Having issues staying on topic while working on your latest project? Inspiration running low? Try creating mood boards to keep focused!

At one time or another, we have all felt it. That terrible feeling when you’re trying to finish up a project, and your mind just flits from one thing to another, unable to concentrate on the task at hand. Maybe you’re writing a paper on a Shakespearean play, and all of a sudden you’re thinking (and maybe accidentally writing) about the latest blockbuster film that’s about to be in theaters. Maybe you’re a blogger and you had this image in your head of what you want your blog to feel like, but you aren’t sure what that image is anymore, or even if your blog resembles it. Maybe you’re an art student or designer, and you had a certain color scheme and style you wanted to implement, and you started working on the project, only to realize a couple of hours in that you can’t quite remember what exactly your original inspiration was, and your creativity is steadily waning. All of this could have been avoided, and future creative blocks can be smashed, with the simple yet effective use of a mood board.

Mood Boards Typography Mood Board in Earth Tones for Graphic Design Sunglasses Accent Chair

Via Bolchalk FReY

Right about now, you’re probably wondering “what is a mood board exactly and why are you telling me to make one?” You have a point. What is a mood board? It sounds like such a strange thing to ask someone to make when they need to regain their focus. Well, mood boards are a collection of printed out or digital images put together in a collage on either a wall or a computer desktop. Pretty simple, right? The purpose of a mood board is to have a set of images to look to when you’re losing focus. By staring at those images, you can regain your lost focus, and continue working on your project with your ideas fresh in your mind once again. Who knew it could be that easy? But it is!

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Mood Boards Icy Purple Winter Decor Mood Board with Blues Flowers Gifts Wall Art Miniature Village Snowy Setting

Via HGTV

Now that you have a basic idea of what a mood board is, let’s talk about where they came from. Mood boards have mainly been used by designers of a variety of sorts—fashion, architecture, interior design, etc.—to make sure that they stay on topic throughout their entire project. Take a look at the mood board pictured above. This board could have easily been put together as inspiration for icy purple winter/holiday home decor. You definitely get that vibe of what the inspiration is supposed to be. That’s the whole point of mood boards!

Mood Boards Travel Inspired Mood Board with Maps Sketches Photos and Handwritten Notes

Via Design Claud

You're probably thinking at this point “Uh, why do I need a mood board? I’m not a designer.” Even if you aren’t a designer, you can still benefit from a mood board. They can be used by virtually anyone. All it takes is a little creativity. Mood boards can be used by small business owners, crafters, students, writers, bloggers; anyone who has a specific project they are trying to complete. Planning a wedding? You could use bridal mood boards, or several wedding mood boards, to help. Planning a trip and anxiously waiting at work until you can use your vacation hours? You could make a mood board of your future vacation to help you focus so you make that money you need to book your flight. You could even make one if you're trying to motivate yourself to go to the gym, or if you're going through a rough patch and just need something pretty to look at in the morning and remind yourself that you're going to be okay. I’m telling you, these things are useful for pretty much anything you can imagine.

Mood Boards Loose Leaf Tea Mood Board with Distressed Teapot Kitchen Garden Indoor Plants

Via

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Are you sold on mood boards yet? Let’s get you ready to create a mood board for whatever project you need help focusing on. There are a couple of different ways you can go about making your own mood board. For starters, you need to know if you want it to be a tangible mood board, hung on a wall or corkboard, or if you want it to be digital. This can be determined by the effort you wish to put into the board, and the space you have. You can do a quick search online to see some mood board templates to help inspire you and help you figure out what you need. Once you figure that out, you can get to making your very own mood board!

When making a digital mood board, the hardest part is going to be searching the internet for pictures that reflect what your project needs. Then, you assemble them together on a document, or use a mood board maker online like gomoodboard.com to help. You could even create a tangible mood board and photograph it to use digitally if you would prefer. To do this, you will need more time and space, and of course you would need to know how to make a tangible mood board.

Mood Boards Coffee Inspiration Moby Dick Handsome Coffee Mens Watch Baseball Glove and Ball Stone Tools Pipe

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To make a physical mood board, get yourself a corkboard or open wall space (or, if you are photographing it for digital use, a table top) to set up your mood board layout. Ideally, you want it near enough to your workspace so that you have an unobstructed view when you need to glance at it. On the wall near or behind your desk or workspace would be great, but it is all up to you and the limits of your space. Now, gather up items, photos, color swatches, anything you think will help you focus on your project and pin it up on your board. That Shakespearean play you were writing about? Maybe it’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You could print out pictures of the characters from the play, fairies, even a headshot of William Shakespeare himself. You could go three dimensional here and add in leaves, flowers, and anything else that reminds you of the play. Make your mood board embody whatever it is you need to work on.

Mood Boards White and Neutral Mood Board for Blogger with Scrabble Tiles Ampersand and Butterflies

Via

If your project cannot be conceptualized easily, go for something you enjoy that is soothing, and make it what you use as a conduit to focus on. Go with a rainbow design, black and white, or a mix of your favorite colors for a color mood board. Add in inspirational and motivational quotes.

One cool idea is to make your mood board three-dimensional. The mood board above was made this way. The creator assembled these items on a table, snapped a picture, and made it her desktop background. Every time she opened up her computer to work on her blog, the first thing she saw was the mood board she created to showcase the intention of her blog. It’s a perfect way to get you in the mood to work on the project at hand!

Mood Boards Global Nomad Mood Board Cake Succulents Outdoor Living at the Beach Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Via Pocketful of Dreams

Just making a mood board can help with the creative process. You may find as you go that more images relate to what you are working on, and in turn, make your mood board reflect your intentions even more. Having the right images and the right colors can boost the effectiveness of your mood board. Have fun with it! There's no wrong way to make a mood board, especially if you enjoyed making it, and it helps you stay focused on your current project, whatever that may be!

There you have it! Now you know what a mood board is, how one can help you finish your projects more effectively, and how you can personalize one for your own needs. Be sure to share this post with your friends and comment with photos of your own mood boards, or ideas you have about how you can use one in your life. Stay creative, my friends!

**Featured image via The Design Sheppard