Top 12 Idea Management Software To Drive Innovation (Free and Paid)
Ideas are the most valuable asset of any company. They are the only thing that can differentiate a company from its competitors. The more ideas a company has, the more likely it is to succeed in the market.
Thus, companies need a strategy for idea management, as it helps generate new ideas, evaluate them, and choose the best ones that ultimately drive innovations and growth.
Companies looking to grow and be successful invest in idea management software. It's the only way a business can find new opportunities and future success. Many idea management tools are available on the market today, each with benefits and drawbacks. Let's see the list of top idea management software to identify the right fit for your organization.
What is Idea Management?
Idea management collects, generates, and organizes ideas to maximize their value. It's a way of handling, developing, and exploiting creative ideas.
Companies use idea management to handle, develop, and exploit creative ideas. It also helps generate, select, and implement ideas to achieve organizational objectives.
To maximize business value, companies need a system that will allow them to identify and implement their best ideas. An idea management software is a great way to manage the ideation process because it provides a centralized location where all the brainstorming, ideation, and idea selection occurs.
Must-Have Features of an Idea Management Software
An idea management software is used to create, share and rank ideas. It can also be used for brainstorming sessions and idea sharing. With the help of this tool, it becomes easier for teams to align their goals and collaborate.
Here are the must-have features of idea management software:
- Simple and intuitive interface: It must have a user-friendly interface and easy-to-use structure for all stakeholders to feel at home.
- Centralize idea collection: The software should make it easy for users to submit ideas and manage all suggestions, including text, images, videos, and audio from various sources, in one central place.
- Idea categorization: It should allow users to categorize ideas to be easily filtered and searched. Ability to organize ideas by tags, statuses, and categories.
- Collaboration: The software should allow users and teams to collaborate on ideas, add comments, vote, and attach relevant documents. Ability to share ideas across teams and outside the organization in real time.
- Evaluate and prioritize ideas: It should help identify the most voted and impactful ideas to be implemented by sorting and filtering ideas based on their value to the company.
- Workflow management: It should allow showcasing the progress of all collected ideas through different stages of the product roadmapping process, such as ideation, review, planning, and implementation via a public roadmap.
- Integration with other tools: It should integrate with other tools such as Intercom, Slack, Zapier, Jira, and other project management and customer relationship management software.
- Export/Import data: It should provide the ability to export and import data in CSV format for easy sharing and backup purposes.
- Security and access control: It should protect the confidentiality of the submitted ideas and allow the organization to control who has access to them.
- Close the feedback loop: It should also support completing the feedback loop by notifying all users and stakeholders about updates and new releases with release notes.
Top 12 Idea Management Software in 2023
There are many ways to get ideas and user suggestions, but which idea management software is best for you? Let's go over the features of each idea management software so that you can make an informed decision on which one is right for your company.
Rapidr is an end-to-end customer feedback and idea management software that helps manage the entire idea management process, from capturing ideas to prioritizing them, informing product roadmap, and sharing updates with changelog.
Rapidr allows you to capture and track all ideas and suggestions and organize and analyze them in a centralized location. Then, inform your roadmap with the most impactful feedback, and notify users of what's new with release notes.
Key Rapidr Features
- Rapidr is an end-to-end idea management solution, so you don't have to glue multiple apps together. You get idea submission, ideation brainstorming, road mapping, and release notes software.
- Rapidr is one of the most affordable and cost-effective solutions that offer excellent value for money stacked against the other enterprise options on this list. Rapidr's pricing is based on the value you derive from the software instead of per-seat pricing.
- Rapidr's hosted idea boards portal and in-app feedback widgets are lightweight, easy to use, and customizable, fitting perfectly with your existing workflows and brand design.
- Rapidr helps you gather ideas via a feedback portal, feedback widgets, and many integrations with tools you already use, like Zapier, Intercom, and Slack.
Starts at $49/month, with unlimited users and idea boards.
Ideanote is an innovation-led growth platform that makes it easy to collect, develop and act on the best ideas leading to business growth, engaged employees, and happier customers.
