Going back to the good old paper notebook. Working together to do research and analyze and develop the path to great new ideas and innovation. One method you can use in your team would be the collective notebook. And yes it is about a real paper notebook. Very beneficial if you have a virtual team, people who are not sitting next to each other or in the same room. Or you support a team of very different people. Can also be use when working with introverted people?

So what does the collective notebook stands for?

There are two different variations of this method. Let’s talk about both of them and start with the first one.

In this case your team will have to do some homework with notebooks. Let´s show an example.  Your team of 5 designers is working on a design challenge and is looking for thoughts and ideas to solve a curtain problem. They want to use the collective Notebook method to collect some thoughts.

The method consists of 3 steps. The first one would be to clarify the problem statement and task you want to work on. Now everyone will receive a notebook for their personal notes. A general document preparation will be done and then the second step will be started.

Collecting notes. The second step stands for using the notebook. The rule is to carry your notebook wherever you go to be able to write down anything you get into your brain. Write down everything you find during a set time period.

The third step will be the conclusion of all notebooks. Bring together what you have and start to sort and order it. One disadvantage of this method could be you have some ideas double or even three times on the board. But no worries this is not a bad thing.

Collect what you have and work with the results. You will receive a great overview on the topic and a great fundamental basis for further research and developments.


A litte bit different – Variation 2

In the second variation of the collective notebook you will have only one notebook for the team. The first one will start with the initial thoughts until he or she need to forward the book to the second team mate. This one will read what has been written and will add further thoughts and ideas on this. So it will go on and on until a full circle has been done. If you like you can do more than one circle. A full circle can be done during a single session, a day or much longer periods.

At a given point the session will be closed and a review by the team will be done. A lot of thoughts and ideas are collected. A great way to develop great ideas building on each other.

As always – give it a try

You should give it a try. You will be surprised how you will benefit of this method as it builds up on each other’s thoughts.



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