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Do you feel like you’re just not inspired enough when it comes to everyday things? Do you have days when you’re inspired and creative, sandwiched between several days of monotony? Do you approach your daily cooking by pulling mince meat out of the fridge as you run off to work and figuring it’ll just have to be spaghetti bolognaise again? It’s not just you, you know.

Life these days leaves people rushing around from appointment to appointment. It’s hard not to wind up uninspired and repetitive after a while. It seems that even for the everyday things, we sometimes need a little boost to be more creative. This is where learning how to use Tumblr creatively can really help. Here’s how you can use something as simple as Tumblr to keep yourself inspired and creative.

What’s Tumblr all about?

The visual nature of Tumblr makes it ideal for creativity. Most creative types would agree that a selection of pictures is more likely to inspire them than a bunch of text links. For instance, you could use delicious tagging How to Use Delicious to Organize Your Student Life How to Use Delicious to Organize Your Student Life Read More to collect and organise recipe ideas, but reading that wouldn’t be anywhere near as inspiring to most of us as a collection of pretty pictures of food.

If you’ve never used Tumblr before, take a look at this article on Tumblr first How To Easily Create a Blog with Tumblr How To Easily Create a Blog with Tumblr Read More – then come back here to find out how to use it for inspiration.

Starting your own

Tumblr has lots of free themes The Top 10 Free Tumblr Themes To Create A Portfolio The Top 10 Free Tumblr Themes To Create A Portfolio Read More to show off a portfolio of pictures – so pick one that inspires you. It’s not vital to get this right. It’s really easy to switch themes down the track if you want a change.

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Or you could just browse through the repository of themes that Tumblr features.

Choose your topic and stay on topic. If you have another topic, start another Tumblr. Don’t mix them up – it won’t help!

Picking what to write about

My favourite Tumblr inspiration topic is recipes. Whenever I want to know how to cook something interesting, I make a point of Tumblring the best picture from the most useful recipe I find.

Tumblr topics I think might be useful for people wanting to inspire themselves:

  • Holiday destinations (Inspiration for both the planning and for reminding yourself to work hard first).
  • Clothes (Take pictures of yourself* or use celebrity photos).
  • Peaceful ways to relax.
  • Fun things to do with the family.
  • Recipes (maybe limit yourself to healthy recipes if you’re dieting).
  • Things you want to write about.
  • Funny moments.
  • Great ideas for interior design or creative uses of space.
  • People who achieved great things.
  • Places which trigger you to be creative.
  • Interesting ways to get exercise.
  • Jobs you might do when you finish your studies.
  • Movies you want to watch.

*Note: If you’re a Flickr user, you can import a feed of your photos into Tumblr. More usefully for this case, you can get an RSS feed of any photo you’ve tagged with “ClothesforTumblr” or “FoodPicsForTumblr” and import that.

Start tumbling!

Once you’ve picked your topic, Tumblr blog name and theme you’re ready to go. Choose your favourite Tumblr app or bookmarklet from the many available and get searching on your topic. Search Google images, read blogs and generally hunt around for inspiration. Repeat this whenever you have a spare moment to build your collection of inspiring pictures. Remember, you’re essentially doing this just for yourself. If you happen to inspire other people with your Tumblr then that’s just a bonus.

Now, here’s the great trick: tag your posts. Tagging for organisation is one of the best things made easy by blogs and social networking sites. Tag with everything applicable to your post. Not just with the obvious tags, but with semantic tags that mean something to you.

Why would you do this? Well, if you’re in the mood for eggs, for instance, you could click on your tag for ‘eggs’ and find a page full of your favourite egg recipes. Not someone else’s favourite recipes – yours. The next day, perhaps you don’t care what you eat as long as it’s quick. Click your ‘quick’ tag and choose something that you yourself have deemed to be quick.

Or maybe your Tumblr is on family activities and you have a sunny day to fill. You can click on ‘games’ and see all your favourite family games. Is it summer? Click ‘summer’ and see what you saved in winter as inspiration for your summertime fun.

