I was asked recently to document what’s I use for my toolkit when I’m at a client engagement. I’ve experimented with many different options and materials over the last year and so I’ll share with you what I’m currently using.
Before I show you the list, I want to share my philosophy that your toolkit needs to be simple, yet flexible. You never know what might happen during the course of a meeting you are facilitating, therefore you need to be prepared for anything. I’ve found that having an assortment of simple, yet highly effective basic materials gives me the flexibility I need to pull off almost anything.
Toolbox(es) – I have found using a common toolbox to be a great container for all this stuff. Bonus: it’s tons of fun to carry around and get strange looks from people. A toolbox appears very unusual to creative workers and helps encourage diversity of thought.
I use a 20″ toolbox as my main kit, and a 12.5″ toolbox as my grab-and-go kit.
Let’s begin with the small toolbox.
I use this one to facilitate meetings for up to 8 people, like simple retrospectives, or other meetings where I don’t need the full capabilities I have available to me.
Here are it’s contents:
Planning Poker Cards
1" Painters Tape (sticks well enough without taking paint off the walls) Good for taping up papers, making grids, timelines
3x3 Post it notes - your most vital creative tool
Poker Chips - Used for coin games, placeholders, other creative ideas. I use these a lot to play simple coin puzzles while waiting for everyone to show up to meetings.
3x5 index cards (blank) - a most essential tool
Drafting Dots - useful for sticking and moving things on a whiteboard or on the wall without tearing the paper when removed
6 sided dice - just for fun and games
The Large Toolbox – I use this for more complex meetings, usually involving some highly creative activities. Enough for 20 people.
Large 20" Toolbox
Large Toolbox - Full of Fun!
Star Post Its - Fun, fun fun
1" Painters Tape
1 - 2 boxes of Fine Point Sharpies
Sharpies of Many Colors - Black and White only is boring.
4x6, 3x5 index cards of various kinds
Scotch Tape - Need
Stickers - Everyone loves getting a sticker for doing a good job! Oh, also dot voting.
3x3 Post it notes of many colors - keep things visually interesting
Brightly colored 3x5 index cards - Liven things up!
Pastel 4x6 index cards
Paper Clips - Build fun things, clip things together, the possibilities are endless!
Super Sticky colored Post Its
Foam Sticky Shapes - Unleash creativity
Pipe Cleaners - Build shapes, also helps people focus who need to keep their hands busy during meetings
Rubber bands - shoot people, bind things together
Pencil box with Crayola Markers, Scissors, sharpies, pens -- useful for storyboard activities and other drawing fun
Bucket of tennis balls - useful for the Ball Point Game
Misc Games - useful for estimation, taking a break, or other made up fun