Using the Deck for brainstorming

There is something slightly therapeutic about removing post-it notes from the  block and  re-sticking them elsewhere.

But I can say I’ve been won over by the ability to seamlessly create, categorise and task manage stacks of notes online; no paper required!  My stacks of notes are then accessible from my mobile, tablet/laptop or desktop and can be shared with others for review or real-time update via a secure link.

First though, let’s recognise and acknowledge the old school method that has served us well for many years.

The reality is though, that this is how you’re probably doing brainstorming in your team workshops now:

  • Grab a few ‘decks’ of post-it notes;
  • Get your team in a room;
  • Realise some people you need are in a different office, organise to dial them in because there are no VC rooms available;
  • Find a wall;
  • Group brainstorm and write ideas on each post-it note;
  • Remember that you forgot to dial the other guys in;
  • Bring the guys on the phone up to speed, decide it’s easier to take a  photo of the wall of post-it notes and send it;
  • Resume brainstorming and shout at the speaker phone over your shoulder as you as you stick post-its on the wall;
  • Decide the mass of post-it notes on the wall needs grouping and owners assigned;
  • Pull them off the wall and put them back onto the wall in new groups;
  • Watch the moved post-it notes fall off the wall;
  • Put them back on the wall again.  Yell into the speaker phone to keep the off-site guys in the loop;
  • More fall off, repeat last step; then
  • Discuss who will own which actions.  Take a photo of the whole wall, collect all the post-it notes and assign someone to convert the picture into an action plan.

As exciting as this sounds, there is a now a far more efficient and collaborative way to get the job done:

  • Create a shared ‘Deck’ and send the link to everyone;
  • Do you want to chat too?  Open up  ‘Talk’ in for chat or video conferencing;
  • Group brainstorm and start filling up the stacks with notes;
  • Realise the decks need grouping, create some categories or new stacks;
  • Drag and drop notes to the right stack and update categories;
  • Assign owners and due dates to notes along the way;
  • Chitty-chitty-chat-chat.  Repeat last two steps; then
  • Everyone kicks back with a cheeky beverage to admire the glorious looking set of ideas and actions on  your shared deck, knowing that an alert notification will tell them when there’s an upcoming task due


This is the Deck, a Nextcloud app and it’s live now in your Australian based NextCloud provider.

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