Q&A with Vera Blue: How tuning into your environment can shape a song

At this year’s SXSW conference, we had a chance to chat with some of our favorite artists to find out what sparks their creative process and how they collaborate on music, comedy, and storytelling. Here’s what we learned from Australian singer/songwriter Vera Blue about letting the vibe of your environment—and chemistry with your collaborators—shape the sound of your songs.

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This is why you should forget about formatting and focus on your ideas

Since my days as the co-founder of Presentate, I’ve been asking why so many collaboration tools get in the way of creating great content. As part of the team at Dropbox, I’ve been working on ways to help people develop ideas together, even when they’re on opposite sides of the world. What I’ve found is that few solutions are in sync with the way people create, or the way teams collaborate. Sometimes, the tools themselves are actually an obstacle to the creative process. That’s why I think it’s time to rebuild collaboration from the idea up.

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The 3 things you need to do to streamline your daily workflow

At Dropbox, we’re big believers in the benefits of an open creative process. When it comes to collaboration, transparency is the key to improving team communication, removing silos, and streamlining workflows. Chances are, the diverse departments throughout your company are using a number of tools to gather insights. And integrating those tools can be the key to enabling transparency. Here’s how project managers can leverage those integrations to make that process less complicated.

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Q&A with David “Shingy” Shing: facilitator, disruptor, prophet

AOL’s David “Shingy” Shing is a self-proclaimed “digital prophet.” He’s made a living out of forecasting the future, whether that’s the newest trend in tech or the next shift in social media culture. We got a chance to chat with Shingy in a freewheeling conversation about why daily routines are good for creativity, how not to run a brainstorm, and why money and fame aren’t critical for career happiness.

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Meetings are a waste of time. Here’s how to fix them.

Meetings are a fact of our modern work lives, but they’re not winning any popularity contests. Economist John Kenneth Galbraith summed up the general sentiment when he said, “Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.” And there may be more than a grain of truth there—surveys report that up to 50% of the time we spend in meetings is a waste of time. And it’s costing American businesses an estimated $37 billion a year.

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