Brainwriting In A Bucket – Part Duex

You can download a PDF version of this tool here: Brainwriting In A Bucket – Part Duex

Brainwriting In A Bucket – Part Duex

Divergent Tool for Problem Finding/Idea Finding/Ideation/Brainstorming
Works best in a large group broken into smaller groups to solve the same problem.

After some thought, I decided to update the Brainwriting In A Bucket ideation technique I created.  The original technique still works fine.  The update is includes the entire group to enhance comradery and share ideas across groups.  It works best when a large group is ideating towards one task.  The large group is broken up into several smaller groups.  The modifications are in bold below.

Items Needed

  • 1 Bucket per group
  • Post It Notes
  • Pens/Markers
  • Flip chart


  1. Break larger ground into groups of 4-10.
  2. Write the group’s task or problem at the top of the flip chart.
  3. Quietly begin brainstorming ideas for the group’s task or problem.  Each member of the group should write their ideas down on a Post-It Note.
  4. Once an idea is written down, it should be tossed into the first bucket.
  5. Each person should write down as many ideas as they can onto Post-It Notes and toss them into the bucket.  A good goal is about 10 ideas per person.  It’s okay to come up with less.
  6. Once the first round of ideas is complete or begins to slow down, instruct each group to switch buckets with another group to begin the second round.
  7. Each person should reach into the other team’s bucket full of Post-It Notes and pull one out randomly.
  8. The person reads the idea and builds off of it.  A build could be an addition to the existing idea, an option for the existing idea, or a whole new idea that’s sparked from the first idea.  Write this below the original idea on the Post-It Note.
  9. The person then tosses the idea back into the bucket.
  10. Repeat steps 6-8 until there are all ideas have been built on.
  11. Each Post-It Note should now have 2 ideas on it.
  12. Have each group switch buckets with another group they haven’t switched with already.  Repeat steps 7-8. After this, each Post-It Note should have 3 ideas on it.
  13. Repeat step 12 as necessary.  It is not advised to go beyond 3 ideas per Post-It Note due to legibility issues on the Post-It Notes.
  14. Take the Post-It Notes from the buckets and place them on the flip chart in front of the group.
  15. Have one person read each Post-It Note out loud.
  16. Take any final builds people may have and write them on the Post-It Notes.

Optional Convergence Tool (feel free to use the tool you feel is the most effective)

  1. As a group, cluster similar ideas together.
  2. Vote for the ideas group members want to move forward with.  Each person should get enough votes to vote for 10% of the ideas, e.g. 50 ideas means each person gets 5 votes.
    • Each Post-It Note should be considered an idea.  An idea from within each Post-It Note can be voted on individually if the group agrees to separate that idea from the Post-It Note.  If this happens, write the idea on a separate Post-It Note.
  3. After voting is completed, discuss each idea that received at least 1 vote.
  4. As a group, select 3-5 ideas to move forward with based on the discussion.