There are hundreds of ideas floating around in your head, both good and bad. Thanks to brainstorming you can get those good ideas written down and start turning them into a reality. You could even work on your bad ideas and turn them into good ones.
The first step in this creative process is brainstorming. It is probably the most important step. It’s when you start developing ideas and find ways to get started on the path to creating something great.
I want to share with you different ways I have used to successfully brainstorm ideas and topics. In order to get started, you have to first ask yourself, What constitutes a successful brainstorm? You have to remember that a brainstorm isn’t the finished product; it is just a starting point to get the ball rolling.
In order to have a successful brainstorm, you just have to these things:
- Know what your topic is. You want to make sure you don’t go off on a crazy tangent. Sometimes those ideas can be good ones, but when you have a project you’re working on and deadline coming up, you need to focus on the task at hand. Set the other ideas aside for another day.
- Write down short phrases of the ideas you’re having. You can develop them into larger ideas later. Write down a few words so you know what you mean and then move on.
- If you’re working in a group, you should brainstorm individually before starting a group discussion. Let everyone come up with any ideas they have, then share those ideas and get more ideas flowing.
If you’re working on something by yourself, brainstorm as much as you can and then ask someone else’s opinion on the matter.
- Don’t be afraid to move around. Some people think that if you doodle with crayons or hop off your chair and do a couple jumping jacks, that you’re distracted. The truth is that moving around can help get the creative juices flowing. Don’t just sit there with your nose to your paper and never look up. You can find inspiration all around you.
Once you know how to brainstorm, you can get started. There are several methods you can use to do your actual brainstorm. These are 3 of my favorite ways. I have found that they work best for me and the way I think and write.
1. Spider Web (The Bubbles):
In this idea I quickly brainstormed different types of animals. I split them into different kinds of topics to show a fast, easy example of how there are always different routes to take with every topic.
Spider webs work great when you’re thinking of larger ideas and their subtopics. It can stretch out as big as you want it and keep the ideas flowing. It is good to use when you’re just trying to come up with one or two word ideas.
I use this method when I’m planning a themed week or month for one the blogs I write for. I like it because I can get going on one topic and write down as many things as I can that go hand in hand with that. Then I can bounce really quickly over to another idea.
This form of brainstorming works best for structured individuals. Some people might say that an outline comes after the brainstorm, but I like to use this as my brainstorm; then I can use it to develop a more in depth outline.
I like to use outlines when I’m trying to think of lengthy ideas or a very specific topic. When I sit down to write an article, I use an outline to get all my ideas down before I start writing the actual article. It’s nice to do on the computer because as I start to write things down in an outline format, it slowly turns into an actual article. It works great for me.
3. Non-traditional Method:
Write down ideas when they come to you. This isn’t a traditional way of brainstorming. You’re not sitting at desk purposefully thinking of ideas. But ideas can come to you at any time.
Whether your ideas are good or bad, write them down. People always think they can remember ideas they have, but later on when they try to recall that idea they can remember they had a great one but can’t remember what it was. It’s frustrating and you could have saved yourself all that grief if you had just written it down.
You used to have to keep a notepad and pen with you everywhere you went. But now, thanks to technology, you can just use your phone or tablet. There are several apps out there that you can use as brainstorming tools to help you remember any ideas you have.
You never know when inspiration will hit. These are apps are great for taking notes, setting reminders, some can even record sound.
After reading this you probably have several ideas that you want to develop, so pull out your paper, laptop, or whatever you use and get brainstorming. Remember to find a method that works for you. Try different ways and figure out what your brainstorming strategy is.