Screenshot of a scoreboard table in Dropbox Paper

Work Culture

4 ways marketers can use gamification to inspire creativity


Published on June 01, 2017

Are you more motivated by deadlines or rewards? If winning a contest sounds like more fun than crossing off a to-do list, you’re not alone. Lately, more companies have been experimenting with gamification techniques to inspire people to break out of their routines. At Dropbox, we’re pretty serious about finding ways to make work more enjoyable. So we’re curious: how can we make everyday duties feel more like playing a game and less like punching a clock? Let’s take a look at a few ways you could use some fun features in Dropbox Paper to gamify the creative process.

1. Scoreboards and rewards

Here’s a game marketers can use to inspire a little friendly competition between their creative teams. Assign each team a creative task that can be A/B tested and measured. For example, you could have a subject line competition that compares open rates, or see who can get the most pageviews for a blog post, or the most likes, retweets, or shares on a social media post. Create a table in Paper as a running scoreboard. (You could tally metrics for a day, week, month or quarter).

2. Turn task lists into tag team races

Passing a baton is more fun than running a marathon alone. So next time you find yourself running out of steam when you’re racing to beat a creative deadline, try sharing the workload. Divide up the project into a task list that can be run like a relay race. In your Paper doc, you can start a task list just by typing [] (left and right brackets) followed by a space. Use the @mention to “tag” your teammates and let them know what they’re assigned to do and when. Next, notify the players that the race has begun and see who can complete their part of the project fastest. Or try dividing into teams that “pass the baton” to the next person on the task list who needs to complete their part to finish the project. Give each team their own emoji mascots to track their progress.
Screenshot of Tag Team Task List in Dropbox Paper
Screenshot of Tag Team Task List in Dropbox Paper

3. Beat the clock

If looming deadlines put a drag on your creative flow, turn the clock into a tool for motivation. Invite a few teammates to a brainstorming session. Explain the topic or problem you’re trying to solve and give everyone five minutes to free associate on each topic. Gather all the ideas into a Paper doc, then ask the team to vote with emoji for the winning headlines or designs. You could even announce the contest winner in a comment with one of the animated stickers available in Paper.
Screenshot showing emoji voting in Dropbox Paper
Screenshot showing emoji voting in Dropbox Paper

4. Volley the ball

Writing or ideating doesn’t have to be a lonely chore. If looking at a blank page makes you feel stuck, invite a collaborator into the process. Approach iteration like tennis, volleyball or improv: finish each other’s thoughts. Trading ideas makes the process feel more like a conversation than a monologue. And sharing the responsibility for moving the idea forward takes off some pressure and breaks the isolation that can creep into a creative’s life. See how long you can keep the brainstorm volley going before you get stuck. Whoever takes more than a minute to respond, loses the point. Want to put some of these tips to the test and see if a little friendly competition could make work feel more like play? Check out Paper (it’s free!)  


Create, collaborate and share your work—all in one place
Create, collaborate and share your work—all in one place