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20 Best Virtual Brainstorming Tools that Help to Generate Winning Ideas

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By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

Reviewed by Kara Funk

Senior HR Consultant, People & Culture

Virtual Brainstorming Tools

If you’re looking for a way for remote teams to maximize their brainstorming potential, or just trying to organize your tasks and ideas, we have you covered. With virtual brainstorming tools, creativity is enhanced, ideas are organized, and productivity starts leveling up.

Online team brainstorming tools are invaluable for remote and hybrid teams. They spark creativity across continents and time zones and they open doors to a world of possibilities, as opposed to a traditional tool. Where you end a brainstorming session often greatly varies from where you start – and that’s the point! It’s time to remove all your creative blocks and start generating winning ideas with your team and we created a list of 20 virtual brainstorming tools to get you started!

To break the ice and foster team bonding in your virtual environment, explore our article on innovative icebreaker tools that provide valuable insights. You can also delve into virtual team icebreakers that help you create a more engaging and connected virtual team experience.

1. How to choose the best virtual brainstorming app?

How to choose the best virtual brainstorming app

1.1. Team size and pricing plan

When considering online brainstorming tools check for a pricing plan according to your team size. Some platforms like Stormboard have a free plan for 5 members or less. We recommend using a free trial to get an idea of the tool, before committing to a paid subscription (always try before you buy).

1.2. Ease of use and interface

If the features are not user friendly or too much time is required to figure out how to use the tool, momentum, excitement and flow get interrupted which reduces the productivity and creativity of the session. An intuitive interface is an advantage, with a custom toolbar as an addition to enhance the brainstorming process. Also be sure to, check if your progress and work are being saved constantly on the cloud which saves you the worry and an additional step.

1.3. Features

Check for features that you would like to be present in your virtual brainstorming tool. Some popular features like task assignment, document management, project planning, sticky notes, relationships, infinite whiteboard, drawing tools, etc. are quite useful in ensuring productive sessions. 

1.4. Accessibility and mobile friendly options

Virtual brainstorming tools that have accessibility assistance like keyboard shortcuts and easier navigation like double-click for a new bubble or drag-and-drop would be quite helpful in saving time and ensuring a smooth flow to a session. Also, check if the tool can be accessed on the go on smartphones (iOS and Android), as some of the best ideas happen away from your desk.

2. 20 Best Virtual Brainstorming Tools for teams

20 Best Virtual Brainstorming Tools for teams

2.1. Scapple

Scapple

 

Scapple is a flexible note-taking software application for Windows and Mac. With its flexible features and sleek interface, mind mapping becomes simple and streamlined. Scapple allows you to provide visual context to better express and relay your ideas.

Main features:

  • Works with different types of content: You can import text, PDF docs, and images on your Scapple page and also create additional ones.
  • Interface: Scapple’s simple interface is free from clutter, like unnecessary menus. Just double-click anywhere to create a new note. Move and arrange your notes easily. 
  • Intuitive: Simply drag one note to another to connect them, add different types of connections, change the style of your notes, group notes, or stack them – it’s Scapple Simple!

What SIWOM likes about it:

Scapple’s main pull is helping you organize your notes in a visually appealing way. It was easy to integrate our documents and import them quickly to add to our creations. The visual clarity and easy of integration of different content make it one of the best virtual brainstorming tools.

Pricing:

Free: Scapple has a 30-day free trial, but - it only counts the days you actually use the tool. So if you use it twice a week, the trial runs for fifteen weeks.

Paid: It costs $18.45 for a single license and $15 if you’re an academic or a student (applicable for both Windows and Mac)

2.2. Stormboard

Stormboard

 

Stormboard is a virtual brainstorming tool that helps remote teams capture, organize, and discuss ideas in real-time. Stormboard’s online whiteboard and a range of colored sticky notes allow seamless collaboration amongst team members and make it one of the best online brainstorming tools. It will help keep your teams not just organized - Monica organized!

Main features:

  • Ready-made templates: to kickstart brainstorming
  • Projects: Create a plan, assign tasks, set deadlines and goals
  • Intuitive Brainstorming: Share ideas, sticky notes, and whiteboards with remote teams.
  • Idea export from Excel and CSV

What SIWOM likes about it:

One of the best things about using Stormboard, was that it madeit easy for us to assign tasks during a meeting. It is useful to track them later - which could be a pain point at times. With the help of sticky notes, we share our ideas and suggestions in a jiffy!

