Do you also struggle to come up with novel ideas and solutions? Try this crazy method!

While doing some research on design sprints I came across the Crazy 8s method. This is a simple tool to ideate and sketch out 8 ideas in a short amount of time. Why crazy? Well, you only have 8 minutes to do this and no holds barred.

Easy to create, difficult to fill 😉

So, how does it work?

Easy! At least the steps to follow are ;). Grab a sheet of paper (landscape) and:

  1. Fold the paper over vertically, then fold it twice horizontally. Unfold and behold: your piece of paper has 8 sections now
  2. Set a timer to eight minutes and make sure that you can see it
  3. Sketch out 8 ideas
  4. When the timer goes off, stop sketching

You can do this alone, or with your team. The idea is to go far and wide: no idea is too crazy! After quickly share and reflect on your ideas, maybe consolidate some and explore some further. This is a great tool to explore different routes towards solving a problem in stead of rushing off and picking the most obvious – and often not best – solution.

My experiences

Having filled in some crazy eights myself this is what I observe and think of it:

  1. The short amount of time forces you to start! I often find myself in a new section trying to think out the idea in my mind before putting it down on paper. But then I feel the pressure of the timer ticking away and force myself to begin. I find this liberating in the end 🙂
  2. I am great at associating from one idea to another. So in only 8 minutes I have put quite some different ideas on paper
  3. When done you still only have rough ideas ;). Now it’s time to choose which ones to pursue.

All in all, a great little tool that cost nearly nothing in material and time, and can gain you a lot. Enjoy!

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