Tips and tricks to make the most of the fourth major milestone update to Windows 10
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is the fourth major update to Windows 10, and is available for download starting today.
According to a World Economic Forum report, creativity is one of the top three skills people will need to thrive in the digital world. The never-ending march of technology will bring new ways of working, and only the most creative will thrive in these changes.
Fortunately, the prevalence of technology in our daily lives also mean that we are more empowered than ever before to be creative. With the right mindset and digital tools, we can tap on the power of technology to spark our creativity.
With the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 continues to be the definitive platform to inspire creativity of more than 500 million users worldwide. There’s a whole bunch of new features and updates to look forward to, and we do mean a lot.
You’ll find an evolution to the photos experience that lets you create unique stories using images, videos, and 3D effects; enhancements in gaming, security, accessibility; and immersive new experiences made possible by Windows Mixed Reality.
And that’s not counting the variety of beautiful modern devices that will be coming your way this holiday season.
All of these features are designed to fuel your creativity and out-of-the-box thinking in a world where such soft skills are becoming increasingly important.
Not sure where to get started? Here are some tips and tricks on how you can tap on the Fall Creators Update to start your creativity journey.
Make creative thinking a habit in just 21 days
Research has suggested that it takes merely 21 days to create a new habit. If you’re determined to spend that time making creative thinking a habit, then you wouldn’t want to waste even a second.
The Fall Creators Update smooths out the friction when you jump between tasks with features like Files On-Demand – a cool OneDrive feature that lets you see and access all your cloud-based files in File Explorer whenever you need them, even if they’re not stored offline.
You can also pick up where you left off when switching devices thanks to Cortana, who will ask if you want to continue working in your app, doc or website on your next device, even if you’re on iOS or Android.
If you use supported apps like OneNote, all your notes, sketches, and doodles will also sync across all your devices seamlessly, maintaining your flow and maximizing the time you spend on juicing your creative flow.
Use a Pen and make it visual
Speaking of doodles, if your Windows device has a Pen or stylus, you should be familiar with Windows Ink.
Harvard researchers have found that doodling helps our brain relieve stress and improve focus, allowing for more creative and tireless problem solving. Plus, a Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) study found that using a Pen instead of a keyboard while learning deepens the mind’s ability to retain and process information.
Windows 10 gives you ample canvas to doodle, from mini-apps like Sticky Notes and Screen Sketch to full blown art boards in apps such as Autodesk Sketchbook.
With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you can ink directly on PDFs, making it easier and faster to comment and share documents with others.
Here’s an exercise we like: the Thirty Circles, created by Bob McKim of the Stanford Design Program and popularized by IDEO CEO Tim Brown in his TED presentation:
- On a blank piece of canvas, draw thirty circles. (or download a PDF template from your favourite creativity resource website; the Fall Creators Update will let you ink directly on PDFs).
- Then, in just three minutes, turn as many of these circles as possible into recognizable objects.
Did you draw a soccer ball? A smiley emoji? A cookie? Or maybe broke the rules a little to combine multiple circles into one object? Whatever your result, the exercise will stretch the limits of your imagination, challenging the speed, diversity, and quantity of your ideas within a set time limit.
Read to expand your mind
It’s no secret: the most creative and successful people in the world read regularly. When asked about the key to his success, for example, Warren Buffett pointed to a stack of books next to him.
“All of you can do it,” he said. “But I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
The key to reading consistently for bolstering your creativity lies in discipline: set a target, make yourself accountable to the target, and make time for it. Modern technology makes this endeavor easier.
Today, some of humanity’s greatest classics are available in the public domain, freely downloadable in the ePub eBook format. And you can read them right in Microsoft Edge web browser, so there’s no need to fiddle around with third-party apps or readers.
Microsoft Edge in the Fall Creators Update can even read your eBooks out aloud for you, so you can continue to doodle (see previous point) as you “read”!
