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Blog // Creativity
May 19, 2020

New Categories

The writing on this site is now organised into six new categories. Here’s a rundown on them, and why I made the change.

For months it was a scribble in a journal, a list on a Post-it note, a spreadsheet, a database, something discussed over coffee or tacos, or more recently, Zoom calls. Now it’s a reality.
I’ve changed the categories on this site. Where once there were four, now there are six. And they are very different.

Back when I began this site, there were no categories. Blogs were much simpler back then. Over time categories were added, to make it easier to navigate the growing amount of writing. Over time, they changed. But the categories were usually about me, how I experienced the world. In the previous set, Sounds, Images, and Words were things I was paid to create. The fourth, Travel, was something I liked to do.

Now the categories reflect ideas in the writing. I hope this orients them more towards you, the reader, and makes it a little easier for you to navigate your way through articles and essays that might be of interest.

With over 2,000 posts, it’s taking a while to update everything to the new categories. Everything from the past four years has been done, as well as many of the best pieces from earlier still.

I hope I have already recategorised most of what will be of interest to many of you.

Deciding On The New Categories

Coming up with the new categories took a year, with a lot of the work being done over the last six months. There were so many old articles to reread. And quite a few drafts and ideas in the editorial calendar to consider.

All the while I was asking myself: what have I been trying to say? And what have you, the readers, given your responses to?

The new categories all reflect themes of change and improvement. My impression is you’re reading this blog because you want to live well, and to make life better for yourself and those around you.

The New Categories

I hope the new categories help you find articles that will inspire you on that journey. Here they are.

Adaptability – How we react to change, deal with risk and uncertainty, cope with transitions in life, and develop a resilient frame of mind. This includes drawing from insights into neuroplasticity (how our brains change and evolve over time) and metacognition (how we think about thinking). Articles include,

Time To Change
The Post-COVID19 World
The First Monday Of The Rest Of My Life

Artistry – Not just how we make art, but also how we move through the world artistically, creating a distinctive identity or brand for ourselves and the things we do. This means surveying aesthetics, art history, design, fashion, and marketing science. Topics like,

How To Stand Out Online
How Long Does It Take To Become A Beginner
Art And Nature In Inawashiro

Creativity – How we come up with new ideas, make connections between different pieces of knowledge and experience to create insights, and use our imagination to solve problems. This is a broad topic, including many personal experiments, but also insights from educational theory, neuroscience, and even architecture, since our living and working environments shape our creativity. Such as,

Creative Health Summary
How Sleep Improves Our Creativity
The White

Productivity – Not getting a lot of stuff done so much as getting the right stuff done, which involves self-reflection and self-awareness as much as it does habits to make effective use of your time and energy. This draws from philosophy as much as it does from behavioural economics and writing on productivity in business. It covers ideas like,

Momentum – Yearly Theme For 2020
Replacing Efficiency With Elegance
Why I Went Back To Paper Planning

Simplicity – Finding ways to distill what is meaningful so you can create a manageable and sustainable list of categories and commitments for living with calmness, clarity, and quiet purpose. Finding resources in ancient philosophy, ethics, environmental science, and contemporary spirituality. Examples include,

Digital Minimalism – Book Review
This Week I Quit Letting People Pick My Brain
Simple Rooms – Simple Spaces

Technology – How to use technology in ways that don’t limit our humanity. Drawing as much from mindfulness and minimalism as from trends in tech, you’ll find pieces like,

iPad Pro Is My Portable Computer
Smart Living And Digital Minimalism
Evidence Based Living – On Trying A Sleep Tracker

The Unexpected Benefit

This project began as an exercise to help you, the reader, to navigate this site a little better. For a long time the fountain pen moved across the paper, writing, crossing out, then writing again, simply with that goal in mind, to clarify paths for readers to explore.

But in recent weeks, this exercise has also helped me clarify paths I can explore as well. There are new collections in Notion, little silos where notes can collect and be re-read, germinating new ideas.

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