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The 10 Best Brainstorming Tools for Innovative Companies

The 10 Best Brainstorming Tools for Innovative Companies

There are as many online brainstorming tools as there are brainstorming methods. Some of them focus on visual brainstorming like mind-mapping, some focus on online whiteboarding, and others on note-taking or video conferencing. 

Whether you’re brainstorming remotely or in person, these digital tools can help make your sessions more efficient. But with so many options, how do you pinpoint the most suitable brainstorming tool and method for your specific needs? 

In this guide, we review the 10 best brainstorming tools that adapt to different brainstorming techniques, sharing what we like and dislike about each. 

The 10 Best Brainstorming Tools: A Comparative Table


✅ Pros
❌ Cons
ideanote logo
Ideanote
An idea management platform designed for collaborative innovation. It enables idea collection, evaluation, and implementation.
- Customizable features
- Engaging user experience
- AI-powered capabilities
- Visual workflows for ideas

- Advanced idea collection that may not be suitable for small teams
- More complex features may require additional training

Miro logo
Miro
A collaborative whiteboard platform for visual brainstorming and idea sharing.
- Real-time collaboration
- Visual brainstorming
- Remote team collaboration

- Focus on visuals may not suit all brainstorming types
- No idea management features

Lucidchart logo
Lucidchart
A flowcharting and diagramming tool that can be used for various purposes, including brainstorming.
- Diagramming capabilities
- Collaborative features
- Integration options

- Isn't specialized for brainstorming
- No idea management features

ChatGPT logo
ChatGPT
An AI-powered language model that can assist in generating ideas and content through text-based interactions.
- AI-driven assistance
- Quick idea generation
- Text-based interface

- Limited to text-based interactions
- Its answers are only as good as the input
- Doesn't know your business, so its ideas may not be suitable

MindMeister logo
MindMeister
A mind mapping tool that helps users visually organize ideas and concepts.
- Visual mind mapping
- Real-time collaboration features
- Cloud accessibility

- Primarily focused on mind mapping
- No idea management features

ClickUp logo
ClickUp
A project management tool that offers brainstorming features.
- Task management capabilities
- Idea organization
- Collaboration features

- Focuses on project management rather than brainstorming
- Can be a chaotic way to brainstorm and collect ideas

Google Docs logo
Google Docs
An online document editing platform that can be used for collaborative brainstorming.
- Real-time collaboration
- Easy to use and quick to access
- Integrates with other Google services

- Document-centric approach
- Can become a messy way to brainstorm with too many ideas and people

Zoom logo
Zoom
A video conferencing tool that can be used for virtual brainstorming sessions.
- Video conferencing capabilities
- Virtual collaboration
- Features like whiteboard, screen sharing, virtual rooms, and filters

- Focus on virtual meetings
- No dedicated tools for structured brainstorming or capturing ideas

Kahoot! logo
Kahoot!
A gamified quiz platform that can be repurposed for interactive brainstorming activities.
- Gamified brainstorming capabilities
- Interactive quizzes

- Primarily designed for quizzes and games
- Limited flexibility for brainstorming activities

Choose the Best Brainstorming Tool for Your Team

Online brainstorming tools provide a digital platform for team members to collaborate, share ideas, and organize thoughts. Let’s take a look at the 10 best brainstorming tools you can use.

Brainstorm and Manage Ideas with Ideanote

brainstorming software - ideanote

Ideanote is an idea management tool that takes your ideas through all the stages of their lifecycle. It can help you brainstorm, collect, sort, select, evaluate, and implement ideas in an organized way. 

Ideanote is more than an idea management platform. It’s a tool that encourages constant innovation by allowing everyone to contribute their ideas from anywhere, anytime. 

💬 Customer Reviews

G2: 4.7/5

Capterra: 4.9/5

💲 Pricing

  • Pricing page
  • Free plan available (limited to 10 members)
  • Business plan starts at $49/month for 15 members and $289 for 100 members
  • Free trial available for the business plan (no credit card required)

🏆 Best for

Large groups and remote teams.

➡️ Brainstorm in a collaborative & organized way with Ideanote

Ideanote lets you customize the platform to meet the needs of your brainstorming sessions, track the progress and impact of brainstormed ideas visually, and harness the power of AI to eliminate manual work. Plus, you can easily integrate it with your existing tools for an even more organized idea management workflow. 

⚠️ What you should be aware of 

Ideanote is an excellent tool for both group and asynchronous brainstorming. Yet, in the case of the latter, it’s vital to foster a culture of continuous innovation within your team and set brainstorming rules that allow everyone to feel safe with contributing ideas individually. 

Also read:

Reverse Brainstorming: Definition, Examples & Techniques

How to prepare a brainstorming session

Brainstorm on Whiteboards with Miro

brainstorming software - miro

Miro is a collaborative digital whiteboard platform where teams can brainstorm ideas visually. It allows teams to ideate solutions to problems and create visual representations of those solutions. With its interactive features and virtual canvas, Miro allows remote teams to collaborate in real-time.

