ACTA Advantage is an intuitive and easy to use tool for recording and organising ideas. It doesnt have all the features of more powerful programs but its relatively low price makes it quite attractive.
The Axon Idea Processor is a sketchpad for visualizing and organizing ideas with a user interface specially designed for the thinking process. Idea processing is concerned with problems and solutions, questions and answers, unknowns and facts. Axon is a powerful tool for creating mind maps, text processing, checklists, hints, and problem solving. The basis of Axon is the Prolog language - a popular tool for the world of artificial intelligence and cognitive sciences.
Axon 2001 has just been released
BrainStorm is an easy to use program for capturing ideas in an easy to use outliner-type environment. The information is easy to navigate, and can be published on the web. BrainStorm for Windows saves you precious time and improves the quality of your thinking, planning and organising tasks. Free 30-day trial at
Refer to the web site (click the BrainStorm word above) for more information as well as downloading a free 30-day trial.
BrainStormer is software designed to help you generate great ideas. Best used among a group, BrainStormer directs you through a complete brainstorming session, step-by-step. BrainStormer... guides you though the entire brainstorming process helps everyone in the group think of great ideas provides an idea stimulator to help you stretch your imagination lets you rank each idea according to your criteria for each particular problem ranks your top ideas by suitability lets you save brainstorming sessions as text files so you have a record of each session that can be viewed with any word processing application.
An electronic book on brainstorming and innovation in the workplace. It is a self-paced tutorial aimed at helping frontline employees be more creative at work.
Developed by J.J. Burgund, Watershed Liveware, P.O. Box 327, Poughkeepsie, NY 12602, USA
"Brainstorming Toolbox" is an interactive, pro-active program dedicated to getting the best out of brainstorming. It complements the brainstorming.co.uk website by bringing the techniques to life and to your desk. It is designed to be personalised and created so that future techniques can be downloaded individually as they become available.
Created by Dr Peter Clayton at Infinite Innovations Ltd
A graphical based program for recording and manipulating ideas using shapes. Full details available in the attached article.
A groupware tool that allows you to cluster and organize many kinds of related information and share it with your team members and other stakeholders in the process. It can be used to facilitate and capture information in live meetings and provide highly effective any-time, any- place virtual meetings that can replace a large percentage of face-to-face meetings.
ComedyWriter is a Microsoft Windows-based (Windows 3.1 or Windows 95) software program for creating humorous scenes, characters, situations, dialogue, expressions, and punch lines. Applications include film, television, theater, multimedia, speeches, presentations, cartoons and graphic arts, music, fiction, advertising, corporate roasts, training, and product development.
Concept Draw Mindmap is a powerful application for creating Mind Maps ® and diagrams, facilitating the capture, editing and presentation of ideas. The program offers a variety of features including a brainstorming function (a text based outliner) that creates diagrams from an outline. A large collection of symbol libraries is provided for a variety of applications as well as special symbols for annotating branches. Users can create custom symbol libraries, and a range of import/export formats are available for integration with office applications. Read more information...
Allows you to organise your thoughts using the metaphor of index cards on a bulletin board.An outline can then be produced.
"CreaPro", the Creative Problem Solver, is a general-purpose brainstorming program containing 10 Creativity techniques and 1 Intuitive Problem Solving technique. It can be used solo, in groups and by Virtual Brainstorming Teams. Created by Robert L.A. Trost.
This program is the software equivalent of the Creative Whack Pack Card deck. There are 64 cards altogether within the four categories of Explorer, Artist, Judge and Warrior. A problem is given to the program, and questions and cards are shown at random (whack-surfing) to stimulate the imagination.
The Apple version of the software is no longer available (but I still use my copy!). A cut-down version is available at the Creative Think web site.
At CompXpress, Inc., we have recently developed a new software product named Creator Studio. Creator Studio is a powerful computer aided Creative Thinking and Problem Solving software application. Creator Studio will be of immense benefit to businesses, professionals, inventors, product developers, organizations, students and some private individuals. Creator Studio has just been released and is now available for purchase from our company web site. Our web site provides a good introduction to Creator Studio. (23rd Jan 2002)
Decision Explorer is an ideas management program designed as an aid to cognitive mapping. It also has applications in many other areas including Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) and knowledge modelling (for expert systems). Because of its ease of use it is ideal for structuring essays and designing presentastion aids. Even though Decision Explorer won't tell you the answer it enables you to explore the intricasies of problems and challenging situations. The program comes complete with an instructional video.
Dramatica is a writer's assistant that helps you tell your story. Dramatica is intelligent. It asks you questions about your story, the characters and plot, and then helps you structure those elements to maximum effect.
A no-frills outliner that handles all the basic tasks but little else. DynoNotePad has a few neat features--phone-number dialing and the ability to record sounds directly into an outline entry, for example--but otherwise it's too utilitarian to justify its price.
The Genius Handbook Program is an efficient, organized way for you to utilize more than 60 powerful techniques for solving problems. The descriptions identify characteristics of problems where a technique might be applicable; information on how to apply the techniques; why they work (and possible problems in using them); and examples from several specific domains to aid in applying them.
