What is Brainstorming

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Posted by Allison Lynch |

Part 1: What is Brainstorming?

Brainstorming is a method to generate ideas and solutions to solve problems with the team or individual. Brainstorming also involves putting the generated ideas down in physical form on paper or in a computer program.

An encouraging thinking and presentation environment is critical for a successful brainstorming session. It usually starts with “How can we?”, “How might I” sort of questions and the solutions then follow.

group discuss

Part 2: History of Brainstorming

How can we find out what brainstorming is without having a look at its history? American Alex Osborn is considered the father of brainstorming. As a founder and CEO of his marketing firm, he was skeptical about the inhibiting environment in the meeting that did allow creative solutions. As a result, in 1953, he coined brainstorming as a method of creativity in his book "Applied Imagination."

Brainstorming has been well-accepted by the masses and the corporate world since its birth in the fifties. It has now become synonymous with idea generation in groups and teams. It has become the preferred method for generating ideas across the fields, including the advertisement, marketing campaigns, creative solutions, written documents and research proposals, etc.

Part 3: Why Use Brainstorming- Advantages and Disadvantage

What are brainstorming applications in practical fields? Brainstorming is very popular because it encourages a free and open environment where everyone can participate and share their ideas without hesitation. The best ideas are connected, and probable solutions are built upon them to develop an array of creative solutions. On the other hand, a structured analytical process can sometimes become rigid and inhibit the free flow of ideas.

  • Concepts that are written within circles or boxes.
  • Lines connect the concepts.
  • Labels on the lines indicate the relationship of the concepts to each other.
  • However, like everything else, brainstorming is also not a silver bullet. It has its dark sides and disadvantages. So what are brainstorming disadvantages? Let us see.

  • Identify the topic you are going to brainstorm. It can be a problem, question, or an idea to explore.
  • Write down all the ideas or solutions you and your brainstorming group can come up with.
  • Refine your ideas. You can merge, delete and expand to come up with a clear vision.
  • Draw the map and make connections between them
  • Part 4: : Brainstorming Use Case

    Brainstorming is a prevalent technique in many fields, including research, project planning, innovative products, and students. We do not think anyone can ever provide an exhaustive list of areas where brainstorming is used. However, we can see some use cases to clear the concept.

    Risk Identification

    The goal is to identify risks to the project. Here the risk identification practice will be done by a group of experts from various disciplines. The main objective is to identify the risks but in a structured manner.

    What is brainstorming use in risk identification? Brainstorming as a technique for risk identification is preferred because it promotes a free and open approach. In brainstorming sessions, everyone is encouraged to participate and take ownership and responsibility of the project.

    1. Choose the participants to cover the complete project scope and the ones who have the expertise and skills.
    2. Choose a facilitator to keep the session focused.
    3. Always set a timer.
    4. Fix the number of risks you will work on.
    5. Present a formal write-up or map of risks identified.
    6. Call a follow-up meeting.


    Marketing brainstorming can be helpful because marketing is essentially about getting into people's heads to promote your product. So, input from people here is the most important. You can use brainstorming to answer the question;

    1. Which marketing media will work the best?
    2. How to increase sales?
    3. Freebies or discount codes?

    Part 5: Consideration for Brainstorming

    What is the Brainstorming presentation method? Concept mapping is a brainstorming technique focused on visualizing concepts and ideas generated during the brainstorming sessions. Another variant is called mind mapping. Both of these are visual techniques; however, only the way of representation is different. Mind mapping uses radial structure, while the concept map uses tree structure.

    This visual representation starts with the main idea or a question. Then you add branches with related topics, keywords, examples, and subtypes. The main components of mind maps are;

  • Concepts that are written within circles or boxes.
  • Lines connect the concepts.
  • Labels on the lines indicate the relationship of the concepts to each other.
  • Part 6: How to Proceed a Brainstorming With EdrawMind?

    1. The Preparation

    Open EdrawMind and start "Brainstorming" function.

    brainstorming icon zone

    2. Write Down The Topic

    Brainstorming is a full-screen mode, the ideas board opens automatically on the left side. Write down the topic on the canvas and start timing. We take "how to do a market analysis" for example.

    market analysis canvas

    3. Collect Ideas to The Collection Board

    The host announces the begin of brainstorming and everyone expresses themselves freely within a limited time. During this time host records everyone's ideas on the left side ideas collection zone. Also, if necessary, the host can mark ideas with different colors vary from participants.

    Symbols for Mind Map

    4. Filter and Combine Ideas

    Combine the related ideas together and delete some repeating and impossible options. Analyze and discuss the ideas and then to divide them into different groups. To learn more about How to Run a Brainstorming Session: A Step-by-Step Guide.

    market analysis group

    market analysis group

    EdrawMind is a quick and easy mind mapping software for creating great-looking mind maps (graphical representations of thought processes) for brainstorming, problems solving, rational analysis, tasks managing, notes taking and decision marking.

    Brainstorming Software

    Free Download Brainstorming Software and View All Templates

    Part 7: Brainstorming Software

    Brainstorming Function
    How to Use
    Ideas collection Board
    market analysis ideas
    • Like the traditional brainstorming, you can record your ideas one by one on this collection board.
    • The font size and the width of the collection board are alterable.
    • You can hide the collection board when you don't need it.
    Ideas Bullets Coloring
    market analysis color
    • Ideas can be marked as different color.
    • The color can be customized.
    • You can delete ideas in batches of the same color.
    Pen and Eraser
    brainstorming function zone
    • Color pencil, rectangle, ellipse are available for you to use.
    • The laser pen can be used as the moving cursor.
    • You can clear the marks with the eraser.


    • You can set a time for the brainstorming.
    • You can hide the timer form the canvas.


    Full-Featured Mind Mapping Software
    33 predefined themes to make your mind map stand out
    12 different structures to meet your need
    • Cross-platforms supported (Windows, Mac, Linux, Web)
    • Brainstorming mode and presentation mode
    • Group & real-time collaboration
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  • How to Run a Brainstorming Session
  • Part 8: Brainstorming Examples

    What is a brainstorming example as a map? Let us see.

    Make Necessary Changes

    In this example, we can see a concept map of a business plan. They have identified five sectors where the business plan will focus, including administration, product, sales, finance, and marketing. All these sectors are further divided into many subclasses.

    In this example, we can see how all the ideas gathered in a brainstorming session are presented in one image. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Brainstorming is a creative technique that promotes idea generation and mental activity. It stimulates creative thinking and allows us to solve problems more effectively. For a more effective presentation of ideas generated in the session, a drawing tool like Edraw Max is recommended because it allows for easy and time-saving concept mapping and other brainstorming techniques.

    The following are some examples created by EdrawMind.

    content marketing mind map

    goal setting mind map.png

    good presentation fishbone diagram.png

    download EdrawMind
    main page

    Free Download Popular Mind Map Software

    MindMaster is a versatile, user-friendly, and professional mind mapping tool. Available on multiple platforms, including PC, tablet, mobile, and web.
    you can create mind maps and access them from each platform.