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Inspiration TRANSFORMS us: How the VOLTAGE team finds time to get inspired

Inspiration is all around. But it takes practice and intentionality to turn what goes in into truly transforming work. Here’s how the VOLTAGE team takes time to stay on top of design trends, marketing strategy, and future commerce. Plus some links to 2020 trend forecasts.

It’s all too easy to get to the office and immediately launch into heads-down work mode, but this year, we’re challenging ourselves to take a beat and spend a few moments getting inspired – even if it means showing up a little earlier.

Why? The greatest creative work doesn’t rely on output alone. Big ideas get bigger with input, with collaboration, and sometimes collaboration looks like drawing inspiration from the great work of others. And that has to happen intentionally – taking the time to seek out great work, capture standout ideas, and build on them in the work in front of us. When you engage a creative team, you not only get proven technical skill and expertise, but you’re tapping into “inspiration reserves” – hours spent researching what works, why it works, and how the best & brightest ideas could be applied to your brand. That’s why creative work is so exciting – we’re constantly challenging ourselves to do things bigger and better.

Here are some of the routines our creative + dev teams invest in to maximize productivity, love for what we do, and cutting-edge output.

Vanessa, Design

“Whenever I’m struggling to find inspiration or need to know the latest UX trends I go straight to Dribbble. I find this broad network is full of creative hotshots sharing their latest and greatest work. I can see what kind of graphic trends are happening, and even share my work for feedback. It’s just a great snapshot of what’s trending in design today.”

Winter, Development

“I’m deeply inspired by collaboration with professionals all working towards the same goal. Everyone brings a different skillset and perspective to the table. My favorite part about my job is working in a team on a big project with lots of features. It’s awesome watching a big project take shape into a final product where everyone contributed their passion and expertise. I have worked on many solo projects which can be done more efficiently, but at a sacrifice. An individual can finish a project in total less hours, but will take a much longer duration to complete. Also, people will have different creative solutions to problems that the individual may not think of which leads to a better end result. It’s like the old African saying: “If want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Julie, Copy

“After dropping my kiddos off at school, I’ll listen to podcasts or playlists that feed me from the inside out, give me the big picture, and motivate me to do my best work. I try to get to work a touch early to clear out my inbox (and my head) and I’ll pick a couple emails from marketing & copywriting masters to spend time on, picking up new tricks and perspectives. I’ve subscribed to a couple 30-day email drips that link to a simple blog post or short video that’s rich with insight – it’s totally worth starting my day with those few minutes of inspiration. So instead of starting my day with a to-do list to check off, I’m now starting my day with some excitement around how I can plug in proven or cutting-edge methods for the clients I’m working with.”

Paul, Project Management

Shifting gears to an unrelated creative endeavor always pushes the reset button for me. I turn to the piano whenever I need to clear my mind and drop back into the heart. From there, the flow of inspiration is always a beat away. I’ve wanted to get back into painting for the same reason, but that takes more time to set up! I also love listening to personal development podcasts to get motivated; they always make me feel a sense of expanded possibility and inspired by human potential.

Ella, Marketing

“Working in a creative environment where we are constantly talking about things going on in our industry is one way I stay up to date on cutting-edge work and also how I remain inspired. We are encouraged to share our ideas in our work environment at VOLTAGE and working with people with so much experience and such creative minds motivates me to learn more. I also find a lot of inspiration after my workday is over, and later, I implement that into my work throughout the week or the next day. When I get home from work, I am constantly looking through social media, specifically marketing and agency accounts or just brands that I love, to get inspiration and learn more about their strategies. Scrolling through social media platforms doesn’t always seem like work, but it really is a gateway to learning about new marketing strategies and what other businesses, brands, and people are doing to engage with their audiences and make it to the top. Social media isn’t a 9-5 gig, it’s a 24/7 one, so it’s become a big part of my after-work routine to monitor the bigger platforms taking off right now that assist in our marketing and advertising efforts.”

BONUS: Get inspired on your own with these go-to sources for expert insight (then let us know how we can help your brand rise to the top).


VOLTAGE is a digital agency specializing in eCommerce, digital brand experiences, and web apps. Get emails and insights from our team:

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About Julie Overby

Julie Overby

Make stuff & make stuff happen. Help clients look good and hit goals. Growth strategy. Brand experiences. The art & science of copywriting. Surprise & delight. Brand DNA. "Does it support the story?"

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