Talk to professionals charged with thinking and they might tell you to run away from your computer/cell phone/iThingy.

Because if we’re slaves to our technology, we impede our capacity to think bigger.

I’m not one of those chorus of voices. Instead, I run towards technology, embracing all sorts of new gadgets as a way to fuel bigger thinking.

Because I’ve learned something in all the years I’ve been brainstorming – people tend to think bigger if they feel they’re part of something amazing. It’s not just another meeting, it’s an event, and you’re the main attraction.

Rigging up an iPad app and a projector can do the trick. So can introducing a gadget nobody’s ever seen before. But you don’t even have to go that far. Recently, I used a set of giant Post It notes to wallpaper a room. We got to our solution in half the time we typically do.

When I’m conducing sessions, here’s three technologies I use to capture, organize and re-organize information.

Popplet – popplet.com
Popplet is a loose “mind mapping” program, allowing you to use a series of colourful boxes to connect ideas. You can draw in the boxes, import photos and write in them. It’s a terrific amount of fun and allows you to see all the pieces of a puzzle as you assemble them.

Livescribe Pen – livescribe.com
It’s a pen. With a camera on the end. And the ability to record or sync to audio. Sound weird? It totally is – it’s also pretty useful. Imagine conducing a brainstorming session and writing down notes. The pen automatically digitziezes you notes and your audio. Later, you can bring up an image of your notes and tap on anything. The audio you recorded at the moment you wrote or drew that object begins to play. Very useful.

Post It Notes – seriously
Give a person a Post It Note, and you’ll get an idea. Give them a different coloured Post It Note and assemble the ideas on the wall – you]’ll actually feel the buzz. 

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