Affinity Clustering

organize large amounts of information into related topic clusters

Affinity Clustering

What is Affinity Clustering?

Affinity Clustering is a utility method to group similar ideas together and visualize their connection by forming clusters. This allows everyone to see how ideas are related to each other.

This is a great method to organize large amounts of information (e.g many ideas on sticky notes). At the end of Affinity Clustering, all the information will be sorted into neat clusters with related sticky notes.


How does Affinity Clustering work?

There are two ways to do Affinity Clustering: One sticky note at a time, or all of them in parallel. For the second option, you need the help of 2-4 people.

Approach 1: Cluster sticky notes in parallel

Explain to the group, what the idea of Affinity Clustering is. Afterward, ask 2-4 people to help you to create clusters by putting sticky notes into topical groups. At the same time, it's good the keep the conversation going and exchange information about the content of the clusters and sticky notes.

[.box-highlight] Tip: If you want to speed up this process, propose a couple of clusters that you already observed. Create the title of the cluster on a large sticky note and hang it to the side of all other sticky notes. [.box-highlight]

Approach 2: Cluster sticky notes one at a time

For this approach, take one sticky note at a time and ask the group if that sticky note is similar to what was previously sorted into clusters. This approach takes more time but can lead to giving higher-quality clusters.


What is a good example for Affinity Clustering?

Imagine, that you did a Rose, Thorn, Bud reflection with your team on projects, communication, and collaboration during the last month. At the end of this reflection, it's helpful to see how everyone's sticky notes relate to each other.

This is a great use case for Affinity Clustering. Since it's the same topic, there will be natural overlaps of sticky notes that are written down. Here is how it could look at the end of the process.


Who invented Affinity Clustering?


Affinity Clustering Template Download

Affinity Clustering Miro Template

  1. Click the button below, to open the Affinity Clustering Miro Template
  2. In Miro click on the name of the board in the upper-left corner, to see the board info card
  3. Click on the Duplicate button in the info card to add the template into your own account.
Get Miro Template
Screenshot explaining how to duplicate a Miro template

Affinity Clustering Mural Template

  1. Click the button below, to open the Affinity Clustering Mural Template
  2. In the new tab click on Create mural from template to create a new Mural board with the template in your account

Tip: You can also click "Save for later" to save the template into your account and use it in the future.

Get Mural Template
Screenshot explaining how to duplicate a Mural template

Affinity Clustering PDF Template

To download the Affinity Clustering PDF Template, simply click the button below.

Download PDF Template

Questions & Answers

How can I edit the Affinity Clustering template?
Duplicate either the Miro or Mural Affinity Clustering template. All you need for that is a free account on one of the platforms. From there you can fully edit and adapt the template content and colors to your own needs.
Can I share the Affinity Clustering template with others?
Yes, absolutly! Feel free to share this template with your team, colleagues or organisation. The best way to do this, is to send them a direct link to the template.
Is it possible to print the Affinity Clustering template?
Yes, you can print the Affinity Clustering template. To do so, simply download the PDF version of this template. The PDF version is in A4 format, vector-based and can be printed in high-quality on large size. The best paper size for printing is A1, because it's still portable but gives you enough space to work on.
Do I need a payed Miro or MURAL account to use the Affinity Clustering template?
No, a payed Miro or Mural account won't be necessary to use this template, because you can always use the free plan for both tools. Or if you exceed the limits of the free plan, you can always download this template as a PDF.
What is the license for this template?
This template is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. In short that means, you are free to download, copy and share the template. But while doing so, you must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the Affinity Clustering template website.