Sticky notes on a wall? Random ideas on a whiteboard? Outlining or mind-mapping apps? Kanban cards, notes connected in a Roam Research-style wiki, random ideas scribbled down on paper until something sticks?
What are your favorite tools to come up with new ideas, individually or as a team?
Figma + Eagle + iPad. I've had a lot of success using Figma to brainstorm ideas (for personal projects as well as team projects); the large canvas and quick interface allows me to rapidly toss in images and quickly write down notes. I'll create multiple pages in a project for various purposes; one page typically are images of comps (aka a moodboard), another page may be a list of ideas or notes I took somewhere else, and another page may be some sketches form the iPad.
Typically, I'll start with only one page in Figma, and only separate them into different pages when it feels necessary for the brainstorming.
Eagle is an app that is crucial to my brianstorming workflow. I use it to take screenshots, screen recordings, and even store PDFs or notes — I then organize them into projects or areas and tag them to allow for quick retrieval.
TLDR: Image inbox is Eagle, then use Figma to brainstorm
One of our team's favorite ways to brainstorm in-person has always been with either a whiteboard to sketch out ideas and flows, or sticky notes to brainstorm ideas and group similar ones. To do that remotely, Miro fills the gap fairly well ... though we've often found ourselves defaulting to Figma instead as that's where our designs live, and it's easy to bring in screenshots and inspiration from other sources. And with Figma's new FigJam feature, it's even easier to quickly mockup ideas and share ideas in sticky notes in Figma designs, so I bet it'll end up being our default go-to for brainstorming, even if that's not Figma's core selling point.
To come up with ideas, I love using Feedly. It pulls in content on a particular topic from several sources and organizes it in one place!
Miro - especially love it for mind mapping. Tons of useful templates applicable to brainstorming.
Obsidian is great for the initial scattered text dump of thoughts (I have a custom set-up that helps me focus and provide a distraction-free experience).
Notion is helpful for organizing it all together and making sense of it.
And Figma for a makeshift moodboard.
Paper and pen. I love to be disconnect / offline while I scribble down my ideas. It lets me be free for a moment as I create little "dots" of information. Later in Notion I polish up the ideas sometimes I "connect the dots" other times I just log in the bits of ideas for later / inspiration.
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