Key Ideanote Features
- Ideanote helps classify ideas and supports a kanban project management view to arrange your thoughts. It supports idea generation since it has simple decision-making tools to apply to your business.
- Ideanote enables the generation, exploration, and construction of ideas, which may then be verified or rejected.
- It provides a simple and clean UI and feed option that shows all organization notes insight, filter, and search options for ideas.
- It's very good at collecting ideas but lacks in analyzing and prioritizing those ideas into the next stage.
- Customers complain that it is expensive for smaller businesses, especially being such a niche tool. It also does not support proper notification management as well as product changelog.
It is an expensive software that is not self-serve. One has to talk to sales to get a custom quote.
Coda is a CRM, project management tool, task list, email platform, and creative document for many teams. Coda can easily centralize documentation and project management in one tool. It allows teams to seamlessly work together and collaborate with users as well.
Key Coda Features
- It helps organize information, create detailed wikis, and manage knowledge bases in easily shared documents.
- Coda helps categorizes ideas and supports manual feature prioritization for idea evaluation and an idea triage feature.
- Learning Coda and making it work for your team requires a slight curve, and the tools seem very buggy and unclear.
- Customers complained that its customer support has very bad response times and is unreliable.
Coda has a free plan with limited features and paid plans starting at $12/month/user.
Brightidea is a cloud-based innovation management software that helps organizations to readily crowdsource ideas and build on strategic plans, and back every idea with complex data points to help you track, manage, and prioritize ideas to ensure the best ideas always win.
Key Brightidea features
- Brightidea makes it easy for teams to submit ideas, share ideas, and move ideas forward, and the software is super flexible and accommodates many different programs.
- The user experience is clean and easy. The idea boards is claimed to be a very visual way to show ideas while also allowing users to filter in several ways.
- The tool seems quite complex to manage and does not have much flexibility on the visual side of the challenges.
- Customers say it's a good platform for ideation, but the interface seems a little bulky and slow, and the backend feels outdated and less intuitive.
It does not provide self-serve options, you need to talk to sales to get a custom quote.
Miro is an online visual collaboration platform designed to unlock creativity and accelerate innovation among teams of all kinds. The platform enables teams to lead workshops and meetings, brainstorm ideas, and more.
Key Miro features
- Miro is used for different purposes, such as brainstorming, project management, and idea collection.
- Miro provides remote and hybrid teams with collaborative workspaces to share ideas and work together.
- It provides top-notch features of CMS integration and good customer support.
- In a large organization actively using Miro, it can become challenging to organize all the boards, and it seems that they can sometimes sprawl out with a complex UI.
- The templates provided by Miro can be somewhat limited and difficult to work with.
Its pricing starts at $8/ user/ month.
Ideadrop is a collaborative innovation software that empowers businesses to discover, refine and execute the most innovative ideas that help to drive their businesses forward. It provides a digital suggestion box to discuss ideas rather than being a brainstorming software.
Key Ideadrop Features
- Idea Drop is an easy-to-use but powerful platform for organizing and implementing innovative ideas within a company.
- Customers point out that managing the idea evaluation process is still challenging in the tool and difficult to learn and navigate.
- It is an engaging and intuitive software for voicing the team's ideas and quickly getting feedback from users. It also allows one to mention team members in comments and assign them ideas.
- Customers praise its amazing customer support that goes above and beyond.
Pricing starts at $49 per user per month.
Monday is a project management and bug tracking tool that tracks all bugs in one place and provides a clear overview of bug statuses. It includes features to filter and prioritize bugs and create the right workflow for your team.
Key Monday Features
- Monday supports mind-mapping templates which connect different ideas and helps teams visualize how they can complement each other.
- It integrates with other productivity tools such as Dropbox, Google Calendar, OneDrive, etc.
It offers a free forever plan with limited features for up to two users, and pricing paid plans starts at $8/seat/month.
Mural is an innovation management software with a digital whiteboard and collaboration tools that helps teams gather feedback on prototypes of new products and brainstorm ideas.