Pricing:

Free: There’s a free trial, as well as a free plan for 5 users or less.

Paid: There are four plans:

  • Personal: Free for individuals or teams of 5 or less with basic features.
  • Business: $10 per user/month with advanced features.
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing tailored for larger organizations with added security and support features..

2.3. ProofHub

ProofHub

Proofhub is an online collaboration and project management tool. You can easily plan, collaborate, organize, integrate apps, and deliver projects seamlessly in one place. Plan your winning ideas and put them into execution with this virtual brainstorming tool right away!

Main features:

  • Plan: Workflow Management and Task Assignment with Kanban Boards, Gantt Charts, and more.
  • Collaborate: Proofing (feedback markups), One-on-one and group communications, Announcements, Email-in, 
  • Organize: Calendar, Files, Documents, Project Templates, Notes, Tickets, and Forms.
  • Integrate with apps you already use like Google Calendar, QuickBooks, OneDrive, Outlook, etc.
  • Deliver: Project & Resource reports, workload, timesheets, progress, agenda

What SIWOM likes about it:

With ProofHub, we were able to put all our ideas in one place and scope the timeline for project completion better. Assigning multiple tasks and delivering reports on a daily basis has never been this easy!

Pricing: ProofHub has a flat pricing fee (no per-user fee).

Free: You get a 14-day trial period to discover the features.

Paid: There are two plans:

  •  $89 annual fee ($99 monthly) for unlimited projects and 100 GB storage.
  • $45 annual fee ($50 monthly) for 40 projects and 15GB storage.

2.4. Miro

ProofHub

Miro is a cloud-based virtual brainstorming tool used for visual collaboration among remote teams. It features an online whiteboard tool that can be used for research, ideation, wireframing, to explore design, story maps, strategic planning, and much more! This is easily one of the best online brainstorming collaboration tools available.

Main features:

  • Whiteboard: An infinite canvas for storing ideas, creating mockups, leaving feedback, using pre-loaded templates, and exporting them as a presentation or PDF.
  • Integrate with other apps for seamless workflow management like Slack, Jira, Google Drive, etc.
  • Collaboration: Team meetings, workshops, mouseover collaboration, centralized communication, organized document management, feedback system, screen sharing, aligned team management.
  • Enterprise-grade security for privacy

What SIWOM likes about it:

When the pandemic hit, we used Miro for virtual project discussions and we were able to share presentations, boards, and tasks easily. We could check the mouse tracks to see where our team members engaged in the discussion and leave feedback as well which was great for asynchronous collaboration.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a free trials, as well as a free plan to discover the features.

Paid: There are three paid plans:

  • Starter ($8-$10/member/month): Offers unlimited boards and essential features such as high-quality board exports, unlimited Talktracks, and built-in meeting tools.
  • Business ($16-$20/member/month): Provides advanced features like secure workspaces, enhanced diagramming shapes, Single Sign On, and tools for enhanced meeting facilitation.
  • Enterprise: Aimed at large organizations, with features like automated license management, advanced security measures, and premium support. Pricing details are available upon contact.

2.5. Mural

ProofHub

Mural is an online visual collaboration tool used by remote teams for virtual brainstorming. It features a digital whiteboard that can be used for ideation, design research, analysis, strategy & planning - all in real-time. Packed with a plethora of flexible features, this digital workspace makes it a breeze to come up with new ideas, collaborate, and visualize them in a myriad of ways! 

Main features:

  • Collaboration: Use sticky notes, frameworks, built-in templates, shapes & connectors, freeform drawing, icons, communications, and commenting for feedback.
  • Integration: Connect with Google Drive, Slack, Dropbox, Jira, Github, and more.
  • Workshops and meetings: Plan and run efficient workshops and training sessions with the facilitator tools. Control the flow with timer, lock content, and permissions. 
  • Project: Use Project planning, task assignment, scheduling tools, reporting, analytics, and presentation tools for efficient project management.

