Premiere Pro gives users a large assortment of add-ons that can help expand your options for editing and compositing your videos. Here are the top 10 most useful and most popular Adobe Premiere Pro add-ons, both paid and free.

17 Books (and Videos) to Inspire Creative Teams
Marketing 10 min read

17 Books (and Videos) to Inspire Creative Teams

There are a zillion books out there on creativity. We've whittled it down to 17 that we recommend. Here's our list + 17 videos of the authors explaining what their books are about.

11 Top Add-Ons for Adobe Illustrator
Marketing 5 min read

11 Top Add-Ons for Adobe Illustrator

As a creative professional, you're always looking for new ways to bring your designs to life. Add-ons offer more tools, effects, and workflows to help you do more with your Adobe Creative Cloud apps. While there are countless plugins and add-ons available for Adobe applications, we asked our own design team to share some of their favorites. These 11 add-ons will save you time and effort on your designs — and add some cool new visual styles to your arsenal. 1. Dragstrip Illustrator Brush Kit - RetroSupply Co. Price: $15 Give your vectors the look of hand-painted brush strokes with this add-on. Includes 26 illustrator brushes, including TIFF versions, painterly and splatter texture overlays, and two examples of professional quality reference art so you can see exactly how to use the brushes for best results.  2. Handmade Linocut Brushes - Guerillacraft Price: $8 35 lino cut brushes and 12 vector textures to give your work a handmade, hand-printed look, along with a set of brushes to create a unique woodcut effect.  3. Vintage Comic Press - AI Actions  Price: $19 Inspired by comics from the 1950s, this add-on uses yellow, magenta, and cyan overlays to produce an authentic vintage look in vector format. Also includes halftone variations, 3D shadows, text outlines, coloring tips and cheat sheets.  4. PosterPress for Illustrator - Ian Barnard Price: $16 Give your designs the look of beautiful vintage travel posters with this add-on. You’ll also get 18 vector textures, a visual font list plus links to download them, and 13 beautiful photographs to use in your work.   5. Gold Rush for Illustrator - Studio Denmark  Price: $18 All the metallic, glitter, and foil effects you could possibly want, in every shade of gold, rose gold, black, silver and copper. Over 200 swatches that include crumpled foil, gold leaf, metallic paint, textures, glitter, confetti, and geometric patterns. 6. Watercolor Fantasies Quick Styles - Creators Couture  Price: $18 140 raster pattern swatches, each with a light and intense style variation. Apply it with a click and it pulls your current vector color as the base color, then adjust the style via the appearance panel.  7. 300+ Real Markers for Illustrator - Hejbrush.com Price: $9 Realistic marker brushes—over 300 actual markers scanned in 2400 dpi, cleaned and sharpened, then taken back to original size at 300 dpi.  8. VectorScribe - Astute Graphics Price: $78 Edit vector paths with precision, create dynamic shapes and corners, convert and delete points, extend and trim paths, and more. Included is a smart remove brush tool to remove excess points, a path extend tool, dynamic corners and shapes tools, a PathScribe tool to edit vector paths, the dynamic measure tool for quick and accurate measurements, and a protractor tool.  9. Magic Exporter - Kodlian.com  Price: $25 Export objects from your AI docs to PNGs for all devices and screens. The add-on exports objects separately, so you can export artwork with a graphic layout behind it, and you can export designs scaled precisely for various devices and screen sizes.  10. CADtools 10 for Illustrator - Hot Door Price: $349 Easily draw, edit, and dimension vector your artwork with these 87 tools and 12 panels. Hundreds of editable symbols for architecture, people, and landscapes that automatically scale to the target layer, plus a built-in dashboard to control CAD features in Illustrator.  11. Wrike Adobe Creative Cloud Add-In - Wrike Price: Free Trial Attach previews of your work to Wrike, update and track file versions, update task status, and quickly find instructions, creative briefs, and feedback comments without leaving Illustrator.  More Tools and Resources for Creative Professionals Whether you’re a novice designer or have years of experience under your belt, there are always new shortcuts and techniques to learn. Check out our list of free online training resources for Adobe Creative Cloud to sharpen your existing skills or learn the ins and outs of a new tool. Then see how Wrike's solution for marketing and creative teams can streamline administrative tasks and free your time to focus on creative work. 

