Tools – Edistorm Brainstorming Software


If you’re like many creative professionals, you’ve probably been through at least one group brainstorming session where participants were given a stack of Post-it notes and asked to create as many ideas as possible, one per note. Then, you were to stick them to a wall or other flat surface along with everyone else’s ideas, where they could be voted on using colorful little sticky dots.

An Edmonton-based developer has taken this group brainstorming process and moved it to a web application called Edistorm – a contraction of Thomas Edison’s name and the word brainstorm. The result is a browser-based collaboration environment that very closely mirrors an offline group brainstorming session. In Edistorm, you can:

  • You can select from 3 levels of privacy – public (anyone can view and edit), personal (only you can view and edit) and private (only the people you specify)
  • Create new notes in multiple colors and drag and drop them around the workspace to create logical groupings of ideas.
  • Group select ideas and align them into neatly-arranged rows.
  • Invite others to collaborate with you; ideas of all participants are added in real time.
  • Use 10 dots to vote on the ideas you think are most promising
  • View “top ideas” (those that have received the most votes)
  • View “unrated ideas” (those that have no votes, which may contain some ideas you may have overlooked)

One really neat feature of Edistorm is its built-in “idea bots,” which serve up a list of recommended key words and ideas along the bottom of the screen, based on the words in your sticky note ideas. You can drag and drop any of these auto-generated ideas onto the application’s workspace.

For any ideas on the recommendation bar that aren’t pertinent to your creative challenge, just click on the “thumbs-down” icon in the upper right corner. That idea disappears, and a new one soon emerges on the bar to take its place. Think of it as a thesaurus on steroids.

Sticky note topics that are located near the center of the workspace are weighted more heavily by the idea bots – a nice touch! Eventually, the developer will build “intelligence” into the idea bots so they learn based on the ideas that you use and those to which you give the thumbs down.

This web-based application is just in its infancy; the developer plans many more enhancements in the months ahead. All of this leaves me wondering:

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