What SIWOM likes about it:

With Mural’s efficient and sophisticated facilitator tools, we were able to run our training sessions quite smoothly! The timer and summon tool ensured everyone remained focused and the outline tool guided us through the discussion. Here, the summon tool allows the facilitator to draw participants' attention to a specific area or point on the Mural canvas.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a free trial, as well as a free plan. Many users consider it the best free brainstorming app available in the market.

Paid: There are three plans:

  • $9.99 for a team per member/ month billed annually ($12 monthly)
  • $17.99 for a business per member/ month billed annually ($20 monthly)
  • Custom pricing for an enterprise.

2.6. Slack

Slack

Slack is an online communications tool that keeps all your channels in one place, making it easier to collaborate among remote teams. This virtual brainstorming tool allows you to communicate in real-time, stay on the same page, and make decisions quickly. 

Main features:

  • Channels: Organized workspace for all your communications, files, tools, and team members. Chat one-on-one or in a group, audio/ video calls, share files - stay connected.
  • Slack Connect: Connect with your partners outside the organizations for smooth collaboration. Converse in real-time, share files, and more.
  • Workflow Builder: Automate repetitive tasks
  • App Integrations: Streamline your work process by integrating with apps like Google Drive, Jira, Office 365, and more.
  • Accessibility: With the help of keyboard shortcuts and more, Slack can be used by anyone and everyone! 

What SIWOM likes about it:

Team communications on Slack are more than efficient and well-organized. They are easily accessible and instantly searchable which allows us to be updated and on the go after our meetings and brainstorming discussions.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a free trial, as well as a free plan with limited access to features. When budget constraints arise, the best free brainstorming app like Slack can be a lifesaver for startups.

Paid: There are three plans:

    • Pro: $7.25 per member/ month billed annually ($8.75 monthly)
    • Business: $12.50 per member/ month billed annually ($15 monthly)
    • Custom pricing for an enterprise.

2.7. MindMeister

MindMeister

Mindmeister is a cloud-based mind mapping tool that takes virtual brainstorming to a whole new level. It assists users in organizing workflows, taking notes, executing project plans, managing meetings, and assigning tasks. They also provide Mind Mapping training and tutorials for beginners. Schools use it for better engagement in their classroom and homework activities as well.  Also, it comes with unlimited maps! 

Main features:

  • Mindmap editor: Create, edit, organize, customize, share mind maps with various map themes and map layouts
  • Brainstorming collaboration tools: map templates, assign tasks, set deadlines, monitor task progress for streamlined project management and to foster innovation.
  • Collaborate: Comment, chat, vote, presentation mode and history mode for seamless ideation.
  • Integration: with G-Suite, Google Drive, Dropbox, Teams, and more.

What SIWOM likes about it:

Mindmeister’s MeisterTask enabled us to synchronize between our mind maps and our project board which was a much-needed function to streamline our project management.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a free trial, as well as a free plan with access to few features and to explore the tool.

Paid: There are three plans:

  • Personal ($3.50/user/month): Designed for personal mind mapping. Features include unlimited mind maps, file and image attachments, PDF/image export, mind map printing, version history, and an admin account.
  • Pro ($5.50/user/month): Targeted at teams with collaborative features. Builds on Personal tier with additions like Word export, PowerPoint export, and Google Workspace for domains sign-on.
  • Business ($8.50/user/month): For larger teams with specific needs. Includes all Pro features plus group sharing, compliance exports and backups, custom team domain, and priority email & phone support.

2.8. FreeMind

MindMeister

FreeMind is an open-source, high productivity, visual mind mapping application based on Java. It is one of the best free online brainstorming tools. It lets you edit XML/ HTML docs and mind maps with its quick navigation. This brainstorming tool encompasses a set of features that assists users to create structured diagrams and generate visualizations of concepts and ideas. 

Main features:

  • Support Hyperlinks: Link documents and websites to your mind maps.
  • Smart drop-and-drag feature: copy/ drop texts, or lists, or files from an external source. 
  • Brainstorming: Project Planning, built-in icons, fast one-click navigation, synchronous editing.

What SIWOM likes about it:

We used FreeMind to brainstorm and document our activities and processes in a systematic manner. We were able to link our documents to websites, import/ export them and collaborate on them with ease.

