Brilliant ideas don’t just happen; they follow a creative process that includes making insightful connections. This is why whiteboards are vital during meetings or brainstorming sessions.
However, if your team is working remotely, you might need a virtual solution to accommodate your needs and boost your productivity. In this article, we will explore some idea board software and best practices to create your virtual idea board.
What Is a Virtual Idea Board?
A virtual idea board is an effective tool for collaboration and the visual collection of ideas. Teams often carry out this creative exercise using online diagramming software that provides pre-built templates for various purposes and allows them to record, organize, and edit ideas.
A digital idea board helps gather people to discuss solutions to problems, develop product names and creative concepts, improve existing products/processes, generate marketing campaigns, etc.
Using a virtual idea board can help you in the following ways:
- It can gather dispersed teams in a virtual space for collaboration.
- A digital whiteboard boosts inclusivity, as it encourages more reserved or introverted team members to contribute during meetings.
- You can easily share the ideas on the board with other people, or make them accessible to anyone through a link.
- You can drag and drop ideas into specific categories for better organization.
- The information you add is updated and saved in real-time.
- A virtual idea board can help improve your productivity through asynchronous communication.
- You can use your virtual board to assess ideas and turn the best ones into actionable tasks.
Best Idea Board Software
Lucidchart is an easy-to-use online diagramming solution that you can use for your teams’ brainstorming sessions. This tool is compatible with most browsers, and you can also download its app on your smartphone.
You can start building your idea board from scratch or use one of its templates. This tool allows multiple users to collaborate in real-time, and all the changes made sync automatically. Lucidchart also provides integrations with some of the most popular tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, etc.
FigJam is a virtual idea board developed by the makers of Figma to help users brainstorm ideas. It is an effective tool to make your meetings more fun and interactive.
You can use FigJam with multiple team members simultaneously to ideate using text boxes, pictures, stamps, stickers, shapes, or colorful sticky notes.
Teams can use its cursor chat to communicate and provide feedback, or its voice chat feature to explain their thoughts without leaving the platform. Build your idea board from the ground up, or use one of its templates for inspiration.
Miro is a virtual whiteboard tool that brings dispersed teams together to come up with creative ideas. You can start with a blank whiteboard, or you can leverage its template library that includes icebreakers, event planning, mind map, user flow, etc.
You can use Miro with your colleagues to communicate, track progress on your tasks, share conclusions from your brainstorming sessions during presentations by turning its screen sharing mode and using its audio feature. Likewise, you can also make your online board accessible to the public by sharing its link. This allows other people to edit and collaborate seamlessly as guests.
Your team can use Mural as an online whiteboard to generate, organize and refine ideas. This tool integrates chat services for seamless communication, and sticky notes with various colors to define specific tasks.
Mural also features a timer and a voting system for teams to choose the best ideas. If you are unfamiliar with virtual whiteboards, you can start with one of Mural’s numerous pre-built templates.
How to Create a Virtual Idea Board
1. Define Your Goal
Start by setting clear objectives for a goal-oriented meeting and inspire a sense of purpose. Before you schedule a team brainstorming session, define your goal and update your team beforehand so that they can have time to research.
Once you have an agenda, allocate time for the session to ensure that everyone is focused. You can slot in micro breaks if the allotted time for the meeting is beyond 45 minutes.
2. Invite Participants to Add Ideas
By now, you have probably chosen the appropriate digital whiteboard tool for your team or specific objectives. Invite all the participants of the brainstorming session to use the software.
Next, you should try to create an open environment that will encourage everyone to contribute their ideas. Discourage people from criticizing others’ ideas. More importantly, remind everyone that there are no “bad ideas” to take off some pressure and boost creativity. This is probably one of the few instances when quantity is better than quality.
Provide positive feedback as people contribute ideas to keep the creative juice flowing.
3. Assess the Ideas
Discuss the ideas with your teams once the allotted time for contribution is over. Allow them to expatiate those that are not clear enough.
Hopefully, by the end of this exercise, you will have a lot of ideas. You can assess them, narrow the list, or invite the participants to vote for the best ones.
4. Edit the Board
Following the vote, archive the least bright ideas, or simply move them to another column on your board. Organize the remaining ideas to determine how you can execute them. This is where you turn the ideas into action items, assign them to someone, and set due dates.
Use a Virtual Whiteboard to Bring Creative Ideas to Life
Virtual idea software can help bridge the distance between remote teams, and enhance collaboration to collate brilliant ideas. But that’s not all, as the best ideas won’t be helpful if they remain on the board.
Take it a step further by using your visualization board to organize your ideas and turn them into actionable to-dos.
Brainstorming is a process for generating ideas and solutions to problems. These brainstorming techniques will help you organize and generate ideas.
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