Use phones to collect sticky notes and position these on a canvas or your own background

Brown Paper

Collectively pasting sticky notes is a very valuable group process. However, most digital whiteboards are far too complex to get started with straight away. Especially if you don't know in advance who the participants are going to be and to what extent they are digitally literate, using these types of solutions poses a real risk. Before you know it, you as a facilitator are talking more about which button to press, instead of discussing the ideas and doing the mapping together. Our new Brown Paper module offers a solution to this problem, by making smart use of participants' phones.

With the Brown-Paper module, QandR has found a very accessible way to also make it possible to 'paste the yellow post-its' in an online session. Very simple, participants do not have to use a complicated desktop interface with many buttons, but they can simply send in the stickers using their own phone, very intuitive. The result is an enjoyable interactive session for everyone.

Maaike Caarels, Senior Research Consultant | Wonder by Marketresponse

To discuss a specific idea, the facilitator can make that post-it note larger on the main screen. At that point, each participant can use a slider to indicate how he or she values it. In addition to an average rating, the highest and lowest ratings are also visualised, which offers the facilitator a hook to start the discussion. Subsequently or prior to this discussion, the post-it note can be positioned, again very simply, via the mobile phone.

The Brown-Paper is a new module within QandR and the editor offers various canvases for different types of sessions, such as a SWOT analysis or the Business Model Canvas. It is also possible to insert your own background.

Brown Paper module - Desktop version only

If a facilitator wants to get started right away, he or she can use the desktop-only version to do a Brown Paper session. In the desktop version, the facilitator will find at the bottom of the screen an option to place the tool in different modes.


In the 'write' mode, participants can write and submit their sticky-notes; the 'place' mode allows each participant to place his or her sticky-notes on the canvas. The facilitator The facilitator can also choose to do this by clicking on the pile of submitted sticky-notes, then the sticky-note on top of the pile will be placed automatically. Finally, the 'discuss' mode offers the possibility to enlarge a specific sticky-note and discuss it as a group, where participants can give their appreciation for an idea via a slider on their phone. This mode is automatically activated when a facilitator double clicks on a specific sticky-note.

So the brown paper is designed so that a facilitator can walk through the process in three steps, 1 write, 2 place, 3 discuss.

Brown Paper module with Remote Control

To make the best use of all the options of the Brown Paper module, we recommend facilitators to use the QandR remote control. For the use of the Remote Control in combination with the Brown Paper module we made a pdf manual that explains the interaction between the facilitator and the group.

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Ideal group size as there is room for each participant to explain their idea and discuss it as a group.

Still possible because of the simple structure of the module, but not everyone will be able to speak. The number of ideas will quickly become too much to handle all, in which case the selection mechanism on the remote control will come in handy.

Group is too large to discuss all ideas, our advice is to split the group into two sessions to keep the dialogue going.


  • Very easy to operate by the participants.
  • Group discussion again (not everyone on their own).
  • Easy to discuss because the highest and lowest vote get visible.
  • Positioning can be done by both participant and facilitator.
  • Cons

  • Not suitable for very large groups.
  • Click here for a summary of all work formats and here to compare them.