Creativity Unleashed
the creativity company

Creativity Software - Idea Structuring

Ideas flow in a very organic, non-linear fashion. Luckily there is plenty of software available to help you to get on top of your ideas, pull them into a structure and organize them.

A first decision is which style to go for. We prefer mindmapping software for brainstorms and presenting information, and Evernote for collecting, structuring and retrieving information.

Of the mind mappers, we recommend four products - MindManager, MindMeister, iThoughtsHD and  Freemind. Freemind is free and will give you a feel for mind mapping on a computer before, perhaps going for one of the others. It's also the only one available for Linux. For very easy quick maps, wide access with web use,
mobile/iPad apps and realtime collaboration you can’t beat MindMeister. For the best formatting, particularly if you want to share information with Microsoft Office products, and for a superbly slick look, MindManager has the edge. As a standalone iPad app we like iThoughtsHD.

Evernote is super for general note taking, and we very much recommend it for collecting information as it is so easy to access your info across multiple platforms via the Cloud.
Another category we call idea bubblers, which work best for green field thinking. These tend to be rather like an electronic version of brainstorming with Post-it Notes (though obviously with much more sophistication).

One to try is Creative Thinker, using hexagons to represent and group ideas.

Decision Explorer is a rather different beast, which we can only really recommend if you need its very special capabilities or are a decision support professional.
Shadow Optical Illusion

Creativity Software - Idea Generation

If it seems strange that something as mechanical as software can improve creativity, don't worry. It's not the software that's creative, it's you. All the software does is act as a stimulant for your creative ideas.

Software to help with idea generation is mostly a lot cruder than idea structuring - and to be honest you will generally do as well or better using a book like Instant Creativity.

We do have a free piece of software based on Imagination Engineering, which you are welcome to try, but it is no longer supported and is provided as is. It was designed for Windows 95, and with recent versions of Windows, while it will probably run, you are unlikely to be able to save files. This is a shame, as it is really rather good. Give it a try if interested. Click here to download.

The only other non-trivial piece of software we are aware of is the Axon Idea Processor. There’s a lot in it, but it’s not the easiest software to get on top of.

For evaluating ideas and decision options take a look at this simple Option Evaluation spreadsheet which you can modify for your own use.