Software Advice has helped dozens of companies find the right idea management software to manage and profit from all of their best ideas. How does it work?

Idea Management Software

 
Brightidea logo
 
Brightidea is a cloud-based innovation management solution designed for midsize and large companies. It offers communication tools and suggestion management. Android and iOS apps are also available. Brightidea features discussion... Read More
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Brightidea is a cloud-based innovation management solution designed for midsize and large companies. It offers communication tools and suggestion management. Android and iOS apps are also available. Brightidea features discussion... Read More
 
Spigit logo
 
Spigit is a cloud-based idea management solution suitable for banking, insurance, construction, engineering, energy, utilities, manufacturing, health care and pharmaceutical industries. It offers innovation management, business crowdsourcing... Read More
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Spigit is a cloud-based idea management solution suitable for banking, insurance, construction, engineering, energy, utilities, manufacturing, health care and pharmaceutical industries. It offers innovation management, business crowdsourcing... Read More
 
Qmarkets logo
 
Qmarkets is an idea management solution designed for midsize and large enterprises. Key features include idea evaluation, campaign management, access control, gamification and personalization. The product is available both in cloud-based... Read More
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Qmarkets is an idea management solution designed for midsize and large enterprises. Key features include idea evaluation, campaign management, access control, gamification and personalization. The product is available both in cloud-based... Read More
 
Quip logo
 
Quip is a project management and task collaboration tool that helps users work together and communicate without emails. Users can create and edit spreadsheets, documents and checklists in the system, and team members can chat and comment... Read More
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Quip is a project management and task collaboration tool that helps users work together and communicate without emails. Users can create and edit spreadsheets, documents and checklists in the system, and team members can chat and comment... Read More
 
Idea Spotlight logo
 
Idea Spotlight is a cloud-based idea management solution that offers an idea submission,  collaboration, gamification and analytics functionalities for large and midsize businesses. Idea Spotlight lets users design submission pages... Read More
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Idea Spotlight is a cloud-based idea management solution that offers an idea submission,  collaboration, gamification and analytics functionalities for large and midsize businesses. Idea Spotlight lets users design submission pages... Read More

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Codigital logo
 
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 ideas... Read More
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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 ideas... Read More
 
Flow logo
 
Flow is a cloud-based task management and project management solution that helps businesses plan projects, assign tasks, prioritize to-dos and manage work. Flow allows users to visually organize their projects with top-down project... Read More
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Flow is a cloud-based task management and project management solution that helps businesses plan projects, assign tasks, prioritize to-dos and manage work. Flow allows users to visually organize their projects with top-down project... Read More
 
OrganisedFeedback logo
 
OrganisedFeedback is an idea and innovation management solution for businesses of all sizes. Both cloud-based and on-premise deployments are available. It’s suitable for various industries including law firms, state governments,... Read More
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OrganisedFeedback is an idea and innovation management solution for businesses of all sizes. Both cloud-based and on-premise deployments are available. It’s suitable for various industries including law firms, state governments,... Read More
 
UseResponse logo
 
UseResponse is a cloud-based customer support solution that provides users with customer service tools and a social customer relationship management(CRM) solution. It features a help desk ticketing solution, feedback system, knowledge... Read More
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UseResponse is a cloud-based customer support solution that provides users with customer service tools and a social customer relationship management(CRM) solution. It features a help desk ticketing solution, feedback system, knowledge... Read More
 
Zoho Projects logo
 
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, estimate... Read More
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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, estimate... Read More

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Planbox Innovate logo
 
Planbox Innovate is an idea management tool designed for teams across all industries. Key features include a configurable setup centered around a four-level structure: initiatives, projects, items and tasks. Users can create unlimited... Read More
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Planbox Innovate is an idea management tool designed for teams across all industries. Key features include a configurable setup centered around a four-level structure: initiatives, projects, items and tasks. Users can create unlimited... Read More
 
OI Engine logo
 
OI Engine is a cloud-based platform that helps organizations to collaborate on shared objectives. The OI Engine workflow includes research, ideas, refinement, evaluation, identify top ideas and impact. Users can structure objectives... Read More
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OI Engine is a cloud-based platform that helps organizations to collaborate on shared objectives. The OI Engine workflow includes research, ideas, refinement, evaluation, identify top ideas and impact. Users can structure objectives... Read More
 
Idea Drop logo
 
Idea Drop is a cloud-based idea management solution designed for the midsize businesses. It offers an idea submission portal, collaboration tools, campaign management, idea curation and analytics. Idea Drop features idea submission,... Read More
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Idea Drop is a cloud-based idea management solution designed for the midsize businesses. It offers an idea submission portal, collaboration tools, campaign management, idea curation and analytics. Idea Drop features idea submission,... Read More
 
Viima logo
 
Viima is a cloud-based idea management platform that caters to small, midsize and large businesses. Primary features include idea contribution and development, idea ranking, campaign management, email notifications, an activity dashboard... Read More
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Viima is a cloud-based idea management platform that caters to small, midsize and large businesses. Primary features include idea contribution and development, idea ranking, campaign management, email notifications, an activity dashboard... Read More
 
Crowdicity logo
 
Crowdicity is a cloud-based idea management and crowdsourcing platform for small, midsize and large businesses. It is suitable for businesses in industries including retail, banking, financial services, media, communications, manufacturing,... Read More
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Crowdicity is a cloud-based idea management and crowdsourcing platform for small, midsize and large businesses. It is suitable for businesses in industries including retail, banking, financial services, media, communications, manufacturing,... Read More

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Exago Smart logo
 
Exago Smart is an idea management platform for midsize and large size businesses that helps users collect, organize and review idea portfolios and execute selected ideas. Key features include a brandable platform, customizable idea... Read More
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Exago Smart is an idea management platform for midsize and large size businesses that helps users collect, organize and review idea portfolios and execute selected ideas. Key features include a brandable platform, customizable idea... Read More
 
Co:tunity logo
 
Co:tunity is a cloud-based idea management solution designed for small and midsize companies that offers idea submission, collaboration, review and analytics functionalities within a suite. Android and iPhone apps are available. Co:tunity... Read More
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Co:tunity is a cloud-based idea management solution designed for small and midsize companies that offers idea submission, collaboration, review and analytics functionalities within a suite. Android and iPhone apps are available. Co:tunity... Read More
 
Mind Vector logo
 
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
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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

 

Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: September 7, 2017


“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:

Reviewers' Choice
What Is Idea Management Software?
Common Features of Idea Management Software
Software Market Trends You Should Understand
Example Idea Management Workflow

Reviewers' Choice

idea management reviewers choice

 

Reviewers' Choice Products

Crowdicity Mind Vector
Planbox Innovate Spigit
Zoho Projects  

Our Reviewers’ Choice list shows the five highest user-rated software solutions for Idea Management when adjusted for total number of reviews and recency of reviews.

If a software solution has more reviews, and more recent reviews, we value those ratings more highly than a product with fewer, older reviews. This is because is it much harder to get 100 five-star reviews than it is to get 10.

We also know that software vendors continually tweak and update their product, so we believe that more recent reviews tend to be more accurate.

To determine which products made the final cut, we looked at how users rated each solution's:

  • Overall performance,
  • Ease of use, and
  • Customer support

A solution can make the Reviewers' Choice top five in all three categories, or just one or two. All software solutions in the Reviewers' Choice have at least 10 reviews from real software users. The final products are listed in alphabetical order from left to right.

For more details on how we selected our Reviewers' Choice, read the full methodology.

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

 

 

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