💬 Customer Reviews

G2: 4.8/5

Capterra: 4.7/5

💲 Pricing

  • Pricing page
  • Free plan available
  • Paid plan starts at $8 per member/month billed annually

🏆 Best for

Small, remote teams.

✅ What we like about it

Miro offers a user-friendly platform for remote brainstorming with visualization tools and real-time collaboration. It’s an excellent option for smaller teams seeking visual brainstorming solutions.

⚠️ What you should be aware of 

Miro's strengths lie in visual collaboration, yet it lacks advanced idea management features. Its emphasis on visual brainstorming, like mind-mapping and whiteboarding, might not suit all your brainstorming needs.

How about idea implementation?

Ideanote is specifically built to help you manage ideas from collection to implementation. It offers a structured idea management workflow that keeps everything organized.

Use Flowcharts as a Brainstorming tool with Lucidchart

brainstorming software - lucid charts

For those needing a more linear approach to brainstorming, a tool like Lucidchart is a great option. Lucidchart is an online diagramming and visual communication platform that enables teams to create diagrams, flowcharts, and mind maps collaboratively.

💬 Customer Reviews

G2: 4.5/5

Capterra: 4.6/5

💲 Pricing

  • Pricing page
  • Free plan available
  • Paid plan starts at $8 VAT excluded
  • Free trial available for all the paid plans

🏆 Best for

Small, remote teams. 

✅ What we like about it

Lucidchart makes it easy to visualize ideas through diagrams and charts.

⚠️ What you should be aware of 

Lucidchart is a flowcharting and diagramming platform rather than a proper idea collection tool, and it doesn’t have the capacity to collect a large number of ideas.  

But how about large scale brainstorming?

Thanks to its powerful interface, Ideanote lets you collect hundreds or thousands of ideas simultaneously. Ideanote simplifies large-scale brainstorming and turns idea collection into a streamlined process.

Enhance Brainstorming with AI using ChatGPT (OpenAI)

brainstorming software - chat gpt

ChatGPT can be a great tool to kickstart your creativity and help you get some initial ideas. This interactive AI-powered language model is great for writing content, but it can also facilitate brainstorming in many ways. 

💬 Customer Reviews

G2: 4.7/5

Capterra: 4.6/5

💲 Pricing

🏆 Best for

Individual and asynchronous brainstorming 

✅ What we like about it

ChatGPT can help you produce various ideas quickly and get objective and unbiased feedback. It’s also quick and free to use. 

⚠️ What you should be aware of 

ChatGPT isn’t a brainstorming tool per se. It can help you come up with ideas, but it's important to remember that its responses are based on the input it receives. Sometimes, the ideas it comes up with might not fit your situation. 

But you want a tool that knows your business

While ChatGPT can help you spark creative ideas, it doesn't know your business. Ideanote lets you collect ideas directly from your team members who know and understand your business and customers.

Brainstorm with the Mind Mapping Tool MindMeister

brainstorming software - mindmeister

MindMeister is a standard tool for online mind mapping. It can aid your brainstorming sessions by providing you with a means to create associations between ideas visually. MindMeister’s collaborative features allow multiple team members to work on mind maps simultaneously. 

💬 Customer Reviews

G2: 4.3/5

Capterra: 4.6/5

💲 Pricing

  • Pricing page
  • Free plan available
  • Paid plan starts at $6/user/month

🏆 Best for

Remote teams of all sizes. 

✅ What we like about it

MindMeister's strengths lie in its visual mind mapping capabilities, real-time collaboration, and presentation mode, making it ideal for organized idea visualization and sharing.

⚠️ What you should be aware of 

MindMeister isn’t focused on achieving specific business goals or engaging users across devices for larger campaigns. 

But you want ideas to lead to concrete results

Ideanote's features are designed to facilitate idea collection and collaboration on those ideas while providing a structured workflow for managing ideas. This means that brainstorming with Ideanote always leads to concrete results, no matter how big or complicated the project is.

Combine Brainstorming and Project management with ClickUp

brainstorming software - clickup

ClickUp's homepage sums it up best with its headline, "One app to replace them all." ClickUp is an all-in-one project management solution that you can use for many things: task management, time tracking and management, goal tracking, creating and sharing documents, and collaborating with your team in real time. Yes, you can also use it for brainstorming. 

💬 Customer Reviews

G2: 4.7

Capterra: 4.7  

💲 Pricing

  • Pricing page
  • Free plan available
  • Prices start at $7/month/member for annual plans

🏆 Best for

Mid-sized and large remote teams.  

✅ What we like about it

The platform is versatile, user-friendly, and can be customized to your needs. Moreover, ClickUp has a mobile app that allows you and your team to manage things on the go.

⚠️ What you should be aware of 

ClickUp doesn’t provide you with an easy way to collect ideas. For instance, a non-tech-savvy team member would struggle to navigate numerous tasks and projects to find the right place to leave their ideas. This could easily discourage them from submitting their idea in the first place. 

