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Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  2,572 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Rethink the Way You Think
In hindsight, every great idea seems obvious. But how can you be the person who comes up with those ideas?
In this revised and expanded edition of his groundbreaking Thinkertoys, creativity expert Michael Michalko reveals life-changing tools that will help you think like a genius. From the linear to the intuitive, this comprehensive handbook detai
ebook, 416 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Ten Speed Press (first published November 4th 1991)
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Gary Dale Cearley
Do you need any new ideas for practical designs? How about when something is wrong with your business and you cannot put your finger on it? Did you ever need to brainstorm but not have anyone else around? Have you ever been stuck with writer’s block and for the life of you could not get back to work? In other words, have you ever been stuck with any mental problem that you felt that you cannot solve? If this is the case I think you should have a look at Michael Michalko’s latest book, Thinkertoy ...more
Lana Krumwiede
This book intrigued me, as I'm always interested in ways to amp up creativity. I was happy to find that, in my own peculiar ways, I already practice many (though not all) of the methods mentioned in this book. I can't recall anyone teaching me these methods, they are just little habits that I picked up here and there in the course of learning how to write fiction. I'm amazed to learn that some of my creative methods, which I always thought of as rather quirky, are for real. What does that mean? ...more
Nguyên ngộ ngộ
Oct 08, 2016 Nguyên ngộ ngộ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: strategist
Great book.
If you want to create ideas like a chicken creates eggs, read one
A lot of powerful and simple tools based on science help us generate ideas to solve any problem.
Something new, something old
and one of the best ways I have learned is "fulcrum".
easy to understand and apply it
- Write down our challenges or problems
- Choosing any "fulcrum" to leverage ideas
- List things relevant to "fulcrum"
- Connect or link the challenges or problems with things we listed one by one
Thick book, take t
Derek Neighbors
Nov 27, 2009 Derek Neighbors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gives more practical brainstorming ideas than you will know what to do with. Be prepared to do mental exercises to get the most out of this book.
Rita Vo
Apr 18, 2017 Rita Vo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5* to be fair. Tons of useful "toys" to play when you need ideas or problem-solving solutions.
Sep 17, 2016 Akar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I definitely recommend this book. It is full of how to's for any kind of problem you might have. However, it does a very a good job to make one understand the "why" in a very subtle way by using lots of analogies and stories.

It is quite easy to read and apply. So, I definitely suggest trying to apply what you've just read even though you have nothing specific to solve. If that's the case choose any of the biggest problems the world has in common. Who knows? Maybe you'll come up with a great sol
Книга Майкла Микалко "Игры для разума" о развитии творческого и креативного мышления весьма хороша и богатая не только объяснениями как оно работает, но и как развивать и совершенствовать их. А ещё автор, можно сказать, до отказа наполнил её не множественными примерами, советами и инструментами.

А самая важная мысль, которой Микалко убедительно доносит на страницах своей книги, что творческое мышление приобретается каждым, который тем или иным образом его развивал в себе или развивает. То есть не
Shelly Victoria
Jan 10, 2014 Shelly Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a gem. You would think that this guide would give typical, abstract advice about how to write down ideas in your journal and talk with others about your issues to gain insight. However, this book does more than just that. The authors provide you an enormous list of ideas, real-life examples, exercises, and explanations about their applications. In the end, it's up to you which one you think is the most useful for your situation.

