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Brainwriting is a creativity technique that is mainly used in groups and is similar to brainstorming . The special thing about brainwriting compared to brainstorming is that each participant can calmly collect ideas and write them down. Brainwriting is used wherever there is a need to develop ideas in groups ( advertising , journalism , creative writing ).

The boundaries between brainstorming and brainwriting become blurred in the case of electronic brainstorming, which can be carried out online via electronic meeting systems. Electronic brainstorming is similar to brainwriting in that contributions are recorded in writing. It is similar to brainstorming in that all contributions are immediately displayed to the other participants on a shared " flipchart ". The parallelization and anonymization of the contributions avoids the blocking influences of the group known from classic brainstorming and enables the spontaneous reaction to contributions from other participants.

Rules of brainwriting

In brainwriting, as in brainstorming, care is taken to ensure that all factors that inhibit the production of new ideas are minimized and, on the contrary , that all factors promoting the combination process are guaranteed. Participants should produce ideas and / or combine them with other ideas without any restrictions. Ideally, the participants inspire each other with their ideas during the writing process or discussion, which they can then develop further.

Brainwriting is divided into two phases:

  1. The first phase is used to develop ideas and create associations. In this phase, evaluating other people's and own ideas is prohibited, as this would lead to internal censorship among the participants and make it more difficult to find new ideas.
  2. In the second phase, the results are then subjected to detailed criticism and the best ideas are extracted.


  • Ideas cannot accidentally get lost in the discussion because they are written down.
  • It is not necessary to keep a record. There is therefore no need for a recorder.
  • The anonymity of the participants can usually be preserved. The participants are therefore not personally vulnerable.
  • There is equality in the group. Introverts have the same chance to propose their ideas as extroverts. The position of the participants also has no influence on the discussion of the ideas, provided that anonymity prevails. In the discussion, for example, the head of department's ideas are not left out of reverence by the criticism.


  • The spontaneity of ideas is lost. The participants think about their idea for too long and have to come up with a concrete formulation. This disadvantage is minimized in dynamic online brainwriting sessions (also via electronic meeting systems ).
  • Multiple mentions of an idea can occur due to the simultaneous and sole idea generation process at the beginning. This disadvantage does not apply if the ideas are immediately presented to the other participants and how this is done using electronic meeting systems.

Brainwriting techniques

Individual evidence

  1. Nunamaker, J., Dennis, AR, Valacich, JS, Vogel, DR and George, JF (1991): Electronic Meeting Systems to Support Group Work. Communications of the ACM, vol. 34, no. 7, pp. 40-61
  2. ^ McFadzean, ES (1997): Improving Group Productivity with Group Support Systems and Creative Problem Solving Techniques. Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 218-225.
  3. Dennis, AR; Valacich, JS (1993): Computer Brainstorms: More Heads are Better than One. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 78, No. 4, pp. 531-537.