3 Steps to Building Your Own Innovation Machine (Part 3)
Leadership 3 min read

3 Steps to Building Your Own Innovation Machine (Part 3)

Here comes another question – how can we better learn from the experience we get? Eric Ries, already mentioned above, uses an efficient way to tackle problems. I am talking about root-cause analysis or “five whys.” Imagine that the problem you’ve faced has the same structure as a Russian doll. The “root cause” of it is hidden inside, and you have to remove several layers to get to it. Just as you take one doll out of another, you ask a question “Why did this happen?” five times. Each response takes you one layer deeper to the problem cause. The technique is quite easy, but when practiced regularly, it gives you a lot of great insights about what needs adjustment in your company. One of such insights is that there is always a process/human issue behind every technical one. For example, imagine that you increase the investment in advertising, but the return from it is not proportional. Why did that happen? It seems that the quality of leads dropped. Why did that happen? Because we didn’t have a quick feedback loop between the money put into advertising and the output from advertising that we get. Why didn’t we have that feedback loop? Because we didn’t know how to properly score leads. Why didn’t we properly score leads? Because no one did statistical data analysis. Why didn’t we mine the data? Because the process didn’t allocate time for someone to periodically mine the data. The next step of implementing root-cause analysis is to make a proportional investment to correct each level of the problem. It helps you to avoid both ignoring and over-reacting to a minor problem. In the case above, the decisions could be to allocate some time for data mining, to score the leads, to feed that data back to analytics, and to adjust advertising campaigns based on that. You address the problem on all levels with an incremental improvement. Every time you face a problem, you make an effort to improve the company at multiple levels with small steps. If the problem is more complex than you thought, it will keep occurring, and every time it reoccurs, you will make an incremental improvement, until it is finally solved. This way, you invest your time and money only into the part of your business that needs it the most. “Lean startups” are lean. You can see that this method combines learning and doing, continuously changing your company as you learn. This fits perfectly in the frame of continuous learning. To close, I also want to mention the importance of your own unique vision for the product. I don’t mean to suggest that the shortest way to success is to simply follow every customer’s request. Those requests will often pull the company in different directions, and you don’t want to be doing Brownian motion. This is where the art mixes with the science and produces brilliant results. What about your professional experience? How do you normally deal with failures in your business?

A Guide To Creative Operations Management
Project Management 7 min read

A Guide To Creative Operations Management

Creative operations management isn’t an oxymoron. It can help you and your team deliver creative projects more efficiently. Here’s what you need to know.

3 Steps to Building Your Own Innovation Machine (Part 2)
Leadership 3 min read

3 Steps to Building Your Own Innovation Machine (Part 2)

John Wanamaker, considered by some to be the father of modern advertising, once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.” By using carefully designed experiments, you can do a better job than Wanamaker. For example, all professional advertisers today know about conversion tracking and A/B testing. These are basic tools of the trade for specialists in marketing or advertising that enable them to evaluate the effect of every small change in banner ads, landing pages and e-mails. But this kind of testing can only answer tactical questions and normally doesn’t affect business strategy. Is it possible to make the whole business structure respond to this type of feedback? "Lean startups," a term popularized by Eric Ries, are particularly successful at doing this. The main idea of a “lean startup” is to deploy a minimum viable product and test it as soon as possible. In today’s software world, it’s possible to release software updates several times a day, continuously getting feedback on every 20 new lines of code and aligning the direction of the product. This way, “lean startups” meet customers’ needs much faster than big companies, like Microsoft, which have a multi-year release cycle. In fact, staying in contact with customers throughout the creation of a product is the only way to make something they will actually use. This is especially true for the new companies coming up with new products. They always have to act in an unknown environment, relying only on their hypotheses. “No business plan survives first contact with a customer,” says Steve Blank, well known in the start-up community as the father of Customer Development theory. Our assumptions about what our customers need are no more than assumptions before we actually talk to customers and test the assumptions. Thanks to Web technologies, getting closer to customers has become a lot easier. We can regularly receive their feedback, without even getting out of the room. Still, don’t get too comfortable, since the dry bits, numbers and characters, while easy to aggregate, are often superfluous. So, at least initially, it’s very important to get out of your office and speak directly to your customers, person-to-person. You will see your product in a way you’ve never seen it before. But this will be no more than a set of interesting facts without taking the next step – learning from the feedback you got and aligning your product vision and business strategy according to it. I will speak about this in the last post of this series.

