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How to come up with an idea list


    1. Look around you for something to write a list about

    I see my fridge. An orange plant. Tea bags.

    10 things I'd like to have in my fridge. 10 plants I like (I don't know if I could write this one because I know nothing about plants). 10 existing or non-existing teas I'd like to try (blueberry maple, raspberry mango, ...)

    2. Think of something that could be improved, even with minor adjustments

    10 ways to improve air travel. 10 ways to improve the movie theater experience. 10 ways to improve the city center of where I live.

    3. Think of ways to make something worse

    10 ways to make air travel worse (give one fewer peanut, make wooden seats, make people pay for windows, ...)

    4. Go absurd, step outside of reality

    10 ways to get a ghost to have sex with you. 10 reasons why an alien invasion would be good. 10 laws of nature that I would change. 10 businesses to open on the Moon. 10 everyday objects that could be used as weapons (washing machine, dildo, waffle maker, ...)

    These aren't even that absurd. Think more goofy. 10 date ideas for going out with resurected Stalin.

    5. Get personal

    10 ways to spend time with my mom. 10 ideas to connect with my brother. 10 things I'm ashamed of. 10 regrets. 10 bad things I did.

    6. Devil's advocate

    Hypothetically, one could make a "devil's advocate" list about Hitler. You don't have to be that extreme, though. Pick something or someone you don't like, and try to come up with positive attributes even if you don't believe them (or maybe you do, because surely some of the worst people have some good qualities).

    7. Combine two random things

    Concentration camp + comedy club: 10 things you could hear at a concentration camp's comedy club.

    Cereal + Canada: 10 ideas for Canadian cereals (Hockey Pucks, Capt'n Sorry, something poutine-flavoured, ...)

    Coffee shop + Elon Musk: 10 features you could find in a coffee shop owned by Elon Musk.

    If you pick two highly contrasted things, you're more likely to come up with funny or interesting ideas.

    8. 10 names for...

    This came up in my head a few times when I was coming up with examples for #7. 10 names I would give to my own airline, 10 names for pets, 10 names for a banana pizza, ...

    9. List things you like about something or someone

    10 things I like about my girlfriend, 10 things I like about bus travel, 10 things I like about Scott Barry Kaufman, 10 things I like about donuts.

    When it's something specific that feels like it would be hard to come up with ten ideas about it, it's a good way to be more mindful and grateful about it. Can I come up with ten things I like about donuts? Probably, but I'd have to dig deep into my appreciation for them. They look fun. They're creative. They remind me of The Simpsons. They have a comforting texture. What else?

    10. 10 ways to be more [...] when [...]

    10 ways to be more compassionate during an argument.

    10 ways to be stronger when feeling overwhelmed.

    10 ways to be more vulnerable during a date.

    10 ways to be a better listener when you meet someone new.

    What else?

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