I find that seeing lots of different ideas on one page is really helpful when trying to come up with a creative solution.
The easiest of these is via brainstorming, where ideas are captured and (purposely) placed randomly on a piece of paper. (Randomness is key – if we listed them in order, the mind automatically gives more weight to the top idea).
Once these ideas are captured, you can sort them via affinity diagrams, fishbone/cause-and-effect diagrams, or mindmaps.
I’ve talked about affinity diagrams and cause and effect diagrams in previous posts, so let’s talk a bit more about mindmaps.
Mindmaps are graphical representations of not only the ideas, but their relationships.
For folks who are visual learners, mindmaps are a great tool. There are several free programs out there; I like Freemind and MindMeister.
What have you used a mindmap for, and how has it worked for you?