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10 Best Free Brainstorming Templates, Techniques and Step-by-Step Guide

Yiyang Zhang

Unlocking the power of creativity and innovation is essential for any individual or team striving to achieve greatness. One surefire way to tap into that creative reservoir is through the art of brainstorming.

But how can you conduct a successful brainstorming session?And where can you find the best templates to guide your process?

In this article, we will explore the fundamental brainstorming techniques, provide you with a step-by-step guide on conducting successful sessions, and introduce you to ten invaluable brainstorming templates that will help set clearer goals. So get ready to unleash your creativity as we dive deep into the world of brainstorming!

What are the Fundamental Techniques of Brainstorming?

Brainstorming is a collaborative and free-flowing process that encourages participants to generate ideas without judgment. However, to make the most of these sessions, it's crucial to understand the fundamental brainstorming techniques. Let's explore them now.


  • "No Idea Is a Bad Idea": Emphasizing the acceptance of all ideas during brainstorming, this principle establishes an open and non-judgmental environment, encouraging participants to freely share their thoughts.

  • Building on Ideas: Instead of dismissing suggestions, participants are encouraged to expand upon them or find connections between multiple ideas. This collaborative approach fosters innovation by building on existing concepts.

  • Divergent Thinking: This technique encourages wild and imaginative ideas without restrictions, pushing the boundaries of conventional thinking and uncovering new possibilities during brainstorming sessions.

  • Incorporating Visual Aids: This is where brainstorming templates weigh in. Tools such as mind maps and mood boards stimulate creativity by helping individuals visualize their thoughts tangibly. These aids assist in organizing ideas spatially and making connections between different elements.

  • Time Management: A significant aspect of effective brainstorming, setting specific time limits for ideation exercises maintains focus, promotes urgency, and prevents prolonged discussions on a single idea. This ensures a productive and efficient brainstorming process.

By employing these fundamental techniques during your brainstorming sessions, you'll create an atmosphere conducive to generating fresh perspectives and groundbreaking solutions! So gather your team together - it's time to unleash those creative juices!

How to Conduct a Successful Brainstorm: Step-by-Step Guide

Conducting a successful brainstorming session is crucial for generating innovative ideas and finding solutions to various challenges. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to conduct an effective brainstorming session:


Step 1: Define the objective

Clearly articulate the problem or goal you want to address through brainstorming. This will provide focus and direction to the session.

Step 2: Set time limits

Allocate specific time slots for each phase of the brainstorming process - ideation, evaluation, and refinement - to ensure efficient use of time.

Step 3: Generate ideas

Start by encouraging free-flow thinking without any constraints or limitations. Use techniques like mind mapping, word association, or random stimuli to spark creativity.

Step 4: Facilitate discussion

Once ideas are generated, encourage participants to discuss them openly while remaining respectful of different viewpoints. Foster collaboration and build upon each other's suggestions.

Step 5: Refine selected ideas

Identify promising concepts from the evaluated list and further develop them into actionable plans by fleshing out details or creating prototypes if applicable

Remember that successful brainstorming requires flexibility in approach; adapt these steps as per your team's needs!

10 Brainstorming Templates to Set a Clearer Goal

When it comes to brainstorming, having a clear goal in mind is crucial. It helps focus the discussion and ensures that everyone is on the same page. One effective way to set a clearer goal for your brainstorming sessions is by using templates. These templates provide structure and guidance, making it easier for participants to generate ideas.

1. AFFiNE Concept Map Brainstorming Template

The AFFiNE concept map template is an unparalleled visual tool that empowers users to explore different branches of thought related to their topic with ease. We understand that complex theories can be difficult to translate into digestible diagrams, which is why our concept map template provides a structured and foolproof approach to knowledge exploration. It is an indispensable tool for academic professionals, research students, and anyone seeking clarity on confusing subjects. Moreover, cross-functional teams value it highly as a tool for visualizing the interplay of ideas in corporate strategies or product development. The concept map is an exceptional visual aid that reinforces learning and understanding of knowledge in any setting.

2. AFFiNE Fishbone Brainstorming Template


The AFFiNE fishbone brainstorming template is a strategic tool that helps you organize your ideas into seven key stages, and beyond, starting from prospecting to personal growth and referrals. It is also known as an Ishikawa Diagram Template, which is a layout that helps you identify and categorize potential causes of a problem. The template is designed with a central "problem" line and branches for different cause categories, making it easier to analyze systematically. It is tailored to provide in-depth analysis and improvement, allowing you to visually dissect your thoughts and identify bottlenecks, thus optimizing your performance.

3. AFFiNE Project-Tracking Kanban Brainstorming Template

The nature of project progress is constantly changing and requires an agile methodology. The AFFiNE project-tracking Kanban brainstorming template is designed for this purpose and is equally useful for startup teams looking to grow and solo entrepreneurs navigating their business ventures. It serves as an agile board for developing teams and a productivity booster for freelancers. The Project-Tracking Kanban template is invaluable, catering to both teams and individual learners and empowers users to efficiently manage evolving workloads.

4. AFFiNE Precision Gantt Chart Brainstorming Template

Project leads often struggle with aligning multifaceted team tasks and deadlines. To help in this regard, AFFiNE offers a Gantt chart brainstorming template that provides a comprehensive timeline visualization. It is perfect for individual freelancers managing their gigs and corporate teams overseeing complex projects. This Gantt Chart is an indispensable tool for professionals in project management roles and a straightforward solution for any individual aiming to refine their project oversight. The chart visually represents the project design, mapping out a six-week timeline across different teams.