How to Build a Best-in-Class Creative Team & More (Work Management Roundup)
Leadership 3 min read

How to Build a Best-in-Class Creative Team & More (Work Management Roundup)

BWelcome to the Friday Work Management Roundup, where we bring together the week's best reads on productivity and work. This week, we feature articles on how to build an internal creative agency, earn a 4-day workweek, unlock new ideas, and meditate for creativity. Not to mention many more lifehacks and work tips. Read on! How-To Articles: Build a World-Class Internal Creative Agency (Wrike): A free eBook and a comprehensive guide to finding the right talent, and building your creative team into a true strategic partner within your organization — not just "the people who design the website." Convince Your Boss to Give You Every Friday Off (FastCoExist): A 4-day work week is possible — but you'll have to do a little convincing to get Fridays off forever and make sure you bring your A game to the office. Unlock New Ideas (Fast Company): 10 ultra-creative people share their secrets to unlocking new ideas, from uncovering past experiences to constant trial-and-error. Transform Your Day with Meditation (Fast Company): Can meditation really lead you to more fruitful creativity? An initially skeptical writer tested the waters, and now she's talking about how it worked for her and how she hopes to make it a daily habit. Open All the Links For Your Project in One Click (Cloud Coach): A really simple browser trick! Save a set of sites that you use frequently into a folder of bookmarks, then open them with just one click with this quick tip. Engage Employees More Fully (When I Work): A good list of activities that will be sure to fully engage your employees, including: parties, trainings, learning lunches, and more. More Work Management Reads: The Project Management Guide for Beginners (Wrike) What Happens to Your Brain When You Eat Junk Food (And Why We Crave It) (James Clear) The billion-dollar aphorisms of Ray Dalio, who built the world’s biggest hedge fund by running it like a cult (New York) How an Accidental Email Sent to 33,000 People Created a 'Reply All' Nightmare (Entrepreneur) 25 Quotes Leaders Read Daily To Motivate Themselves (Employee Scheduling Pro) Finally Reach Inbox Zero: 4 Expert Solutions for Your Email Personality (Sidekick) 100 Fresh Blogs for Creative Professionals to Follow (Creative Boom) Follow "Social Project Management" on Flipboard If you use Flipboard on your mobile device, then follow our magazine Social Project Management for links to project management technology, PM techniques, and tips on collaboration and team management.

