A few things I like about Artefact Cards


I’ve been using my Artefact Cards this week. They’re a product developed in the last couple of years by my friend John Willshere. I like them, for all sorts of reasons; here are a few..

1. John used to be a planner in advertising as did I. It’s a trade that is predisposed to intellectual pretension and generally thinking too much. So when John started obsessing with actually making things, I got quite excited. Making things feels like a really valuable thing for us thinkerly types to get into.

2. The whole thing is packaged with imagination and a bit of love.

3. Once the world has been rid of powerpoint, we can start of post-it notes. I’m being rhetorical but they are a real cliche of facilitation. So I liked this argument from the little guide to the cards: “The cult of the sticky note prevails. Everyone scrawls on lots of them, as they’ve been taught to for years.. Artefact cards demand fewer, better ideas from a group.”

4. Yes, better and fewer ideas. Keith Sawyer has some research suggesting these kinds of constraints can be productive.

5. As well as being crafted themselves, the cards invite the users to be craftsmen too. Not just scribbling down words.

6. They’re not grand or grandiose. They are a small idea, beautifully executed. I like small well-crafted interventions. Big ideas are over-rated and are, in any case, made up of small ones made not by heroic leaders but by.. the rest of us.


1 thought on “A few things I like about Artefact Cards

  1. Matthew

    I must admit that even though I am a big fan of everything that technology has given us today to add comfort to our lives, I am still a big fan of post its or basically anything that I can doodle or jot down little notes on. I really love this idea and I want to get one for sure.


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