Working in groups provides a lot of benefits. One of which is being able to gather different opinions and suggestions that can significantly boost working efficiency, and produce high-quality output. One way of collecting ideas is through brainstorming. Basically sit down as a group and talk about ways to get the work done. However, it is easy to forget the ideas suggested during a brainstorming session due to the spontaneous flow of suggestions. To keep track of the brainstorming session you can use a mind-mapping tool and brainstorming techniques to organize your ideas. On that note, here are some brainstorming tools that you can use to organize your thoughts when brainstorming.
Top 10 Brainstorming Tools
GitMind is an online mind mapping and flowchart tool that has an extensive template library. You can share your mind-map with your colleagues and they can edit it from any device including mobile. You can collaborate by using the comment function to discuss and refine each idea suggested during the brainstorming session. Additionally, organizing ideas is easy with this tool because you can customize the layout via drag-and-drop, making it one of the best brainstorming apps out there.
Bubbl.us is a cloud-based mind-mapping application that you can access online. Unlike most mind-mapping tools that provides other options, it exists solely to improve your mind-mapping process. Being a cloud-based app, it allows collaboration between you and you colleagues to create new and innovative ideas. However, they must have their own Bubbl.us account to do so. This online application is one of the easiest tools that you can use, since all you need to do is fill-in the information. It also provides an autosave feature, like most other online mind-mapping tools.
A more professional mind-mapping tool that you can use is MindManager. This is a software that supports both Windows and Mac OS devices. The interactive charts here helps your colleagues understand the relationship between ideas better. The appealing visuals in the mind-maps promote clear information dissemination and lets your team-mates add their own ideas. Additionally, it lets you add videos, hyperlinks and attachments to your charts. Aside from the visuals, it can save your mind maps as Word document files.
Price: Windows Version – $349, Mac version – $199
Lucidchart is a diagram and flowchart software that lets you collaborate with your team mates. Its uses are varied, and also helpful for brainstorming because of the diverse templates and functionality. Device compatibility is not an issue since the tool supports Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. On the other hand, it also has an offline mode that lets you work on your mind-map, even without an internet connection.
Price: Free Plan; Pro version – $7.95/month
Another tool that you can utilize is Wisemapping. Most users recognize this tool as an online app, however, it also provides a desktop software. It is one of the few tools that cater to businesses by allowing them to download its software and run it from their own servers. This provides additional security and exclusive collaboration between team members. This tool allows users to import and export ready-made templates.
GroupMap is one perfect example of online brainstorming tools designed for online collaboration and idea sharing. Users can add their ideas to each cell, and then others will see them real-time. It provides ready-made templates or you can simply create your own. GroupMap lets you set parameters about the topic to guide your colleagues along the discussion.
Price: Basic plan – $20/month, Professional Plan – $60/month, Organization Plan – $100/month.
Mindomo belongs to the desktop software line of mind-mapping tools that has conversation features like real-time chat and comment options. This feature allows you and your team-mates to discuss every idea, and create better ones by sharings thoughts and suggestions. You can create interesting mind-maps using the themes available within Mindomo. It also has an option that provides a link for your mind-map which you can share with your members.
Price: Team account of up to 5 members – $26/month.
Another great tool is Stormboard. It provides a comment thread for each idea shared on the digital white board. This way, users can keep track of each idea and discuss how to refine and improve them. Like other tools, it provides templates to save your precious time. You can also access your mind-maps on your mobile in case you come up with an idea on the go.
Price: Team accounts – $10/month
Next we have a member of the free brainstorming tools group, Freeplane. This open-source software runs on JAVA and can be used in portable mode. You can create complex mind-maps with Freeplane because of the different node options. You can manually arrange your ideas, or let the tool organize them for you. Freeplane can also encrypt your mind-map with a password to protect it from unauthorized access. In addition, you can export the mind-map on your computer and send it to your colleagues for their suggestions.
Finally, we have The Brain. This is desktop mind-mapping software that provides a use-friendly graphical interface. Probably the best thing about the tool is that it automatically shows the connections between your ideas so you can track your ideas easily. You can also access your maps via mobile with the Sync option. The same can be said of your team mates, as they can access your mind-maps once you share it with them. They can then add comments and their own ideas to the mind-maps.
Price: Complete Package – $299, Service only Package – $15, License only Package – $219
In general, every brainstorming tool works the same way in that they all provide a convenient way to keep track of and organize your ideas. However, when choosing the right tool, you need to consider the functionality and the price. If a free tool can provide the features that an expensive software offers, then it’s common sense to choose the free tool. GitMind is the perfect example of an online tool with premium features.