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With so many different idea management software systems available, finding the right one for your organization is tough. You know you want software to help you organize and evaluate ideas and spur creative innovation, but you need to figure out which system is best. In this post, I'll help you make your choice easier by sharing my insights on the best idea management software to facilitate collaboration and help you turn abstract concepts into actionable plans.

What is Idea Management Software?

Idea management software, sometimes called innovation management software, is a digital product that allows you to collect, assess, develop, and implement ideas within your business. This software enables you to create a data-backed system of identifying great ideas to ensure you’re not wasting potential opportunities. It achieves this through key features like idea submission and collaboration tools, evaluation mechanisms, and data analytics & insights.

Using idea management software offers numerous benefits to idea-driven organizations, including enhanced teamwork and collaboration, an increased flow of innovative ideas, more efficient idea selection, better progress tracking, and improved decision-making.

Overviews of the 10 Best Idea Management Software

Here’s my assessment of the best idea management software you can use now, along with a detailed description and an explanation of why they made the list.

Best for managing employee ideas

  • Free plan available (for up to 10 users)
  • From $3/user/month (11 to 500 users)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

When it comes to innovation, some of the best ideas can be found within your internal team. Sideways 6 is an idea management platform designed to collect employee ideas using the tools they're already using, such as Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Workplace by Metas, and funnel them through a pipeline for execution.

Why I picked Sideways 6: I like the platform's ability to capture ideas from various sources, including online forms and email systems, which means that no valuable suggestions are overlooked, making it an inclusive solution for diverse teams. Additionally, Sideways 6 automates the categorization and progression of ideas, which streamlines the process and helps prioritize the most promising concepts quickly and efficiently​.

Furthermore, Sideways 6 provides a structured framework for idea management that spans from initial submission to final implementation. The platform's expert review and automated scoring features ensure that the best ideas are identified and nurtured, facilitating a focused approach to innovation.

Sideways 6 Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include idea campaigns for organizations to gather input on specific topics, an AI tool that automatically identifies and groups similar ideas, and detailed analytics and custom reporting tools that enable teams to measure the impact of their ideas, track progress, and make data-driven decisions.

Integrations include  Microsoft Teams, Workplace by Meta, Viva Engage, Interact Intranet, Yammer, and various email systems​.

Pros and cons


  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Integrates with popular workplace tools
  • Automated data collection


  • Most integrations only available on enterprise plan
  • Analytical features could be improved

Best for customer feedback collection

  • Free plan available
  • From $79/month

Canny is an idea management and project management software that enables you to collect ideas and feedback from your users. The solution’s design encourages your prospects and customers to vote on feature requests so you can gather valuable insights. 

Why I picked Canny: Even though most idea management software allows you to collect user feedback in one way or another, few do it as well as Canny. The platform makes your feedback collection process a real social experience, allowing users to upvote proposals, leave comments and reviews, and communicate with your team as well. 

Administrators can filter their views to spot new suggestions, ideas that are trending, or popular proposals. They can also move ideas directly to their roadmap and share release updates with community members. 

Canny Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include user segmentation, mind mapping, and the smart idea submission feature. The smart idea submission feature automatically recommends existing ideas when customers start typing so they can join the existing discussion rather than create duplicates. 

Integrations include project management tools and communication tools, such as ClickUp, Jira, Salesforce, Asana, GitHub, HubSpot, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Intercom, and Segment. The software also allows you to connect to more apps through Zapier.

Pros and cons


  • Analyze feedback using customer segments
  • Helps you capture ideas at scale
  • Automated feedback collection


  • User interface could be more intuitive
  • Lack of a global search function

Best for collaborative innovation

  • Free demo available
  • From $10/user/month (billed annually, min 500 users)
Visit Website
Rating: 5/5

Yambla is an idea and innovation management software designed to engage users and capture valuable insights, aiming to drive impactful innovation within organizations.

Why I picked Yambla: I chose Yambla as the idea management software after evaluating its comprehensive feature set that supports the entire innovation process. Its focus on engaging participants and capturing valuable ideas across different countries makes it distinct. I believe Yambla is best suited for collaborative innovation because it addresses various innovation challenges and is dedicated to idea management, which differentiates it from other tools in the market.

Yambla Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include Idea Management, which provides a structured approach for submitting and developing ideas within an organization. It also supports Continuous Improvement by encouraging team members to suggest incremental changes, and Innovation Challenges, which allow for targeted campaigns to solve specific problems.

Integrations include a variety of productivity and collaboration tools. Notable integrations include Microsoft Teams for communication, Microsoft SharePoint for document management, Google Workspace, and Miro for online collaborative whiteboarding. It also supports embedded submission widgets on websites to enable the collection of ideas from visitors.

Pros and cons


  • Facilitates idea sharing and innovation
  • Easy to implement and use
  • Affordable


  • Could benefit from best practice templates for customization
  • Analytics may be too limited for some users

Best for project planning

  • Free trial available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

IdeaScale is a web-based idea management software that enables you to plan your ideas. The solution allows you to attach research data to your plans, estimate their cost and value, and create proposals to turn them into reality. 

