Posts Tagged inspiration

3 Ways Sunrise Keeps Me Productive and Inspired

Sunrise image

Calendar apps can be really boring. Calendar apps in general are viewed as tools for the extreme type A individual, or the person who simply can’t stay organized. The truth is most of us fall somewhere in between this spectrum. We’re generally on top of things, but reminders are welcomed in the midst of our busy lives.

In general, I’ve found most calendar apps slow to sync (which translates to being completely unreliable), and frustrating to look at on my phone’s tiny screen.

I was reluctant to try another calendar app when my friend introduced me to Sunrise, but I decided to give it a shot. Sunrise App, not exactly “new”, but recently acquired by Microsoft, “combines beautiful design and great engineering” to reimagine your calendar app. I was skeptical of such bold claims, but within seconds I had my calendar, my colleague’s calendars, my tasks in Asana, and my husbands calendar, all synced to my phone.

I’m sure Sunrise can do everything—that’s how much faith I have in the app—but I’m going to share just a few quick tips on staying productive, and how the innovative Sunrise helps me do this in unexpected ways.

  • Today’s Calendar is all I see in the morning – My notifications (or pull-down menu) exclude stocks, Evernote, tomorrow’s tasks can all wait. When I pull down my menu, all that’s there is today – what I need to accomplish and who will be there.
  • I have 3 apps on my home screen – These are, Clear for jotting down quick notes or sparks of inspiration, Google Maps because I’m always going to new places, and Sunrise. Just because your phone has the space for more apps doesn’t mean you have to use it. Where do other apps live? On my second home screen hidden away. They don’t scream in my face when they’re hidden, and if I really need to access something I simply pull down the search and type in the first few letters of the app.
  • I count my weeks – Sunrise has lots of fun calendars you can add to yours – US holidays, sports schedules, weather, but my personal favorite is the week counter. I find that thinking about the year as a series of weeks keeps it fresh, keeps me on track with my goals, and reminds me just how short a year is—and not to waste time.

It’s fun thinking outside the box when using your productivity tools. The way a tool works for one person may not be the way it works best for you. Plus, these interesting hacks are where the coolest innovations come from.

And plus, Sunrise is a perfect name for this app—the sun rises exactly as predicted each day of the year, but every sunrise is different, full of new colors, and is an inspirational start to each day.

antedote is a strategic insights and innovation consultancy based in San Francisco, and we have helped many of the world’s leading brands like Pepsico and Unilever to garner deeper insights about their consumers and identify opportunities to grow their brands. 

To learn about antedote’s latest award-winning innovation and insight tool, please click below for a free demo:

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Top 10 Sites to Inspire Innovation

Inspiring Innovation

Inspiring Innovation

When caught in the daily grind, it is easy to get stuck in a rut. Where do you go to breathe fresh perspective into your work?

Here are our 10 top favorite sites that we turn to to get our creative juices flowing and inspire us to think outside the box. Enjoy!

(1) Notcot : Visually stunning, creative, innovative, compelling

(2) Zen Habits : Mentally clear through the clutter of the day

(3) MIT Technology Review : Understanding the ever-changing tech-driven world

(4) Seth Godin’s Blog : Thought-provoking words for marketers

(5) Fubiz : The best in contemporary creative culture

(6) Life-Edited : Moving towards efficiency

(7) Behance : Showcases the work of artists around the world

(8) Pinterest : Beautiful snapshot of our culture in all categories

(9) Imgur : The internet’s most popular visual stories

(10) Swiss-Miss : Curated quotes, products, and talks that will warm the heart

Top 8 Podcasts that All Marketers Should Listen To


Brace yourself as we enter into the new golden age of podcasting! Noting the much better quality of today’s podcasts (some have full-scale productions with huge budgets and staff), the rise of connected cars (making listening to episodes easy for commuters), and the great popularity of Serial and the like, there is no doubt that podcasts (a 10 year old term associated with the now obsolete iPod that the episodes would play on) have come back with a vengeance.

Check out our 8 top favorite podcasts that all Marketers should tune in to for further education and inspiration on the job.

(1) Marketing Over Coffee
Straight to the point marketing tips and tricks, from SEO and social media to copy writing and offline marketing campaigns.


(2) Duct Tape Marketing
Perfect for the small business marketer on how to be scrappy with your resources.


(3) Social Pros Podcast: Real People Doing Real Work in Social Media
In this digital era, it is critical for marketers to be in the know of best social media strategies and of the newest platforms.


(4) Invisibilia
Passing Serial as the most popular podcast on the iTunes charts, this podcast investigates the unseen forces that shape human nature, such as emotions, assumptions, and beliefs.


(5) The Week Ahead
Rather than highlighting what’s already happened, Economist correspondents projects what the headlines will be in the week ahead.


(6) Radio Lab
Great way to take a breather from your own industry, feed your own curiosity, and be inspired by science.


(7) The Startup
A fun and very transparent podcast on what happens when someone who knows nothing about business starts one.


(8) New York Times Book Review
You’re a busy person and your time is too precious to be wasted on bad literature. Authors and critics inform you on what the newest must-reads.


From the Antedote Library: Top 14 Books for Inspiration

The holiday season is upon us, and what better time then now to cozy up to a warm fireplace with a good book.

Here are our top 14 fireplace reads from the Antedote library that have inspired us and our work.

