Research is an important aspect of idea production. An idea miraculously coming out from a vacuum has never occurred in the course of history, as every thought has been shaped by what we read, felt, or experienced. Research is done to ultimately build up our knowledge of the world and in turn we draw upon this knowledge in order to create more new ideas.
Ideally every professional on earth will have a personal, well-stocked library for all his research needs, may it be for historical references or technical cheat sheets. If that can’t be done one-hundred percent of the time, the internet is the next best thing. Here, we round up top websites we love that has made visual research all the more easy – and fun.
- Del.icio.us - Basically, del.icio.us is a web bookmarking tool that allows us to save web URL, sort them accordingly based on subject, purpose, or whatever sorting system suitable for each user, and share them easily through a link. Not only that, notes can be added for each particular entry and users can also search what other people bookmarked based on tags. This is particularly useful for searching for websites on the same topics.
- Evernote - Evernote is more than your typical notebook. A “note” can either be a few lines of texts, a picture, a voice note, a video, a web link, or a file attachment arranged into notebooks, stacks, and tags. Basically, notebooks are collected individual notes while stacks are collected notebooks. Tags can be attached to every note for easy searching. This powerful organization tool allows users to take down each and every important piece of information, arrange them accordingly, and make them easily accessible when you need them. This can be useful for project notes, list of errands, materials needed, or all of the above.
- Ideeeas.com - Got a great idea? Why not share them? The thing with ideas is that they grow, and perhaps this is a good place to let them do just that. Ideeeas gives us a platform to share an idea, no matter how raw it is, with just “two images and a tweet”. You simply put in your own words what an idea is all about and attach two pictures with it that may either, illustrate, explain, or obscure. Whatever your pick may be. Other users can also comment on your post and perhaps give you a clue whether using Comic Sans for an avant-garde wedding invitation is such a good thing after all.
- Pinterest - This website allows us to gather the interesting things we see on the web and share them, pinboard-style. One of the best things about Pinterest is that we can conveniently “pin” an image from anywhere on the web to our corresponding accounts and sort them to “boards” that may be about absolutely anything. Users can also like and re-pin other people’s image posts. The secret to Pinterest success lies in which boards to follow. Follow the right people on the website and you’re guaranteed a quality stream of interesting images.
- Retrievr - Usual search methods allow us to look for particular items through keywords. This handy tool however, allows users to explore Flickr images by drawing a rough sketch on the site’s flash drawing pad. The site will then generate similar images based on shape, pattern, and color. Results will vary, of course, but stunning images find their way into the search results every so often which makes it all the more satisfying.
Guest author Laura Brentley is Manager of Online Sales at Card Printing US, a division of Tele-Pak Printing which specializes in printed card items such as id cards, gift cards and key tags.