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Getting Started with Brainstorming

Oct 5, 2020
(updated: Dec 6, 2022)
Max 5 min read

Brainstorming is an incredible tool for every working professional, but especially freelancers. We brainstorm as a memory aid, to come up with new concepts, and to visualize new ideas. It is often the starting point of many different elements of freelancing. This is because you can extract and visually see all the different elements that make up a project. So if it’s so important to our success as freelancers, how do we get better at it? What techniques can help us improve? Here are some ideas for brainstorming exercises!

Using Mind Maps for Personal Brainstorming

Mind maps are the most popular form of personal brainstorming. It’s an effective method either in collaboration or by yourself because it is a graphical representation of the ideas in your mind. It makes it easier to connect and expand ideas because you can see them laid out in front of you. With no rules to follow, this is an easy way to just let your ideas flow. 

Brain Dumps Brainstorms

Brain dumps are an amazing way of putting ideas to paper. You can just write whatever comes to mind, with no rules to follow. It’s an amazing way to start an initial concept plan and it doesn’t have to be a long session either! Whenever an idea pops into your head, you can just jot it down as part of this big brain dump. 

Collaboration in a Group Brainstorm

Brainstorms can be a collaboration between two minds. This is a great way to collaborate if you are stuck, or if the topic is tricky. Similarly to when it comes to editing work, another person will potentially pick up mistakes you’ll have missed. Likewise, with collaborating, brainstorming could bring up new ideas and thoughts that you might not have thought of. If you plan on doing a group brainstorm, it is worth coming up with some meeting brainstorming activities to guide the group. 

Personal Brainstorm in Reverse

What result do you want? What is it that you want to achieve? How will we get there? This is the key to reverse brainstorming. You have the outcome you want, and you work backwards to create the simple steps needed to reach that goal. It’s also called reverse engineering, and it’s a super simple way to break down a goal or target into smaller, more manageable steps. 

Group Brainstorming Techniques

Similar to collaboration brainstorms, groups can present a whole range of ideas. Even if they aren’t familiar with the topic, the questions that they ask can prompt you to think in a different way or approach the answer differently. Group brainstorms have a special dynamic where individuals can bounce ideas off each other, giving a seemingly small idea the potential to develop and grow. This is why teamwork is so beneficial when creating concepts. To take a group brainstorm to the next level, consider creating interactive brainstorming activities for the group to partake in. This will ensure that the group is thinking in different ways and ultimately collaborating as efficiently as possible.

Brainstorms are a unique way of finding out what works. There are no rules when it comes to brainstorming, so you can sit and write until something clicks, or you can bounce ideas off another person. There are a number of ways to brainstorm, and each one can suit depending on the type of freelancer you are, and the job at hand. All you need before a big brainstorming session is a problem that needs to be solved. There are no rules, no silly ideas, and no idea too far out of reach. Do you like brainstorming by collaborating? Check out this blog on communication and collaboration!

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