How Creative Are You?

There is much debate on whether creativity is a learned skill or a coveted gift reserved for a select few. People often will say to one another, “Oh I’m not creative,” or “You are so much more creative than I am.” Whether creativity can be taught or not, the reality is some people are more creative than others. But that’s not the whole story.

The 4-C Model of Creativity

James C. Kaufman and Ronald A. Beghetto are two significant contributors to the creativity conversation and have elaborated on a classification system that is very interesting to professional designers and hobbyists alike. They call it the “Four-C Model of Creativity” and it is used to show how creativity develops over the course of one’s life. The four stages of creativity are defined as: Big-C, Little-C, Pro-C, and Mini-C.

Let’s look at Big-C first because it is the most straightforward. Big-C is the level of creativity reserved for the creative geniuses in the world. It includes all luminaries throughout the ages, from Mozart, to Einstein, to Hemingway. Their work lives on long after they’ve passed and they are remembered for their creativity.

Little-C and Mini-C are levels of creativity that are attainable for all of us. Mini-C is creativity that happens early on during the learning process, such as when a child first learns to draw. Little-C is the creativity that is inherent in everyday life, such as someone who writes music for fun or enjoys painting.

Pro-C is where many entertainers, designers and other individuals in the fields associated with creativity might fall. These individuals have achieved expert-level creativity and are making a living using the creative development they have built over the years.


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Martijn van Tilburg
February 13th, 2015

Tracking Retainer Projects

We often hear the question how do I manage retainer projects in 10,000ft. Retainer projects are typically long projects that have a fixed time or fee budget. There might be a variety of work that is done throughout the life of the retainer, but everything rolls up to a single budget. In this post, I’ll explain how to set up your retainer projects in 10,000ft and how to quickly pull reports that show monthly and total progress updates.

Let’s look at setting up retainer projects with a single budget. (We’ll look at retainers with monthly budgets in just a bit). The first step is to create a new project with a start and end date that spans the length of retainer contract, typically 12 months. Set either a time or fee budget (or both) based on the contract you have with your client.

For example, if the agreement allows for up to 2,000 hours of work, your time budget should be 2,000 hours. If you know that your budget for the year is $100,000 and you don’t want to exceed that in billable time, you should set the project fee budget to $100,000.

Next, add specific team members to the project with estimated assignments. When determining their allocation, you should consider each team member’s bill rate (are they a junior or senior level team member?) and how much time will they devote to the project (the more hours someone devotes to the project, the more budget you will burn through).

The status bar will update as each team member is added, so you can see how much of your budget is being used as you add more team members. When your team tracks hours against this project, you will see the time accrue against your budget.

Tracking Retainer...

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Anne Prins
January 23rd, 2015

Understanding Creativity

When you are in the business of creativity, there is a huge emphasis on the creative process. Whether it is design thinking or human centered design, the main focus is to engage in certain activities, sometimes in sequential order, to achieve specific design outcomes. Many professional firms believe they can differentiate by inventing or applying new ways to go through the design process. In my experience, it’s not the process, but rather the creativity of the people going through the process, that determines the outcome.

Unfortunately as designers, we often do not look close enough at how this creativity comes about. Compared to the time we spend looking at process, improving inherent creativity hardly gets any attention.

So how do we improve our creativity? To understand that, we need to know what makes something creative in the first place.

What makes something creative?

Academia has many definitions for creativity, but most agree that it must adhere to two requirements: first, it needs to be original, and second that it be functional. Originality is kind of obvious; it should not be a direct copy from something else. Functionality means that the idea “works,” but it is often overlooked when evaluating something as being creative or not.

When you think about this in the context of a new product, it is easy to see what it means for something to “work.” Take the paper clip for example; the first paperclip was a creative solution because it was both an original idea and a functional invention in that it successfully holds together a stack of paper.

In other creative disciplines such a music, the functionality is whether or not the music works for the...

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Martijn van Tilburg
January 9th, 2015

Review Your Time Entry Settings For 2015

You may have heard rumblings recently about a new timesheet design coming to 10,000ft; if this is news to you, here is a high level overview of what’s coming. We’ve been refining the new features based on user feedback and we are just about ready to make the new UX standard on all 10,000ft accounts!

With the introduction of new timesheets (and 2015 around the corner), this is a great opportunity for Account Administrators to review the time entry setting on the account. Each setting offers different levels of flexibility and detail, so depending on your company’s culture and reporting needs, you might decide to update your setting before the new features roll out.

