Idea Generation Part I

Mishka Thacker
10 min readOct 16, 2019

Mind Map

Exploring the space related to pill organizers leads to some ideas that are not directly related, but can be used in brainstorming for an innovative pill organizer. Using a mind map, ideas can get broad and deep and can cover a wide range of topic related (directly and indirectly) to pill organizers. My mind map looks as follows:


“What are your own passions, interests, expertise, and favorite things? Try to make non-obvious connections between these things that you know well to your product genre. Generate a list of at least 10 ideas.”

Connecting my passions to a pill organizer is not an easy thing to think of. My passions, interests, expertise, and favorite things are:

  • Hockey (and other sports)
  • Helping others
  • CAD
  • Listening to music
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Watching shows on Netflix
  • Biking
  • Family
  • Puzzles
  • Traveling

Now trying to connect these things to a pill organizer to come up with non-obvious ideas was difficult at first, since not many of these even relate to pill organizers in the slightest bit. Here are 10 ideas:

  1. Sports and pill organizers- A pill organizer that doubles as a ball. Can use it for catch or to play with but can be opened up to reveal a pill organizer
  2. Helping others and pill organizers- A pill organizer that connects to a loved one’s phone and alerts them if pills are not taken, so someone can remind a loved one it is time to take their pills in case they forget to take their pills.
  3. CAD and pill organizers- A pill organizer that can be personalized and customized (size, shape, number of compartments, etc.) on CAD, where you send in your idea to a company or through an app, and someone will design it on CAD specifically for you.
  4. Listening to music and pill organizers- A pill organizer that plays music when it is time to take the pills and doesn’t stop playing music till the pills are taken.
  5. Hanging out with friends and pill organizers- A pill organizer that is virtually connected to each of your friend’s pill organizers, so you and your friends, who have pills to take at the same time, can make it fun to remind each other via an app or make it a competition to who takes their pills most on time.
  6. Watching shows on Netflix and pill organizers- A pill organizer that has an app that is connected to your Netflix (or other streaming account) and will not play the next episode until you have taken your pills.
  7. Biking and pill organizers- A pill organizer that can attach to your bike, so when you are out biking (through the city, mountain biking, etc.) and you have pills that you need to take at a certain time, you do not have to worry about leaving it behind while having fun.
  8. Family and pill organizers- A pill organizer that matches those in your family (each member having a distinct color) and has an app that you can connect with the whole family and you can remind family members to take pills through it and see who has not taken their pills yet.
  9. Puzzles and pill organizers- A 7 day pill organizer that is also a puzzle and can be taken apart for single day use or snaps together for weekly use
  10. Traveling and pill organizers- A pill organizer that is perfect for traveling, it is a small size that is portable and can be changed to fit as many days you will be on vacation or traveling. Closes securely and will not open up in a bag.


The “ideal solution elements (ISE)” for pill organizers are:

  1. Portable
  2. Organize
  3. Easy to open
  4. Reminders

The matrix is:

Crossing these products:

  1. Pill organizer and phone- pill organizer that connects to phone and reminds you to take pills and refill your organizer
  2. Pill organizer and watch- pill organizer that connects to a watch, similar to a fitbit, that sends reminders to the user
  3. Pill organizer and water bottle- pill organizer that is connected to a water bottle for easy portability
  4. Pill organizer and drawstring bag- pill organizer bag that has compartment for pills but can hold bigger things as well
  5. Pill organizer and trapper keeper- pill organizer that opens up and expands to see each compartment
  6. Pill organizer and tool box- pill organizer box that opens like a tool box and has different compartments
  7. Pill organizer and cabinet- pill organizer that slide open with different compartments for each day. Stacked like the cabinet in the picture shown
  8. Pill organizer and jewelry- a jewelry type box that opens up for extra pills and slides out with different compartments for different days
  9. Pill organizer and reminders app- has an app that gives you reminders
  10. Pill organizer and tupperware- has reminder system such as a clear window to show the contents and when to refill or renew prescriptions


Here, I am using SCAMPER to prompt questions about pill organizers to generate ideas for improvements or changes to your product topic. Each letter is:


  • Instead of using a pill organizer, there could be a way to connect multiple pill bottles together, similar to a plastic ring for a six pack of pop
  • Use a different shape than a rectangle (such as circle)
  • Instead of being made of plastic, it could be made of metal and could be magnetic and have the ability to write on it
  • Instead of having 7 compartments, having as many compartments as you have pills, for on the go traveling
  • Instead of having lids that you have to pull open, ones that have buttons so they are easier to open
  • Instead of pre-made labels, there is a spot to write down your own labels for the days/times to take pills
  • Instead of pre-set sizes, you could have customizable/reattachable compartments that can change the amount of compartments you have


  • Combine a pill organizer with an alarm/clock to remind people to take pills
  • Combine a pill organizer with a pill cutter to make cutting pills easy on the go
  • Combine a pill organizer with a water bottle so you can always have water with your pills
  • Combine a pill organizer with a purse, where the pill organizer is part of the purse and you can store other medical devices/things you need to bring with you
  • Combine a pill organizer with jewelry/wearable items so your pills are always on you and it is fashionable
  • Combine a pill organizer with technology, so it connects with an app to your phone and can send updates to loved ones and doctor’s, and can renew prescriptions for you
  • Combine a pill organizer with a magnet so it can be stuck to a fridge/whiteboard/any metal surface so it is in sight and easy to see in the morning, making it easier to remember