Pricing:

Free: FreeMind is free to download and use

2.9. IdeaBoardz

MindMeister

IdeaBoardz is an online retrospective team collaboration tool that can be used to collaborate virtually among distributed teams. It allows teams to collectively brainstorm, add sticky notes, gather inputs, reflect, and retrospect upon their processes and tasks. 

Main features:

  • Its retrospective feature helps the user to compare their goals and processes throughout their journey for better workflow management.
  • Create an unlimited number of IdeaBoards based on different topics and different columns for sub-topics.

What SIWOM likes about it:

Our team used IdeaBoardz to brainstorm on various topics. We were able to organize our ideas better by comparing our processes with the retrospective tool and the use of sticky notes on our board.

Pricing:

Free: IdeaBoardz is free to download and use. Many consider it the best free brainstorming app available today.

2.10. Popplet

MindMeister

Popplet is a mind mapping tool designed for students, educators, and business professionals that belongs on any list of great online brainstorming tools. With its intuitive interface, Popplet allows its users to capture and organize ideas into information squares called popples. These can be renamed, organized, and moved around the canvas. Each popple can have its own unique border colour. 

Main features:

  • Collaborate: Edit, customize, organize content and insert files, URLs, images, and videos in popples.
  • Popple Management: Move, add texts, trace over drawings, text alignment, zooming functionalities, and more.

What SIWOM likes about it:

Our team used Popplet to plan our ideas and we could mind-map seamlessly in a flow using popples of different colors. The intuitive interface and its navigation helped us create in a color coded and visually organized manner.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a free trial, as well as a free plan with access to few features.

Paid: There are two plans:

  • Monthly Plan: $3/month.
  • Yearly Plan: $30/year.

2.11. WiseMapping

WiseMapping

If you’re a fan of minimalism, WiseMapping may be the right tool for you. WiseMapping is a free and open-source online mind mapping software that allows users to create their mind maps without any hassle. This virtual brainstorming tool is perfect for individual note-taking and collaborative team planning.

Main features:

  • Collaborate: Create, collaborate, share and publish mind maps
  • Embed: Insert maps into web pages and blogs.
  • Link: Link maps with documents
  • Export: SVG, JPG, PNG, and FreeMind
  • Open Source: Install WiseMapping internally in your company or school.

What SIWOM likes about it:

We used WiseMapping to plan our ideas and link other tasks around our central idea which helped in our problem-solving and decision-making. The intuitive interface and its navigation helped us create in a better manner.

Pricing:

Free: WiseMapping is free to use.

2.12. Coggle

Coggle

Coggle is a web-based virtual brainstorming tool that helps create flowcharts, mind maps, and notes. Its mind mapping process allows users to add images, draw links between unconnected branches, and so on. It also lets you browse through a gallery of public diagrams to see what others have been up to.

 

Main features:

  • Real-time collaboration with distributed teams
  • Unlimited images can be uploaded to the diagrams
  • Multiple starting points in your diagram in a single workspace
  • Create loops and join branches for flexibility in diagrams
  • Powerful flowcharting and unlimited private diagrams

What SIWOM likes about it:

The flowcharting tool in Coggle came in handy during our presentations and it really helped us to have a better visual of our mind mapping process in our brainstorming sessions and webinars.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a ‘Free Forever’ plan for exploring Coggle and ideal for occasional use.

Paid: There are two plans:

  • Awesome: $5 per month/ user - ideal for personal and professional use.
  • Organization: $8 per month/ user - ideal for teams

2.13. Mindomo

Coggle

Mindomo is an all-in-one visual mind mapping tool that allows users to create mind maps, concept maps, outlines, Gantt charts, and more. This productivity tool lets you create a blueprint of your ideas and plans, and sets you up for success. It can be used for effective learning and brainstorming by students, academics, and businesses.

 

Main features:

  • Mind mapping & Concept mapping: Create, edit, customize templates, share outlines
  • Project Management: Gantt Charts, Outlines, strategic documents
  • Collaboration: Problem-solving, researching, analyzing, mind map presentations, mind map assignments.

