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Sorting things out
Posted 1/30/2016 by New & Improved, LLC
It can be challenging to remember exactly how to best apply newly acquired, or infrequently used creativity tools. That's why we've designed a convenient set of "how-to" cards. Use them to strengthen your efficiency and effectiveness with a variety of creativity and critical thinking methods.

These "tool cards" provide you with a robust selection of divergent and convergent techniques that will support you through the entire Creative Problem Solving process.

Card Sort is one of the many techniques available in your new & improved toolbox. Below are step-by-step instructions for using this tool as well as access to a soft copy.

Want to learn about all of New & Improved's available tools or how to purchase a full deck of tool cards? They're great for planning any kind of problem solving meeting.  Contact us.


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Here's a quick and easy way to rank options.

How to card sort (assuming 10 options)

1.  Write each option on a separate index card.

2.  Next, pick the option you like best and write a "1" on it; turn it upside down.

3.  Pick the option you like least, and write the total number of cards on it (in this case, "10"); 
turn it upside down.

4.  Of the cards remaining, pick the option you like least, and write the total number of cards minus one on it (in this case, "9"); turn it upside down.

5.  Of the cards remaining, pick the one you like best, then write "2" on it.

 Continue alternating between "like least" and "like best" with the remaining cards. Number the "like least" options counting backwards from the total (10,9,8,7,6, etc.) and the "like best" starting with number 1 then 2,3,4,5, etc. until done.

How to card sort in groups

Create a grid with options across the top and names along the left side. Drop in everyone's rankings.

Look for areas of disagreement ("Pat has this option as number 1, but it was Shawn's least favorite... Pat, tell us why you like it best? Shawn, why did you like it least?). The discussion is critical for generating creative solutions that work for the entire team.

If you get stuck, repeat the entire process - a good discussion will begin to sway opinions.

When to employ a card sort

To rank order a number of ideas;
Best with more than three ideas, but not many more than fifteen.

Source: C. Moore, Group Techniques for Idea Building

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