3 Steps to Building Your Own Innovation Machine (Part 1)
Leadership 3 min read

3 Steps to Building Your Own Innovation Machine (Part 1)

Recently, I read an interesting book by Peter Sims, “Little Bets,” which brings up a really important question: can failure, in fact, take us further than success? The answer is: yes, if we know how to deal with it. While interviewing the executives at Amazon, General Motors and Google, as well as successful musicians, architects and comedians, Sims discovered one thing they had in common. All of them used the same approach of relentlessly “making little bets” to test their new ideas, even if they were not sure about their success. Most of these bets ended up as failures, but five or six out of 100 turned out to be the breakthroughs. According to Sims, in most cases, there’s no mysterious genius behind the great achievement, but perseverance and the willingness to take small risks. In this series of posts, I’ll analyze how failures nurture success and describe how learning through failures can help you develop your business into a real innovation machine. Through hardship to the stars! Low-cost experimentation The idea of “successful failure” is familiar to many successful software entrepreneurs. For instance, Randy Komisar names “the culture of constructive failure” as the main reason that Silicon Valley became the world’s innovation center. In his “Getting to plan B” framework, Komisar suggests including in the business plan the ability to quickly adjust it. All plans have assumptions, and Komisar’s idea is to focus on the most risky assumptions first and devise your work in a way to test your risky hypothesis in the market as soon as physically possible. Businesses can hardly afford big failures financially, so the key is finding a way to minimize the cost of experimentation. Getting feedback as fast as possible can save you a lot of time and money you could otherwise lose by going in the wrong direction. That sounds obvious, so obvious that you might be tricked into thinking that you are already doing your best job there. Sometimes it’s the case, but oftentimes some thinking out of the box can help you save a lot of effort and money. For example, in the software business, a traditional approach is to develop the software and then try to sell it. An approach in the spirit of Komisar’s ideas would be to create a quick prototype, a mock demo, or a simple “slideware” and sell a contract with an advance delivery date. That’s, of course, if your biggest risk is market adoption. If you can’t sell it because nobody needs it, well, you’ve just saved a lot of money on developing software that nobody needs. Some people are defensive and want to buy more time to tweak their solutions before presenting those solutions to the real world. This big bet works for a selected few visionaries, and the media is always quick to highlight those stories. But the truth of the world (at least in the eyes of Peters Sims, Randy Komisar and yours sincerely) is that in most cases, you’ll get much further with small bets, fast feedback and applying your boldness to facing a failure, rather than to doubling the failing bets. To be continued…

5 Ways Creative Teams Can Boost Productivity
Productivity 5 min read

5 Ways Creative Teams Can Boost Productivity

These 5 tips can boost your creative team's productivity in a heartbeat.

The Ultimate Guide to Creative Project Management Software
Project Management 10 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Creative Project Management Software

Meet deadlines and boost productively with creative project management software. Get started with this ultimate guide to creative management software.

3 Tips to Improve Project Management for Creative Teams
Project Management 5 min read

3 Tips to Improve Project Management for Creative Teams

When everybody has ideas to contribute, managing a creative team requires you to assume the role of a funnel. Your team pours their ideas out and you need to combine all of them into something that makes sense. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to improve your project management for creative teams.

Why Creatives Should Think About Project Management
Project Management 5 min read

Why Creatives Should Think About Project Management

If you are a creative, you are a project manager whether you like it or not. Change your perspective and take action by adopting a project management tool with the right features.

Be a Better Remote Worker & More (Work Management Roundup)
Leadership 3 min read

Be a Better Remote Worker & More (Work Management Roundup)

This week we paid special attention to resources that help you manage your remote work and increase your creativity and productivity, turning you into an awesome contributor to your team.

3 Design Studio Management Challenges (and How to Solve Them)
Project Management 7 min read

3 Design Studio Management Challenges (and How to Solve Them)

Design studio management can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. As a design studio manager, you need to keep processes streamlined and deliver your best work. Here are 3 common hurdles in your design studio and how to proactively overcome them with the right design project management tools.

The Top 7 Productivity Roadblocks That Crush Designers' Creativity
Productivity 7 min read

The Top 7 Productivity Roadblocks That Crush Designers' Creativity

We asked our own team of designers as well as design experts on social media what they consider to be the top productivity roadblocks, and present them here alongside some solutions and advice for getting past these challenges.