Basically, Thinker Toys are highly useful for whenever
Don Gubler
Aug 20, 2012 Don Gubler rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
It started out okay with what for me was a review of methods I had previously been exposed to and I hoped to get something new out of it. But, he just kept rehashing the same things in more and more convoluted ways and the whole thing devolved into something so tedious and boring that I am surprised that I endured to the end. And, when did Lao Tzu become the guru of business strategy? It is going to take a while to get the bad taste out of my head. Virtually worthless. Tell your boss how wonderf ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Akshata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skills
This reads like a very entertaining textbook on creative thinking techniques. Tt is comforting that creative thinking can indeed be "acquired" if one is not born with an aptitude for it, and the meat of the book lies in actually putting these to practice. It is designed well that one does not need to read it front to back. I had great fun skipping from one method of thinking to the next, and since I read it at a time when I had no avenues to practice it, I now know where to come back for tips wh ...more
Nathanael Coyne
Whilst the techniques in this book aren't all original (the Lotus, the CIA's Phoenix etc), they've all been collated and presented in a very interesting and useful way. If you haven't learned creative and visual thinking before this book will absolutely blow you away and change your approach to work and life. You will never utter the word "impossible" again. I also recommend the companion Thinkpak deck of cards based on the SCAMPER technique.
Jun 24, 2009 rst5678 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tips for stimulating new ideas. Comprehensive.
Jul 04, 2010 Leonkap rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one cannot help but become unstuck , for bot left and right brainers
Kshipra Sharma
Feb 19, 2017 Kshipra Sharma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My intention to read this book was to understand how to go through the brainstorming process alone and overcome creative blocks. I personally felt that ideation was more conducive in teams. My suggestion when you read this book is to go read it with an open mind. A lot of times, we become complacent with our thought process, and maybe the little details could lead us to bigger, better ideas. Even while reading the book, I felt at times, that these things have already been formally taught to me a ...more
Maii Selim
Mar 28, 2016 Maii Selim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب "Toys Thinker" للكااتب الأمريكي Michael Michalko
وابرز قصصة "The Tale of Five Monkeys" بيتكلم فيه عن سلوك في علم النفس اسمه التعرض الانتقائي او selective exposure ودا معناه تفضيل الشخص للمعلومات اللي اكتسبها اما عن طريق عادات وتقاليد وموروثات وكلها نوع من انواع البرمجه للعقل الباطن وبالطببعي يرفض تقبل كل جديد فيما يخالف هذه المعتقدات
تقول القصة أن مجموعة من العلماء وضعوا خمسة قرود في قفص واحد، كما وضعوا في وسطه سلم، وفي أعلاه بعض الموز وقاموا بالتجربة التالية:
- في كل مرة يحاول أحد القرود تسل
Richard Stephenson
Jun 03, 2011 Richard Stephenson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ever come up with an idea that just made you shiver in giddy excitement? I'm talking "hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck" type "whoa!" thrill? Give the brainstorming methods of this magnificent gem a chance and I can assure you this will be a part of your life.

I've been able to find a spattering of brainstorming methods on the internet. Heck, I even made a couple of my own. However, I was never really satisfied in that no single reference point occupied a dedicated space in my library. Nothing seemed
Mika Auramo
Oct 03, 2016 Mika Auramo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: koulutus, koulu
Luovuusekspertin thinkerointiin eli ajattelun kehittämiseen keskittyvä teos lähestyy aihetta monelta eri kantilta, esim. lineaarisia menetelmiä, intuitiivisia (thinkertoys), toisiksi viimeisessä luvussa päädytään antiikin Kreikan idealistisen Koinonian yhteisöllisyyden kautta päätökseen (end toys).

Monet harjoitukset ovat sellaisenaan tai vähän muunneltuina soveltuvia kouluopetukseen eri vuositasoilla. Niillä voidaan kehittää aktiivista ja luovaa ajattelua ja laajentaa perspektiiviä, jolla havain
Denis Grammakov
Oct 26, 2015 Denis Grammakov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've actually started to enjoy this book after the first 300 pages, and the book itself is slightly over 400 in its Russian translation. First half of the book seemed quite boring, the repetitiveness of the examples the author gives and the inappropriate drawings were throwing me off most of the time. There's also quite a few factual mistakes, for example the author is trying to suggest that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak actually used a graph matrix to predict the usage of the personal computers ...more
James Andersen
This book was an incredible read! I don't think I've ever created so many novel ideas for one problem and seen things from so many different angles then after reading this book. The exercises, the stories, the examples all these things work to help the reader create some pretty impressive ideas and insights into challenges they face. No longer does one have to be predictable, attacking a problem in a linear textbook like way, with this book one can really implement some brilliant ideas!

This boo
I borrowed this book so had to read through it quickly but I would strongly advise against people from doing it. Like the author says, you should read about each toy and spend time thinking through it and apply it in your life to generate ideas and spark up your creativity.

This is a wonderful book on creativity and idea generation with detailed samples and ways to apply each thinkertoy. It truly questions your perception and help you see through your flaws and makes you reframe your mental model
Darrell Rubel
Apr 26, 2014 Darrell Rubel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Stuck in the same rut of thinking creatively? Working on a project with a team that can benefit from thinking out of the box? Want to up the ante on your own creativity? Then this book is for you!

