These are our top 5 free idea management solutions, based on the design, simplicity of use and available features:
1. Innovation Cloud
Our Top choice.
Free specialized idea management solution for 15 users, 100 ideas and 1GB of storage made and maintained by a software company DataStation from Belgium. They focus on the innovation management and collaboration and are on the market for 9 years now. The Innovation Cloud is a basic version of their Enterprise solution – covering complete innovation process, starting from ideas to launch. Website states some valuable references up to this point: Bayer, DHL, NASA, HTC, Etihad, Toyota, Schweppes, Electrolux, etc.
We went on to try the free version and were amazed with the design, simplicity and the amount of the features we were presented with. It doesn’t require any training, so thumbs up. The software supports ad hoc and challenge driven idea submission. It operates in three phases: submission, collaboration and approval. Voting, files and comments are there as standard, but wrapped up in nice intuitive and familiar design. Application is mobile friendly with big buttons you can’t miss, ensuring that you are always aware of what you need to do next. They announce some pretty cool features coming in the next few months. They are not spamming us with emails to go for an upgrade (25e) and they have some good newsletters with the tips and hints about the usage, best practices, etc. All in all, great tool to kick start idea management and come to the fast proof of concept for internal buy-in.
Downsides: Annoying tutorial at the start. One account per email address.
Bitrix24 is a social collaboration and communications platform for all business operations. It’s owned by Bitrix, Inc, Intranet and Cloud company from Alexandria, Virginia. It offers a full range of applications and tools to cover different aspects of business management: CRM, Knowledge management, Project management, etc.
They have a built in idea management system in which any employee can express an idea to improve operations and let colleagues evaluate the idea. First, we had trouble understanding the pricing from the website, but it seems that idea management is not listed as a free solution, but we presume it is free for 12 users and 5Gbs of space, so went on to test it.
Two downsides put this software on the second place: Complexity of the screens and the scope of the features. Largely tied to the fact that idea management is not a focus of this software.
IdeaScale is an innovation management platform that uses crowdsourcing to help you find and develop the next big thing. IdeaScale HQ is in Berkeley, CA. They started as government open innovation platform and continued in the same direction, collecting enterprise clients on the way. They have a Free plan for 25 users, 5 Campaigns with profanity filter and mobile use.
They are focused on the open innovation, so once we started a test, we could not hide our work from the public. The software itself is nice, but we struggled with the fact that the privacy is reserved only for the enterprise plans.
Team collaboration and brainstorming tool for 5 users. Not exactly idea management, but it has an infrastructure which you can use to organize brainstorming sessions, Kanban views, flowcharts, etc.
You start a canvas and your team can collaborate, comment and add thingies. A cool tool for design thinking, 6 hats and brainstorming.
Still in BETA though, and very limited if your need surpass 5 users count.
Wridea has been established in 2006 and after 2 years of beta testing phase, the final release has been put online on June 2008. It was developed and owned by Octeth Ltd. a web app development company established in 1999.
With the help of Wridea, you can store your ideas, manage and organize them, collaborate with your friends over your ideas, etc.
Although it is fully free solution, we found that the interface is very modest. So we gave it a 5th place on our list.
Have you seen our full list of the Free idea management solutions?
See other solutions here: Complete List of Free online idea management software