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Jira Software is a business process management tool used by agile teams to plan, track and release software. Jira Software supports Scrum, Kanban, a hybrid model or another unique workflow. Jira enables users to create project r...Read more about Jira


FrontRunners 2023

Miro is a cloud-based collaboration tool for small to midsize businesses. The solution features a digital whiteboard that can be used for research, ideation, building customer journeys and user story maps, wireframing and a range ...Read more about Miro

FrontRunners 2023 is an award-winning work and project management platform that helps teams of all sizes plan, prioritize, manage, and execute their work more effectively. The platform offers solutions for a wide range of use-cases such...Read more about


FrontRunners 2023

Lucidspark is a cloud-based software designed to help businesses of all sizes record and share ideas, discuss projects and organize information on a virtual white-board. The platform enables organizations to capture suggestions an...Read more about Lucidspark

Wellspring Innovation Management

Wellspring Innovation Management is a cloud-based solution designed to help small to large businesses track internal innovation projects, discover disruptive startups and search emerging technologies for the market. Features inclu...Read more about Wellspring Innovation Management

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Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management solution designed for small and midsize companies. It offers project scheduling and budgeting, which allows project managers to define project tasks, assign them to their teams, es...Read more about Zoho Projects


FrontRunners 2023

Confluence is a project management solution that enables organizations to create, collaborate, organize and review project documents. The system offers both cloud-based and on-premise deployment. Confluence’s editor feature a...Read more about Confluence


NanoNotion is an Azure SaaS application for which a Microsoft office 365 or Azure account is needed. The software allows employees to share ideas and knowledge with others. Additionally, the platform helps managers identify the in...Read more about NanoNotion

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Cacoo is an idea management software that helps businesses create wireframes and share work schedules with staff members. The platform enables managers to create layouts, mind maps, organizational charts, unified modeling language...Read more about Cacoo


Codigital is a cloud-based idea management solution that helps corporate and member organizations in brainstorming, collaboration, conferences and gathering requirements. It enables users to generate, refine and prioritize the ide...Read more about Codigital

5.00 (2 reviews)


FrontRunners 2023

Aha! helps companies build lovable software. We provide the world's #1 product development tools — Aha! Roadmaps, Aha! Ideas, Aha! Notebooks, and Aha! Develop — which are used by more than 700,000 builders. Product teams rely on o...Read more about Aha!


FrontRunners 2023

Asana is the perfect platform to help you manage and implement your IT projects across your organisation. Asana helps teams orchestrate their work at scale—from daily tasks to strategic initiatives. With Asana, teams are more con...Read more about Asana


Managing innovation at a large company can sometimes seem impossible. You have an endless list of stakeholders to engage, an infinite number of data points to consider, and a multitude of obstacles and landmines to avoid... But ...Read more about Qmarkets

4.81 (36 reviews)


MindNode is a web-based solution that allows businesses to innovate, visualize and share ideas using mind mapping tools. It provides predefined theme templates, which allows teams to customize project themes according to the requi...Read more about MindNode

4.79 (14 reviews)


TASKBOSS enables businesses to design projects in a visual project plan according to the WBS principle and move tasks and sub-projects on the project plan and assign them to freely creatable phases and branches of your projects. I...Read more about TASKBOSS

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Mind Vector

Mind Vector is a cloud-based mind mapping and idea management solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers idea mapping, idea ranking, brainstorming, activity dashboards and collaboration functionalities within a suite. Android...Read more about Mind Vector

4.24 (79 reviews)

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UseResponse is a Cloud-based and Slef-Hosted customer support solution that provides users with customer service tools and customer feedback solution. It features a Help Desk Ticketing Solution, Feedback Community System, Knowledg...Read more about UseResponse

4.69 (35 reviews)

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IdeaSpies Private

IdeaSpies Enterprise is a cloud-based idea management solution suitable for small and midsize businesses across different industries such as agriculture, AI, dining, healthcare and more. This solution helps businesses’ employees t...Read more about IdeaSpies Private

5.00 (1 reviews)

Sideways 6

Sideways 6 is an idea management platform for companies that use Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Yammer or Workplace from Facebook. Sideways 6’s solution is based on an integrated approach to idea management: Employees share ideas...Read more about Sideways 6

4.68 (19 reviews)

Accept Mission

Accept Mission is a cloud-based solution that helps businesses manage the entire life cycle of innovation projects on a unified platform. Key features include brainstorming, activity dashboard, idea ranking and status tracking. ...Read more about Accept Mission

4.61 (28 reviews)

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

“There's no good idea that can't be improved on.” Michael Eisner, CEO of Walt Disney Corporation 1984-2005.

