Tips For Brainstorming


I’ve discussed in the past what the brainstorming process is and what can impede the process. But how does one effectively get started? Here are a few techniques you can try to initiate your personal creative brainstorming session.

Mind Mapping

One of the most classic brainstorming techniques is called “mind mapping”. To begin, write what your goal is in the center of a piece of paper. From that point draw lines outward to various sub-goals or subcategories of this project. Continue to expand upon each subcategory as ideas emerge.

Medici Effecta

Through the Medici Effect ideas, which may not necessarily be obviously related to your core projects will reveal themselves upon examination. This is a great technique to follow up your mind mapping session as it explores parallels between subjects to see what commonalities exist, which in turn can inspire new insights into your previous research.

Group Ideation

Completely at a loss on how to proceed with your project? Get a group of friends or colleagues together over coffee and bounce ideas off of them. Sometimes an outside perspective can open up that door you didn’t even know existed!

Playing Devil’s Advocate

This technique, also referred to as “reverse brainstorming”, is an approach often used by attorneys to find the flaws in their existing logic. Step outside yourself to consider what an opposite approach might be, or what others might assume in your situation. Then pose questions to yourself to explore other options. You may end up returning to your original concept, or you may find yourself taking a completely different path in the end.

Automatic Writing

Automatic writing is a technique most often applied by writers. However, it can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing for any project brainstorming session. Get a notebook and your favorite pen. Sit back and clear your mind. Then, simply begin to write whatever comes into your head. Do not focus on one particular subject – the end result does not necessarily have to have anything to do with the topic of your project. Do not focus on structure or even spelling – simply write in a stream-of-consciousness format until you feel that you are ready to turn your attention back to a more focused brainstorming session on your actual project. Think of this as limbering up your mind to be open to new ideas.

Do you have any other tips or techniques for effective brainstorming? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

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