Best Ways to Better Brainstorming

Best Ways to Better Brainstorming

Best Ways to Better Brainstorming

We all need to brainstorm from time to time, but what are the best ways to get better at brainstorming? Are there methods that work better than others? Whenever you get stuck trying to come up with ideas, brainstorming is the way to go. I think some ways are better than others; here are some of my favorites.

Mind mapping

This is probably my favorite, since you get to write with colored pens and it’s more like playing than anything else. You can do this method online with an app, but I prefer the old-school way of using a big sheet of paper and pencils. I’ve written about Mind Mapping before in How to Come up With a Year’s Worth of Blog Content. And, since we just finished a #DigiBlogChat about Bullet Journaling (with Krystal Blais), the colored pencil idea is twice as attractive. I now have a bunch of Pilot sparkle pens in twelve different colors, for all you bullet journaling nerds (like me!). Also, if you’re an introvert, Mind Mapping is probably one of the easiest methods to do alone.

Collaborative brainstorming

Your friends or colleagues will come up with entirely different ideas than you do. So why not include them in your brainstorming? For instance, when I was first starting my business, I had my friends brainstorm with me. We all had coffee and snacks (on me, of course) at a little cafe. One person wrote down ideas, and another one checked for available website names. It was fun, and there were more ideas than I would ever have come up with myself.

Image by <a href="">athree23</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Best Ways to Better Brainstorming | Image by athree23 from Pixabay

The S.C.A.M.P.E.R. technique

Here’s a fun one where you poke at your idea from different angles. It’s the third one in this list from The Guide to Mastering Online Brainstorming. SCAMPER is an acronym stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. For instance, if you choose Adapt you’d ask How could we adapt this thing to a different context?

I also love their Reverse Brainstorming method, where you come up with problems, rather than solutions. Sometimes it’s easier to think of problems, rather than solutions. This is especially true if your coworkers like to complain–it’s easier to do than think of positives, isn’t it?

Rapid ideation

The Rapid Ideation technique, also from The Guide to Mastering Online Brainstorming, is a method whereby you write down as many ideas as you can think of as quickly as possible. Think of it as a verbal speed chess game! Write them on sticky notes or an electronic document (Google docs would be a good way), and then have everyone vote. Maybe you could have prizes for the best ideas, too.

Do you have another way to better brainstorm?

What works best for you? Do you have a favorite? Leave me a comment, please!



  1. Hmm, when I am working alone, I jot down a few ideas on my notebook, and then develop or discard them, while doing other things, like researching those topics further or playing with Mori (cat), from a distance that lets me be objective.

    This is not a fail-proof method, but it lets me work on several ideas simultaneously by simply turning pages.

    • Hi George, I do that too (jot ideas down in a notebook and then develop them). Maybe combining something that includes both Mori the cat and an idea in the notebook could be both fun and entertaining! I’m finding that I need a bigger notebook these days… Thanks for the comment!

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