But you need a designated space for your ideas

Ideanote provides a designated space for your ideas. You can use a dedicated domain like ideas.yourcompany.com or integrate with Microsoft Teams for a centralized hub for your ideas.

Take Notes during Brainstorming with Google Docs

brainstorming software - google docs

Note-taking isn’t only a tool for studying. It can also greatly help you with brainstorming. A note-taking app like Google Docs can help you capture all the ideas that come up during your brainstorming sessions. 

💬 Customer Reviews

G2: 4.7

Capterra: 4.7  

💲 Pricing

🏆 Best for

Small, remote teams.

✅ What we like about it

With Google Docs, multiple team members can contribute ideas simultaneously, and everyone can see the changes in real time. Plus, the ability to easily share and access documents makes it convenient for remote teams to collaborate effectively.

⚠️ What you should be aware of 

Google Docs is useful for jotting down ideas and notes freely during a brainstorming session. But since everyone can access and edit this document, it can quickly become messy when you’re dealing with a large number of ideas or a big team.

But what if you want to capture ideas in real-time?

Ideanote lets you capture ideas in real time during your brainstorming sessions. Later, everyone can comment and evaluate those ideas collaboratively. With Ideanote, the process is structured and organized from start to finish.

Record your brainstorming sessions with Microsoft Teams 

brainstorming software - microsoft teams

Video conferencing platforms like Hangouts, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams are excellent tools for online brainstorming. With a virtual whiteboard and screen-sharing option, you can easily jot down ideas and collaborate in real time. 

💬 Customer Reviews

G2: 4.3

Capterra: 4.4  

💲 Pricing

  • Pricing page
  • Free plan available
  • Paid business plan starts at USD$4.00 user/month (annual subscription)
  • Free trial available for every plan

🏆 Best for

Remote teams of all sizes

✅ What we like about it

Platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have features like virtual rooms and filters that allow you to implement creative brainstorming techniques such as Charette or Six Thinking Hats during your online sessions.  

⚠️ What you should be aware of 

While video conferencing platforms let you record your brainstorming sessions, ideas often end up scattered or forgotten. And even if you take notes during the meeting in a shared Google Docs document, managing all the ideas may become challenging. 

But you want to capture ideas as they come

Ideanote lets you capture all ideas as they come during your video conferencing brainstorming sessions. Then, you can collaborate on these ideas with your team through features like commenting, rating, and voting.

Brainstorm During Live Meetings with Kahoot!

brainstorming software - kahoot

You may know Kahoot! from its interactive online quizzes. Yet, it is also a great brainstorming tool that lets you create brainstorming sessions that involve games and quizzes related to your topic.  

💬 Customer Reviews

G2: 4.6

Capterra: 4.8

💲 Pricing

  • Pricing page
  • Individual plans start at €17/host/month
  • Team plans start at €29/member/month

🏆 Best for

Small, remote teams. 

✅ What we like about it

By combining gamification with idea generation, Kahoot! offers a unique and engaging approach to brainstorming that can spark creativity among even the most introverted team members. 

⚠️ What you should be aware of 

Kahoot is an easy-to-use, playful tool that allows for quick brainstorming during live meetings. However, it doesn't provide a way to keep working on those ideas after the meeting. 

But you want to keep working on ideas after meetings

With Ideanote, you can capture ideas in real time during live brainstorming sessions and collaborate on those ideas later on. Ideanote lets you take ideas from collection to implementation through collaborative evaluation and selection with features like voting, commenting, and rating ideas.

Create a Brainstorming Channel with Slack

brainstorming software - slack

You probably know Slack as a productivity platform. It allows you to communicate and collaborate with your team in real time through dedicated channels to share files, discuss projects, and even audio and video chat with your team members. 

But aside from all that, you can also use Slack for brainstorming by creating a dedicated channel for idea collection. 

💬 Customer Reviews

G2: 4.5

Capterra: 4.6

💲 Pricing

  • Pricing page
  • Free plan available
  • Pro plan: €6.75/person/month, when billed yearly

🏆 Best for

Remote teams of all sizes.

✅ What we like about it

Slack lets you categorize discussions and keep conversations organized, making it easy to follow updates on each topic - or each idea. 

⚠️ What you should be aware of 

You may have already tried collecting ideas in a Slack channel. You may have called it #product-ideas and waited to see ideas flowing in. But you soon realized the channel stays static, and the few collected ideas gather dust. There’s no structure, no goal, and no idea collection process in this method. 

But you need to focus on ideas that are worth implementing

With Ideanote, you can create goal-driven idea collections that allow you to focus your ideation efforts on ideas that are actually worth implementing. It also allows you to integrate with Slack, so you can use both tools seamlessly.

Also read:

How to run a brainstorming session

How to do structured brainstorming the right way

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AUTHOR
Jakob Storjohann

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