One of the first lessons I learned in college was to learn what times of day you are personally most productive. It takes some time and discipline, to monitor one's own efficiency, but in the end, I do not believe there is ONE time of day that is best for everyone, I believe it is up to YOU to decide.
Unfortunately, professionally speaking, we often don't have the luxury to CHOOSE what time of day we want to brainstorm. As a marketer, I find "mind mapping" an extremely effective exercise to spark creativity.
Mind Mapping is a technique used to enhance thinking processes. Whether while taking notes during class, brainstorming a process or creatively collaborating on a project, it allows the user to record raw facts and pieces of information that fit together but that might not be noticed otherwise.
- Starting a Mind Map is easy. Simply write the name of the subject you are interested in the center of a blank piece of paper and draw a circle around it. All further levels will work from this starting point.
- Important facts or questions make up the second level. These are connected directly to the center point. For example, if using “Tell a Story” as the central idea, the second level could be the standard “Who, What , Where, When, How” questions.
- Delve deeper for more information. From this second level, all additional levels are connected. For example, under the “Who” heading, there could be sub-levels of “Who are the characters” and “Who is the audience.” Additional levels and ideas are placed on the Mind Map making sure they connect somewhere to the diagram. Using colors coded to the levels you are working on can also assist with the visual information. If one part of your map connects to another, link them.
To get more information on Mind Mapping, there is a video on YouTube of Tony Buzan explaining the concept.