Add quiet ideation to your brainstorming to generate and improve upon ideas with the Brainwriting Template.
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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.
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.
How to run a brainstorming session with the brainwriting template
Leading a brainwriting brainstorm is easy with Miro. Start by adding the template to a board, then take the following 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 to collaborate.
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.
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