What SIWOM likes about it:

Mindomo’s concept mapping enabled us to have a clear vision of our ideas and approach. This brainstorming platform is easy to use and accessible from a web browser, which allows us to edit our maps in real-time.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a free plan to explore the platform

Paid: There are three plans:

  • Premium: €5.5 per month - ideal for single users.
  • Professional: €13.5 per month - single user + guests
  • Team (3+ users): €16.5/ month or €5.5/ month/ user

2.14. Bubbl.us

Bubbl.us

Bubbl.us is an online virtual brainstorming tool that simplifies mind mapping. It allows users to create a tree by starting on a central topic and add new ideas on the same level or sub-levels,customizing it anyway you like. The brainstorming platform is ideal for students, teachers, creatives, business owners, anyone who wants visuals of connected learning.

Main features:

  • One-click presentation mode
  • Collaborate: Share mind maps with a link, work together at the same time.
  • Distraction-free editing: Focused user interface with a minimum number of buttons visible while working.
  • Save as image & print: Export as JPG, PNG, text, and print.
  • Teamwork: Create and manage teams with multiple users.

What SIWOM likes about it:

We appreciate Bubbl.us for its intuitive online brainstorming capabilities, allowing easy customization and visualization of connected learning. The platform's one-click presentation mode, collaborative features, and distraction-free editing enhance its utility for various users.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a Basic plan which is free, and a 10-day free trial for the paid plans.

Paid: There are four plans:

  • Premium: $4.91 per month, $59 billed annually.
  • Team (3 users): $59 per year/ user, $177 billed annually.
  • Organization: Custom pricing for a license.
  • 50% off for students, teachers, and NGOs

2.15. Mapul

Mapul

Mapul is a web-based organic handwritten mind mapping application. Users can visualize and create organic style mind maps for a study, collaboration session, or presentation. The handwritten organic and classic mind mapping style gives a unique touch to the brainstorming sessions - and adds to the fun! It is used by schools, universities, and businesses.

Main features:

  • Organic mind mapping and drawing: Note-making, ideation, strategic planning, learning, stimulate creativity
  • Easy export to PowerPoint/ PNG/ SVG
  • Collaboration: Create, edit, share, and present.

What SIWOM likes about it:

The handwritten mind mapping feature gave us a lot of creative freedom to design mind maps according to our concepts and ideas. We could easily conceptualize and plan the structure which was helpful throughout our brainstorming session!

Pricing:

Free: There’s a free plan for exploring Mapul’s dashboard and features.

Paid: There are three plans:

  • 3 months: $25 per user 
  • 6 months: $35 per user
  • 12 months: $50 per user

2.16. SimpleMind

SimpleMind

SimpleMind is a virtual brainstorming tool with an intuitive mind mapping feature. Create multiple mind maps and add photos, images, voice memos, videos, and documents on a single page - there is no limit to creativity on this brainstorming platform. 

Main features:

  • Layout options like horizontal, vertical, top-down, list-auto are ideal for brainstorming
  • Add media to your mind maps
  • Organize and analyze ideas on an unlimited page.

What SIWOM likes about it:

My team members and I were able to generate multiple mind maps on the same page during our brainstorming session. This helped in keeping track of our ideas and organizing our plans better. Also, SimplyMind has no monthly or annual fees which was a suitable option for us.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a free trial with a 30-day license (available for Mac and Windows), as well as a free plan (iPad, iPhone, and Android).

Paid: Pro - One-time purchase license plan, download available for Mac, iPad, iPhone, Windows, and Android.

2.17. Infinity

Infinity

If you’re looking for a knowledge-management brainstorming software that gives you the full freedom to create your own structure and organize it as well, Infinity is the tool for you. Infinity offers versatile customization options that will help the team level up. It can be used by students, consultants, researchers, and startups.

Main features:

  • Infinite Structure: to create an unlimited number of boards, folders, and items, and customize them to suit your needs.
  • Over 50 templates: for brainstorming and meetings
  • Custom Attributes: Infinity comes pre-packed with 20+ customizable attributes that can help you effectively brainstorm with your co-workers. 
  • Six View: View your data in six different views: Columns, Table, Calendar, List, Gantt, and Form.
  • Collaboration: Share boards, documents, folders, assign tasks, give comments, suggestions, provide feedback, and more.
  • Task and Project Management:  it lets you turn ideas into tasks and assign them to one or multiple users, or even turn an idea into a whole project.

