Family Encyclopedia >> Work

8 MS Word templates that help you quickly brainstorm and mentally plan your ideas

A good resume template for Microsoft Word can help you land a job.

But did you know that there are other types of templates for Microsoft Word that can help you get some work done?

For example, let's take a pressing problem that has you stumped right now. Microsoft Word can help you tackle the dilemma with a good old-fashioned brainstorming session 8 Tips for Brainstorming Winning Ideas When Thinking Only One Storm 8 Tips for Brainstorming Winning Ideas When Thinking Only One Storm Two heads are better than one , but brainstorming is as much about solving individual problems as it is about group problem solving. Here are some methods to brainstorm Read More . Yes, whether you're alone or with a group discussion, use the power of mentals to tease you and brainstorm ideas to break a mental deadlock.

Let us search the Microsoft Gallery for the best templates to help you put your heads (or just a lone head) to work on a problem or an idea.

Except there's a little problem...

The official brainstorming templates have disappeared

Microsoft Word didn't want you scribbling aimlessly on a piece of paper. The Template Gallery offered some brainstorming and mind mapping templates to help you oil your mental rivets.

But then Microsoft Office revised the previous gallery when it launched Office Online as an alternative to Google Drive. With a Microsoft account, you can now use free Office web apps and templates for free.

But the catch? The new has gotten rid of the old..

Many of the helpful templates you may have used for brainstorming are no longer available. Try it. Search with a keyword such as "Event Map" or "Story Map." The new gallery has thousands of stylish new templates, but not the ones you brainstormed.

8 MS Word templates that help you quickly brainstorm and mentally plan your ideas

You can get a whiff of a template for Visio, PowerPoint, or Excel. But not much for Word. Browse the Office Online Template Gallery too. With a search keyword like “mind map”, I got an Idea Planner for Word, but not something that is more visual to clearly interconnect my thoughts.

But as we know the web is a vast place. There Are Alternative Sources for Brainstorming Templates 3 Great Sites for Free Document Templates 3 Great Sites for Free Document Templates Instead of creating a new document from scratch, you'll want to start with a template that you can customize. Find free professional templates at one of these sites. Read more.

So let's fire up Microsoft Word because we've done the searching for you. Many useful templates are still available on other sites. Here are 8 free templates that can help you brainstorm ideas with Microsoft Word.

These templates are meant to be easy. Its basic design serves two purposes:

  • The simple design makes them flexible and you can easily modify them yourself in Microsoft Word.
  • Templates forego flashy design and instead force you to focus on structuring your thoughts rather than presentation.

1. Story Map Templates

The Story Map template is suitable for writers trying to outline a plot. It can also be used by students to plan a narrative. In a business scenario, you can plan a team role-playing exercise and connect a solution to the underlying problem by assigning specific roles to team members.

8 MS Word templates that help you quickly brainstorm and mentally plan your ideas

Education World has a wide variety of simple story map templates for teachers and students. The Story Map Organizer in the download source below can help you create an arc with setting, main characters, supporting characters, problem and solution.

Download from: World of education | Also:

2. Process table

A business process can be complex. A process flow diagram is a decision-making tool that helps you visualize the outcome if you favor one decision over another. A process flow diagram is the best tool to chart the movement of any complicated decision, whether it involves scheduling or hiring an employee for your business.

8 MS Word templates that help you quickly brainstorm and mentally plan your ideas

This Microsoft Word template is a simple step-by-step process chart that walks you through a hiring process, but can be redesigned to clarify the flow of any process. You can use the process table to break down a complex event into a sequence of smaller action steps.

Download from: My Word Templates

3. Event map

Remember the old poem that went like this. - “I keep six honest servants (They taught me everything I knew)”? This poem is the rule of thumb for a basic problem-solving technique used by everyone from police investigators to storytellers. You can use this event map template to break down the idea or problem into the five W's and the other H. Trying to write your first story or blog post? Use this to develop your outline.

8 MS Word templates that help you quickly brainstorm and mentally plan your ideas

I found this old Microsoft Word template from a non-Microsoft source. You can use this to break an event down into its core nuts and bolts and understand it from different angles.

