Brainstorming is about generating ideas and there are many apps that help us do that. However, most of the brainstorming tools in the productivity space are focused on mindmapping. While mind maps offer a great way to lay out ideas, they have some inconveniences. They are hierarchical and become unusable when the number of connections between the ideas grows.
Other brainstorming frameworks include flowcharts, post-it-like note-taking tools, and blank whiteboards. While flowcharts are good for processes, they are not suitable for layout out a complex vision that consists of ideas that do not have a narrative. Whiteboards, on the other side, are too general: they are great for sketching ideas but lack additional tools for linking those ideas together.
We have compiled a graph of our favorite brainstorming tools using InfraNodus, which in itself can be used for brainstorming. Using this graph — on the right — you can see the main functionalities of those apps and how they are related. Click on the connection to see what it’s for or read the extract below:
1. Generating New Ideas
Generally, if you don’t know what to start from, Miro and Milanote are the most general tools which can be used to make whiteboards to start up the ideation. However, as you add your notes the number of ideas will grow, so it’s going to be hard to manage the notes and that’s where InfraNodus can be useful. Simply export your data from Miro or Milanote into InfraNodus to visualize the connections between your ideas to come up with the new insight.
2. Building Mind Maps: Mindmup and Coggle
If you are into mindmapping, you can try Coggle or Mindmup, which are both excellent for collaborative mind map creation. Again, at some point you may want to better understand your content. In this case, in Mindmup you can export the notes that you made next to each mind map branch and then visualize them in InfraNodus, so you can see if they make any sense and to discover the new connections you haven’t thought of before.
3. Designing Processes and Narratives: Flowcharts
Coggle and Lucidcharts are best for building the flowcharts. However, if you want to make sense of the general narrative in your processes, you can represent them as a network and visualize them as a graph. For this, you can use GraphCommons (if you are willing to add things manually) or InfraNodus (which will perform the analysis automatically for you).