Kudos to Micheal Michalko for putting together this incredibly useful and practical book on creative thinking. Exercises inside the book are easy to implement and practical for helping you to solve problems or issues in creative ways. I have used this many times in presentations, group brainstorming or
Carl Kruse
Sep 05, 2016 Carl Kruse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has examples and ideas packed with practical user-friendly exercises.Thinker toys allows you to think in multiple ways.A very helpful book for students , scholars and Business person.If you have never read a book before on creative thinking, I would recommend Thinker toys as an excellent initiating point.
Franck Chauvel
May 12, 2015 Franck Chauvel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: creativity
Very complete catalogue of "ideation" techniques called "Thinkertoys". They includes left-brain oriented, (analytic/systematic), right-brain oriented (unconscious/dream-based) and collective techniques (brainstorming, brainwriting, etc.). It's not really a book to read from cover to cover, but a catalogue, to which we shall return when we want to use one. I like the very practical text, which includes the steps to follow for each thinkertoys in a separate panel. I recommend it those who think th ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Maura rated it really liked it
Shelves: creativity
Same info as 5-Star Mind (lack of originality in creativity ideas?), but much better presentation. Instead of text interrupted with brain-teasers that don't seem to have a point, Thinkertoys presents a single brainteaser at the start of some of the chapters, explains why most people don't "get it", and presents a step-by-step approach to incorporating creative approaches that would overcome such mental stumbling blocks.

4 stars instead of 5 for the wordiness, and because it doesn't appear to assu
Algirdas Raščius
This book provides a collection of techniques for improving creative thinking. Doubtlessly most provided techniques can be helpful, and I will refer back to the book when I need an inspiration for an idea.
However when reading book form cover to cover I found style of book somehow dull and provided examples simplistic. Book is clearly meant for business readers as most of the examples on generating ideas are from sales, marketing and management. I personally would prefer more engineering-oriented
Derrick Trimble
While I enjoyed most of the book, I think I enjoyed it because it appealed to a couple of my entrenched preferences. I toyed with the idea of using optical illusions as training tools for a time, but opted out of the notion because of the potential of alienating participants. The heavy use of anecdotes is good for inspiration. Overall there a some good exercises to expand your horizons for seeing the world around you differently.
Choesang Tenzin
Aug 17, 2011 Choesang Tenzin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great read, lots of wonderful ideas on being creative. The idea that I can keep for my self is: harnessing your ideas, write down all the ideas that come to your mind, don't loose those ideas at all. Revise those ideas weekly or any fixed interval and filter them. Those ideas worth retaining, try to implement them. Think of it is a pyramid where good ideas bubble up with passage of time and these good ideas need to be tried and tested.
Jul 19, 2007 Irwan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
The first book I translated. I happened to be lucky to get a part time job as a book translator for Mizan Publishing in Indonesia, while I was studying at the university. It did help improve my English. Besides, I got to read the book before anyone else in Indonesia :-)

This is a useful book about creativity: how to generate ideas, etc. I use some of the technique I remember in the moments of my life when I need to have some creative ideas. Would love to read it again.
Michalko has written a number of texts on creativity. This is the first that I read. It includes a discussion of creativity, examples of how people are creative, and exercises the reader can try to enhance one's own creativity. He provides linear exercises, intuitive exercises and brainstorming exercises. It's a dense work full of exercises and information that can be quite helpful for discovering how one is creative.
Lamec Mariita
Jan 06, 2013 Lamec Mariita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book and it really does help you think in ways you may not have before.It's a jam-packed wealth of brain-twisting visual and verbal puzzles and exercises designed to stimulate new ways of solving problems and looking at situations. With numerous strategies to choose from, you are sure to find one that works for you. This book screams out to all walks of life, however, if you're in sales then you need to get your hands on a copy now!.
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Michael Michalko is one of the most highly acclaimed creativity experts in the world. As an officer in the U.S. Army, Michael organized a team of NATO intelligence specialists and international academics in Frankfurt, Germany, to research, collect, and categorize all known inventive-thinking methods. His team applied the methods to various NATO military, political, and social problems and produced ...more
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“To increase your self-affirmation, get in the habit of remembering your successes, your good qualities and characteristics, and forgetting your failures.” 2 likes
“Creators are joyful and positive. Creators look at “what is” and “what can be” instead of “what is not.” Instead of excluding possibilities, creators include all possibilities, both real and imagined. They choose to interpret their own world and do not rely upon the interpretations of others. And most importantly, creators are creative because they believe they are creative.” 2 likes
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