10 Free Online Training Resources for Adobe Creative Cloud
Marketing 3 min read

10 Free Online Training Resources for Adobe Creative Cloud

Whether you’re a novice designer or have years of experience under your belt, there’s always new shortcuts, features, and techniques to learn — especially when it comes to complex software like Adobe Creative Cloud. Sharpen your existing skills or learn the ins and outs of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, and the rest of Adobe’s suite of creative tools with these free online tutorials and training resources.  1. Adobe Learn Adobe Learn is an official collection of manuals, tutorials, and FAQs straight from Adobe. Learn the essentials of each application, brush up on new features and techniques, and connect with other Creative Cloud users to discuss new tricks and best practices. 2. Adobe CC on YouTube Keep up with the latest feature releases and industry news with the Adobe CC YouTube channel. Watch interviews with leading creative professionals, hear their favorite tips and tricks, and watch workshops and master classes on demand.  3. CC TV with Terry White Blogger Terry White shares nearly 500 videos, including tutorials covering the breadth of Adobe CC, broken down in to helpful playlists covering each application. White also shares his reviews of the latest technology and creative tools.   4. Cineversity Cineversity offers hundreds of tutorials on 3D graphics and visual effects, along with community forums, a knowledge base, and other creative resources. Check out their offerings on After Effects, Illustrator, and Photoshop.   5. Computer Arts — Creative Bloq Award-winning design magazine Computer Arts features articles with roundups of top tutorials for all types of creative software, including Adobe CC. Check out their favorite demonstrations and trainings for Illustrator and Photoshop.  6. Creative COW Access dozens of tutorials on After Effects, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere, and more Adobe CC apps. You can connect with other creative professionals in Creative COW's discussion forums.  7. Julieanne Kost  Kost shares dozens of video tutorials and techniques for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom on her YouTube channel, suitable for both beginners and advanced users. She also blogs for Adobe and has written several books on Photoshop and Lightroom.  8. KelbyOne's CC Resource Center  In addition to basic how-tos and feature walk-throughs, KelbyOne offers videos with advice on improving your creative workflow, how to get the most out of Adobe Creative Cloud, and quick crash course tutorials on the different applications.  9. Larry Jordan Find hundreds of expert training videos on Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop from editor Larry Jordan, along with high-level lessons on the craft of film editing. From practical how-tos like creating masks for chroma-keys or creating green-screen effects in Premiere, to high-level analysis on shot order and casting techniques, Jordan's goal is to help viewers "edit smarter."  10. Layers Magazine Layers Magazine covers the latest tools and techniques used in the creative industry, and they offer hundreds of how-to articles on Adobe’s Creative Suite. If you’re looking for specific instructions on how to stitch images together into a panorama in Lightroom, or how to change a model’s shade of lipstick in Photoshop, start here.  More Tools and Resources for Creative Professionals If you live in Adobe Creative Cloud, you know how useful plugins and extensions can be when it comes to making design work easier and more efficient. Check out our list of the top 10 free and paid add-ons for Adobe Photoshop and grab some must-have new tools. Then learn how Wrike's solution for marketing and creative teams can streamline administrative tasks and free your time to focus on creative work. 

How to Create an Effective Brand Style Guide
Marketing 7 min read

How to Create an Effective Brand Style Guide

How do the most successful brands build a brand voice that people really connect with? Discover how to build a powerful brand style guide from Wrike.

Daily Rituals to Steal From Successful Creatives and Innovators
Productivity 7 min read

