How to Brainstorm with an Idea Map

How to Brainstorm with an Idea Map

Most projects and plans start with some form of brainstorming, a powerful way to quickly clarify thinking on a topic. Brainstorming individually or as a group can help you move away from your normal patterns of thinking, resulting in more creative thinking and the generation of ideas that may not be obvious at first,
Idea maps are an ideal way to visually capture and represent ideas during a brainstorming session, then organize and demonstrate relationships between the ideas using links. The visual representation will help you make associations, organize your thought processes, and easily identify key ideas or solutions.

To create an idea map:

  • Start by clearly stating and then defining the topic being considered. This is your main idea.
  • Brainstorm by adding ideas freely, recording all ideas as they come to mind. Keep the ideas flowing. Don’t edit, evaluate, or think about where the ideas fit. Leave the analysis, organizing and editing to after the brainstorming phase.
  • If you get stuck:
    • Stimulate your thinking by using different symbol shapes, images and colors.
    • Stop and stretch for a minute or do some deep breathing. Moving will help get your brain going again.
  • If you are brainstorming in a group, make sure everyone has an opportunity to give input.
  • When you think you have all of your ideas recorded, you can start to analyze and organize them as a starting point for your project or plan:
    • Evaluate each idea and how it fits in with your overall topic.
    • Group and link similar ideas together.
    • Combine ideas where appropriate.
    • Does anything new surface? You can add new ideas at any time.
    • Add more details about ideas using subtopics or notes.
  • Keep these tips for brainstorming in mind:
    • Start with a question
    • Record all ideas
    • Don’t evaluate
    • Ignore spelling
    • Build on others’ ideas
    • Organize later

How to Create an idea map in WebspirationPRO

1. Launch the WebspirationPRO application and open a new WebspirationPRO diagram, or click the Templates/Examples button on the Starter Screen to open the ready-made Idea Map template.

2. In the Main Idea symbol, type the main topic you will be brainstorming about. The Main Idea is the center of  your map.
3. Using RapidFire® or the Create tool, begin typing ideas.
4. Use symbols, graphics and other images from WebspirationPRO’s symbol library to stimulate your thinking.
5. Differentiate among ideas and groups with colors, shapes and fonts.
6. To add detail, use the Note tool.
7. Once your idea map is organized and you feel comfortable with the results of your brainstorm, you may want to switch to WebspirationPRO’s Outline View to expand on ideas and start a written document.

Back to How To's Main Page