  • Using biomimicry, the aorta only opens one way, so pills could be pushed into a hole but cannot fall out unless the lid is completely removed
  • Make the lids out of rubber and make it easier to open, especially for those with arthritis
  • Make entire pill organizer out of rubber to make it flexible so it will not break in a bag/on the go
  • Make the labels be able to be changed, with either an insert for one’s own labels or a rewritable spot on the lid
  • Add a strap, so it can be easy to take on the go on someone’s wrist, or if they grab it to take with them for a meal
  • Add a necklace to a daily organizer, so it is always on the user and they will not forget to grab it
  • Adapt to technology and add an alarm or other reminder to help the user take pills


  • Make compartments of pill organizers bigger and easier to fit more pills in each
  • Make the letters larger and easier to read for the elderly
  • Make the pill organizer bigger in general, for those with larger hands who cannot put pills into such small compartments
  • Make the pill organizer taller than it is long, so you can pour the pills out rather than have to pick them out
  • Make the pill organizer have an alarm, and exaggerate the alarm to make sure the user does not miss their dose of pills
  • Make the pill organizer bigger by adding another compartment for extra pills
  • Make the pill organizer bigger by adding a pill cutter on the end for easy splitting


  • Modify the opening technique, use buttons or a push system rather than having to pull it open
  • Modify the use of compartments, where you can customize the amount of them
  • Modify the portability, where it is more secure and stays closed, maybe a little harder to open
  • Modify the compartments to be smaller, so there is less empty space and is easier to bring with
  • Modify the pill organizer to flash a light at the compartment which needs to have pills taken from it
  • Modify the pill organizer to be smaller and look more modern, so it can look like jewelry and is easy to take with the user
  • Modify the pill organizer to latch on to certain things, such as a bag, purse, water bottle, phone case, etc.

Put to other use:

  • A pill organizer can also be used for jewelry storage such as rings and earrings
  • It can also be used for office supplies, such as paper clips and tacks
  • It can also be used for putting spices in, for when you are travelling and want to cook
  • It can be used to put beads and other craft items in
  • It can be used to store stamps/coins or collectible items
  • It can be used to store candy for children
  • It can be used to store small keys for different locks


  • Split between two pill organizers (one at home, one on the go)
  • Eliminate compartments to make the pill organizer smaller, but go by pill per compartment not day per compartment
  • Remove the separate lids for each compartment and make one lid that opens all compartments at once
  • Eliminate the labels for days of the week, so people can customize the labels based on name of pill, time needed to be taken, etc.


  • Have it open by removing the entire lid, where it clips on the outside with the outside walls
  • Have the opening be on the small side, so it is easier to see the pills inside without the label in the way
  • Have the labels on the bottom and the opening on top so the labels don’t hide the pills
  • It doesn’t organize pills but is just a place to hold pills while on the go
  • Have it be pushed to open inward, pushing the pill out of the pill organizer instead of grabbing it out
  • Opens to the side like a door rather than opening up
  • Crushes up multiple pills into one pill rather than taking all pills separately


  • Change the pattern from a rectangle to a circle or other shape
  • Have the order of the days be able to be changed (ex: have Monday come first)
  • Have the process of filling them be rearranged into an aorta type piece of rubber to place the pills into
  • Have the compartments be able to come apart from each other individually and be able to rearrange the order
  • Door slides out and open (garage type door) to reveal pills
  • Has pills in water bottle to dissolve them to be drank
  • Change layout to a pyramid shape with the pills that has the most needed on the bottom


The TRIZ principles that inspired the ideas are:

5. Merging

6. Universality

7. Nested doll

32. Color changes

From those principles, the ideas created were:

  1. Merge a pill organizer with a water bottle, to make a pill organizer portable and make sure you have water when taking pills
  2. Have a pill organizer also have a pill cutter, increasing its universality
  3. Have a daily pill organizer inside a weekly organizer so you can have one on the go and one at home combined
  4. Have the color change when you have or haven’t taken the pills
  5. Merge a pill organizer with some sort of alarm or clock to have a reminder to take pills at a certain time
  6. Merge a pill organizer with jewelry to have a wearable pill organizer that is fashionable and helpful
  7. Have a pill organizer that lights up with changing light colors when it is time to take them
  8. A pill organizer that contacts your pharmacist in time to renew your prescription
  9. A pill organizer that has an app to track your health and update loved ones
  10. A pill organizer that syncs with other’s pill organizers who take pills at the same time as you that remind each other to take pills when the other takes one

10 New Ideas

4 People

The 4 people that I will have helping me brainstorm are:

Jeremy, Tyler, Alex, Tehaam

We will be doing it on Saturday, Nov. 2nd at their apartment.


  • 10/15- Make timeline
  • 10/16- Start mind map
  • 10/17- Finish mind map
  • 10/18- Start revising, find 4 people
  • 10/19- Start exaptation and SCAMPER
  • 10/20- Start TILMAG
  • 10/21- Start TRIZ
  • 10/22- Come up with 10 new ideas
  • 10/23- Revise and finish blog
  • 10/24- Present in class!