Electronic meeting system useful for group brainstorming. Permits participants to enter suggestions simultaneously and anonymously.
The Grouputer is a new Meeting Room technology that transforms the way people meet, lifting the performance of your people and the organisation. It is designed for brainstorming, problem solving, team building, strategic planning and interactive learning.
This software structures the CPS process with idea generation aids and good documentation. You describe your plight with a problem statement. The program then provides seven routines to help you generate ideas. These include exploring analogies for youe situation, reversing your goals, etc. Has links to outliners and PIMS.
Turn your computer into a sophisticated brainstorming and problem solving partner. The result of 17 years of effort by more than 200 editors and researchers, IdeaFisher helps you quickly generate innovative ideas and solutions for the creative problems you face, including Marketing Strategies, Articles, Stories,Scripts, Advertising and Promotions, and generating names for things.
IDEGEN++ is a Computer Aided Creativity software program that catapults you to new heights of creative problem solving and innovative thinking.
Even though it's billed as a to-do list manager, this program has a great outliner that allows you to sort your information in different kinds of ways.I use version 4.0 of the product, but sadly, it is no longer marketed or supported.
InfoDepot from Chena Software is powerful outlining and project management software for today's Macintosh users, and soon for Windows users as well. InfoDepot allows you to build outline based tables and timelines, making it perfect for organizing and managing just about any project or work function. In addition, InfoDepot is multi-user and fully supports AppleScript.
An earlier version of the product was reviewed by MacWorld in 1994
The program uses the techniques of Random Word, Random Picture, SCAMPER, What's the Problem?, Random False Rule, Search & Reapply, Challenge Facts, Thesaurus, Word and Phrase Manipulation, Brainstorming, Escapism, Analogies, and Wishful Thinking. This is all incorporated within a problem solving structure which guides users through the different processes of solving problems to ensure that the right problem is answered and that all ideas are properly evaluated.
Inspiration is an idea development tool. Inspiration helps you brainstorm and diagram concepts, create flow charts, lay out parts of a project, create outlines, and much more. Inspiration helps you create and organise ideas in both graphic and outline forms. The diagram view helps you make free-form visuals, diagrams and fine presentation graphics with ease. Use the integrated outline view to expand your ideas into outlines and written documents.
Invention Machine is a knowledge base of generally applicable inventive principles discovered by Russian scientist G. Altshuller and his followers as a result of over 40-years study of patent collections in many engineering domains. Each principle (current version includes 126 principles) is illustrated by the best inventions that makes it easier to apply a specific principle to the user's problem.
MaxThink is a well-designed, cleverly implemented program. Its developer, Neil Larson is a forward-looking thinker who tries to stay one step ahead of current word processing technology.
MicMac is a feature rich, low cost tape recorder, designed by the inventor of Apple's electronic technical documentation system. MicMac is a tool for students, artists, for anyone (most of us) who can talk freely, but never gets that paper written that is needed to get A-grades, to qualify for that grant, or to become famous. It can be used to record brainstorming sessions or ideas while you are commuting.
The outlining component of Word, in my opinion, is a very powerful and flexible method of rapidly recording ideas, or for transferring information from a hand written mind map. The style associated with each level (Heading1, Heading2, etc) allow easy conversion to HTML with Microsoft's Internet Assistant for Word (Windows only), or for publication.
As well as having a powerful outlinining module, the thesaurus component of Word 5.1 for Macintosh is a useful tool for generating alternatives during the writing process.
Mindmapper allows the drawing of mind maps with textual content. The graphical components can be manipulated, the maps printed, and the content exported as either plain text or Rich Text Format (suitable for importing into a word-processor or outline package.
MindMan helps you to exploit the power of Mind Mapping for the daily usage of this creative technique. It becomes a very easy and fast way to create Mind Maps for many different purposes. With MindMan you can pay full attention to the text; all graphic features are automatically dealt with. You can always change the Mind Map very easily (e.g. via Drag&Drop). Print the Mind Map in the original graphical style or in different outline formats. Using the export features you can embed Mind Maps in other documents. The current version 2.0 for Windows is available in English, French and German.
"MoonLite" is a special-purpose brainstorming program that lets you generate ideas for "moonlighting" (making extra income in your spare time) and/or setting up or expanding your own business with virtually no investment. It can also generate moneymaking ideas automatically, using its AutoSuggest system.
A powerful outliner program
ParaMind is a program that cures writer's block and stress-causing delays due to lack of direction. ParaMind is available in Windows, Mac and UNIX/Linux versions.
ParaMind works differently than any other writer's helper on the market. ParaMind was built on the idea of getting every idea that can be expressed in language by "meaningfully exhausting the interactions of words."
ParaMind is specially created to help original thinkers, business people, technical specialists, and writers of all kinds. ParaMind is a serious brainstorming program that operates on the principle of generating new text from your text. It is totally configurable and can be used to logically expand any idea. It comes with a database of 450 related word chains, and you can add as many of your own as you like. You can paste in text from any Windows or Mac program into its editor to logically expand the text in infiniteways.
