Behance Action Series: Structured Creativity

Note: Behance is a sponsor of LifeDev. But rest assured we wouldn’t have written this if we didn’t mean every word. Every word.

behanceBehance is a productivity outfitter of sorts. As per their slogan “making ideas happen”, they’ve interestingly focused their products for creative types. This is a smart move. Creativity is a very important thing to foster, especially in a business setting.

If you happen to be (or know) a very creative person, you probably know firsthand how good at coming up with interesting ideas or solutions they (we) tend to be. And you probably also know how terrible they are at implementing them. Enter Behance. They’ve created productivity tools that are creativity friendly.

I’ve been checkin’ out the Behance Action Series as of late, and I love it. But maybe I’m biased. I loved it as soon as I saw the packaging. The good people at Behance have really taken the time in every aspect of their products. Even their packaging has little mathematical formulas for creativity wrapped along the bottom.

Productive Creativity = Creativity + Organization + Perspiration + Collaboration + ….(tons more variables all the way around the packaging) = Make Ideas Happen

The Action Pad

The grandaddy of the Action Series, Behance Action Pads are like structured playgrounds for the mind. Instead of just the daunting solid white of a plain ‘ol notebook page, the Behance team has managed to create a delicate balance between structure and freedom. That’s a hard thing to do.

behance action pads

On the right sidebar, they’ve created space for action steps (like Next Actions in GTD). On the bottom of that sidebar there is a space for your “Backburner” items, or things to worry about later. On the top left side of the page, there’s plenty of room to describe what the page is about and other reference notes, along with a “Prep/Focus” box for refreshing your mind as to what the page means when you’re looking at it later.

(I really like the Prep/focus area of the page, mainly because it’s sometimes hard to remember what scribbles on a page mean without any context stuck to it. Kudos for creating a solution for that need! )

And wrapping out the Action Pad feature set is roughly 2/3 of nearly-white space on each page. Instead of having lines for this area for order (who needs that anyway?), the Action Series uses a dot grid to allow for more freedom than strict ‘ol lines. And they’ve dedicated the entire back side of the page to the dot grid, for maximum brainstormage. Another smart move.

The Action Pad Mini and Action Cards

If you don’t need a whole sheet of creativity, but rather just something to write down what to do next, check out the Action Pad Mini.

action pad mini

The Action Pad Mini has everything that the larger Action Pad has, just less of it.

If you’re looking for an even smaller place to fit just next actions and a place to write/draw, the Action Cards may be a better fit. Very hipster PDA-ish.

action cards
One thing I like about both of these smaller products is that the back is totally dedicated to sketches, text, or whatever else you can think of.

Overall Conclusions

I like how all of the Action Series has enough color to be distinctive and noticeable, but not so much that it bogs down the creative juices with distractions. Also, the paper is of pretty high quality, and each order comes with a kickin’ sticker. How cool is that?

If there was anything I’d change, it would be area allotted to each Action Step. It’s a tad too much for me, but I tend to write small. I’m sure that size is perfect (and even too small) for others. Also, it would be nice to see a binder of sorts to house everything in. Just a thought ;)

Behance has done a great job of utilizing the space for their products. Nothing is wasted, so you can squeeze every last bit of creative goodness on to the paper. The product itself is truly productive, even before we get our hands on it.

While the Action Series isn’t cheap, it’s worth every penny. Part of the battle of staying organized and focused in our crazy, always-connected-world is having tools that are comfortable, grab your attention, and gently prod you into getting things done and stop being a slacker. Anything that can invoke change like that is worth every cent.

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