All posts in Writing


How to Get Inspired and Have Killer Ideas Without Trying

How to Get Inspired

We’ve all had those days. No matter how hard you try, you can’t focus. Everything is harder than usual and heaven forbid anyone needs you to be creative.

It’s demoralizing, stressful, and makes you incredibly inefficient. That’s why it’s important to know how to get inspired.

A word of warning, however, as this post will give you techniques to help consistently find your inspiration. These tips won’t always work (everyone’s muse is different) and so it’s best to take these practices and experiment to see what works for you.

We’ll cover useful practices such as:

  • How to keep a positive mindset and be more productive
  • Actions to inspire you whether you’re alone or with others
  • How to recapture that spark once it starts to fade
  • Changing your routine (how, when, and why)

But enough blabbering – it’s time to get inspired!

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How to Write a Proposal and Get What You Want

how to write a proposal

A proposal has a lot of different purposes, but there’s only one good way to write one: the way that pulls together all of the information in a concise and persuasive way and helps you get what you want … whether that’s a whole new software system, or just a tweak to your marketing strategy.

This article isn’t about a business proposal — also known as a quote — but instead about the document required when formally pitching an idea for action and execution by managers or department heads.

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5 Tips to Maintain a Creative Mindset Under Pressure

creative mindset

Maintaining a creative mindset is damn hard.

The fear of burnout is enough to sap anyone’s energy. When it strikes, it’s hard to imagine recovering from it.

Projects that start with inspiration can derail at the slightest hurdle, leaving you drained and wanting to give up. You might even start to think that you’ve lost your touch.

I know the feeling all too well.

All too often I’ll dive into a new post, fired up and coasting on my initial momentum, only to get 500 words of a rough outline and then flat-lining. Then the slog begins to finish it since it’s already in the calendar and now has a deadline.

This slowed my progress to a crawl, which I would beat myself up over. This cycle repeated until the stress (among other things) drove me to seek therapy, which I am still undergoing.

What I’m trying to say is that creativity is taxing, scary, emotional work. Some weeks I write 4-5 long-form high-quality articles and still have time left over to give my brain a break. Other weeks, I’ll try not to fall behind, stress myself out and waste a whole week staring at text files full of junk.

So, after recently overcoming a bleak patch, I’m going to tell you what I’ve found helps to keep hold of your creative mindset and keep your flow going. These are tips, attitudes, and practices you can work on whenever you start to feel your work slowing to a grind.

Let’s get started.

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Evernote vs OneNote: The Best App for Note-Taking, Researching and Organizing?

Evernote vs OneNote

After I accidentally threw my Macbook out of a moving car and couldn’t afford another one, I’d suffered with a Windows machine for 2 years before getting a Mac again.

I made a solemn oath never to use Windows software again, but last week, I did something that really shocked me.

I enjoyed using a Microsoft product. I enjoyed using it even when there was a viable non-Microsoft alternative.

Then why, I ask myself, am I submitting myself to a Microsoft product when I don’t have to ever see Microsoft again?

Two reasons:

  1. I have made a terrible mess of my Evernote.
  2. OneNote is actually quite good.

In this post, I’m going to share my experiences with Evernote and OneNote, compare them, and give you an idea of how I get value out of them as a writer and note-hoarder spending all my waking hours on a laptop.

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Writing a Listicle: The 11-Step Guide and Why They’re Awesome

listicle

One problem dominates the field when setting out to write a listicle.

They’ve been done to death, and a lot of us are sick of them.

From Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post to Bustle and beyond, thousands of lists are published every year, the majority of which are not exactly high-quality.

People see lists and have been trained to think “clickbait”. That’s what this post will help to avoid and prevent.

Read on to find out:

  • What a “listicle” is
  • Why they are so popular (to read and write)
  • How to plan a listicle in 6 steps
  • How to write a listicle in 5 steps

Enough talk – let’s get to it.

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How to Use WorkFlowy to Take Better Notes Today

Take Better Notes

Lots of text editors, like Word or Evernote, feel too ‘formal’ for proper note taking. They’re clunky and don’t work in harmony with my erratic train of thought at a meeting, lecture or presentation.

Lately, I’ve got instructions introducing me to new projects via video or voice recording, which I’d try to summarize in bullets, expand on and create to-do list items from the notes. When I was done writing and listening, I’d usually be left with a big mess of text that needs organizing, which would take more time still to go through and fix. With this method, I’d need to listen to the recording at least twice to get my notes.

Instead, now I use WorkFlowy to take and edit notes. Here’s how.

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How Subscriptions Will Stop Fake News Killing Digital Content

stop fake news quality content headerFake news is a hot button issue right now and one we’ve covered a couple of times at Process Street.

Normally, the discussion of fake news is a roundly negative affair.

How do we come back from consistently lowering journalistic standards? What does this mean for society?

In this article, I’m going to put a more positive face on and explain why there’s good reason to believe quality journalism is going to make a comeback – it may have already begun!

  • We’ll look at broadly what fake news is, and why it isn’t a wholly new phenomena.
  • We’ll look at the financial performance of different media outlets and try to understand what economic motivations there are in the industry, plus how that impacts on content.
  • We’ll look at the new wave of journalistic opportunities and what you can do to help!

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A Legal Guide for Bloggers: Copyright, the DMCA, and Fair Use Images

legal guide for bloggers fair use images - header

Can you afford to pay $8000+ for using an image in one of your blog posts?

If not (or if you’d rather use images for free) then you need to know the laws surrounding blogging.

It’s easy to fall prey to copyright and disclosure issues if you haven’t read a legal guide for bloggers, and so that’s exactly what I’ve created here.

Whether you’re a veteran blogger looking to secure yourself against surprise lawsuits or a fresh face who doesn’t want to be run out of pocket when building a blog, keep reading to find out:

  • What copyright is and how it affects your writing
  • How to secure your work legally
  • What you can and can’t use
  • How to find fair use images that are free to use

So, if you happen to like not being sued for honest (and avoidable) mistakes, keep reading.
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The Complete Guide to Dictation Software: How I Saved My Hands

dictation software - header edited

Dictation software isn’t just something that can save you time by typing out your speech and performing commands. Talking instead of typing can and will help you prevent lasting damage to your hands.

You might think that sounds silly, and so did I.

I’m 23 – way too young to be worried about my joints or work-related injuries (my work isn’t exactly manual labor).

Then my hands seized up. Repetitive strain injury.

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How I Research & Write an Article Using Irresistible Original Data

When I was about 7 years old, I made a deliberate decision to stop caring about math.

I remember the moment clearly. I started sitting closer to the back of the class, stopped answering questions, and, eventually, I stopped being asked questions by the teacher.

I told myself that it wasn’t worth learning because we have tools like computers and calculators. Consistently, I got mediocre grades in the topic and only scraped through the finals with a borderline passing grade…

It wasn’t until I started working at Process Street that I cared about data, charts, spreadsheets and correlations.

Research and data manipulation skills are extremely important for pretty much anyone that has to devise their own solutions.

Not only that, studies are incredible marketing tools. Original data attracts links and shares like nothing else because it’s one of the few newsworthy things a company can do. You’ve got product releases, funding announcements, and research.

And it’s not just my own theories that say studies attract high-quality backlinks…

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