Daily Rituals to Steal From Successful Creatives and Innovators

Walk in the door. Hang up jacket and put on cozy, hand-knit cardigan. Swap loafers for canvas sneakers. Ever since we were children, our brains have thrived on ritual and routine. And while it’s easy to assume that creative thinkers and visionaries eschew predictability and find inspiration in the unexpected, following an established daily routine is what has allowed many of the most famous innovative thinkers in history to tap their creative potential.  From mid-day ice baths to counting out exactly 60 beans for a morning cup of coffee, read on for the fascinating daily routines of history’s famous minds — plus the most common practices to steal for your own daily habits.  Daily Routines of Famous Artists, Authors, and Entrepreneurs Victor Hugo “A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labour and there is an invisible labour.”  6 AM: Wake up to coffee and two raw eggs 6:30-11 AM: Writing 11 AM-Noon: Ice bath on the roof Noon-1 PM: Lunch and socializing with guests 1-3 PM: Vigorous exercise 3-4 PM: Go to the barber 4-6 PM: Spend time with mistress 6-8 PM: Writing 8-10 PM: Dinner, cards, out with friends 10 PM: Go to sleep Stephen King “It’s not any different than a bedtime routine. Do you go to bed a different way every night? Is there a certain side you sleep on?”  8 AM: Wake up, make a cup of tea, and take a daily vitamin 8:30 AM-between 11:30 and 1:30 PM: Write 2,000 words, however long that takes. Writing desk and environment should stay exactly the same, even piles of papers kept in the same spot. (For King, this consistency signals his brain that it's time for creative work.) 1:30 PM-End of day: Free to nap, write letters, read, spend time with family, and watch Red Sox games.  Pablo Picasso “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”  11 AM-3 PM: Wake up, have breakfast, and spend time with friends 3 PM-11 PM: Paint 11 PM-Midnight: Eat dinner Midnight-2:30 AM: Paint 2:30 AM: Go to bed Ludwig Van Beethoven “There are no barriers for a person with talent and love towards work.”  6 AM-6:30: Wake up and make a cup of coffee, measuring exactly 60 beans 6:30 AM-2: 30 PM: Compose music at desk, with periodic breaks to walk outside 2:30-3:30 PM: Break for dinner and wine 3:30-4:30 PM: Take a long walk  4:30-9:30 PM: Go out to the tavern to eat and read the newspaper 9:30 PM: Bed Steve Jobs “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” 6 AM: Wake up and log in to computer to start work 7-8 AM: Have breakfast with kids 8-9 AM: Head in to work  9 AM-Noon: In-person meetings with Apple's product, management, and marketing teams Noon-End of workday: Spend time in the Apple design lab Evenings: Dinner and family time  Fred Rogers “The number 143 means 'I love you.' It takes one letter to say 'I' and four letters to say 'love' and three letters to say 'you.' One hundred and forty-three. 'I love you.' Isn't that wonderful?” 5:30 AM: Wake up to read, study, write, pray, and respond to letters from fans Morning: Daily weigh in (a steady 143 pounds, every day) and swim  Afternoon: Work, take break to nap 9:30 PM: Bed Elon Musk "Tip #1: Work super hard." 7 AM: Wake up, make coffee, and head in to work 10 AM: Morning phone calls 10:45 AM: Engineering team meeting 12:30 PM: Propulsion scheduled meeting 1 PM: Eat lunch during meetings 1:30 PM: Work, include a daily walk of the SpaceX factory floor 7 PM: Interviews and events 1 AM: Bed Common Practices to Apply to Your Own Daily Routine 1. Get Up Early  Examine the daily routines of history's most prolific minds and