Quantity over Quality; let your thoughts free. Who can make as many associations as possible to a term (catchword) within a limited amount of time.


  • Duration:
    Short (up to 30 minutes)
  • Complexity:
    Not defined
  • Group size:
    3 - 30 persons

Detaillied Description

Catchwords attract attention and stimulate the recipient's mental processes that call for emotional reactions and associations. The catchword-method activates creative processes by generating random terms. It enables casual association and the ability to make new associations. The method uses time pressure and a playful contest between the participants, to help them overcome critical thinking and to foster their ability to make spontaneous and free associations. To do so, you name a catchword and let the participants write down as many terms as they can think of, within 30 seconds.




  1. Choose 3-5 catchwords that fit to the topic of the workshop.
  2. Make sure to have a timer, or similar, ready.


  1. Explain the method to the participants and mention the idea of quantity.
  2. Name a catchword and stop the time.
  3. The participant with the most terms should share them with the group.
  4. Repeat the exercise 3-5 times using different catchwords.

Hints from experience

Choose the catchwords in a way that allows easy association, e.g. nature, holiday.

Tools list

  • Board markers or pencils
  • Stop Watch
  • Sticky notes