I have a few avenues and tools for brainstorming and planning for events. Here are a some of the ways I get ideas out of my head and into action…or the garbage bin.
When I am brainstorming with no tech I usually cram ideas into my Moleskine or I unload ideas on Post-it Notes and stick them around my office. (Want to “level up” with the Post-it Notes? Check out this app).
Post-it Notes can be a great way to brainstorm in a group. Find a room with a nice, big wall. Break that wall up into categories like; Games, Events, Series Ideas, etc. Pass out stacks of colored Post-it Notes to your team, tell them Red = Game Ideas, Yellow = Event Ideas, Orange = Series Ideas, etc. Crank up the music and let the ideas overflow.
With texting and social media messaging, email is kind of an off the radar, low tech tool these days. While I never email students and rarely email parents, email is still a robust tool and it creeps up in my planning process. When I get an idea outside of planning mode I email the idea to myself. Why email and not another note taking tool? Because I know I will go back and check email within 48 hours. I then can post it to a relevant planning resource, flag it for later review, or put it in a folder within my email client.
PRO TIP: Sometimes notes do not convey the totality of the idea you have, you want the email to be quick and therefore lose some detail in shorthand. Instead of typing the idea, capture it via voice note or video recording to rewatch/hear later.
The iPad app Concept By Elsa Mourato does on your tablet what you can do with Post-it Notes in your office. When I use Concept I plug my iPad into a TV or VPU so everyone in the room can see the ideas as they go live.
iBrainstorm is a unique app that allows 4 other iPads to connect to yours via Bluetooth and collaborate ideas.
Google Drive is a great place to keep your ideas but the collaboration feature is pretty cool. You can create and share a document and everyone can write and update that document live whether they are in the room or out of state. If you need to have a brainstorming meeting and a key staff member cannot make it, consider having them skype into to the meeting and have everyone join forces in your shared Google Document.
ON THE GO TECH:
Evernote is the winner for me on the go. Evernote is in the cloud; on my smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, and I can login online if I am away from any of those devices. I can also email notes directly to Evernote as well and pin notes to any Evernote notebooks directly from my web browser. I know there are dozens of other great note taking apps but Evernote is the best for my needs. I pay for Evernote Premium because I like to have access to my notes offline and I like extra storage.
What tools do you use to brainstorm?
– Brandon / @iambrandonearly