Add quiet ideation to your brainstorming to generate and improve upon ideas with the Brainwriting Template.
About the Brainwriting Template
Not everyone works well in a brainstorming session. Some participants prefer to think ideas through before sharing them with the group. Others might struggle to think of new ideas when different people are sharing their thoughts. This is where brainwriting can help. Using the Brainwriting Template, you can boost group participation and stimulate new ideas. Keep reading to find out how.
What is brainwriting?
Brainwriting is an idea generation method. Instead of asking participants to yell out lots of ideas during your brainstorming session, the brainwriting technique involves writing them down.Here’s how it works:
The first person in the group writes their idea down on a sticky note.
Then it’s someone else’s turn.
They add their idea to another sticky note, but it can’t be the same as the idea that’s already been written.
The group repeats the process for 10–15 minutes.
The group reviews all the ideas and discusses them.
Using a brainwriting exercise, people have more time to think through their ideas before sharing them with the group. It also encourages shy and quiet participants to share their ideas in a group setting.
What is a brainwriting template?
A brainwriting template is a structure that teams can use during the brainwriting process. The format can be different depending on the template you use. Miro’s template, for example, resembles sticky notes. The notes are separated into columns which allow participants to add their ideas.
Using the Brainwriting Template is helpful for teams. It saves time because you don’t have to create a template from scratch, and it allows you to collaborate virtually. If you’re part of a remote team, this is incredibly helpful. Distributed teams can collaborate on the template no matter where they’re working from.
How to run a brainstorming session with the Brainwriting Template
Leading a brainwriting brainstorm is easy with Miro. Using our online brainstorming tool, you can create and share ideas virtually. Sign up for our free collaborative Brainwriting Template and follow these steps:
Step 1: Add participants’ names. Start by adding your participants’ names to each of the columns in the template. This will show them where to put their initial idea. Once you’ve added their names, you can invite them to the board.
Step 2: Introduce the problem. At the beginning of the session, make the problem you’re trying to solve clear. Do you need to create a new product? Solve a customer issue? Whatever it is, be clear about it from the offset.
Step 3: Start writing. When everyone is ready, they can start writing. Set a timer to limit the amount of time each person has to write their suggestions. The length of time will depend on which brainwriting structure you’ve chosen. The most common structure is the 6-3-5, which involves six participants writing three ideas over 15 minutes (they have five minutes to write each idea).
Step 4: Move things along. When the timer dings, participants can move their ideas to the person on the right. Start the timer again, and ask participants to add suggestions that add to or improve upon the ideas already in the template.
Step 5: Wrap things up. Do this for as many rounds as you need to. Then, facilitate a discussion to review all the ideas. You can vote on ideas or group similar ideas together to identify trends. From here, you can continue the discussion to find the best way forward.
What are the benefits of brainwriting?
Brainwriting is a simple and effective method for generating high-quality, innovative ideas. It encourages everyone to take part, helps teams think outside the box, and streamlines the ideation process. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of brainwriting in more detail:
Equal participation. Because everyone works in silence, there are no dominant participants taking up floor space. Everyone has the same amount of time to think through their ideas, whether you have an outgoing or introverted team.
Encourage creativity among teams. As you move through the process, the obvious ideas are already taken. This forces participants to think outside the box and come up with fresh ideas and innovative solutions.
Rapid idea generation. Having a time limit means that teams have to think quickly throughout the process. If you’re short on time, this is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
Helpful for remote teams. Using Miro’s brainwriting template, remote teams can conduct this process online. Forms can be filled in virtually and completed asynchronously, making it a good way for distributed teams to collaborate.
When to use brainwriting
Here are some of the common situations when brainwriting can be helpful for teams:
To generate new ideas. Brainwriting is an ideal technique for teams that want to encourage new ideas. But more than that, it forces teams to be innovative. If you’re looking for a way to get your team thinking outside the box, brainwriting could be the answer.