What SIWOM likes about it:

Infinity’s large, zoomable maps gave us clarity and overview at all times – we could navigate through our content quickly and easily. The customizable attributes like adding check boxes, labels, formulas, etc. made our projects simpler and easier to track and follow through on.

Pricing:

Paid: There are multiple plans:

  • BASIC ($3.75/user/month): Offers 1 workspace, 5 members, and 12 GB storage with basic features. Comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
  • PRO ($6/user/month): Annual total: $30/month. Provides 1 workspace, 5 members, and 24 GB storage.

2.18. MindMup

MindMup

Looking for a tool that boosts productivity along with creating unlimited mind maps for free? MindMup is a web-based brainstorming tool that is helpful for individual note-taking and collaborative planning. You can access your MindMup maps from any device. It also allows users to create unlimited mind maps for free, and store them in the cloud - hello, unlimited creativity!

Main features:

  • Create and store unlimited maps and storyboards
  • Collaborate: Brainstorm, create presentations, outlines, and publish your ideas online and to social media networks
  • Frictionless interface to help you focus
  • Convert maps easily to PDF, PowerPoint, outlines
  • Easily save to Google Drive

What SIWOM likes about it:

With MindMup, we were able to organize our thoughts easily with the help of the frictionless planning canvas and integrate them into a storyboard to create a hierarchy map and a slide sequence. Bonus: our progress was being saved constantly on Google Drive.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a ‘Forever Free’ plan.

Paid: There are two plans:

  • Personal gold: $2.99 per member/ month billed annually (for teams)
  • Team gold: $50/year for 10 users
  • Organisational gold: $100 billed annually for single authentication domain

2.19. Mindly

MindMup

Mindly is a visual brainstorming tool that helps capture, organize, and develop your ideas, projects, and plans and transform them into mind maps. You can also export them into PDFs and share them with ease. Mindly’s visual  brainstorming platform allows you to be creative when there is no internet connection - amazing, right? You can download the app on App Store, Play Store, and on Mac OS.

Main features

  • Visual clipboard with a smooth interface for focused mind-mapping
  • Dropbox integration for saving mind maps on-the-go
  • Mind Map Export
  • Customizable color schemes and icons

What SIWOM likes about it:

Our team members were able to create a mind map of our blog ideas in a clean and organized manner without any hassle. Creating the associations and the hierarchy of the ideas was a cakewalk with Mindly’s easy-to-use interface.

Pricing:

Free: There’s a free plan.

Paid: Pricing starts at $6.99.

2.20. XMind

XMind

XMind is more than just a mind mapping tool. It is a virtual brainstorming tool that can be used for capturing ideas and managing complex information. XMind allows users to promote team engagement, store ideas, organize them logically, and clarify doubts. It assists with efficient project management, which was why it was selected as the most popular mind mapping tool on Lifehacker. You can download the application for Desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux) and Mobile.

Main features

  • Powerful visualization: supports mind maps, fishbone diagrams, tree diagrams, organization charts, & spreadsheets.
  • Pitch Mode: generates smooth transitions and layouts for mind maps that help you to brainstorm, outline, rehearse, and present - all in one place
  • Tree tables and Skeleton templates help you get a head start on your projects by creating a structure for your thoughts.
  • Easy and efficient relationship creation
  • Collaborate: Import, export, share, note, label, callout, mark, add images, stickers, audio notes,

What SIWOM likes about it:

The Skeleton feature fit like a glove for us during our brainstorming sessions, along with creating a tree table that organized our information into spreadsheets without any formatting hassles. We highly recommend this for your ideation sessions!

Pricing

Free: There’s a free trial with access to few features.

Paid: There are three plans:

  • Team plan: $59.99 per member billed annually
  • Academia: $34.99 per member billed annually ($6 monthly)
  • Custom pricing for an enterprise and NGOs

3. Virtual Brainstorming Platform Features to Consider

Virtual Brainstorming Platform Features to Consider

3.1. Pre-made design templates & whiteboards

The right brainstorming collaboration tools or platforms can transform a team's creative process. Online whiteboards with an intuitive and infinite canvas give remote teams the creative freedom to collaborate with ease. Having an organized tool to group and pin their ideas allows them to brainstorm efficiently and productively. Using coloured sticky notes, icons, and pre-made design templates assists in the planning and execution process.