Ideas come and ideas go. Some live, some die—and some need to be chased down. The trick to profiting from the good ideas is, as Eisner implied, to continually improve them. But given their intangible nature, identifying and improving upon good ideas is much easier said than done.

Idea management software—also called ideation management software—is a new collection of tools designed to help companies do just that: identify and develop the best ideas they come across, whether from customers, employees or members of the public. This Buyer’s Guide will help you understand how idea management software works and how it can help your business. It covers:

What Is Idea Management Software?

Common Features of Idea Management Software

Software Market Trends You Should Understand

Example Idea Management Workflow

What Is Idea Management Software?

Idea management software is designed to help collect, develop and collaborate on ideas that are relevant to your business. The software helps companies categorize ideas and even open up idea submission and development to customers and other interested third parties.


Home page in Wazoku’s Idea Spotlight, showing four categories of ideas for an example company

It’s not always immediately obvious if a new idea is actually worth pursuing. But, few new ideas seem worthy until they’re developed at least a little. Not wanting to waste time on fruitless ideas, most companies are forced to ignore all but the most obviously great ideas. This leads to missed opportunities or, worse yet, competitors developing the same idea at a later date.

The main goal of idea management software is to prevent good ideas from going to waste. It does this by systemizing the process of idea management, so that new ideas can be vetted with less effort. This helps the company consider more of them and miss fewer opportunities.

Common Features of Idea Management Software

Idea management software has elements in common with other genres of software, like mind mapping software, knowledge management software, even project planning and project management software.

But despite some general similarities, idea management software is purpose-built for the workflows, processes and permission controls needed for idea submission, collaborative development and selection. It is available in many forms and different packages that will contain some or all of the following applications:

Idea campaigns

Organize ideas by grouping them into specific campaigns and challenges. Campaigns can be open to the public, employees or select groups.

Idea funnels

Set up discrete stages for ideas to pass through as they progress from initial idea to final approval, helping systemize, monitor and benchmark the entire process.

Mind mapping

Visualize how the various elements of an idea (or several ideas) relate to one another. These are graphical tools, usually with drag-and-drop UIs.

Collaboration tools

Many idea management platforms come with tools that help teams work together, like document and file sharing, collective to-do lists and automated notifications.

Custom branding

Some idea management platforms allow for custom visual branding, so the interface can match your website and the look and feel of your brand.


Make idea sharing and development part of a contest, competition or on-going game. Gamification can encourage people to help in the ideation process.

Customizable workflows

Rearrange and configure the various stages of the idea management process and control which users get to participate in which stages.


Organizing ideas by category with Qmarkets idea management software

Software Market Trends You Should Understand

Cloud-based software, or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), is an SMB’s best friend. Compared to on-premise installations, cloud software can usually be expected to be more:

  • Affordable: It typically uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model—meaning no large investment is needed to get started. Services are also easier to cancel.

  • Accessible: Cloud-deployed software can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection.

  • Integratable: It’s also often easier to integrate applications. Since the apps are deployed from the vendor’s servers, you won’t need to set up or maintain your own.

For these reasons, most idea management systems suitable for SMB use are cloud-based. It’s the best option for a majority of SMBs, excluding only those with very specific IT integration requirements.

Example Idea Management Workflow

Idea management software typically allows for a lot of workflow flexibility. This is helpful, even necessary, given the fact that companies have very different approaches to and requirements for idea management. That said, the idea of idea management might be entirely new to you, so below is an example of the types of stages that could be used.

  1. Collection. The company puts up a public-facing website with a description of the problem it’s trying to solve. The company invites its customers, employees and members of the public to submit ideas directly on the website.

  2. Vetting. The company’s management looks over the submitted ideas, eliminating any that are impractical or don’t sufficiently address the problem. They create a shortlist of five of the best ideas. All five ideas could work, but management is unsure which would work best.

  3. Voting. The company creates a new page online to present the five best ideas, each with a short explanation. Employees and customers are asked to vote for their favorite idea and add any additional comments.

  4. Selection. Management reviews the comments and tallies the votes, selecting two finalist ideas. Potential problems and downsides are listed for each idea. Company employees are invited to comment on the ideas, adding any potential problems and solutions of their own.

  5. Refinement. The company uses its idea management software to internally collaborate on, improve and implement the remaining ideas.


Idea Funnel overview in Qmarkets’ idea management software. It shows the quantity of ideas being actively considered as they progress through the various stages.