This week we are celebrating World Creativity and Innovation week – two words that are constantly present throughout the life of a scientist. Part of a scientist’s job description includes “solving scientific problems”, and no solution can be found without a creative and innovative mindset (and a lot of perseverance)!
Creativity is a magical abstract, obscure and baffling to express. It means “aha” and “Eureka” and that “light bulb moment”. It is colorful and intangible as the novel concept is yet to come. For a scientist, it can mean finding a new discovery that impacts society worldwide, such as a life-changing drug for neurodegeneration or a new vaccine for Malaria.
Without new ideas in science, there would be no development or progress. The human race would not be able to adapt to new conditions and situations. We would not have conquered smallpox and would stand no chance against climate change or cancer.
So, to drive improvement, we all want creativity and, if we’ve already some, we want more!
Luckily, HubSpot has published an article on how to get some.
Even more luckily, labfolder makes a lot of these steps easier, meaning more time and more opportunity for new ideas.
Here is how:
Stage 1: Preparation
New ideas are all about spawning new connections from old ones. So logic dictates, the more ideas you already have, the more likely it is new ones will form.
And what better way to collect and store all of these ideas than in the labfolder platform. Templates in labfolder speed up the data documentation process, allowing you more time to gather more data and form new ideas. The search and filter features make information easily retrievable meaning that that essential piece of information, which may lead to a key connection, can never be lost.
Stage 2: Incubation
This step is about bringing the ideas to the bench, to incubate your bacteria overnight or incubate your cells with a new compound. Studies have shown that many original ideas come about when you focus less attention on the matter at hand. However, in science, we know that innovation also comes from experiments and hard work. Creativity means trying a new solution in a different step, it means asking the question “What if?” in a century-old protocol and always finding a fresh way of making “omelets without eggs”.
This is when the labfolder app comes in. You can have your digital lab notebook everywhere you go and the excuse “I forgot my lab notebook” is no longer valid. Brilliant ideas are not constrained to a time schedule and always having access your lab notebook gives you the chance to record them instantly.
Nevertheless, some ideas appear when you are out of the lab, in a kind of “Isaac-Newton-Apple-on-the-head” way and when you inevitably have that eureka moment, you can document it immediately on-the-go. Technology allows you more freedom to do things on your own time, which can also lead to more creativity.
Linked to the last stage, this is the part the light bulb moment happens when all your data comes together on your computer (and not in several pages separated and muddled by an abundance of other data, like in the paper lab notebook).
But the best part can quickly transform into the worst part if that idea is forgotten, which is why with labfolder documentation is so quick and painless that they are no excuses to not record the outcome of your science-changing discovery. The range of possible formats, like text, tables and images, allow you to express your idea however you want and mean you will never again forget an amazing idea.
Stage 4: Verification
Perhaps not as exciting as the illumination stage, this is where the planning, organization, and logistics of how to realize this idea come into play.
You don’t have to go it alone, you can develop and make your idea better with the help of your team. This is why labfolder offers collaboration features so that you and your group can work on ideas together. But technology makes collaboration effortless. Rather than wasting your time in endless meetings where you are rifling through documents trying to find that relevant page with that useful post it, you can comment directly on work within the labfolder platform, wherever there is an Internet connection. The same goes for allocating tasks and confirming due dates – everything is included in the platform, which means your idea can progress faster.