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.
We are building an Innovation Platform and one of the tools the platform offers is Effective Brainstorming. You are welcome to check it out.
The platform: https://app.priz.guru/
Happy to help if you have any questions.
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!
Interesting, wouldn't have thought of using Feedly for that! So you're using it to discover new content from sites you're not already following in Feedly?
Exactly. Even if I know of the site already, it just makes it easier to have it organized in one place. Much more scannable that way.
Miro - especially love it for mind mapping. Tons of useful templates applicable to brainstorming.
I've been using Clover App (https://cloverapp.com/) for the past few weeks, it's really good - sort of like a mixture between Bear and Notion.
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.
Want to bring Mindnode https://mindnode.com into discussion. Anyone experienced?
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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This sounds like a great setup. If only Figma worked better on the iPad—right now, it halfway works in Safari as long as you have connected a mouse or trackpad—then the iPad would be perfect for Figma-based brainstorming!
How is Eagle for collaborating? Is it possible to share assets?
Eagle is not for collaborating. It is a local database for all types of media. It’s kind of like this: a local pinterest board that allows for detailed documentation, tagging and smart searches.
I use Figma to share my ideas with others. Regardless of the type of project, I’ll usually make a “moodboard” with brainstorm ideas and then share it with others. I’ll then join a vid-call with them, and they can see my cursor on their end on their Figma, or I’ll just present my screen and talk it through.
Figma also has useful plugins, so I’ll use it for sticky notes or to generate diagrams or UI flows, etc.
Eagle is my “catch-all” app, I have multiple libraries for different aspects of my life. One library is UX/UI, where I’ll send all my ref comp images of other apps and tag them based on the pattern in said app. It’s useful to be able to quickly type “top nav bar” and see all instances of it in my ref. database — extremely powerful when you set it up over time. No more time spent looking up that image or pulling up that reference.
But for my personal life, I now use Craft to share trip itineraries or little projects with friends or family because they do NOT need to signup to see the document or to comment. Everyone has had a super easy time jumping in shared Craft Docs