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brainstorming softwareYou don’t need to hit a problem wall to start brainstorming. Brainstorming is a way to generate creative solutions by hitting a problem with as many ideas a group can think of. But the free-wheeling exercise is also a great way to see a topic from hidden angles.

Physical brainstorming may sound like a carefree slam-bang talk session, effective brainstorming hardly is. One way to notch up effectiveness is to take it online.


Online brainstorming can be done using anything from email to chat meeting rooms, and even Twitter. But why keep it that simple when you have a galaxy of brainstorming software apps out there. Way back we covered quite a few of them in 6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites 6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites 6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites Read More .

Since then, there have been quite a few of them that have featured in our directory. Let’s dig some of them out and see the different ways they can help us to pick our own brains.

Text2 Mind Map

brainstorming software

Text2 Mind Map saves you a lot of the plotting and drawing work by taking a list of structured ideas and converting it all into a linked mindmap. But does it take a shortcut through the right brain stirring creative process by saving you the line drawing work? That you have to find out for yourself; but yes, Text 2 Mind Map is a fast way to see interlinks between the items in your list. On the mindmap, you can change color, font, line color, and line width. You can download the generated map as a JPEG. (See Directory mention)

Wridea

brainstorming app

Great ideas need to be managed and Wridea provides you an online place to do just that. You can create ideas and then categorize them. As ideas need to be spread around, you can collaborate on them by sharing your ideas with your friends. The feature of idea sharing with groups or the Wridea community makes this app a useful brainstorming tool as participants can give feedback and ideas of their own. Once you have your ideas stocked up, you can find an inspiring one with the application’s “˜Idea Rain’ feature. (See Directory mention)

Scribblar

brainstorming app

Whiteboards are great for chalking out ideas on virtual drawing surface. If you are a designer, an engineer, or someone who just likes to explain things with a doodle, you can try any of the gazillion whiteboard apps out there. Scribblar is a free whiteboard app that gives you active collaboration features like live chat, live audio, a whiteboard, image sharing, and multi-language support. You can upload and save snapshots and external image files. The whiteboard supports all major browsers and multiple users can brainstorm using tools like a shared pointer and other tools.

[NO LONGER WORKS] Think

brainstorming app

If individual brainstorming is what you are looking for, then this simple online mindmapping app is worth a try. You can start off without a log-in if you don’t want to save the mindmap. The mindmap features spheres as nodes and you can drag them around to give shape to your thoughts. You can make the mindmaps public and also export them as an image file.

Solvr

brainstorming software

Solvr has the interface of a simple search engine but it is actually a unique problem solving app. The next step involves adding a comment, an idea, or another problem to the original statement. After defining your problem, you can send the cryptic URL to your group who can add a comment, an idea, or another query to expand the original topic. The usefulness of this simple brainstorming tool is that with the cryptic URL, you can really spread it around on Skype, email, Twitter, or any social network. Solvr also has a Chrome browser app. (See Directory mention)

Thanks to digital tools, collaborative brainstorming and side-by-side researching has become faster than the speed of thought. You can take any social communication tool and use it to brainstorm an idea.

There’s Twitter for you as a good enough real time brainstorming tool.  Or you can use Google Search with a few keywords to get some insight into a problem. An app like Jagimo can also be treated as a brainstorming game with its free iPhone app.

How do you brainstorm online? Let us know about your favorite brainstorming software.

Image: Shutterstock

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  1. Janice
    September 19, 2016 at 8:35 pm

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  2. Kate
    March 15, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I think Mindmapping app would be fun ! I also like solving brainteasers here's where you may also find some -
    http://www.iqtestexperts.com/b...

  3. Kate
    March 15, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I think Mindmapping app would be fun ! I also like solving brainteasers here's where you may also find some -
    http://www.iqtestexperts.com/brainteasers/

  4. Serhio
    February 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Really and as I have not thought about it earlier

  5. Serhio
    February 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Really and as I have not thought about it earlier

  6. Susie
    February 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I don't understand how it works at all!

  7. The Solvr Team
    February 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    @laboratory We built Solvr especially for big discussion to avoid loosing the overall big picture. It works by reducing a big problem into smaller, solvable parts. This is a very rational, structured approach which is maybe not right for all kinds of thinkers, but for many it works really well.

    • Saikat Basu
      February 14, 2011 at 2:53 am

      It follows the simple way of breaking down a big problem into smaller chunks. Thanks for coming in and leaving your input.

  8. Lisa
    February 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I think you mean Ideafisher. I was a beta tester on that when I worked in advertising and loved it.
    Lisa
    http://www.YourWriterForHire.com

    • Saikat Basu
      February 12, 2011 at 6:03 am

      Unfortunately, it's a commercial software, but looks really good.

  9. Anand Kahaly
    February 7, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Nice collection of tools...i tried Text2Mind map...need to try out the rest then hang onto one...keep up the good work...

    Anand Kahaly
    http://technodope.com/

  10. laboratory
    February 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    For the first time, I've tried to use one of those tools.

    At the end text2 mind won the race. Best solution for me. No need to explain how it works. No need to explain how to use it.

    Simple and effective.

    Solvr - this tool is a tricky one. Question - what if there is a big discussion, many suggestions, many comments? At the end you can miss the big picture, you can forget what was at the beginning of the conversation...

    Think - the graphic interface looks like some scary movie theme;) There are maybe 10 nods and I'm already lost.

    Wridea??? Not quite sure how does it work.

    Cheers.

    • Ziggie2
      February 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

      A couple decades ago, I used software called "Mind Fisher" which had a relatively steep learning curve, but was brilliantly conceived. Of course at that time it was rudimentary compared to today's elegance, but it was far superior to any of these. It came loaded with a branching thesaurus-like vocabulary that provided the "seeds" for true brainstorming.

      • Saikat Basu
        February 12, 2011 at 6:03 am

        A branching thesaurus? Something like Visual Thesaurus maybe?

    • Aibek
      February 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      thanks for the feedback. I like the simplicity behind text2mind as well.

  11. laboratory
    February 7, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    For the first time, I've tried to use one of those tools.

    At the end text2 mind won the race. Best solution for me. No need to explain how it works. No need to explain how to use it.

    Simple and effective.

    Solvr - this tool is a tricky one. Question - what if there is a big discussion, many suggestions, many comments? At the end you can miss the big picture, you can forget what was at the beginning of the conversation...

    Think - the graphic interface looks like some scary movie theme;) There are maybe 10 nods and I'm already lost.

    Wridea??? Not quite sure how does it work.

    Cheers.