you'll see it time and again: early to bed, early to rise. For many great minds, the secret to productivity appears to lie between the hours of 4 and 8 AM. As Frank Lloyd Wright says, "I wake up around 4 AM and can’t sleep. But my mind’s clear, so I get up and work for three or four hours. Then I go to bed for another nap." Plus, science shows that your willpower is highest early in the morning. So take advantage of the unique mental clarity and relative calm of the pre-dawn hours to focus on deep creative work and get your most important work done.  2. Break a sweat Along with rising early, daily exercise is another practice embraced by the vast majority of famous innovators. Whether it’s John Milton walking his gardens for three hours every day, Charles Dickens walking 20 to 30 miles around London each afternoon, or Peter Tchaikovsky’s daily two hour walk, many of history’s geniuses found a lengthy walk essential to both their physical and mental health. Studies have shown time and again how regular exercise boosts alertness, energy, productivity, creativity, and mental focus.  3. Stick to a schedule  Novelist Haruki Murakami compares the repetition of his daily routine to hypnotism: “I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; its a form a mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”  Whether it’s Steve Jobs wearing the same black turtleneck every day or chef Bobby Flay eating greek yogurt with fruit for breakfast every morning, following the same patterns can trigger the mental flow state that is the key to creative productivity. As Stephen King says, "The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon." 4. Take lots of breaks Start looking into the daily routines of famous artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and inventors and you'll quickly notice that nearly all of them do creative work in bursts throughout the day, taking several breaks to enjoy a leisurely meal, spend time with family and friends, and explore the world. Not only do regular breaks keep your brain from burning out, new experiences and distractions feed creative thinking. 5. Caffeinate  Drink your coffee (or tea)! Beethoven counted out 60 beans for his daily cup, Kierkegaard started every day by pouring black coffee over a cupful of sugar, and Balzac drank up to 50 cups a day. While you may not want to go quite that far (Balzac did die of heart failure at only 51, after all, and too much caffeine can interfere with sleep and make you too jittery to focus), a moderate amount of caffeine boosts energy, improves cognitive performance, and improves short-term memory, problem solving, and concentration. As any creative knows, 90% of the job is showing up and putting pen to paper. For many inventive minds, caffeine is the key to doing just that.  Simple Ways to Inject Your Day with Greater Creativity and Productivity  Of course, there's no one "right way" to structure your day for better mental performance, but experimenting with the above techniques to find what works for you — and then sticking with your ideal daily routine — can unlock improved focus, creativity, and productivity. Share your preferred rituals and routines with us in the comments below so we can try them out ourselves! Related Reads:  14 Online Resources to Break Through Your Creative Block 5 Surprising Ways to Spark Creativity 50 Productivity Tips to Boost Your Brainpower (Infographic) 16 Simple Motivation Tips to Get More Done (Infographic) Sources: TheGuardian.com, Litreactor.com, Marksdailyapple.com, Entrepreneur.com, 99u.com, Onlinecollege.org, Podio.com