ParaMind copies any text you type or paste into its screen and systematically merges your text with new words. The words are all related, such as adjectives related to sight, or adverbs related to walking. In the text that you type or paste in, a word or two is selected where these new words will fit in, in the way that you want. The result is a new listing of your idea changed in several fascinating ways.
Take control of your time and your life with the ultimate organizer providing daily jokes, quotes, wisdom, ideas, learning & self-help. Includes digital diary, idea organizer, life planner, screen blanker and reminder system.
A program useful for writers of fiction.
The revolutionary interactive computer program created by professional writers for writers of novels, screenplays, short stories, plays and TV scripts.
Although the primary purpose of Powerpoint is to make presentations, it has an outlining component which translates into presentation slides which can be used in brainstorming sessions. The drawing tools in Powerpoint are also useful for sketching ideas, particularly in conjunctions with the outlining mode. An example of using a software package for a different purpose than probably inteneded by its designers.
Scriptware, is the best-selling word-processing program for scriptwriters (film, tv, theatre, video, etc.).
The July, 1996 issue of the Journal of the Writers Guild of America West said: "Scriptware is the best overall program for scriptwriters on the market today."
The web site includes downloadable demo software (Windows and DOS only - the Mac version is in development).
Serious Creativity is a Computer Based Training package from Six Hat Systems, based on the techniques of Dr Edward de Bono. Further details can be found at their web site or by sending email to David Greenwood
The "One Hour Problem Solver" is a Windows software implementation of the unique Dr. Min Basadur Simplex Creative Problem Solving Process that is used worldwide by high-performance organizations. The process works for individual or groups and is an ideal way to manage meetings. Simplex has a number of unique features fully implemented in software including:
The software was developed to provide:
Powerful problem solving and idea generating tool. Information from the author of the program, Dirk Verbeeck:
During the past two years I developed a creative thinking tool that is now being used in companies and high schools. From this tool I made a personal edition to be used on a PC. This must allow to everyone to think up new ideas or to solve problems of any kind.
This software is available as shareware and as a professional version.
StoryBuilder is a computer-aided design tool which helps you rapidly create outlines that can be turned into effective, saleable stories. The program lets you focus on each story element separately, which simplifies the outlining process.
StoryCraft Software is the award-winning software that guides writers through the entire process of writing a story using The Jarvis Method. And it's a great way to learn The Jarvis Method allowing you to write an unlimited number of stories with this software. The software is for fiction writers, especially for screenwriters and novelists, both novice and professional.
The Internet's first and only automated story-writing tool. Used by professional as well as wanna-be writers to create complete novels and screenplays based on classic structures. Widely used in high school, college, and continuing- education creative-writing courses. Also includes STORY AND MYTH: THE JOURNAL OF CLASSIC STORY WRITING.
SuperMemo may appear to be software for cramming, but it is a great tool for boosting creativity.
The Creativity Machine is designed to facilitate your creative production and consists of a number of tools including: Paradigm Shift (over 100 isometric forms which can be seen in at least two ways offering a way of gaining new perspectives), The Tao of Creativity, a data base of poems of Lao Tzu, translated into a modern creativity version, and ALPHA a way of entering into a creative state of consciousness by changing images and creating an altered state of consciousness.
A program used to model and share information on your computer in a manner similar to the human brain.
This program by Rosemary West is a shareware brainstorming program
The SOLUTION MACHINE program stimulates an action orientation and creative process using the power of the user's own personal imagery to create a new perspective. It also:
* Excites and stimulates participation by both groups and individuals.
* Is extremely time efficient, averaging 20 minutes per problem session.
* Is espcecially easy to learn and operate by even first-time computer users.
* Been tested in business, educational and home environments.
Thoughtline helps you write speeches, articles and reports. In essence what it does is to turn any statement you type into a question for firing back at you later, useful for breaking writer's block and to create a first draft.
Thoughtpathis a program for idea generation and problem solving based on Synectics methodologies. A library of creative thinking tools and techniques have been merged into an easy to use program.
TreePad is a program for organising information (text and images into hierarchies). This makes a very powerful environment for organising and creating new ideas.
Brain storming program designed to aid in problem solving. Turbo thought is designed to unlock the kind of processing powers in the human mind that are far beyond the capabilities of computers. By cultivating the free assocation process, Turbo Thought stimulates the initiative and creative faculties of the mind for problem solving.
A Mind-mapping program for recording ideas in a hierarchical,yet graphical outline. A shareware 'lite' version is available for evaluation.
Electronic meeting system useful for group brainstorming
Organisational tool for Windows which allows you to create a graphic outline [mind map] of related items radiating from a core item. This is excellent for creating To Do lists, project planning and many other uses. The program is based on the idea of grouping items associated with a common subject providing an information rich, concentrated store of information that is quick and easy to interpret.
Freeware Windows software to assist in evaluating ideas. Full details with screen shots are available on the Web page.
The Thesaurus component of WordPerfect 3.0 for Macintosh gives three columns of history allowing several pathes to be explored.
A really 'cool', easy to use word processor that is ideal for journalling and quickly recording your ideas on the computer.
Last updated: 20th April 2002