Key Mural Features
- Mural is an online whiteboard that helps to organize ideas visually. it's an intuitive tool to co-create projects.
- The interface seems less user-friendly and intuitive and lacks design templates and a higher level of customization for the workspace.
- It allows for project range appreciation and a checklist for people to know their ideas have been considered.
- Mural helps get team feedback during grooming meetings and brainstorming sessions.
Starts at $9.99/seat /month.
Asana is a task management and collaboration software that helps teams orchestrate their work, from daily tasks to strategic initiatives. In Asana, you can easily track initiatives' status and accurately view your progress toward goals.
Key Asana Features
- Asana provides features and filters, making it easy for teams to ensure tasks are organized, on track, and going in the right direction.
- It allows product managers to manage projects and tasks collaboratively from anywhere, receiving notifications, sharing tasks, and efficiently monitoring them.
- Asana also compliments with a massive list of integrations allowing teams to work directly with a list of other tools without requiring additional input through exports etc.
- Some functions and automation in asana are enterprises only, and their pro/enterprise plan can be slightly more expensive for smaller companies.
- Customers claim that it is not always easy to edit a project; it is hard to stay in sync and keep everyone on the same page in the tool.
Asana offers a free trial, and paid plans start at $21 for five users per month.
Craft is a product management and idea management software empowering product managers to do their work from feedback capturing, planning, decision making, roadmapping, and more in one purpose-built tool that integrates with the most commonly used platforms.
Key Craft Features
- Craft helps teams complete tasks, keep the deadlines game up high, and manage deadlines with a clear roadmap and workflow in the most organized manner ever.
- This tool ensures shared understanding with the entire team, arguably the most critical aspect of a successful product launch. It keeps everybody on the same page with a clear sprint backlog and milestones.
- Customers say it supports the entire product management life cycle with a rich, easy-to-use interface.
- It is too expensive, and the UI is not intuitive enough.
- New users find it particularly difficult to navigate around craft unless given some training. The workflow is not very difficult, but you still need some time to use the tools. It would be great if it were more customizable.
Starts at $39 per user per month annually.
Aha! is a roadmapping and idea management software. It allows us to set strategy and KPIs, crowdsource and manage ideas and manage features with a kanban board and Gantt charts. Aha! Empowers product managers to understand the why, when, and what of products and create product portfolios with schedules, goals, release strategies, and more.
Key Aha Features:
- Aha provides all product management facilities in one tool: requirement gathering, epic and user story breakdown, roadmap, backlog management, etc.
- Aha can be a sophisticated tool that's very flexible and configurable; it enables teams to align our internal strategic goals and initiatives with customer ideas and requests.
- Aha is a roadmap tool first and an idea management software second. As a result, everything feels half-baked and complex, and configuring it feels like a chore.
- The UI does not feel like it's modern and user-friendly.
- They have per-seat pricing, so you'd need to pay for each teammate you bring to the platform.
Pricing starts at $59/user /month.
Ideawake is an idea management software that makes it easier for organizations to collect, evaluate, and implement targeted and actionable ideas from their employees and customers.
Key Ideawake Features
- It supports crowd voting to prioritize ideas and assign decision-makers to ideas to serve as internal or external stakeholders.
- Customers praise it as great for streamlining idea collection and getting employees involved.
- It doesn't provide any brainstorming features as well does not provide any roadmap and a changelog to notify users of progress.
Contact their sales team for information on their paid plans.
Choosing the Right Idea Management Software
The importance of idea management software is undeniable. They provide a platform for the creative process to flourish. They also allow the team to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the team members, which can be used to make improvements for future projects.
Rapidr's intuitive idea and innovation management solution help product managers quickly and efficiently capture, evaluate, prioritize, and nurture the most promising ideas from customers and teammates.
Rapidr is one of the most affordable and feature-rich software and is our recommended idea management software. Other notable features include: collecting ideas via feedback widgets, slicing and dicing user-suggested ideas, embedding a roadmap into your product, and closing the feedback loop with a changelog. Sign up to start capturing and managing valuable ideas now.