To brainstorm, gather paper and pens. Set up ground rules such as quantity over quality and no judgement. Write down the main idea and then whatever else pops into your head.
- Get materials, and establish rules
Gather paper, pencils, pens, index cards, tape and a stopwatch. Set up ground rules whether the brainstorming is individual or in a group. Some rules many people find helpful are no judgement, a focus on quantity over quality, bad ideas welcome, a 15-minute time limit, no electronics and no barriers.
- Try a disorganized method
Jot down the main idea or thought in the middle of a sheet of paper. Set a stopwatch, and scribble thoughts as they come to you. Do not worry about logical cohesion or order; randomness is normal. After you cannot think of more, focus on questions such as "Who?" and "How?" Think about comparisons and opposites. Repetitions may occur; that is fine. After time is up, take a break; overnight may be preferable. Come back to your work with fresh eyes, and use one color to circle related thoughts. It is fine to circle more than one word or phrase.
- Try a more organized method
Write the main idea or thought at the top of a paper. Identify and list four subcategories. Start the stopwatch, and list all you can under each subcategory. Add more subcategories if necessary. Some factors to consider are time ranges, similarities and ingredients. Leave space under each item you list for sub subtopics and so on. Take an overnight break, and return to your work with new eyes.