One Squiggly Line Blog

Hand-drawn pictures can make things clear, simple, and fun in blogs, too!

Visual Thinking: Visual Lists

There are tons of articles floating around out there about how to increase your social media following. After reading a number of those articles, they all start to blend together. The same information presented again and again, with most of it being just basic common sense. Even if the content has been seen time and time again, visuals can make things seems fresh and new. When you make things visual, they stand out and draw people in. Read the whole article here.

Visual Thinking & Creativity: Do it Daily!

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It's commonly thought creative and artistic abilities are one and the same. And only a select few are born with these talents. Truth is, creative and artistic abilities are very different. But they are both skills that anyone can learn and improve with some practice. Daily practice.

That's what my new project is all about. Daily drawings combined with facts, tips, and tricks about creativity. All shared on social media with the hastag #2Draw2Day. Why the number 2? No more than 2 minutes is spent on the main drawing (digitizing takes waaaay longer!), and each creativity tip, trick, or fact takes no more than 2 minutes to read and understand.

Daily creativity boosters made quick, simple and fun! Use the social media buttons below to follow along!

Visual Thinking, Creativity, & Lettering: Time constraints

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Need a quick way to be more visually and creatively productive? Set a time limit! That way, you're more likely to stay focused. Since there's really no time to critique your work, you won't! It may not be perfect, buy you'll keep going and make whatever you did work. That builds momentum and stamina to see things through. And finishing things leads to greater satisfaction and confidence. All of that carries over to whatever you tackle next. Maybe that's why innovation comes from chaos instead of void...

Visual Thinking & Creativity: From random to unified - find the link!

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One great way to come up with more creative ideas is combine things in new ways. Often, the more random or unrelated the things combined, the more creative the idea seems to be. But in the eyes of the creator, those things probably aren't so random or unrelated after all. Where most people see randomness, the creator spots a clear connection, a unifying link.

Unifying links can be found between pretty much everything, if you look deep enough. Visuals can make those links much more obvious than words alone. Try it out with the ten things pictured in the image above: Apple, airplane, airstream, art, arrows, almonds, apricot, automobile, avenue, atmosphere. Need a hint? The answer is in the picture - four times!

Visual Thinking & Meetings: Why ARE We Here?

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Why bother to have a meeting if nobody knows why they're there? And they're still wondering what that meeting was all about after they left? Sometimes, all it takes is a simple visual to make things crystal clear. Visuals can remind those in charge to state the objectives and make sure everyone understands them before work begins. Visuals can also remind people to ask questions when things aren't so clear. And if someone's mind wanders, just looking at that visual will bring them right back into your content.

 

Visual Thinking & Graphic Recording: Wedding Showers

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Graphic recording is most common in business meetings, conferences, and other events. It's great for more personal occasions, too. Like weddings or wedding showers, as this drawing shows. Not only is this a great way to remember an important day, but the advice of friends and family, too!

Visual Thinking & Creative Lettering Design: Lowercase B

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Drawing some letters is a great way to warm up your creative and visual thinking skills. That's what all these lowercase B's are about! I set a timer for a few minutes and drew as many different lowercase B's as I could in that time.

Setting a short time frame keeps you going. There's no time to evaluate what you just did. So you don't. You just keep coming up with ideas. There's plenty of time to evaluate things once you're done. The same is true whether you're drawing lowercase B's or thinking up ways to save the world.

Visual Thinking: Simple Meeting Template

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To run successful meetings, it really helps to have a plan. Even really short meetings. That way, you're sure to get the most out of your time.

One great way to plan and document your meeting is with a visual template, like the one above. A visual template reminds you of what needs to be covered. Questions you want to be sure to ask. And even to setup the next meeting.

Noting key take-aways and feelings can help you pick up on insights and patterns you may otherwise miss. It also helps you think about things more broadly and deeply.

Visual Thinking: Simple as 1-2-3!

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One of the most powerful things about visual thinking is that it makes things simple. When things are simple, they're much easier to remember. And the more often you see something, the more likely you will be to remember it, too.

That's why simple posters are so powerful when working in person. And why simple online visuals are so powerful before and after events, or when you can't be face-to-face.

A super simple way to keep your visuals super simple is as easy as 1-2-3. Choose 1 central image. Use no more than 2 colors. And limit yourself to only 3 words. That's it!

That formula doesn't always work for everything, but it's a great place to start. Even if you have to sneak in an extra word or two, your visual will still be pretty simple.