Great ideas don’t just show up, when you need them the most. In this case, knowing the different types of creativity and how our brain works when we are creative helps you to produce ideas even when you’re stuck.

Find out what kind of creative thinker you are and read more about suitable creative techniques.

What happens in your brain when you are creative

The cognitive neuroscience Arne Dietrich (2004) proposed that there are four types of creativity based on different brain activities. Creativity can be either emotionally or cognitively based, and it can also be spontaneous or deliberate. The relationships between these activities can be visualized as a matrix. The best thing is that everybody of us has access to all the types, even though one of them might be more dominant.

4 types of creativity

Systematic invention (Thomas Edison)

The creative process of systematic inventors follows an analytical approach. Their creativity comes from building up a big background of knowledge, from making tests and experiments. They need time for planning and focusing on the problem.

If you are part of this group, you will benefit primarily from planning and creativity techniques that help you to find ideas in a structured way.

Editorial plan
Plan the content of your newsletters roughly in an editorial plan and determine which content you want to deal with in which month. Create an Excel spreadsheet and write down the ideas that come up first, when you think about a topic. You can add more ideas in the course of time, which will save you a lot of time in the process of idea-finding and content creation.

Mind map
Mind maps help you to capture topic-related associations you already have in your mind. If you are a visual type, you also benefit from processing the topic in a graphic manner: Add small sketches to cultivate your ideas or to get new ones.

Osborn Method
Going through the Osborn checklist systematically helps you to expand existing ideas or to transfer them to other application areas. Learn more about the Osborn Method.

Spontaneous inspiration (Isaac Newton)

To deploy the cognitive and spontaneous creativity one need’s to stop oneself from focusing on the problem. Then the brain will work unconsciously on solving the problem, using everything it has learned so far. But what if you are under deadline pressure for your next newsletter?

Do something else
A pause from focusing on the problem doesn’t mean that you have to sit around doing nothing. Apply yourself to another task, which could have to do with the content production for your newsletter as well.

When you are stuck writing a text on a certain topic, work on the graphic elements instead. You could either do a picture research, make some scribbles and sketches or design an info graphic. This will activate the right hemisphere and the ideas will appear all of a sudden.

Free Writing
Take 5 minutes to write non-stop without thinking or revising. This method helps you to forget your inner critic and enables out-of-the-box thinking. As soon as you’ve written down everything that comes to your mind initially, the way is paved for new and unconventional ideas.

Artistic expression

Artists rely on their intuition and rather trust in their gut feeling, than in the things written in a school book. They are capable of expressing positive and even negative feelings in a creative form.

Try new things whenever you have the chance to do it. No matter if it is at work or in your spare time – you will definitely benefit from those new insights and experiences it in the creative process.

Engage in teamwork
Your best ideas come when you are emotionally involved? Then, working in a team might be good for producing new ideas. Your creativity flourishes when it comes to solving a problem, helping a colleague or finding a nice present for somebody. Often these ideas can be of use in other areas of application.

Decorate your work area
You are especially creative when you feel comfortable. Make sure that your desk is a pleasant place to work. Everything you like could have a positive influence on your creativity no matter if it is a motivating picture on the pin board or a little chat with your colleagues in the coffee break.

Immanent creativity

Our immanent creativity is spontaneous and emotional. However, it can rarely be tapped with deliberate actions. It comes out when we do the things we enjoy the most without even thinking about it.


Even when there is a high concordance with one of the types, everyone of us has access to every creativity type and is able to use them. Hopefully, out tips will help you with that!

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