Travel the world in Mixed Reality
Books are amazing at transporting you to a whole different place from the perspective of the author, but nothing beats the stimulation received from new sights and sounds.
That’s why you often hear of travel as an essential experience for creative thinkers. In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have managed to confirm that international travel can open the mind to new perspectives and points of view for a more creative mind.
But travel is a luxury. Many of us simply can’t afford the time and money to travel more than once or twice a year.
Enter Windows Mixed Reality.
The next step in the evolution of human computing, Windows Mixed Reality blends the virtual and the physical worlds into one immersive whole, so you can travel the world and even the stars without ever leaving your bedroom.
It’s not just travel either. Windows Mixed Reality has a growing catalog of experiences to fuel your creativity for months to come, from casual games to creative 3D object creation to live events, and more.
Practice divergent thinking
One of the most effective processes to stimulate creativity is divergent thinking: the process of exploring as many differentiating solutions and viewpoints as possible during problem solving, instead of following a rigid step-by-step path to one single solution.
This becomes really fun when you start thinking in 3D. A canvas full of 2D doodles suddenly becomes more intriguing when you start thinking about what lies behind these doodles. A square doesn’t have to just be a square when there’s a whole new dimension hiding in plain sight.
Playing in 3D is a core experience with the Fall Creators Update. You can whip out funky shapes in Paint 3D, use and share them in a variety of apps, such as the Remix3D community or Microsoft Office.
You can do so much with 3D objects in Windows 10. Place a giant 3D robot at the beach through Windows Mixed Reality, or 3D print out your personalized smartphone desk holder. The sky’s the limit!
In fact, if you’re feeling up to it, why not start creating your own apps for the Windows Mixed Reality platform? Developers will find it easy to create great content for Windows Mixed reality, spanning from simple augmented reality to virtual reality and of course, holograms.
Clear your head and play
Play inspires creativity, and there are a couple of ways you can do that in your day-to-day work: carry around a pouch full of Lego, or unleash your Windows 10 PC’s gaming capabilities.
Game Mode is even more powerful with the Fall Creators Update. With just a single tap, Game Mode unleashes your PC’s full processing power and direct it towards one sole mission: making your gameplay as smooth as possible so stuttering frame rates don’t frustrate your brain as it seeks to play.
And of course, you can have your Windows 10 PC and your Lego blocks too. Just fire up Minecraft and you’re ready to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Listen to music
We intuitively know that sound and music have profound effects on our brain. A certain track may get you all pumped up for your next workout at the gym, and another track seem to easily set up your mood for productive tasks.
Beyond that, listening to the right music can also boost our creativity. German researchers have found in a study that people who listen to “happy” music showed higher creativity that those who work in silence.
Needless to say, a universe of music awaits you on the Internet, and you can tap into two of the biggest music streaming services in the world with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Both Apple and Spotify will be bringing their familiar music apps to the Windows Store later this year, so you can download and install these apps almost immediately and begin your aural exploration without fuss.
Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep
We used to hate going to bed when we were kids. There’s just so much to do!
But sleep became more and more precious the older we got, and we now better understand that sleep is essential to deeper insight and creativity.
To get a better night’s rest, fight the blue light present in the screens of all our devices with Windows 10’s built in Night Light.
The Night Light reduces blue frequencies so that your sleep cycle is less affected, prepping you for a good night’s sleep and a refreshing morning the next day. As a bonus, blue light also better preserves your “night vision” – perfect for a night of star-gazing if you so wish.
… And more
With creativity in huge demand as one of the top skills in tomorrow’s economy, it’s never been a better time to develop a thirst for new thinking and hunger for creativity.
The Fall Creators Update is packed with features that give you a leg-up on this front. Therefore, we’ve created a 21-day creative calendar, in partnership with Singapore-based illustrator, Michael Mindflyer, to guide you on that path, including tips and tricks on how the Fall Creators Update can help you on this journey.
Click here to view the high-res version online, or print it out to stick beside your desk as a reminder!
Get the new update now and let us know what you think!