Brainwriting: The tool for developing ideas

Translated by Stella Vasileiadou

Based on the original text by Eurydice Markopoulou

One of the most popular methods of developing ideas, especially in the business world, is brainstorming. The process actually stands for gathering all partners in one space where they begin to discuss about the views they have on a particular topic. This method is based on the release of the creative spirit of the participants. If you are an extroverted person, who has the courage to talk openly about your ideas in the making before they can crystallize, then brainstorming is for you. However, the brainstorming method doesn’t work for everyone.

What is brainwriting?

This is a method similar to brainstorming, except for the fact that the participants write down their ideas, instead of talking about them. During a brainwriting session, participants remain silent and write down their thoughts on a piece of paper. After writing down their ideas ,the participants exchange papers and everyone has the opportunity to read the ideas of each other and to add their own thoughts as well. At the end, the dialogue begins, where all the ideas are explained and discussed.


Brainwriting promotes cooperation between people with different personalities. There’s no doubt that in the case of brainstorming, it is quite easy for the most dynamic and active participants to dominate the dialogue, leaving less room for the more timid and introverted ones. But thanks to the brainwriting method, equality in participation is ensured.

In addition, there is a low likelihood of consolidating a common idea basis and therefore, the participants’ creativity is cultivated. Last but not least, this method has been proven to be much more efficient and practical.


There are different brainwriting techniques, as we shall see below:

6-3-5 brainwriting

Participants are divided into groups of six and must write down three ideas in five minutes. Then, each person gives their paper to someone else, who adds their own ideas. This process is continued six more times, so that all the teams have taken back their paper. This makes it easier to work in groups with many people.

BrainwritingCollaborative brainwriting

This method favors long-term work, which can enhance the creativity of the participants. A certain space is selected for this purpose (e.g. a table or a wall), where the groups at the end of the day or of the week complete their ideas.

Remote brainwriting

In this case, remote cooperation is made possible. It can be done over a longer period of time, such as collaborative brainwriting, but also in sessions such as 6-3-5 brainwriting. However, what’s different is the way and especially the means used. For instance, ideas can be shared with partners via email, blogs, virtual whiteboards, etc.

All in all, we observe that brainwriting is a very useful tool, not only for the equal promotion of all ideas but also for the cultivation of team spirit, even in remote work.

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