Back before he was married, a friend of mine liked to come up with operational names whenever he was in pursuit of a female's interest. He’d even go so far as to name my own prospects (whether or not I was in active pursuit). He came up with long, complicated names like Operation: Justice is Blind and Her Sister is Blind Too, or short, inside joke names, such as Operation: Citi Bank (based on a line from the Short Skirt/Long Jacket song).

He taught me how fun and useful codenames can be. They can make something serious feel more light and approachable (like asking someone out on a date), or they can help you take something you’ve been avoiding more seriously (homework for example). They also bring others in on the fun, while keeping information secret from those who shouldn’t be in the know. 

Codenames are excellent when it comes to creative projects you should be doing but aren’t ready yet to share with the world. At my work, nearly every project we work on has a codename, usually to protect proprietary information about an upcoming game. It allows us to talk about the project outside of work without worrying about letting info on a certain IP slip out to the public. While some of the names are rather confusing, others give me a good chuckle.

So, whether you need to enact Eagle Has Landed to get your grocery shopping done or Operation Penny-loafer to finish those taxes, try giving your tasks and projects code names: it's fun and, if nothing else, makes them feel more official.


Hey Creatives, have you come up with any exceptional codenames? Let us know in the comments below.

A.P. Lambert

A. P. Lambert is an author and creative professional who helps other creative entrepreneurs achieve more and find purpose in their work.