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Uncreative Naming Is Better

Personal Improvement

I would always try to come up with creative names. Here's why I've stopped doing that.

Many years ago, back when I was a young, impressionable 31-year-old, I wrote a little thing on Medium called, “I’m the worst at naming things.” The quick recap: I used odd names for things, particularly devices like phones and computers.

I liked to use strange names that were interesting to me. You can read the post to see some of them.

Now that I’m older and wiser and handsomer and less modest, I’ve done a 180 on this preference. I gave up on interesting naming and now prefer to go with the painfully obvious.

My phone is now called Angus’ Phone and my laptop’s name on the network is Angus’ Laptop.

I did this to reduce mental effort so I can spend it elsewhere.

It may be a small thing, but every time I saw Box in my Pants (my previous phone name) in a bluetooth list, I had to do a mental vlookup to know that it was my phone. Why do that to yourself? It’s a lot easier to name it whatever you naturally think of it as.

“That’s my phone. That’s my laptop.”

I used to think “normal” names were boring. Now I know boring is easier.

I like easier.

And now all my creative energy is saved for things I put out into the world, instead of naming the tablet which no one else ever sees the name of.

Name Your Business Better

Obvious names are great for websites and businesses also. I touched on this when I wrote about SEO last year.

It’s so much better for everyone if you know exactly what a business does from the name. Joe’s Plumbing, for example. Not a lot of guesswork there. The tech world, on the other hand, takes the complete opposite approach. We name tech businesses completely nonsensically. Flikk and Grumpt and Drapple.

This is how common it has become: those three examples were just the first three nonsense-names I made in my head while writing this and at least one of them turned out to be a real thing.

The point is I’m all-in on direct, obvious naming. For now. Maybe 41-year old me will reference this post and say how creative foolish names are the only things I truly love.