If you’re familiar with HTML and don’t mind editing the theme or info a little, you can add links to your favourite tags in a list for easy reference later.

The tag URLs are of the format: http://yourblog.tumblr.com/tagged/dessert or http://yourblog.tumblr.com/tagged/soups+and+stews if there are spaces between words in the tag. Link to /random to get a random post.

What do you want to remind yourself of? What do you need inspiration for? What will your Tumblr topic be? Share your own ideas about how to use Tumblr creatively with us!

Image credit: Navy Blue Stripes

  1. Angela Alcorn
    August 12, 2010 at 7:21 am

    I presume you're trying this from the Tumblr dashboard.

    To get a photo followed by some text, choose a Text Post. From there you can either use HTML to link to an image online or you can click the link for "upload photo" and it will automatically host the photo and write the HTML code in for you.

  2. Prettypunky19
    August 11, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Well, I'm trying to post on my page and it just seems difficult. I want to post pictures AND have some paragragh a long with it, but it seems like i have to do them separatly. When I look at other pages how ever, it seems like they have got it down pretty good. The pictures are beautifully aligned and the passages are right undeneath. How can I do it like that? Without the hassle of posting pic and find them up on top of everything that I post. it annoying to have to drag them down. The picture feature also puts them in a slide show and I dont want that. I want to align them with the topic that I write down.
    If anyone can help me, PLEASE do so! I DEEPPPLLYYY appreciate it.

  3. Prettypunky19
    August 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Well, I'm trying to post on my page and it just seems difficult. I want to post pictures AND have some paragragh a long with it, but it seems like i have to do them separatly. When I look at other pages how ever, it seems like they have got it down pretty good. The pictures are beautifully aligned and the passages are right undeneath. How can I do it like that? Without the hassle of posting pic and find them up on top of everything that I post. it annoying to have to drag them down. The picture feature also puts them in a slide show and I dont want that. I want to align them with the topic that I write down.
    If anyone can help me, PLEASE do so! I DEEPPPLLYYY appreciate it.

    • Angela Alcorn
      August 12, 2010 at 5:21 am

      I presume you're trying this from the Tumblr dashboard.

      To get a photo followed by some text, choose a Text Post. From there you can either use HTML to link to an image online or you can click the link for "upload photo" and it will automatically host the photo and write the HTML code in for you.

  4. Angela Alcorn
    July 30, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I really don't know why the tags aren't searchable. Tumblr should really fix that! To get to your tags, type in the url in this format (changing yourblog and yourtag): http://yourblog.tumblr.com/tagged/yourtag

    Some themes have tag support, but you can always edit the theme yourself if you know how.

  5. Anonymous
    July 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    hi! i have a question.... I added tags to every post but you can't search for them in the search box... why is that?

    • Angela Alcorn
      July 30, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      I really don't know why the tags aren't searchable. Tumblr should really fix that! To get to your tags, type in the url in this format (changing yourblog and yourtag): http://yourblog.tumblr.com/tagged/yourtag

      Some themes have tag support, but you can always edit the theme yourself if you know how.

      • Anonymous
        July 31, 2010 at 5:06 pm

        Thank you for your help! At least I know how to find them now, but yeah, they should make them searchable.

        • Angela Alcorn
          July 31, 2010 at 6:34 pm

          Yeah, they definitely should! (*hint* *hint* Tumblr!)

  6. Kai
    July 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I use EVERNOTE quite in the way you describe in this article. Nice!

    • Angela Alcorn
      July 15, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      Cool - That'd work too. :)

  7. blueshell
    June 12, 2010 at 11:18 am

    A good guide to use Tumblr! It's helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Angela Alcorn
      June 12, 2010 at 11:34 am

      Glad you like it!

  8. Digital Imagination
    June 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Looks Cool ....

    Must check it out.............

  9. Digital Imagination
    June 12, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Looks Cool ....

    Must check it out.............

    • Angela Alcorn
      June 12, 2010 at 11:08 am

      It's pretty useful!

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