3.2. HD video conferencing solutions

For efficient and systematic collaboration, platforms with built-in video conferencing tools makes brainstorming more fun and engaging. Remote teams would need this feature to engage in real-time which would help productivity and overall motivation. Virtual brainstorming tools free of charge are becoming more essential in remote work settings.

3.3. Time-tracking features (built-in timer)

With a built-in timer, organizing meetings and conducting workshops becomes much simpler. It would reduce overlapping of various schedules, and help us keep track of our time spent increasing the overall efficiency and productivity of the team. Modern teams rely on brainstorming collaboration tools to foster innovation and synergy.

3.4. Intuitive Custom toolbar

An intuitive custom toolbar is much needed during virtual brainstorming in the process of creation and ideation. Users tend to create much better if there are intuitive tools like sticky notes, pens, drawing, selection, shapes, easy navigation like drag-and-drop, connect ideas, and much more. This encourages creative thinking and a seamless flow of ideas.

3.5. Collaboration support

Remote teams can collaborate easily with features like screen sharing, mouseover collaboration, centralized communication channels, organized document management, app integration, whiteboard, and more.  It's crucial to pick brainstorming collaboration tools that cater to the unique dynamics of your team.

4. FAQs

FAQs

4.1. Does virtual brainstorming work?

Yes, virtual brainstorming works well with synchronized collaboration and a virtual brainstorming tool suitable for your team size and requirements. Several tools offer a free plan and a free trial as well.

4.2. What are the benefits of using virtual brainstorming tools?

The benefits of using virtual brainstorming tools are-

  • Real-time collaboration
  • Organized idea management
  • Analyze, manage, and plan ideas, outlines, and projects with ease
  • Design and execute ideas according to requirements
  • Customizable and intuitive interface with predesigned templates provide a head start
  • Hold meetings, workshops and training sessions without any hassle
  • Ideas, files, and documents edited and saved on cloud with privacy security

4.3. Which is the best virtual brainstorming tool?

Although most of the tools listed here are great for brainstorming and ideation and offer unique features, Miro tops the list of online team brainstorming tools.

This digital whiteboard tool provides a multitude of resources that go beyond brainstorming on the initial level - such as UI wireframing, creating mockups, mouseover collaboration, strategic planning, design exploration, creating story maps, aligned team collaboration, project management, and more. It is a whole package for brainstorming, managing multiple projects, organizing your portfolios, and collaborating with teams.

If you are looking for a visual collaboration tool for your remote teams, Miro contains a free plan to explore its dashboard and other features. 

4.4. How do you conduct brainstorming virtually for remote teams?

You can conduct virtual brainstorming for remote teams in the following ways:

  • Choose a suitable tool according to your team size, requirements, and budget.
  • Ensure everyone has access to the dashboard.Schedule a brainstorming session and send a link to the team members’ calendars via a cloud-based calendar like Google Calendar.
  • Give those that will be joining the session background and context as to why the brainstorming session is taking place and what the goal of the session is
  • Organize everyone’s ideas and thoughts on a whiteboard with sticky notes and create mind maps, tree charts, outlines, blueprints, etc. 
  • Collaborate in real-time, use a mouseover collaboration for multiple pointers if more than one person is presenting. Use screen-sharing for displaying your ideas.
  • If it is not a web-based tool, make sure your progress is being saved constantly.
  • Invite members to provide their suggestions and feedback by adding notes and comments.

4.5. What are some virtual brainstorming tools that are free?

The advantage of virtual brainstorming tools free for users is that they democratize the idea generation process. Some free virtual brainstorming tools are:

4.6. What are the various types of brainstorming?

There are two types of brainstorming:

  • Individual: You are brainstorming all by yourself. You generate random ideas, turn unconventional ideas into tangible solutions, and capture all of your thoughts. You have absolute freedom to break the rules, and steer the wheel of the ship in any direction. However, you might not develop your ideas to the fullest as you would in a group session.
  • Group: Team members coordinate and help each other in every step of the process. The work is divided, and the plans are organized and managed before implementation. Knowledge is shared, unique ideas are created which add to the advantage. It enhances team building for a successful collaboration.
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