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6. Narrow Down Your Ideas

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In the previous video, your group selected a brainstorming exercise and generated as many ideas as possible. In this activity, you will review your ideas and select the one that is most likely to help you achieve your goal.

Spend 10 minutes on this process. Don’t go into detail about how you’ll implement the ideas yet. You can do that later on. Choose a timekeeper and make sure that person gives a 2-minute warning before time is up. To help narrow down your ideas, ask questions like: Does this help us achieve our main goal?

Do we have enough time and resources to put this into action?

Or, narrow down your list by combining similar ideas.

There are many methods to narrow down your ideas as a group.

If you are all sitting together, you could: Break into small groups to pick your favorite ideas together, or have your facilitator take a vote to find the most popular ideas.

If you are not in the same location, or if there are members who prefer not to share aloud, each person could: Leave comments within the exercise, ranking their top idea. Add their initials.

Then, review the comments and initials to see which are the most popular.

No matter which method you use, it is very important to select one idea by the end of the 10 minutes so you can begin working toward your ultimate goal.

Remember, each person spent time thinking creatively, so offer feedback respectfully if you’re discussing as a group.

Instead of saying an idea is “good” or “bad,” explain why you think one could be successful, or why it might be challenging to implement.

To begin, open the brainstorming exercise you completed as a group.

You will learn a strategy for narrowing down ideas based on your brainstorming exercise, but there are many ways to select a top idea. Combine strategies or try them across any of the brainstorming exercises. If you completed the Brainwriting with Google Spreadsheets exercise, record your top ideas by highlighting the row in the spreadsheet where the idea is listed.

If you completed the Mind Mapping with Google Drawings exercise, show your top idea by bolding the text.

If your group completed the Outlining with Google Docs exercise, show your top idea by adding a new section to the outline.

Discuss your ideas as a group and list your final selection as a bullet point under the new header.

Now it’s your turn: Open your brainstorming exercise and narrow down ideas, Spend 10 minutes selecting 1 idea, If you used Brainwriting, highlight a row within the spreadsheet. If you used Mind Mapping, bold the text in your drawing. And if you used Outlining, create a new header and bulleted list in the document.


  1. Open your brainstorming exercise and narrow down ideas.
  2. Spend 10 minutes selecting 1 idea.
  3. If you used brainwriting, highlight a row within the spreadsheet.
  4. If you used mind mapping, bold the text in your drawing.
  5. If you used outlining, create a new header and bulleted list in the document.