5. AFFiNE SMART Brainstorming Template


The AFFiNE SMART brainstorming template is a structured and effective framework used to set and achieve objectives. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By setting a time-based goal, you can channel your efforts toward achieving a focused objective within a specific timeframe. Constructive feedback can be used to make necessary improvements, and the end-of-semester feedback serves as the targeted endpoint for achieving this objective.

6. AFFiNE SWOT Analysis Brainstorming Template


The AFFiNE SWOT brainstorming template is a valuable tool for evaluating your project's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It provides a structured approach to identify internal and external factors that may affect your planning. By leveraging your strengths and mitigating weaknesses, you can proactively manage risks and explore growth opportunities. This dynamic tool is essential for informed decision-making, helping you create a robust analysis for sustained success.

7. AFFiNE 2H5W Critical Brainstorming Template


The AFFiNE 2H5W critical brainstorming template is a structured and effective method for analyzing and solving problems. It helps individuals or teams to explore a situation or problem thoroughly and gain a comprehensive understanding of it, which facilitates effective decision-making. The template is based on two primary questions: "How" and "How Much." These questions help identify the processes, methods, tools, and resources needed to address the problem or situation effectively. The template then prompts the user to ask five additional questions, "Why," "Who," "Where," "When," and "What." These questions help to explore different dimensions of the problem or situation, such as its root causes, stakeholders, location, time frame, and impact.

8. AFFiNE Coordinated Brainstorming Template


This brainstorming template from AFFiNE is specifically designed to help individuals organize their event planning process seamlessly. It includes detailed task assignments, ensuring that every new idea is well-coordinated. The template features a table view in page mode and sticky notes in edgeless mode, connected through connectors that ensure a smooth and well-documented brainstorming journey. With a focus on detailed coordination, this template guarantees a meaningful and technologically immersive brainstorming experience for users.

9. Notion Brainstorming Template


Brainstorming is a crucial aspect of any thriving business. If you are looking for guidance in this process, you can make use of the Notion brainstorming template. The template will assist you in identifying the problem from various perspectives, determining what your users need, drafting solutions, and planning the next steps for execution and implementation.

10. Mural Vision Board Brainstorming Template


Vision boards are a great tool for product development teams to fully describe and validate an idea. They are typically created at the very beginning of a project. Mural's product vision board template can help you envision ideas for a product or service and align expectations for the project's outcome. Use the template to design a board that represents what your solution should and shouldn't look like.

By utilizing these templates designed to streamline the brainstorming process during your brainstorming sessions, you can set a clearer goal and guide the creative process

Generate Ideas with AFFiNE's Brainstorming Templates

AFFiNE is your ultimate source for an extensive range of templates suitable for all your project needs. To generate brilliant ideas, having the right tool is the key! Don't wait any longer - start using these free resources now! With the powerful combination of innovative brainstorming techniques and user-friendly templates from AFFiNE, you can take your work to the next level. So, grab the opportunity and witness the magic of innovation unfold in your projects!

AFFiNE is a versatile editor that lets you write, draw, plan, and present all in one place. Easily capture detailed information about your ideas using the page mode, allowing for straightforward document editing. Efficiently organize your projects by using a database to keep track of deadlines, assign responsibilities, and effortlessly monitor project progress. Take advantage of AFFiNE's powerful whiteboard feature to brainstorm ideas with your team.

Key features:

  • Template Gallery in AFFiNE: There is a curated collection of powerful whiteboardtemplates in AFFiNE. From the robust Gantt chart to the insightful concept map and the comprehensive SWOT, an array of additional templates awaits your exploration, promising to expand the horizons of your brainstorming planning and execution. These templates serve as your launchpad, enabling you to skip the groundwork and jump straight into action. Crafted for seamless collaboration, AFFiNE's brainstorming templates provide structured canvases for various tasks, saving you valuable time and enhancing efficiency in project management, content creation, and planning.


  • Explore Edgeless Creativity with a Whiteboard: Unlock the full spectrum of your creative potential through our dynamic whiteboard. Boasting essential features like a plethora of colors, diverse font options, shapes, and connectors, this powerful tool is designed to elevate your creative process. Seamlessly upload images in various formats and utilize the extensive collection of styles and templates to further amplify your creativity. Transform your ideas into compelling thought frameworks with unparalleled ease and versatility!


  • Advanced Collaboration Capability: When you do need to collaborate with other contributors to discuss your brainstorming template, AFFiNE makes getting feedback simple. Appealing collaboration capability provides visibility into assigned tasks, making tables easier to estimate, and ensuring your framework remains well-designed. You can invite team members or friends to collaborate on your planning together, making it perfect for the schedule.


So why settle for mediocre results when you can unlock your full creative potential with AFFiNE's brainstorming templates? Start exploring our innovative features today and witness the power of effective brainstorming firsthand! Presently, AFFiNE has launched its Stable Version, with ongoing efforts to develop a more comprehensive and dependable iteration. Join us on our voyage through our social media channels and be part of the experience. Come and join us on our journey over on our media platforms. 🚀

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