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  • Use AI as your Brainstorming Partner: #DoDifferentWithAI E1

Use AI as your Brainstorming Partner: #DoDifferentWithAI E1

Being creative and thinking clearly is one superpower we all can have at work. Here is how you can use the power of AI to more effectively brainstorm and bring ideas to life.

My brain works best when I am discussing and brainstorming. Much better than me sitting alone and thinking. Do you connect with me? Read on…

In your line of work, there are many situations where you need to think, ideate, and act. 

Here is a way you can do it at your desk, with the power of AI. 

Brainstorming with AI - A Step-by-step Guide

In this post, I will introduce two tools

  1. ChatGPT - Ideation, true branstorming

  2. Whimsical - Ideation and presentation

For this article, Let’s imagine that I would want to conduct a Marathon in my local town. Let’s plan it.

Step 1: Spark your thoughts: Start from an open slate with open-ended questions

Often the start is the most difficult step. To spark your thoughts and begin thinking. AI tools can be a great ignition switch to get your thoughts going.

One core difference between using AI systems vs using traditional software systems is that with AI, you should start with an open slate.

In ChatGPT

Here’s what I would do in ChatGPT. Just tell it what your intentions are.

You can see that ChatGPT has already gone deep into the work and started giving me the steps to follow.

In Whimsical

  1. Signup for Whimsical, Create a ‘Board’ and Start with a ‘Mind Map’

  1. Begin putting down your initial thoughts into the Mindmap and click on the ‘Generate Idea’ Button


Whimsical will automatically list several points that you need to take care of while conducting a Marathon. I can guarantee you that if you are not a ‘veteran marathon organizer’, there will be at least 2-3 points that you would miss if it were not for this brainstorming.

Step 2: Fine Tune and Improve

It’s time to fine-tune and dig deeper into each of the points.

In ChatGPT

Here are 4 suggestions to fine-tune and improve your ChatGPT conversations.

1. Ask ChatGPT to ask questions

Explicitly ask ChatGPT to ask you questions. This will unlock a good conversation and ensure that ChatGPT is not answering without context.

Please Note: This works best only with GPT4. 

Now ChatGPT is asking you questions to help itself find better answers. Answer the questions to build a better context.

Now your favorite brainstorming partner and you are on the same page! It’s time to dig deeper.

2. Be natural in the conversation

Remember, talk to it like how you would talk to a friend whom you are brainstorming with.

3. Ask ChatGPT to role play

Asking ChatGPT to act in a particular role will often unlock deeper insights. In this example, you can ask ChatGPT to roleplay as a first-time marathon runner and ask what she would need. You can switch roles and do a mini-user research here.

Try this prompt:

Imagine you are a first time marathon runner. You area woman of age 30. As an organiser what should I prepare for you?

Advanced tip: You can ask ChatGPT to act as a ‘group of experts and give different viewpoints. This will unlock true brainstorming power. Try this:

Imagine you are a committe of experts. A race director, a veteran marathon runner, a health expert and a marketing expert. Give me different viewpoints that need to be considered.

4. Ask ChatGPT to follow thinking models

There are various mental models you can apply in your thinking process. If you are a fan of applying mental models, you can have your brainstorming partner, aka ChatGPT follow them too! Often these generate better results.

Here is a prompt you can give:

. apply the and generate ideas.

Here are a few mental models you can use in your thinking process:

  1. First Principles Thinking: This model involves breaking down complex problems into their fundamental parts and then reassembling them from the ground up. It's useful when you're trying to innovate or create something completely new.

  2. SCAMPER Model: SCAMPER stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Rearrange. It's a checklist tool used to spur creativity during brainstorming and can be applied to any situation where you need new ideas or solutions.

  3. Six Thinking Hats: This model assigns different types of thinking to six 'hats': white (facts), yellow (benefits), black (criticisms), red (feelings), green (creativity), and blue (process). It's useful for group brainstorming sessions to ensure diverse perspectives are considered.

  4. The 5 Whys: This model encourages you to ask 'why' five times to get to the root cause of a problem. This can help in uncovering the underlying issues in a situation and spur creative problem-solving.

In Whimsical

Whimsical cannot ask you questions, but you can use what you learned from ChatGPT to fine-tune its performance for you. Here’s what I’d do. Delete the default responses and guide them better.

I replaced the default list of items Whimsical gave me with the list of highlights that I got from the conversation with ChatGPT

Of course I would have been able to write these down myself right at the beginning, without even talking to ChatGPT, but in real world use cases, there is always something additional that are triggered in your conversation with ChatGPT. Hey, that’s the whole idea of brainstorming. 

Now, unlock the power of Whimsical’s AI to generate ideas on each specific point.


Of course, there is some overstepping that the Whimsical AI has done here. Clean up!

In no time, my Whimsical mindmap is bursting with ideas.

Step 3: Clean up and Export the plan

Whimsical is a great tool to get your ideas in a presentable format and export the mindmap.

In steps 1 and 2, switch back and forth between ChatGPT and Whimsical.

ChatGPT to generate ideas, Whimsical to structure the ideas.

In Step 3 - Clean up your mindmap in Whimsical and take an export. You can now convert this into whichever format you need to or export it into whichever tool you would like to make it actionable.

In a couple of hours, you have an actionable plan at hand!

What other tools can I use?

As long as you get the concept, and you are smart enough to navigate it, it does not matter which tool to use.

Here are some alternatives to ChatGPT and Whimsical

Good luck super powering your ideation and brainstorming! Remember, AI can bring superpowers to you and your career. Adopt it fast and thrive!

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