To create innovative solutions. The entire brainwriting process encourages original ideas from every individual. Participants have to think outside of the box to come up with a wide range of ideas that haven’t already been said. It also allows you more time to think of ideas instead of responding instantly on the spot.
To encourage everyone to participate. In a traditional brainstorming session, it’s often the loudest idea that wins. With brainwriting, everyone gets a chance to have their voices heard.
How do I conduct a remote brainwriting session?
You’ll start by rounding up your group participants and preparing your notes for the session. When everything is ready to go, you’ll get participants to offer their ideas and move the notes along so that everyone in the group can have their input. At the end of the session, you’ll review the notes and figure out the best way to move forward. If you want to make the process easier, we’d suggest using the Brainwriting Template. It’s intuitive, easy to navigate, and free!
What is the difference between brainstorming and brainwriting?
A typical brainstorming session requires everyone in the group to participate vocally, which is different from the brainwriting process. Instead of getting people to discuss ideas out loud, brainwriting involves writing ideas down and sharing them with the group.
What is an alternate name for brainwriting?
There’s more than one name for brainwriting. It’s sometimes known as the 6-3-5 brainwriting method. This outlines the structure for the process (six people, three ideas, 15 minutes). It can also be 4-3-2, depending on how many participants you have and whether you’re in a time crunch.
SOAR Analysis Template
Works best for:
Leadership, Decision Making, Strategic Planning
The SOAR Analysis template prompts you to consider your organization’s strengths and potential to create a shared vision of the future. The SOAR Analysis is unique in that it encourages you to focus on the positive rather than solely identifying areas for growth. SOAR stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results. To use the template, examine each category through a positive lens. Perform a SOAR Analysis whenever you want to bring people together and encourage action.
Meeting Organizer Template
Works best for:
Meetings, Workshops, Project Planning
When it comes to ideas generated during a meeting, you want quantity AND quality. So why choose? Our meeting organizer template will maximize your meeting’s chances of yielding lots of great ideas. It will give you a simple, efficient way to design any activity (including meetings and daily planning) and make sure remote teammates know just what the meeting aims to accomplish. And you can give your meeting organizer power by connecting Miro to your favorite apps and services: Atlassian’s JIRA, Google Drive, Slack, Trello, DropBox and OneDrive.
Card Sorting Template
Works best for:
Desk Research, UX Design, Brainstorming
Card sorting is a brainstorming technique typically used by design teams but applicable to any brainstorm or team. The method is designed to facilitate more efficient and creative brainstorms. In a card sorting exercise, you and your team create groups out of content, objects, or ideas. You begin by labeling a deck of cards with information related to the topic of the brainstorm. Working as a group or individuals, you then sort the cards in a way that makes sense to you, then label each group with a short description. Card sorting allows you to form unexpected but meaningful connections between ideas.
Customer Problem Statement Template
Works best for:
Ideation, Design Thinking, Product Management
Put yourself in the shoes of your consumers with a customer problem statement. Figure out their problems and how your product or service can solve those problems and make their lives easier. As a bonus, you’ll better understand your customers throughout the process.
Johari Window Model
Works best for:
Leadership, Meetings, Retrospectives
Understanding — it’s the key to trusting others better and yourself better as well. Built on that idea, a Johari Window is a framework designed to enhance team understanding by getting participants to fill in four quadrants, each of which reveals something they might not know about themselves or about others. Use this template to conduct a Johari Window exercise when you’re experiencing organizational growth, to deepen cross-functional or intra-team connections, help employees communicate better, and cultivate empathy.
Voice of the Customer Template
Works best for:
Marketing, Desk Research, User Experience
Identifying the voice of the customer is a crucial part of any customer experience strategy. Your Voice of Customer is simply a framework for understanding your customers’ needs, wants, preferences, and expectations as they interact with your brand. Evaluating your Voice of Customer allows you to dive into what your customers are thinking, feeling, and saying about your products and services, so you can build a better customer journey. Use the Voice of Customer template to record answers to key questions about your customer, including: What are they saying about our product? What do they need? How can we fulfill that need? And who is this persona?