We’ve all been there: staring intensely at the screen, willing ideas to come to our minds. When words or ideas aren’t shooting out of our minds or fingertips, we know we’ve entered a writers’ block rut.
With features like virtual whiteboards, mind maps, and voting systems, today’s brainstorming tools foster efficient idea generation and collaboration among team members, regardless of their physical location.
In this post, we will cover:
- AI Brainstorming Tools
- Collaborative Brainstorming Tools
- Note-Taking Brainstorming Tools
- Free Brainstorming Tools
- Brainstorming Templates
- Brainstorming vs. Mind Mapping
AI Brainstorming Tools
HubSpot AI Content Writer is a brainstorming tool that can help you when you’re stuck. If you need to create content, whether it’s an email, a landing page, a blog post, or a social post, you can tell the software the audience you’re writing to, the message you want to communicate, the length, and the tone you’d like to convey.
You can also use AI Content Writer to generate outlines, headlines, and content ideas in a pinch.
Price: HubSpot AI Content Writer is available as part of CMS Hub, which offers a free version, Starter at $23 per month, Professional at $360 per month, and Enterprise at $1,200 per month.
Collaborative Brainstorming Tools
If you like sticky notes, Lucidspark might be the brainstorming tool for you. The software is an interactive whiteboard that supports real-time collaboration by allowing you to chat, leave comments, react with emojis, and vote on ideas. You can simply type your ideas on a sticky note, or use drawing tools to mark something up, and drag or share your thoughts to the canvas.
Lucidspark also offers customizable brainstorming templates for brainwriting, concept summaries, storyboarding, mind mapping, and wireframes. Lucid supports basic Excel import for Individual and Team accounts.
Pricing: Free version available. Individual at $7.95, Team at $9 per user, and custom pricing for Enterprise.
Like Lucidspark, Miro is a collaborative brainstorming tool that fosters an open teamwork style with a whiteboard user experience. It also offers more than 200 brainstorming templates includingstickies, user story maps, and brainwriting. Additional features like chat, comments, sticky notes, and video allow you to bounce ideas off your team and gather feedback.
Miro can also import data from spreadsheets and integrates with popular tools like G Suite, Microsoft Teams (and Excel), Slack, and Zoom.
Pricing: Miro offers a Free version, Starter at $8 per member per month, Business at $16 per member per month, and custom pricing for Enterprise.
Milanote is another online whiteboard that enables you to collaborate with teams. You can write notes and to-do lists; upload images, Excel documents and design files; save text, images, and links from the web; and add notes and photos from your phone.
Unlike similar whiteboarding tools on this list, Milanote’s geared towards design and creative teams with its ability to support design files.
Pricing: Milanote offers a free version with paid plans starting at $9.99 per person per month and team upgrades starting at $49 per month (billed annually).
Note-Taking Brainstorming Tools
TheBrain is a note-taking brainstorming tool with AI features. It aims to digitize your thoughts and organize everything you need for brainstorming in one place by enabling you to take notes and save files, web pages, images, and emails to the platform. Though it’s note-heavy, you can also structure and visualize the writing with outline view, thought icons, and embedding of images, videos, and links into your notes.
You can also generate outlines and content by leveraging TheBrain’s AI capabilities.
Pricing: Free version available. Pro Service at $15 per set per month, Pro License at $219 one-time, and Pro Combo (License and Cloud Services) at $299 per seat per year.
Evernote Teams is a note-based collaboration tool with brainstorming features. You can access shared notebooks and spaces and collaborate in real-time by editing notes with team members.
Evernote Teams integrates with Google Suite, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
Pricing: Free trial available. Pricing available upon request.
Free Brainstorming Tools
HubSpot Campaign Assistant is a free AI-powered brainstorming tool for marketing campaigns. If you’re encountering roadblocks, Campaign Assistant can help you brainstorm marketing campaigns, whether you need copy for a landing page, marketing email, or Google ad.
You can share details about your campaign and select a tone of voice that aligns with your brand. With just a few clicks, you’ll receive copy highlighting your selling points and incorporating your desired call to action.
For example, when I used this tool to create an email marketing campaign for an online Halloween sale at a costume store that also sells Halloween home decor, I gave the tool a description of what the campaign was about, key facets my audience should know about, a call-to-action, and a writing style.
Within seconds, Campaign Assistant generated a ready-to-use email in an excited and humorous tone.
You’re probably already familiar with Google Docs. It’s a classic brainstorming tool that enables you to type out ideas, and collaborate with your team by sharing docs.
I use Google Docs on a nearly daily basis — in fact, I wrote the draft for this blog post on Google Docs. Before delving into a blog post, I would create a separate document for to brainstorm a good outline.
Google Docs also integrates with other popular brainstorming tools, making it a helpful supplementary software.
Brainstorming can be intimidating, especially when you’re staring at a blank slate. This is how brainstorming templates can help.
Brainstorming templates are pre-designed frameworks or structures that guide and organize the brainstorming process. These templates provide a starting point for teams to generate ideas and encourage structured thinking. Whether in the form of mind maps, SWOT analysis, or decision matrices, these templates help individuals and teams explore different angles, foster collaboration, and ensure that no important areas are overlooked.
By using brainstorming templates, teams can streamline their ideation process, stay focused, and ultimately increase their chances of generating innovative and effective solutions.
Here are some brainstorming templates:
Brainstorming vs. Mind Mapping
Brainstorming and mind mapping are two distinct techniques employed in the creative process. While brainstorming focuses on generating a large quantity of ideas without any evaluation or organization, mind mapping involves visually organizing and establishing relationships among these ideas. In brainstorming, ideas can be random and diverse, allowing for a free flow of creativity.
On the other hand, mind mapping uses a central point as a starting point and branches out to connect related sub-topics and ideas, creating a structured and hierarchical visual representation. Brainstorming is the initial step in idea generation, while mind mapping facilitates the organization and understanding of these ideas for further development and implementation.
Get Started With Brainstorming Tools
From capturing and organizing ideas to leveraging artificial intelligence for content generation, brainstorming tools have become essential. With their intuitive interfaces and powerful features, brainstorming tools empower you and your team to unleash creativity, think outside the box, and find unique solutions to complex problems.
Get started with tools like HubSpot’s AI Campaign Assistant..