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All those ideas that are storming around in your brain--your brainstorming--can vanish when you try to write them down. You find that nothing's harder than facing a blank page.
I know I'd been putting off one project, a video storyboard, for weeks--my brain and my page stay blank. When you start with a Word template, you already have something on that page, and it can help you capture or even create your ideas. And because it's a template, you can change it to fit with your project or your thought process.
To get my project going, I started with the story map template. I liked the way the shapes connected and the ample space for writing ideas.
The template labels didn't quite fit, but the process of renaming those labels helped loosen and light up my thinking until I reached that aha! moment and knew how I wanted my video to progress.Office.com offers other templates that you can use to invent and write down your best ideas. They're in the back-to-school section, but really they're for everyone. Here are a few of them:
Spider map template: For investigating various aspects of a topic.
Event map template: For tracking who, what, when, where, how, and why. This could be an event, or it could bbe planning for a project. Who's the audience? Who's going to do it? When is it due? How will it be accomplished--or funded?
Concept map (primary) and Concept map (elementary) templates: For tracking simple or more complex relationships.
Umbrella chart template: For investigating multiple facets of a subject.
T chart and KWL chart templates: List lovers! On the T chart, you can list advantaged and disadvantages. The KWL chart has space for what you know, what you want to know, and what you learned. And because it's a template, you can change it. Perhaps that last column becomes "what's out of scope" or "where can I learn it."
Fishbone diagram template: For diagramming the causes of an event--although you can change the categories to fit your needs and the ideas you're trying to encourage.
I hope these templates help you find your next big idea.
-- Joannie Stangeland
I haven't seen these templates before, maybe its because I'm using a Dutch version of Word, but some look interesting enough. What also helps me from time to time are the readily available SmartArt graphics. Not only can it visualize certain ideas, I get the feeling that their customization factor is also a little bit higher.
With that I mean that instead of merely a document with a graphic in it you end up with the chart and a clear input box which can help you to change the values.
Just my 2 cents though.
Thanks for that idea! I find that SmartArt graphics are really helpful for presenting ideas, but I hadn't thought of using them when I'm trying to dream up new ideas. And Word has a lot of different SmartArt graphics to choose from.