Good design isn’t just about your output. Often, it’s the creative process behind your work that will yield the best results.

This month, we’ve pulled together another batch of inspiring articles from our friends at 99U to help you improve your approach to new projects, fight off negative thinking and better understand your unique creative mindset. Enjoy!


From Apple to Oakley: How to land your first big client

You’ve been slowly rising through your design career. You’ve created your portfolio, built up a roster of local clients, and you feel like you’re ready to tackle work for global brands. Then one day, it happens. (read more)

Do you have a “jazz” mindset or a “classical” mindset?

There’s a reason jazz wasn’t taught at the New England Conservatory before Gunther Schuller arrived in the 1960s. Artists are protective of their work, and classical musicians are no exception; many faculty members at the renowned Boston institution didn’t want the whims of jazz improvisers to “sully” their canon.

The traditionalists there believed in an unambiguous divide between the realms of classical and jazz—both for themselves, and for posterity. But Gunther Schuller, who passed away on June 21 of this year, wasn’t having it. (read more)

How to deal when you’re disappointed in yourself

If you feel like what you create is worthless or falls frustratingly short, you lose your inspiration to create anything at all. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits offers a few poignant suggestions for overcoming this feeling of not living up to your own standards. (read more)


Achieve goals by gamifying them

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits suggests the secret to successfully achieving goals is working up to them level by level, video game style. The idea is that you make incremental changes to your existing behavior over a period of time, pausing along the way to master each level before progressing to the next. (read more)

Screw Inbox Zero: Here’s a better plan

We are all way too busy, scrambling to get way too much done, in an ultimately futile effort to clear our inboxes and complete our to-do lists often to the detriment of deeper, more meaningful output. (read more)

Why you should carry a notebook with you everywhere

Yes, notebooks are an easy place to capture ideas inspired by everyday life, no matter where you are. More importantly though, if you begin to review the daily notes or doodles left in your notebook, you will begin to find trends and themes within your smaller ideas that can be brought together and refined. (read more)