All accounts have the option to select one of three different time entry settings:

  • Half Day
  • Hours & Minutes
  • Itemized Hours & Minutes

Half Day: Fast, high level time entry

Half Day is great for teams with little variation in their daily activities. This is typically because team members are working on one or two projects at a time. Time is entered in 4-hour increments and the Confirm Suggestions button makes entering time a smooth, one-click process.

You obviously don’t get the same kind of accuracy as you do with the other time entry settings, but if you are looking to keep entering time as efficient as possible, Half Day might be the setting that works best.

Half Days

Hours & Minutes: Precise tracking that maintains efficiency

This time entry setting combines the efficiency of Half Day with the accuracy of Itemized. Team members can enter the exact amount of time spent on each project or phase,...

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Paul Rees
December 18th, 2014

Find Us At Seattle Interactive Conference

The Seattle Summer has come and gone, and while October usually signals us to brace for rain, the Maker Community is ramping up for Seattle Interactive Conference.

SIC://2014 promises to bring together “thought-leaders who synthesize creative inspiration with the next big idea, and companies that successfully cultivate innovation and then translate it into commerce” for two days of sessions, networking, and workshops.

The 10,000ft team will be in attendance this year and there are two ways to find us:

Taking the ‘Create’ Out of Creativity

Thursday, 11:10 AM -12:00 PM

Martijn is speaking about creativity and how being more creative is not about the things you make or the number of ideas you come up with, but rather being able to make connections quickly and dismiss ideas that are irrelevant to the task at hand. He’ll explore the subconscious and the impact pattern recognition has on our creativity. He will also examine the link between creativity and communication and leave attendees with suggestions for solving their own creative challenges more efficiently.


10,000ft Team

We’ll be hanging out in the HUB both days answering questions and sharing our OpenBeam, Arduino-powered gum ball machine. Stop by and say Hi, grab a gum ball, and meet the team. We’ll also be calculating our SIC://2014 ROI here!

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Paul Rees
October 13th, 2014

Getting Started With Your Free Trial (Checklist)

Setting up a 10,000ft account is an intuitive process that doesn’t require much effort ahead of time. But we’ve found that account owners who complete a few basic steps in the beginning are able to do a more thorough evaluation and are better positioned to make 10,000ft part of their company’s workflow should they decide to sign up.

So before you start your 30-day free trial, download and read-through our comprehensive guide to setting up your company’s account for the first time. And if you have questions about your trial, email us at

Download the guide here.

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Paul Rees
October 6th, 2014

Buying Project Management Software: A Story, Some History & Survey Data

Stop me if this sounds familiar. “Leo is man in his 40s and has been a business owner for the past few years—a burgeoning agency in the city. His team has been growing steadily, but lately he’s noticed the limitations of how he and his company keep track of what they are working on. His resourcing spreadsheet often crashes and, when it does work, it is rarely up to date.

Ideally, he’d like something that connects his work back to revenue and helps him see which projects are profitable or not. He sets out in search of a project management solution that will work for his company.”

This is often the point when we hear from many of our customers, and it’s a familiar situation for us. First of all, we lived it. Our founding team came from Artefact, a Seattle-based design consultancy faced with this exact scenario. 10,000ft was created to solve a very specific need, and it turns out we weren’t alone. We hear stories over and over again from customers about outgrowing their operations and needing a simple, yet powerful upgrade.

But don’t just take it from us. Project management technology review firm Software Advice recently released data on common trends among buyers of project management software. Below are some findings that stood out.

Buyers of Project Management Software

  • The majority of project management software buyers are moving from manual tracking processes like spreadsheets (45%). Take RED Interactive Agency for instance. They realized they were spending too much time managing their spreadsheet and separate time tracking system. They needed...
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Paul Rees
September 28th, 2014

Implementing New Resource Management Software

There is a lot to do after your company adopts new business software. You already went through the effort to find the right solution, convince your team it was a fit, and figure out how to add this new platform into your workflow.

But implementing new software seamlessly can be just as much of a challenge as finding the right solution. That’s why we’ve put together a series of questions you should ask yourself before introducing 10,000ft to your team.

The answers to these questions will help you articulate your goals, set up your account to match your current practices, and create new policies and procedures that make your operations more efficient.

To have a successful roll out, review each of these questions ahead of time and clearly communicate the answers to your team. And as always, you can let us know if you have other questions about your account by emailing our Support Team.

Happy Planning!

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Paul Rees
September 24th, 2014
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