1. What is brainstorm
In today's working mode, one of the most effective ways to generate new ideas is through brainstorming. Brainstorming involves generating ideas to solve problems, and the goal of a brainstorming session is for the team to produce a vast array of ideas. From there, the team can draw links between the ideas on their way to finding solutions.
To create a high quality brainstorming session, you need the right tools, and one of the best tools to use is a whiteboard. So if you attach great importance to getting the most out of your team’s strategic and creative ideas, it makes sense to investigate what a smart whiteboard can do for you.
Read on to learn how to use a smart whiteboard can help you lead an effective brainstorm.
2. Different forms of brainstorming
2.1 Give each person a set time to present during the huddling.
This will prevent people from talking over each other. It’ll also give everyone time to prepare (almost like you’re giving them the chance to make a mini-presentation and showcase their ideas). It’s important for everyone to listen during these times and not interrupt until they’ve finished explaining their idea.
2.2 Divive your teammates into different small groups
Ask certain teammates to work together and mix up groups often, if you can. It’s a good practice that will help your teammates know each other a little better. Plus, it’s the perfect way to brainstorm. Depending on the size of your organization, it may also save some meeting time if each group presents their thoughts instead of each individual.
2.3 Write down every thought, right or wrong
Sometimes, seeing what’s already been said will help teammates think of even stronger ideas. It’s also a good way to let teammates know that they’re valuable. Even if an idea doesn’t seem right at the moment, write it down anyway. Down the road, it may be a great fit.
2.4 Record ideas on a smart whiteboard
The interactive smart whiteboard is an easy-to-use tool that the whole team can benefit from. Need to jot down some notes or explain an idea with a quick chart or graph? Use infinite canvas to illustrate and share ideas. Plus, since most smart whiteboards like NearHub Board, Surface Hub, Samsung Flip and Jamboard are saved automatically to the cloud, our teammates can come back and work on a board later if they need more time to fully express their thoughts.
3. How NearHub leads to a high quality brainstorming session
3.1 Draw on the wisdom of the masses
As we covered, whiteboards are only as good as they are wide. The spatial constraints are whiteboards’ biggest disadvantage. With a NearHub Board , not only can you work with massive 55-inch, 75-inch, 75-inch and 86-inch (coming soon) screens, you can also write and draw on an infinite digital canvas with NearHub’s online whiteboard app, Canvas . With NearHub, you can forget to worry about running out of room—and get used to finally giving your ideas all the space they need to grow .
NearHub Boards can also bring your ideas to life in other ways. As you’ve probably heard throughout the standing desk craze, studies have shown that working while standing can lower certain health risks . As offices and employees alike invest in standing desks, don’t overlook the power of a smart whiteboard. With a smart whiteboard at the center of your collaboration space, you can think on your feet (literally) and encourage not only an active and healthier lifestyle, but active thinking as well.
Think about how you can work best in your space. When you’re sitting, your work can feel repetitive and rigid. When you feel disengaged and disinterested in your workspace, your work can suffer too. If you add a state-of-the-art device like a smart whiteboard to your workspace , it’s much easier to snap out of a dull work day and feel creative again. That’s because you’re up and moving while you work— like research says you’re supposed to .
3.2 Focus on your Drawing Board
With the Canvas app, your brainstorming process can finally feel creative again. For starters, the infinite Canvas is accessible from anywhere, whether you’re brainstorming on your phone, your tablet, your laptop, or the NearHub Board. No matter where your thoughts take you, your Canvas is with you. You can even customize your Canvas workspace with your favorite pens, brushes, and highlighters.
Easily sketch out your ideas on Canvas to help kickstart a productive brainstorming session. A combination of drawing and writing is ideal for generating creative solutions to problems. That’s because they invite teams to think spatially again, connecting ideas in new ways for even newer solutions.
NearHub makes spatial thinking easy. First, you never have to worry about your drawings or notes being illegible. You can use the Smart Text (coming soon) feature to convert any messy handwriting to standard text , or use smart shape (coming soon) to turn a questionable triangle into a clean shape. You can also connect ideas by creating a quick diagram, literally drawing a line between different trains of thought. By keeping your brainstorming session visual, you can also help team members who learn best with visual processing.
3.3 Dissipate your thoughts outside of the box
Sometimes, the best way to think outside the box is, surprisingly, to start with some structure.
If you’re not sure how to get started with a brainstorming session, check out our pre-built Canvas templates . Take the Brainwriting Template , for example. Nothing stops an idea faster than a judgemental comment. When criticism comes so early in problem-solving—especially in those first steps of inquiry—the entire process can get jumbled. There’s no room for judgment or the insecurity it brings in a brainstorming session. Instead, brainstorming should always happen in a collaborative and communicative environment to ensure you’re getting the maximum number of ideas and suggestions. If someone is too scared to propose their idea to a tough crowd, their team may never hear their valuable ideas—and worse, the problem may never get solved.
Brainwriting involves writing ideas down rather than vocally sharing them. Without the pressure of public speaking, teammates can contribute unique ideas that might not have been shared in front of a crowd. Try it out yourself: Have everyone in your team jot down a few ideas in the template, then let other team members build on each other’s notes and add their own thoughts to the template. Finally, take a step back and discuss the growing list of ideas you’ve all created together.
Another way to lean into structure to build great ideas is to work with what you already know and love. In the old ways of brainstorming, even if you emailed your session notes afterward, it was hard to plug those notes in and connect them to your larger strategies. Photos of notes or pictures of a whiteboard don’t integrate neatly into Slack threads, PowerPoints, and Google Sheets.
Luckily, with NearHub, you can rely on NearHub Board's countless app integrations . Easily pull up your usual productivity tools and apps to brainstorm on the big screen. Like what you came up with last brainstorming session? Annotate over the finished product (or just your brainstorming notes from last time) with the team, so you don't have to start from scratch. Even better, you can screenshot or screen-record your Board screen to keep your annotations fresh in everyone's minds.
3.4 Sharing without distance
A brainstorming session with Canvas looks like an easy, hybrid collaboration. That’s because you can work on the same infinite Canvas with your entire team in real-time - whether they’re at the NearHub Board with you or adding notes from their personal device.
With NearHub, everyone can grab a pen and join the brainstorming huddle, even if some of the team is working remotely. Have a team member that can’t make it? Switching between different work stations but want to pick up where you left off? NearHub Canvas automatically saves everything to the cloud, so you never have to worry about losing that train of thought. With NearHub’s new S55 huddle room solution, remote team members can even see what’s going on inside the room during the brainstorm using the built-in SONY CMOS AI powered camera.
When your brainstorming sesh is over, you can quickly send the session to all participants for later review. You can even return to the Canvas at a later time to continue collaborating with your team until you’ve found the perfect idea. Use the new NearHub One app to easily share your Canvas directly from your smartphone. Save and share your Canvas via email, or export it to Onedrive, Dropbox, Box, and more. NearHub seamlessly removesneedless barriers to your brainstorming sessions with an accessible, infinite, and collaborative canvas that’s easy to work on and even easier to share.
NearHub Boards and SaaS streamline brainstorming sessions and make them useful by removing their cumbersome, ineffective impediments. You can successfully brainstorm alone or with your team like never before with infinite cloud-backed space.
Would you want to use NearHub as your go-to brainstorming tool? See a demonstration here.