How to consolidate ideas

In any creative process, once you have enough ideas someone has to look at the possibilities and divide them into useful piles. This makes it possible to understand the different viable design directions and to begin to see their differences. (As a rule, 4 or 5 piles of things are easier to work with than 30, 50, or 150 individual things. This is true for ideas, specifications, hyperactive children, small animals, pieces of candy, annoying writers that make silly lists for no reason, etc.) It's...