We've been involved in a lot of brainstorming lately with our clients, combining a relaxed informal approach to problem solving with lateral thinking. We've learned that this demands that people come up with ideas and thoughts that can seem shocking or crazy, but we love the process. Some of these ideas can be crafted into creative solutions to solve a problem, while others can spark a domino effect of even more ideas. This helps to get people unstuck by prompting them into new ways of thinking.

Group brainstorming is often a better approach as you can rely on the ideas of other creative thinkers to unearth solutions to problems. However, when a group is not available, individual brainstorming can be very effective with the use of different tools.

Below I have compiled some tools to help you think outside the box. By using these as a starting point, you can spurn creativity, jot down all your crazy ideas and develop a plan that can be transformed into winning strategies for your brand or project.

  1. BigMind Pro - A fantastic iPad app for creating mind maps that includes text, images, notes, and more.
  2. Brainstormer - This app is great for doodling, sketching and journaling. It combines a plot, subject, and setting or style, by the spin of a wheel.
  3. Bubbl.us - One of the most popular sites around for easily being able to create brainstorms or mind maps.
  4. iBrainstorm - A free iOS app (iPad/iPhone) that lets users brainstorm ideas through the use of sticky notes.
  5. IdeaStorm - A free and simple to use diagramming tool that is ideal for making a quick brainstorm.
  6. Inkflow Visual Notebook – a note-taking and brainstorming experience that captures your ideas as easily as pen and paper.
  7. iThoughts – An iPad-only application that allows you to quickly map your cool ideas and share them on multiple platforms. Very helpful for brainstorming on the go!
  8. Mind42 - Nice collaborative mind mapping site with lots of templates and easy to use.
  9. MindMeister - One of my favorites. A free and easy way to make online mind maps. It allows you to brainstorm and share ideas, plan projects, think visually, and more.
  10. MindMup - An easy to use site for creating brainstorms or mind maps. Mind map in the cloud.
  11. Mindomo - One of my favorite brainstorming apps that also lets a user flip their classroom, collaborate, comment, and much more.
  12. Mind Vector – Streamline thoughts and increase productivity with this tool.
  13. Simplemind -  A mind mapping tool to help you organize your thoughts and generate new ideas. Synchronizes across all devices.
  14. Slickplan - A easy to use site where users can create beautiful flow charts and embed into a site or blog.
  15. Stormboard - Online brainstorming and collaboration in real-time, making it easy to generate ideas and get the creative juices flowing.

New to these resources? Try them out. We’d love to hear your feedback on how they help you increase your productivity.

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