Stressed Out Creative Teams Can Find Help from Automation
Marketing 5 min read

Stressed Out Creative Teams Can Find Help from Automation

In order to remain competitive, creatives must either create more or more effective content. We surveyed more than 1,500 creative managers and individual contributors, both agency and in-house, to better understand the current state of creative teams and investigate their key challenges.

Top 10 Photoshop Plugins for Creative Professionals
Productivity 5 min read

Top 10 Photoshop Plugins for Creative Professionals

Adobe Photoshop supports plugins, which allow you to add more useful features that help you save time and effort. Have a look at our list featuring 10 of the top free and paid Adobe Photoshop plugins that will be useful for all creatives.

How Wrike Helps a Creative Agency Manage Client Logistics & Create Brilliant Campaigns (Case Study)
News 3 min read

How Wrike Helps a Creative Agency Manage Client Logistics & Create Brilliant Campaigns (Case Study)

We were able to catch up with the team at their office in San Francisco, CA and learn about the highs and lows of running a creative agency. Watch the video below to learn more about their creative journey from rock band to film production, and how Wrike plays a role in their success

14 Online Resources to Break Through Your Creative Block
Productivity 5 min read

14 Online Resources to Break Through Your Creative Block

You know the feeling. You sit down to work on a creative project and your brain just goes blank. When creative inspiration is stubbornly elusive, most of us turn to the internet for distraction... only to come back to our project three hours later just as stuck as we were before. But the internet can be your creative ally, not your foe — if you know where to look, that is. These inspiring websites, videos, podcasts, and other resources are sure to rekindle your creative spark. Browse These Websites for Creative Inspiration 1. Language Is A Virus A site to cure writer’s block. Daily writing prompts, interactive creative writing games, experiments and exercises, a character name generator, articles on the creativity techniques of famous authors, and more resources to pull you out of a creative rut. 2. Writing Prompts Subreddit A steady stream of wildly creative, user-submitted writing prompts. Click through to the comments to read other peoples' responses, or just pick your favorite prompt, grab a pen and paper, and start scribbling. 3. Selfless Portraits Strangers across the world draw each other's portraits. Doodling has been shown to stimulate creativity, so activate a new part of your brain, break through that creative block, and get a cool new Facebook profile photo to boot. 4. The Acoustic Guitar Project Are you a musician stuck on a set of lyrics or struggling to find your next melody? Plug in to The Acoustic Guitar Project. You’ll get a guitar, a handheld recorder, and one week to record an original song. Use the deadline as motivation, and when you’re done, sign the guitar. It’ll be forwarded to the next musician for inspiration. If you’re not musically inclined, listen to the soundtrack of previously recorded songs to get in a creative mood as you write, illustrate, edit, etc. 5. Damn Interesting Fascinating true stories from history, science, and technology to stuff your brain with interesting tidbits. Learn about the furious race between two scientists to achieve absolute zero, the mysterious tragedy of a 1930s ocean cruiser that caught fire after the suspicious death of its paranoid captain, and more strange-but-true stories. Read longform articles (with optional sound effects!) or listen to the podcast versions — either way, you'll pick up some creative ammunition. 6. BrainPickings' Literary Jukebox A side project of Maria Popova of BrainPickings.org, famous quotes from classic books are thematically paired with a song. Find inspiration and an accompanying soundtrack to fuel your creativity in one beautifully-designed spot. 7. Times Haikus This site is home to a computer algorithm that periodically checks the New York Times home page, scanning sentences to create spontaneous haikus. Human curators then select the best results to post on the blog. Browse the surprisingly poignant results to get in a reflective or inventive mood, then get your creative juices flowing by picking up a nearby newspaper or magazine (or opening one in a new browser tab) and trying it out for yourself. 8. Do Nothing for Two Minutes Exactly what it sounds like. This site will force you to take a short break to reset your brain. Don't touch your keyboard or your mouse, or the timer will reset. Just sit back, listen to the wave sounds, and come back to your project refreshed and focused. Watch These Videos for New Creative Ideas 9. TED Talk: Play This Game to Come Up With Original Ideas Toy designer Shimpei Takahashi's game shiritori is his foolproof way to come up with new solutions and original ideas. Learn how to play, then see how it can help you tap into greater creativity. 10. How to Boost Your Creativity Did you know that listening to your favorite music at work can actually make you less productive? This short video is full of quick things you can do in a matter of minutes to boost your creativity. 11. Watch Whose Line Is It, Anyway? clips Use the zany skits and prompts to get in the right mindset for generating a bunch of new, off-the-wall ideas. Plus you're sure to laugh, which will put you in a good mood and make you more productive. 12. TED Talk: How to Get Out of the Box and Generate Ideas When someone tells you to "just think outside of the box," do you get the urge to punch something? Easier said than done! Giovanni Corazza steps in with techniques for actually getting outside that proverbial box to promote innovative thinking. Listen to These Podcasts for New Creative Habits 13. The Accidental Creative Author and host Todd Henry interviews artists, authors, and other creative professionals for tips on how to succeed in life and work. Each short podcast is 20 minutes or less and features well-known leaders in the creative community, including Seth Godin, David Allen, Gretchen Rubin, Steven Pressfield, and more. 14. Radiolab: Me, Myself, and Muse Staring at your creative project and drawing a big, fat, blank? Talk to it, out loud, as though it were a person. Ask it what it wants. Tell it to meet you halfway. If a new idea comes to you while you're stuck in traffic, no pen in sight, tell it to buzz off and come back later. This is the technique embraced by famous creatives like Elizabeth Gilbert, Tom Waits, and Oliver Sacks. Learn why it works in this short, 15-minute podcast. The Best Techniques for Better Creativity What are your go-to methods for fighting creative blocks? Share your favorites in the comments! Sources: http://www.goodnet.org/articles/984 https://creativemarket.com/blog/2014/01/23/5-sites-to-boost-creativity-in-2014 http://www.stumbleupon.com/blog/staff-picks-sites-that-spark-creativity/

Announcing Wrike's New Solution for Marketing & Creative Teams
News 5 min read

Announcing Wrike's New Solution for Marketing & Creative Teams

Wrike for Marketers gives you the freedom to focus on your creative journey while we take care of the administrative necessities. Ready to supercharge your entire end-to-end creative workflow? Then it's time to explore the power of Wrike for Marketers.