How to Draw a Strategy

Part three of our Visual Thinking Strategy series

Draw Your Ideas is part three of Our Visual Thinking Strategy series. You can find part one here, part two here, and part four here.

The next step in our creative problem-solving strategy is to brainstorm possible solutions! That means it’s time to draw your ideas. Drawing your ideas rather than writing a list will lead to a more creative output of possible solutions.


Refer back to your problem or goal statement:


Before brainstorming so you can draw a strategy, ask questions.

Based on your research, ask yourself what you can do to solve your problem or achieve your goal. These are the how, what, when questions. Questions like:

  • How can I cut down on single-use plastic?
  • How can I reduce the amount of waste I generate?
  • What are the best eco-friendly products to buy?
  • How can I reduce the amount of meat I eat?
  • How can I donate money to offset my carbon emissions from driving?
  • How much do I want to reduce my carbon footprint by, and by when?

All tie back to the overarching goal, and are also informed by the research we conducted.

Step 1 to draw your ideas is to create defined categories

You can also review your research and create specific categories that map back to your main goal, such as:

  • Reducing Waste
  • Eating Less Meat
  • Supporting Eco-Friendly Companies and Organizations
  • Reducing Energy Consumption

These categories can be in combination with the above questions, or standalone.


Draw large when visual brainstorming


To create this brainstorm, use the largest drawing area you can find. Brainstorming means endless possibilities! You’ll generate more innovative ideas the less you limit yourself. And often we end up generating so many ideas that we run out of room, so the more space you can find, the better. That might mean taping pieces of paper together or using flipcharts next to each other.

We like to start out by drawing our title in black in the center of the page. Since we’re in the ideation phase, we contained our title with a thought bubble.


Illustrated guide of how to draw a speech bubble


Contain each question or category

Draw each question or category in a speech bubble in a popcorn fashion around your page, giving each bubble ample white space around it. For better organization, make each category or question a unique color.



Start writing your ideas in a smaller marker

You can use black, or a color that corresponds to that category. For our example, we brainstormed in colors that matched our section containers. Contain each idea in its own circle or square, and use dashed or solid lines to connect related ideas. For big ideas that can be broken down into smaller parts, use arrows to connect the small parts to the whole.



Sometimes, one question might lead to another, or you might have questions relating to your categories that your research didn’t cover. Include those questions in your ideation. If you need to answer to continue with your strategy, do more research.

Rather than re-iterating ways to achieve your goal you found in your research, you should write down ideas that apply to your life specifically. Let the research you conducted aid you when thinking of specific ways you can achieve your goal or solve your problem.



You might brainstorm for 5 minutes or an hour, there are no limits or requirements around generating ideas! Refrain from crossing out any ideas for now. Defer judgment and focus on coming up with as many ideas as possible, without worrying about how good they are.

When you’ve come to a stopping point, take a break, and then come back to your visualization to start planning with the final step in our visual thinking series.