Why I picked IdeaScale: I included IdeaScale in my list because I enjoyed its project planning features. IdeaScale allows you to organize your ideas with Kanban boards, but it takes things further by enabling you and your team to attach cost and value estimates to each concept in order to spot the top contenders. 

You can add multimedia attachments and social links to your ideas to flesh them out, and you can invite internal or external collaborators to build on a concept or validate it. 

IdeaScale Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include custom approval workflows and community engagement. I like how easy IdeaScale makes it for users to create, submit, and share their ideas. Any number of users can build on the same concept. They can review it to provide feedback, add comments, and vote for their favorite, facilitating continuous improvement. 

Integrations include business intelligence and communication apps, such as Google Analytics, Power BI, Tableau, Trello, Jira, Azure Boards, Intercom, Slack, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Microsoft Teams.  

Pros and cons


  • Allows both public and anonymous interactions
  • Responsive technical support
  • Easy to set up and launch


  • Customizing your platform can seem clunky
  • You can’t use multiple reviewer groups for the same ideation phase

Best for pipeline management

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Brightidea is a cloud-based idea management system that allows you to manage your idea pipelines with automation. The software makes it easy to oversee your initiatives, allowing you to track and move them through the project pipeline based on specific rules.  

Why I picked Brightidea: I included Brightidea in my top 10 list because I’m a fan of their pipeline management features. With Brightidea, you don’t need to manually check every initiative – you can create specific admission requirements and use automation to move initiatives through the project pipeline. 

I also like the platform’s playbooks. Brightidea’s initiative playbooks can help you come up with new ways to engage your team and guide you through the process of motivating teammates to submit their ideas.  

Brightidea Standout Features and Integrations:

The biggest standout feature for Brightidea, in my opinion, is their innovation ROI tracking. Their dashboard enables you to see the financial impact of your ideas, allowing you to present your results to stakeholders and organization leaders. 

Integrations include project management and collaboration tools, such as Asana, Jira, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Airtable, Google Docs, Zendesk,, Unsplash, Power BI, and Vimeo. The software also offers a REST API and allows you to connect to more apps through Zapier. 

Pros and cons


  • Proactive support team
  • Pipeline management automation
  • Clean and intuitive UI


  • Inviting an outside jury could be easier
  • Advanced features have a steep learning curve

Best for mind mapping

  • 14-day free trial + free version available
  • From $39/month (10 users)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.9/5

Viima is an idea management platform that helps you create visual representations of your ideas. The platform helps you collect ideas, prioritize the best ones, and track your innovation process. 

Why I picked Viima: I’m a fan of Viima’s idea visualization features. The platform has a playful UI that encourages team members, users, and collaborators to submit their ideas. You can see in real-time which features are public favorites and you can organize them in different boards for increased visibility. The visual representations are ideal for mind mapping, as they help you create relational structures between different concepts that branch off of your main idea.  

Viima enables you to create your own idea approval processes. You can define an individual process for each idea, and you can assign ideas to specific team members and track them across their lifecycle.  

Viima Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include in-app collaboration, automated idea scoring, and analytics. I like how Viima helps you make your idea collection process collaborative. You and your teammates can add attachments to each idea, tag one another, rank the ideas, and receive notifications when someone changes an idea so you can jump in and work together in real-time.  

Integrations include project management tools, communication solutions, and social media platforms, such as Jira, Google Docs, Microsoft 365, Meta for Business, Twitter, LinkedIn, Okta, and Ping Identity. 

Pros and cons


  • Enables you to present your ideas in a unique way
  • Makes ideation a social activity
  • Exceptional visual effects


  • The statistics page could benefit from more filters
  • You can’t customize all the idea fields

Best for process automation

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Qmarkets is an idea management solution that helps you identify and manage your team’s ideas. The software enables you to automate most of the steps involved in the idea-generation process, allowing you to focus on generating engagement. 

Why I picked Qmarkets: Qmarkets made my list thanks to its automation features. The platform allows you to automate all recurring tasks, such as sending e-mail reminders, moving the idea from one phase to another, and following up with stakeholders. With Qmarkets, you can prepare multi-step ideation campaigns in advance and focus on generating engagement with your team.  

Qmarkets Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include multiple workspaces and custom workflows. Combined, these features enable you to create different innovation challenges for your organization’s teams or departments, allowing you to use specific methodologies for each challenge. 

Integrations include social media platforms, project management, and business intelligence tools, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Wrike, Asana,, Jira, Microsoft Project, Power BI, Tableau, and Oracle Netsuite. The software also offers a REST API and allows you to connect with other solutions through Zapier. 

Pros and cons


  • Advanced permissions control
  • Great branding and customization options
  • Helpful onboarding tutorials


  • UI can seem clunky on specific pages
  • Automating all recurring tasks can be time-consuming

Best for gamification

  • 14-day free trial + free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Ideawake is an idea management solution that helps you incentivize your team to submit their ideas with gamification. The software allows you to reward top participants through public recognition and cash or non-monetary prizes. 

