Connecting Ideas - Part 1

Posted on July 20, 2014 by John Willshire

I've had some brilliant responses already on the research stuff I'm doing for the Dots conference in September (full explanation here), full of texture and detail, and things I'd not properly clocked.

As always, it's worth sharing these with you all, as it helps everyone think about their own working methods when you read what other people do.

So I'm starting to put the ones that people are happy to share up in threes (if you'd like to take part, the survey is here).

 

Martin Roberts, UK

What do you use Artefact Cards for?

- Risk assessment workshops to draw out concerns and potential hazards in applications and business processes
- Business process mapping and using them to simplify (Six Sigma) the process to eliminate waste
- Document / Talk planning - they're great for laying out ideas and reordering thoughts before hitting the digital world
- Summarising Key points from conferences and training courses
- Adhoc drawing - sometimes the only way to solve a challenge is to draw it

 

When do you use Artefact Cards in your process?

For me its always the first tool I reach for when mapping processes or doing risk assessments. I keep a box of Yellow / White and a box of Ice Blue Grid / White in my grab bag and also have a small business card holder with a mix of cards.

They're great for capturing early thoughts / ideas and then being able to refine. My principle - never throw a card or idea out... refine, develop and reuse.

Why are Artefact Cards similar to other tools you've used?

They break down barriers - everybody can draw and write and most people have done brainstorming on flipcharts with the aid of Post-it notes... this means people are quick to engage and "play" with their thoughts.

Being "NoTech" they keep peoples' attention focussed - there are no distractions to divert people away from the task at hand. [You can] use them anywhere.

Why are Artefact Cards different to other tools you've used?

They're more permanent - don't curl up and disintegrate like Post-it notes.

The dual side allows me to set a loose structure for some functions - Yellow side for Risk, Blue Side for Concerns / Issues and white side... well, every issue has a solution to what are your initial solution ideas.

Easy to carry - I've got two boxes stashed in my grab bag, two in the car, one in my coat pocket, 40 in a business card holder, 20 behind my ipad in the case and 5 in my wallet

Anything else?

I also carry Black, Blue and Red sharpies to allow highlighting of specific cards, idea or keywords.

Removing a pile from the box and just scattering them on a large table seems to overcome the "fear" of writing on them - if left in the box people seem reluctant to use them or take only one at a time.

Never throw away and idea - one day, you'll be able to refine it. The cards stand the test of time.

 

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Gleb from Prostopreza, Russia

What do you use Artefact Cards for?

To carry them around in my backpack. I've had them around for 2 or 3 months, and couldn't make myself draw anything on them, because they are too beautiful. Hopefully I'd start using them soon...

When do you use Artefact Cards in your process?

I wish I used them for event planning and presentation planning

Why are Artefact Cards similar to other tools you've used?

They are second to none.

Why are Artefact Cards different to other tools you've used?

Well they are tangible - maybe too much.

Anything else?

Please add one free card to every package you deliver with one card that has a handwritten anything on it. It is so difficult to start using them, 'cause they are so pure! 

 

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Tim Kastelle, Australia

What do you use Artefact Cards for?

I use Artefact Cards for three things:

1. to think through new ideas
2. as presentation slides for talks
3. to illustrate ideas on my blog.

Artefact Cards are the banners on my blog, twitter & facebook pages, they're in all of my presentations, they're in everything!

When do you use Artefact Cards in your process?

As you can see from the first answer, I use them all the way through my process - from idea generation through to idea communication.

Why are Artefact Cards similar to other tools you've used?

The big similarity is that they introduce productive constraint. For photography, I use a camera with a fixed lens - the constraint of not having zoom makes me actually think about what I am doing whenever I frame/take a photo. Artefact Cards are the same - the limited real estate forces me to really think through the essence of my ideas and try to get at the best way to express them.

Why are Artefact Cards different to other tools you've used?

I think there is more design in how they are to be used. Moleskine notebooks have a lot of design - but it mostly goes into aesthetics, not use. Artefact Cards are also aesthetically beautiful, but a lot of the design has gone into how they're used. I'm sure that people still come up with novel ways to use them, but I like the mix.

Anything else?

Originally, I probably would have chosen something other than yellow, but now that I've been using that colour for a while, I'm pretty attached to it...

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Want to add your thoughts? Head here...

 

 


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