Manual Thinking Book

manual thinking libroOut now in English, Spanish, German and Dutch, the Manual Thinking Book offers a complete summary of the tool, containing background information of the studio, why the tool has been made and what for, followed by a user´s guide including a collection of creative and organizational methods which can be applied with the tool, each explained step by step.

The book comes with a set of a Manual Thinking map and labels to put the theory into practice immediately.

You can find the English version right here in our online store. The Spanish and German version are available through their respective publishers Empresa Activa and Gabal Verlag, or through physical and/or online bookstores such as Amazon, Casa del LibroEl Corte Inglés, or Fnac.

Creative Thinking Tool

Manual Thinking is a tool for organizing thoughts, ideas and projects in a simple and direct way.

bodegon manual thinkinggo to online storeNote and arrange

Manual Thinking is a combination of blank foldable maps and removable labels of various sizes and colors. The labels invite to abbreviate ideas in keywords and sketches. The maps offer a large support to organize the labels on, visualizing the content in its context.

example: Take notes at school or a in meeting on the Manual Thinking labels, to organize them on maps!

Idea generation: ‘Osborn’s Checklist’ template

New ideas tend to arise from combining or altering existing elements. Alex Osborn, a creative theorist coming from the advertisement industry and the originator of the brainstorming technique, therefore created a complete checklist containing many possibilities to change an existing idea or product into new ideas, whether close or far from the initial idea. This idea creation technique is called Osborn’s Checklist, also known as SCAMPER, which letters refer to the actions Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Magnify, Put to other use, Eliminate and Rearrange. This template offers a version of the checklist that is very easy to apply with the Manual Thinking material, the format being apt for both individual and teamwork.

Dowload the template heremanual thinking template osborn checklist

Step 1: Download & print the template on a sheet of Manual Thinking’s large labels

Step 2: Place an initial idea, product or object in the center of the map and stick the labels of the template around

Step 3: Convert the initial product or idea into new ideas, using the actions described in the template. Try to find at least 2-3 ideas for each stage and draw them on big labels which you place around the checklist.manual thinking template osborn checklist example map

Osborn, A.F. Applied Imagination: Principles and Procedures of Creative Problem Solving, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953 (page: Alex Faickney Osborn. Sept. 2013)

Neumopriorize: Decision taking with your lungs

neumo mapa sVisualize which decision to take using your lungs: For each option, each participant blows up a balloon expressing their preference with the amount of air blown, making visible the preference of the group. Deciding becomes a fysical activity!globos s


Creative teamwork workshop + video shoot

manual thinking creativity workshop

The 31st of January 2012 we held a creativity workshop in our studio, where a multilingual group of participants had the opportunity to get familiarized with Manual Thinking and several idea generation methods, while Vicenç from Visual13 was recording footage to create the Manual Thinking video. An intensive day resulting in lots of new ideas and contacts. Thanks to all the participants!

manual thinking creativity workshop 2

manual thinking creativity workshop 3


Why Manual Thinking?

Manual Thinking is a universal tool to treat organizational and creative tasks in an active and direct manner, efficient for both individuals or teams. It facilitates:

why manual thinkingLearning:

  • Using Manual Thinking helps you to better understand a situation by adding hierarchies, categories and relations to its information. Additionally, working manual and visual makes it easier to interiorize the subject at hand, using more cognitive functions of your brain.

Taking decisions:

  • Manual Thinking lets you gather information in an organized way to create an overview of a situation to make taking decisions easier. Collect pro’s and contra’s, alternative options and figure out next steps to take. Especially useful in groups, the tool allows team members to note their opinions without interruptions or discussions.

Finding new solutions:

  • With Manual Thinking creativity can be treated in a pro-active manner, with organization as an important basis. It allows you to arrange ideas by groups, making it easy to expand them and find alternatives. The format allows team members to associate on each other ideas quickly through writing and drawing. Furthermore, the tool has been developed with various methods for structured idea generation in mind, which can be easily applied with the Manual Thinking tool. Working manual and visual is all about using the right side of your brain, bringing out the creativity in you.