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77 Ideas to Simplify Content from Einstein, da Vinci, Shakespeare, Chopin, Thoreau and More

Here are 77 ideas to help you simplify content.

Out of clutter, find simplicity. - simplify content
“Out of clutter, find simplicity.” – Albert Einstein

Do you think experts are working overtime to make content marketing seem more and more complicated? I do.

Avoid needless complexity. Instead, achieve simplicity with a one-page strategy and a one-page Message Map.

Focus on fundamentals to make your content simple and great!

Here are 77 quotes about simple content I’ve collected over the years.

These words come from my heroes of simplicity: content kings like Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, George Orwell, Woody Guthrie, Will Rogers, and Dr. Seuss. Plus content queens like Gertrude Stein, Ann Handley, and Kristina Halvorsen.

These simple ideas for your content marketing are totally worth stealing!

Keeping It Simple

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”
Gertrude Stein

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
Charles Mingus

“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.”
Martin H. Fischer

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.”
Chief Joseph

“The trouble with so many of us is that we underestimate the power of simplicity.”
Robert Stuberg

"Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple." simplify content
“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” Woody Guthrie

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
Hans Hofmann

“If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
Albert Einstein

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.”
Isaac Newton

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Steve Jobs

“Simplicity is an exact medium between too little and too much.”
Joshua Reynolds

“Some of the greatest poetry is revealing to the reader the beauty in something that was so simple you had taken it for granted.”
Neil Degrasse Tyson

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”
General Colin Powell

simplify content "No one will ever complain that you've made things too simple to understand."
“No one will ever complain that you’ve made things too simple to understand.” – Ann Handley

“The greatest ideas are the simplest.”
William Golding

“Why simple? Writing that lacks simplicity reveals thinking that lacks understanding.”
Shane A. Parrish


“I try to write using ordinary words and simple sentences. That kind of writing is easier to read, and the easier something is to read, the more deeply readers will engage with it. The less energy they expend on your prose, the more they’ll have left for your ideas.”
Paul Graham

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
William James

“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
Isaac Newton

“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with the child’s eye – it is very beautiful.”
Kailash Satyarthi

“Pure, holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the flesh.”
Francis of Assisi

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”
Coco Chanel

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Leonardo da Vinci

“Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit of experience and the last effort of genius.”
George Sand

“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”
Frédéric Chopin

Focus On Keeping It Short

“Speak concisely, say much in few words.”
Sirach 32:8

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.”
Elmore Leonard

"The most valuable of all talents ..."
“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” Thomas Jefferson

“If you can’t write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don’t have a clear idea.”
David Belasco

“I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.”
Truman Capote

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
Henry David Thoreau

"More is almost never more."
“More is almost never more.” Kristina Halvorson

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”
Abraham Lincoln

“He that uses many words for explaining any subject, doth, like the cuttlefish, hide himself for the most part in his own ink.”
John Ray

“The letter I have written today is longer than usual because I lacked the time to make it shorter.”
Blaise Pascal

"You don't have to say everything to say something."
“You don’t have to say everything to say something.” Beth Moore

More on Keeping it short

“When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.”
William Shakespeare

“If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.”
George Orwell


If you have nothing to say, say nothing.
“If you have nothing to say, say nothing.” Mark Twain

“Style means the right word. The rest matters little.”
Jules Renard

“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.”
Hunter S. Thompson

Less is more.

“Less is more.”
Robert Browning

“The best sentence? The shortest.”
Anatole France

“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”
Oscar Wilde

“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.”
“Use the smallest word that does the job.” E.B. White

“As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out.”
Mark Twain

“Be grateful for every word you can cut.”
William Zinsser

"The shorter and plainer the better."
“The shorter and the plainer the better.” Beatrix Potter

“Men of few words are the best men.”
William Shakespeare

“One should use common words to say uncommon things.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

Sharpen your message until it’s laser-sharp.
Ahava Leibtag

“It’s a bandwidth issue: The more we reduce the amount of information in an idea, the stickier it will be.”
Chip Heath & Dan Heath

“It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas.”
Charles Péguy

“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.”
Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Speaking Clearly


"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."
“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.” William Butler Yeats

“Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.”
William Penn

“If you ever hear yourself saying, ‘I think I understand this,’ that means you don’t.”
Richard Feynman

“One should aim not at being possible to understand, but at being impossible to misunderstand.”

Choosing Simple Words

“Don’t use words too big for the subject.”
C.S. Lewis

"I love lords but I don't like strange ones."

“I love words but I don’t like strange ones. You don’t understand them and they don’t understand you. Old words is like old friends, you know ’em the minute you see ’em.”
Will Rogers

“Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge. Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words when short are best of all.”
Winston Churchill

“Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific term, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.”
George Orwell

simplify content "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is ..."
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

“Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters. A man who uses a great many words to express his meaning is like a bad marksman who instead of aiming a single stone at an object takes up a handful and throws at it in hopes he may hit.”
Samuel Johnson

“The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words.”

“The secret of playwriting can be given in two maxims: stick to the point, and, whenever you can, cut.”
Somerset Maugham

"So the writer who breeds more words than he needs ..."
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs is making a chore for the reader who reads.” Dr. Seuss

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”
William Strunk and E. B. White

“When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men’s minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully.”

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
Jack Kerouac

“Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.”
Alexander Pope

“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone.”
Stephen King

“A message is like a baton. It needs to be handed from person to person to person. If it gets dropped, it’s not persuasive.”
Anat Shenker-Osorio

simplify content Say what you have to say, and then stop.
“Say what you have to say, and then stop.” Rudolph Flesch

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.” 

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