If you’re working on naming something, there are tons of excellent digital resources at your fingertips. But sometimes we find that more uncommon resources yield more interesting names. If you’ve exhausted online resources — or are just exhausted from staring at a screen, try out some of our offline suggestions to crack open creativity.

  1. Try a rhyming tangent. Think of a few relevant keywords to explore, rhyme with them and see where it takes you. e.g. game > lame > lame duck > Gameduck. Or a real life example: shutter > butter > butterfly > Shutterfly
  2. Got games? Playing Boggle can shake some ideas loose. Word searches can do the same trick in terms of helping you find/create new names that you wouldn’t find in a dictionary.
  3. Set a 20 minute timer to focus. Zero distractions. Come up with names. Just do it.
  4. Write down all of your bad ideas. Just get ‘em out of the way.
  5. Freewrite — see what comes out. Do this with pen or pencil — no keyboards allowed.
  6. Doodle or draw something related to the project. Maybe take the letters of keywords and turn them into funny faces. Or try sketching the product. Or draw a caricature of how a customer might feel using the platform. Notice any words or concepts that come up.

Jill Stanewick is a director of naming & strategy at Tanj.