Books for Inspiration

1_how to get to ideas
How to Get Ideas by Jack Foster
Easy, fun read with practical tips on how to get inspired and unstuck.

1001 Extra/Ordinary Objects by Oliviero Toscani
Somebody’s ordinary is always somebody else’s extraordinary. Open any page and go on a cultural journey through the world of “stuff”.

Lovemarks by Kevin Roberts
Beautifully laid out with inspiring brand stories behind the legends that consumers have irrational emotional connections with.

Home – A Short History of an Idea
by Witold Rybczynski
How has societal changes influenced the idea of home, specifically around the concept of privacy and comfort? It’s important to look back at the history of why things are the way they are in order to get the fuller picture of how our current culture is shaping these ideas.

The Method Method: Seven Obsessions That Helped Our Scrappy Start-up Turn an Industry Upside Down
by Eric Ryan, Adam Lowry, Lucas Conley
Making business and innovation strategy more accessible.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
 by Austin Kleon

Innovation starts from stealing.

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
by Chip and Dan Heath
Ideas stick if they are Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and are Stories.

Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Even a picture of a hat could really be a boa constrictor who’s eaten an elephant…if only we look at it with a different perspective.

Lean Startup
by Eric Ries
Growing a successful competitive business it about efficiently learning what your customers will buy. The Lean Startup delivers a compelling recipe with fantastic ideas for shortcuts.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 2.37.08 PM
The Social Psychology of Material Possessions – To Have is to Be
by Helga Dittmar
Stuff…. Without it you’re nothing.

Steve Jobs
by Walter Isaacson

The full inspirational story of the life, character, obsessions and decisions of the man that created and resurrected one of the world’s most innovative companies.

Green Eggs and Ham
by Dr. Seuss
Whatever you face in life, whatever you fears or expectations – JUST TRY IT!

Abundance – The Future is Better Than You Think
 by Peter Diamandis
A really inspiring and positive take on the future and how innovation can step in and create that better future.

on Advertising by David Ogilvy
A classic and entertaining read on how to sell the idea from the undisputed grandfather of advertising.

Finding inspiration for innovation–without leaving your neighborhood

When most people think about gathering inspiration, they probably think about visiting a city they’ve never been to, retreating into nature, or reading up on the latest fashion trends. While there is a great of inspiration to be found in exploring the new and exciting and getting lost in thought, sometimes the best exercise for your insight muscle and creativity for innovation is simply acting as a tourist among familiar sights and sounds around you in your own city—or as we like to call it at antedote: streetscaping. Streetscaping is wandering around familiar or unfamiliar places with the lens of discovery and soaking up what’s happening, interesting, standing out, or even hiding.

Your neighborhood is your best and closest resource to gathering information, and it’s amazing what you can discover in a few short hours. As researchers, it’s important to live as a consumer, to experience things firsthand rather than as you would expect, and to walk around with your senses heightened. Here are some things that I discovered this weekend while walking through my neighborhood with a new set of eyes, and no particular destination.

Craftsman and Wolves – On special occasions I’ll run by Craftsman and Wolves for their delicious pastries. I’m usually in a hurry, but today I had all the time in the world. These people are off the charts creative. Their love of food is evident in everything from the environment, to the presentation, and of course, the tastes.

Dandelion Chocolate – I had received a gift from a friend that included some chocolates from this local shop. Intrigued by the packaging, I decided to drop by. Inside the store you can actually watch the chocolate being made. They also offer regular lectures on provenance (the next one featured someone returning from a sourcing trip to talk about what they found.) The entire place is extremely experiential.

Mission Cheese – You don’t have to go abroad to experience amazing cheese. Walking into this store is like walking into a cheese shop in Europe.

Self-edge – While food is a great way to experience the world with all five senses, self-edge is an emerging kind of space that’s all about sustainability, recycled materials, and of course, makers. At antedote we’ve done plenty of work with Makers, so I stopped by to chat with the staff about what they were doing, and of course bought a hat to replace the one I had lost in London.

Creativity Explored – Another unique kind of space, creativity explored is “where art changes life.” It’s a space that people can come and create, or walk through galleries including everything from kids drawings to professional works of art. This place is the blend of an art studio and a gallery, and is a perfect example of inviting your clientele into the creative process.

Dog-eared books – Second hand bookstores have been around for a very long time, so they are often overlooked when it comes to innovation. I made sure to drop by Dog-eared books to check out the local staff picks and to see what sort of themes are standing out to readers these days.

Chocolatier Blue – In case I hadn’t had enough chocolate, I dropped by Chocolate Blue. I paid attention to every detail in the chocolate presentation. Everything was so precise—and unlike chocolate that I normally eat—I sampled the unique options such as chili, waffles and ice cream, and caramel apple.

The Chai Cart – I’m not a chai drinker myself, but one of my employees is, and so I brought back a brochure to share with her and pass on a bit of the experience I had that day.

What’s most fascinating to me is that all of these places were right down the road from my apartment, but I felt as if I’d never been in the neighborhood before. I wasn’t working; I was driven by the love of curiosity to see what I would find. It’s obvious the implications that discovery and observation have for your work—borrowing from other categories is a key element of innovation. Practicing these skills of engagement and observation can influence your skills as a researcher as well. When you’re conducting research, you have to have your eyes and ears open to new things, or seeing old things in a new light.

I parked my car on 16th, and only made it as far as 20th and Valencia, and I was gone the entire day.