In all the roles I’ve held over the years, I’ve learned that the ability to manage multiple ideas, conversations, and topics is crucial for success. As someone with ADHD the ability to split focus and multi-task is really a side effect skill that comes with time. With the prolific explosion of ChatGPT usage and references I was quick to jump in and play around with it. It took very little time for this powerful little interface to become my go-to personal thought partner.
It’s an incredible resource that enables me to jump from idea to idea while maintaining the exact scope of each conversation. I’ve found myself explaining this concept in person so often lately that I thought it would be helpful to write up the what and why for easier sharing.
A case for why just in case you need it.
With each new release ChatGPT gets better and better. Most recently with 4.0 it leveled up in handling complex ideas and providing real insightful, *relevant* responses. This depth often triggers deeper thinking and has changed how I think of brainstorming on my own. Its dynamic, flexible, and allows me to tackle various topics in a single session. I can even tweak the persona that I’m talking with to make it more technical or from a specific perspective. Asking for a response “as a marketer” is different than “as a mobile app user”.
Some examples of What
Brainstorming Product Features
If I want fresh eyes on feature ideas or acceptance criteria, I can pitch a concept and the responses will help surface things I hadn’t considered. Because the individual conversation doesn’t have all the context I personally do it will also help highlight where I’m not providing context that could be needed.
I’m stuck and just need to talk through the problem and work it out. With remote teams and different time zones there isn’t always someone available to jump on a call and rubber-duck with. If I’m doing some personal project work I don’t even have someone I could work with to help with an issue. It’s like having a knowledgeable colleague who can accept paragraphs of background or hundreds of lines of code in an instant and is always available to help.
Market Research Insights
As a product manager, I often need to analyze market trends and competitor strategies. ChatGPT can help by providing summaries and insights from various sources, allowing me to quickly digest the information in multiple ways. If I provide multiple product announcements I can ask for bullet points, a short summary, a long summary, or ask for key words that are most repeated.
You can get really interesting results asking for shorter and shorter summaries.
Helping With The Right Words
I tend to be very direct and sometimes too technical. Managing cross team communication with an AI assisted editor has helped soften some edges for me. If I am spending a lot of time writing acceptance criteria, user stories, or project planning, my own writing gets heavily influenced by the most recent work. With an AI helper I can do something like provide a series of bullet points I want to share out and ask for a professional summary to get a rough draft.
Instead of 30 minutes writing from scratch I’m spending 10 to 15 minutes editing.
Watching how a handful of feature requirements can turn into a sample product announcement gives me the extra language to really sell an idea. I can provide the initial content and ask how various persona might respond to it.
Clearing before Bed
We’ve all experienced it – a thread of an idea pops into your head and you have to either resist pulling at it with entirely too much will power or give it a pull to see where it goes. Instead of letting it slip away, you can quickly start a conversation to pull on that thread without the energy to deep dive it on your own. I know the entire thing will be there tomorrow, and if I need to get sleep, I have an easier time knowing the start of that thread is safely saved away.
For instance, thinking about this post, I’m actually brainstorming the idea right before bed. I know that I can easily pick up the conversation whenever the mood strikes or even let it go as a stray thought knowing that the insights generated during our brief exchange will still be valuable.
This is the final example
Tonight turned into another day and then another. I had an outline for a post on why I like using ChatGPT for brainstorming and when I had some time I sat down and filled in the content. If I’m not sure about hitting publish I could jump over to that window and ask for some editorial feedback.
I always mean to write more but it just never takes priority. Then I don’t have an outline, I’m rusty, and if I’m not writing out an entire post in one sitting I’m not finishing it. With a bit of AI help I can still get my write-it-all-in-one-sitting burst but I already have an outline, I know I can get some editing help, and I can write without ever planning on publishing because it doesn’t start in the publishing tool.
With this post I think the title was the only thing I saved from the outline. The bullet points were shuffled around and all of the content written from scratch.
So there it is all written down with a few examples and specific insights. I like tool for what it is and even for what it isn’t.