At one point or another, every creative professional has experienced a creativity block. When you’re up against a deadline for a client, the ideas just don’t seem to flow.
Luckily, new tools make it easier than ever to jumpstart your team’s creative thinking process. While the traditional sketches on a whiteboard with your team might still work for brainstorms, it can get complicated when parts of your organization work remotely or if you need to coordinate across several offices. These online tools can help your team come up with ideas for your next Facebook ad, help define a brand identity, or even organize the creative aspects of an inbound marketing campaign.
Here are ten free brainstorming apps and tools that will have you and your team feeling creative in no time.
Popplet is a simple mind-mapping tool that allows your team to add images, text, and videos to a canvas so you can easily visualize the information you need. Best of all, your team can access the canvas from anywhere, since Popplet has a mobile app that lets you brainstorm on the go. The app costs $4.99 but you can test the online version for free.
Wisemapping is an online, open-source brainstorming tool for businesses and individuals. The tool creates maps that are easy to export or embed. For more security, you can also download the software and use Wisemapping on your computer. As an open-source platform, Wisemapping constantly adds new features, most of which come from users who build the features themselves.
LucidChart is an online diagramming tool that allows teams to collaborate online in real-time. It also includes a native Google image search tool and options for social sharing.
With Bubbl.us, you can create and share up to three free mind maps with your team before purchasing a plan. The aesthetically-pleasing tool is one of the most intuitive on the market, and allows your team to organize information and content in a logical format that can be viewed on almost any device.
Coggle claims to be the “simple way to share complex information.” Its color-coded, intricate mind maps allow your team to enter deeply into ideas and discover new connections between your content. The free version includes real-time collaboration capability, and you can upgrade to the professional version for $8 to access more tools.
This website is made to boost your team’s creativity. The short phrases and questions revealed on the cards are meant to provoke creative thinking to get team members out of a mental block.
CoMapping is an online platform that helps organize all your team notes in one place. Teams can collaborate on the map with drag-and-drop tools and use the chat feature to stay in contact while they work.
MindMap is a Google Chrome extension that supports imported files from Cloud, Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox. The maps can easily be saved and exported for your team to access offline.
GroupMap helps moderate and organize group decision-making by analyzing individual opinions and bringing them together logically on a diagram. They have their own templates for specific projects, or you can build your own. You can test the application through a 14-day free trial.
XMind is a beautiful, minimalist mind-mapping tool that is available online and through its mobile app. You can use the free version, or upgrade to a pro account for your team. Get inspired by browsing the mind-map gallery on their website.
Visual diagrams are often the best remedy for a creative block. However, if your team is spread across the world, a whiteboard won’t do. These tools can help your team brainstorm visually and collaboratively so you can keep developing creative campaigns that will delight your clients.