Whether you're brainstorming alone or as a team, the key is generate ideas and record those ideas. Remember the general brainstorming rules:
You can simply write your ideas in a long list or scatter them around the surface of the page or board. Don't get too tied into organization at this point, although you can allocate areas on the page for related concepts. If you prefer a more organized approach to brainstorming you may want to turn your brainstormed ideas into a mind map or concept map (see below).
Here is a sample brainstorm. The purpose of this brainstorm was to develop a presentation about how libraries contribute to success:
Mind mapping and concept mapping are very similar to brainstorming, only the information is a bit more organized. If you performed your brainstorm using post-it notes you can simply move the notes around and group them into general categories to create a mind map. If you want to think more of terms of creating an outline, then you would place the notes under categories in a hierarchy and create a concept map. Once you develop a concept map you might start seeing the outline forming for your project.
Here's an image of a brainstormed list turned into more of a mind map:
A more organized and streamlined version is below. This would be considered a concept map because you can see a hierarchical relationship between concepts. This concept map was generated using the free online mind mapping tool, Bubble.us. The various colors indicate depth in the outline and the lines indicate relationships to other concepts:
Another method to consider when organizaing your brainstormed notes is an Affinity Map. This process is described in the book, Game Storming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers (Gray, Brown, Mancanufo):
If you plan to develop an online search strategy, there is still more brainstorming that should take place.
Take some time to think about your key terms and how they may appear in a database's search results.
Brainstorm your key terms and consider:
Develop an online search strategy using appropriate Boolean operators, proximity operators, and truncation / wildcard characters.