Download from: Educational world

4. Spider map

A simple spider map (or spidergram) is a bit like a conventional mind map with its radial layout. The large center circle represents your main idea, and the linear branching lines can be used to note the supporting ones. You can use the spider map to research various aspects of a single topic or simply to organize your thoughts on a topic.

8 MS Word templates that help you quickly brainstorm and mentally plan your ideas

There are some key differences between spider maps and mind maps that go back to their origins. Spider maps traditionally do not use colors or images and make more use of phrases or sentences. But the goal for both remains the same:place many ideas in relation to the central concept and visualize your thinking.

Download from: Educational world

5. Umbrella Chart

To be honest, I still haven't found a way to use this MS Word template effectively, so I've yet to find out if it's more versatile than a pie chart. The theory says that you can arrange the details of any theme or topic in the pie-shaped areas. The central idea goes into the central circle and then you fill the “umbrella” with subordinate ideas around the spokes.

8 MS Word templates that help you quickly brainstorm and mentally plan your ideas

This free umbrella zip file I found looks simple, but it can be a good launching pad for students and teachers. You can make umbrella charts spectacular with color, as you'll see when you search for umbrella chart templates in PDF or PowerPoint.

Download from: Word Pro Templates

6. KWL Chart

With this simple column template, you can easily keep track what someone (or you) knows (k) , want to know (w) , and has learned (l) about a topic. It is a very useful aid for deliberate practice and also if you are trying to research something. A well-structured KWL template can be used to fill in gaps in prior knowledge if you focus on the W (want to know).

8 MS Word templates that help you quickly brainstorm and mentally plan your ideas

As a student, you can avoid repetition and focus on what you want to learn. Then you can plan how and where to learn it. Teachers can print this Word template and use it to track a student's progress.

Download from: Free Word templates (portrait and landscape modes)

7. T-chart

Every issue has two sides, and this template helps you examine both sides of the same coin. Anything that can be split into two opposing views can be set using the T-chart. The T-chart is a graphic organizer that can be used to see different points of view and broaden your view of a topic.

8 MS Word templates that help you quickly brainstorm and mentally plan your ideas

Select two ideas to compare. List the topics as headings for the columns below. Then compare the two by writing statements in the corresponding columns. But keep in mind that a T-Chart doesn't always have to be a two-column table. The resource link below gives you a variety of T-Chart templates to use for a quick brainstorming session.

Download from:

8. Fishbone Diagram

The Fishbone diagram came out of Japan (not surprisingly). Also called Ishikawa diagrams, they are somewhat advanced idea organizers compared to the others we have on this list. The skeleton of desire can help pinpoint the relationship between a cause and its effect.

You can use it to drill down to the root cause of a problem by organizing a complex cause-and-effect event into categories. Fishbone diagram is widely used in quality control. But you can use it to get your thinking out of the rut..

8 MS Word templates that help you quickly brainstorm and mentally plan your ideas

As you can see above, the bones of the fish are represented to illustrate cause and effect. The head of the fish occupies the problem you are trying to solve. Brainstorm all the possible causes of the problem and give each one a branch from the backbone of the fish. The largest bones near the head of your fish are the most important causes followed by the least important ones towards the tail.

Download from:

Make your own templates in Microsoft Word

Why not create your own versions of these templates to fit your specific needs? All you need is simple Microsoft Word skills. I showed you how to make a template in PowerPoint. Create your custom PDF template to plan everything. Create your custom PDF template to plan. Any template is a vital time-saving device that you can use for almost any situation in life. When the special situation comes, can you make your own template? It is easy. We show you how. Read more . Microsoft Word has most of these tools as well.

These free templates are just tools. Your effectiveness at brainstorming will depend on how well you put your ideas together before you put them on paper or screen. Use these downloadable files and turn them into idea organizers in an instant whenever you want. Simply customize the templates by changing the text labels and/or adding to the sections.

Are you a brainstorming type? Tell us how you do it, and especially tell us if Microsoft Word is on your list of tools. What do you think of these simple and free templates?