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"If you get stuck, draw with a different pen. Change your tools; it may free your thinking."
Paul Arden

Imagine troughing at your favourite curry house only to find they had left out all the spice. Or, a trip to the Italian when every herb had gone AWOL.  The food might look as good, it would have pretty much the same nutritional value but, oh my goodness, how dull it would taste. Thinking can be the same.  You can get the job done, tick all the boxes but, oh dear, how bland it all is. Why not aim higher?  Do work that will have people sit up and take notice, that prompts the involuntary ‘Wow!’ and wide-eyed wonder. You can do that. Our Forget-Me-Nots are there to help you.  They are ‘thinking-enhancers’ that will spice up your creativity to make your ‘thought-buds’ pop.


Our Forget-Me-Nots are a range of straightforward techniques and strategies aimed to get you thinking differently about what you are doing.  They encourage the novel and the interesting in your work.

Just as herbs and spices could be organised in terms of ‘aromatic’, ‘pungent’, ‘hot’, or ‘dry’, we’ve clustered our Forget-Me-Nots in ‘families’, based on what they help you do.

Pioneer – When the goal is innovation, or you need a novel approach to something, you take on the role of the Pioneer.   Whether it be coming up with theories and inventions, a new way to do an existing task, or exploring the unknown, you will need a good dose of the Pioneer in your thinking. Pioneers use Forget-Me-Nots such as ADDA, Anticipate, Home In, Look Out, Six Honest Men, and Whose Views? to think outside the envelope.


Farmer – When you’re a farmer, the aim is to produce something.  In thinking terms that might be homework, a project, some writing, or a piece of art.  Your task might be creative or practical, but either way Forget-Me-Nots such as ACES of Exploration; Chain Reaction; MORE Inspiration; Remember, Research, Remember; See SAW; TiMeS; Wrap and Remember are all there to help you reap a bountiful harvest.

Scientist – Sometimes it’s more about looking inward than outward – categorising the nature of something, or examining its features in detail.  That’s you as Scientist.  You can put your ideas (and elements thereof) under the microscope using Essence, Key Features, Common Currency or Hamburger.  By understanding better the nature of something, its features and what distinguishes it from other things, you’ll generate bedrock on which you could fabricate the most complex of creations, knowing that it won’t collapse. Categorising something enables you to add purpose-built extensions that will work seamlessly with what is already there, or find other ways to build it that offer helpful or exciting benefits. From a deep knowledge of the detail comes an understanding of how seemingly diverse things can have common elements that can be used to your advantage. For instance, what does an Inuit and an Ancient Roman have in common?  Check out an igloo and a Roman dome - differences and similarities?

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Judge – Whether you’ve been a Farmer, a Pioneer or a Scientist, your cogitations will have resulted in output of some sort.  But how good is it?  Even the best ideas can often be improved, refined or have snags ironed out.  That’s where you put your Judge’s hat on – or should that be a wig?  You want to evaluate what you have done, which can include emotional, philosophical and ethical considerations as well as practical ones.  Identifying problems properly takes you a long way towards the solution to them – and you can always go back and use some of the Farmer/Pioneer/Scientist Forget-Me-Nots to create those solutions. When putting things in the balance, you might want to use tools such as Axes to Grind, GULL, Gave it a WhiRL!, Give it a WhiRL!, More or Move?, P!C, REF, TIDES, or Weigh to Go.


Coach – Cheerleaders, mates, co-workers, your No. 1 Fan can all be great at giving help and encouragement.  However, when it comes to thinking, we often need to rely primarily on ourselves to be the rah-rah brigade.  This family of Forget-Me-Nots is there to be your support network. Compass, Conduct, Keep on Track and Quizzical will help you check:

  • you are where you need to be

  • you’re doing what needs to be done

  • you know what you know (and don’t know)

That way, you’ll be all you can be.

If you just want a quick reminder of what the Forget-Me-Nots look like and a brief description of what each one does then click here:

​Forget-Me-Nots Outline

Click here if you want a more detailed description of what the Forget-Me-Nots are and how to use them effectively. This is the plainer version (black Calibri font with toned down graphics).

You can print off the Forget-Me-Not images to act as a reminder to use them.  Print them on card (or paper that you then laminate), then cut them up to keep where you work as a handy visual aid. We have organised them into their different categories (Farmer, Pioneer, Scientist, Judge and Coach) and then put them all in one pdf file for ease of printing. If you print them double-sided, they will have their definition on the back.  

There are other documents in the Emporium that you may want to check out. Some give a more detailed view of Forget-Me-Not families (e.g. Scientist Forget-Me-Nots), what an acronym stands for (e.g TIDES for Projects), or case studies of how they can be used in practice (such as SATs Worked Examples).

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