Brainwriting is the quiet brainstorming technique


‘Brainwriting 635’ is one of 30 techniques included in our PLAYBOOK, the free toolkit for creative thinkers.


Brainstorming is the go-to technique for any group-based exercise, but it can be skewed by more vocal or assertive members of the team.


Brainwriting gives everyone an equal voice and builds on the ideas of others to generate more varied and imaginative possibilities.

Build off each other's ideas


Brainwriting is the quiet brainstorming technique, where people write down ideas, then pass them on to stimulate further thoughts. This method is great for diffusing groupthink and ensures even the shy people can have as much voice as the extroverts.


The technique is simple: ask 6 participants to jot down 3 ideas on a sheet of paper in 5 minutes, then pass it onto the next person.


The ‘Brainwriting 635’ sheet provides a useful format to help build creative ideas for your projects. You can download the worksheet below.

Brainwriting 635 grid
Brainwriting 635 worksheet

1. Set-up

Quickly outline the question or challenge you want to address, then give participants a blank copy of the worksheet.


It is an A4 sheet with 3 columns and as many rows as there are participants.

2. Kick-off

Give participants up-to 5 minutes to think of 3 initial ideas and them down on the sheet of paper, one idea in each column in the first row.

3. Pass it round

When the 5 minutes are up, get them to pass their sheet round to the next person.


Ask them to read the existing answers on the sheet they receive, then add 3 more ideas. Again, give them up to 5 minutes.

4. Review and discuss

Repeat until the sheets go all the way round.  At the end, ask participants to talk about the thoughts and ideas that struck them most.



The worksheet is included in our free PLAYBOOK, a collection of 30 of our favourite tools and techniques. Download them all now in the PLAYBOOK.


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