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In the previous video, you learned about three types of brainstorming methods and how to select the appropriate exercise for your group. One method is a Brainstorming Outline using Google Docs.

A shared Google doc helps organize your ideas and allows group members to collaborate and share suggestions in one place.

Brainstorming with a Google doc is an effective activity if most of your group members enjoy discussing and coming up with ideas together. In this video, you will brainstorm ideas using a shared Google Document. You will learn how to: Share a Google doc with your group, Change headings and formatting to keep ideas organized, Assign group roles, And add a bulleted list of ideas Brainstorming is a time to generate as many ideas as possible without critique. To keep your ideas flowing quickly, spend only 15 minutes on this exercise.

Choose one group member to be your timekeeper. Once you start your brainstorm, the timekeeper will set a 15-minute timer and give a 5-minute warning before time is up. This helps make your brainstorming session more efficient. Although you will work on the Brainstorming Outline on your own computer, sit near your group members so you can discuss ideas together.

Then, select one person to open the Starter Project labeled Brainstorming Outline.

Make a copy and add it to your Drive.

Rename the spreadsheet Brainstorming, plus the name of your scenario. Next, share the document with your group.

Change the sharing settings so that each person can edit the file.

Once everyone has access to the document, add a few key details and get organized before you start brainstorming. Type your scenario under the “Situation.”

Then, decide as a group each person’s responsibilities. Assigning roles helps keep your brainstorming organized, ensures all of your thoughts are written down, and helps you finish in a reasonable amount of time. The Facilitator acts as a guide, keeping the group focused.

The Time Keeper uses a phone or clock to keep the brainstorming session within the time limit.

The Note Taker records everyone’s ideas.

The Researcher might conduct a Google search to find inspiration if your group gets stuck.

If you only have a couple of people in your group, each of you should take multiple roles.

If you have more than 4 people, team up as partners on a role or create new roles of your own.

No matter what you’re assigned, everyone should participate and share their ideas.

After you have assigned roles, have one person create and apply a new header style to each section of your outline.

This type of formatting helps keep your outline organized and easy to read.

Now that you’ve added structure to your Brainstorming Outline, it’s time to start thinking of ideas. Have the timekeeper set a 15-minute timer.

Be sure to give everyone a 5-minute warning before time is up.

Discuss the scenario as a group and share ideas aloud.

If you are the facilitator, you might ask guiding questions such as: How could we add to this idea to make it more effective?

Have you seen any similar efforts that worked well?

What’s the wildest idea you can think of?

Or, keep things moving by going around in a circle and building off of each other’s ideas. If you are the notetaker, record everyone’s ideas in the document. You don’t need to write word-for-word. Just capture the key points.

Make sure to move quickly, think creatively, and don’t stop to critique ideas. You will evaluate ideas later. Now it’s your turn: Open the Brainstorming Outline and add your scenario Assign group roles, Apply new heading styles to each section, And brainstorm as many ideas as possible.


  1. Open the brainstorming outline and add your scenario.
  2. Assign group roles.
  3. Apply new heading styles to each section.
  4. Brainstorm as many ideas as possible.