Why I picked Ideawake: I selected Ideawake for my list because its gamification features encourage user participation. All participants can earn points by submitting or contributing to ideas, and they can access leaderboards to see how they compare with other users. 

Ideawake enables you to create custom scorecards based on your own criteria. You can allow your users to vote on ideas so you can identify in-demand features, and you can create time-based challenges to uncover ideas in determined time frames. 

Ideawake Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include real-time collaboration, mentions and notifications, and customizable submission forms. I also really enjoy Ideawake’s review groups feature. This feature enables you to create dedicated groups to assess an idea according to your custom criteria. 

Integrations include CRMs, collaboration, and social media software, such as Airtable, Trello, Asana,, Jira, Google Workplace, Box, Miro, Microsoft Teams, and LinkedIn. 

Pros and cons


  • Good variety of idea creation and competition templates
  • Rich library of educational materials
  • Proactive support team


  • Reporting could be more detailed
  • UI requires you to click multiple times to access a specific feature

Best for multi-device idea collection

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request

Idea Drop is an idea management platform that allows you to collect ideas on your favorite devices. The solution enables you to create public challenges on your communication channels, making it easy for your team and users to share and assess ideas. 

Why I picked Idea Drop: Idea Drop secured its position in my top 10 list thanks to its mobile-friendly build. The platform enables you to create challenges and share them on your communication channels, and allows your users and teammates to submit and vote on ideas directly from their mobile devices. 

Idea Drop adds external ideas directly to your feed, reducing your chances of missing them. The solution allows both public and anonymous submissions, so you get a wide variety of ideas and insights. 

Idea Drop Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include gamification, deadlines, rewards, and anonymous submissions. I also really like Idea Drop’s intelligent duplicate check feature. This feature flags similar ideas before submission, so your users can build on existing ideas rather than submitting duplicates. 

Integrations include communication apps, such as Slack, Yammer, Blissfully, and Microsoft Teams.  

Pros and cons


  • Can organize ideas based on category
  • Makes it easy for people to participate via your communication channels
  • Helpful mobile app


  • Being able to submit anonymous ideas can lead to low-quality requests
  • The platform could offer more administrative tools

Best for contributor recognition

  • Free demo available
  • From $2,499/month (unlimited users)

InnovationCast is an idea management tool that enables you to build a culture of innovation by rewarding your key contributors. The solution boosts contributor engagement, increasing your chances of collecting valuable ideas. 

Why I picked InnovationCast: I selected InnovationCast because I was impressed with its contributor recognition features. People want to be acknowledged for their hard work, and InnovationCast allows you to publicly show your recognition in the form of financial and non-financial rewards. 

The solution also helps you gamify the idea collection process. You can create custom user badges, each with its specific criteria so your users have something to strive towards.  

InnovationCast Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include idea planning, project tracking, and innovation radars that help you break down information silos. I like InnovationCast’s idea planning feature. It allows you to define tasks and milestones that would allow you to validate your concept, estimate the resources you’d need to take an idea to the finish line, and plan for potential bottlenecks. 

Integrations include common SSO configurations. InnovationCast also allows you to develop integrations through their REST API. 

Pros and cons


  • Good branding options
  • Gamification features increase engagement
  • Radar feature helps you create visual representations of customer insights


  • Can be expensive for small teams and early-age startups
  • Integrating the tool with other apps in your ecosystem can be difficult

The 10 Best Idea Management Software: Quick Comparison Chart

This comparison chart summarizes basic details about each of my top idea management software selections. You can view pricing details and the availability of free trials or demos side-by-side to help you find the best software for your budget and business needs.

Tools Price
Sideways 6 From $3/user/month (11 to 500 users)
Canny From $79/month
Yambla From $10/user/month (billed annually, min 500 users)
IdeaScale Pricing upon request
Brightidea Pricing upon request
Viima From $39/month (10 users)
Qmarkets Pricing upon request
Ideawake Pricing upon request
Idea Drop Pricing upon request
InnovationCast From $2,499/month (unlimited users)
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

Compare Software

Other Options

Here are some other software solutions I found interesting during my research. While they didn’t make it into my main list, you should definitely check them out:

Selection Criteria for Idea Management Software

Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best idea management software for this article:

Core Functionalities

Every tool I included in my review enables you to identify winning ideas so you can develop products and features your customers actually want to use. Other core functionalities include:

  • Idea collection: The solutions enable you to collect ideas from users, team members, and stakeholders. 
  • Idea evaluation: Not every idea that comes your way is going to be a good one, so the tools enable you to assess the idea’s potential and long-term impact. 

Key Features

While idea management platforms offer a variety of features, the following are crucial: 

  • Idea submission or capture: Your users and team members have to be able to mention their ideas so you can capture them or submit their ideas directly through dedicated forms. 
  • Idea evaluation: You should be able to assess and rank ideas based on pre-defined or custom criteria. 
  • Collaboration: Some ideas that have tremendous potential may be unusable in their initial form. Being able to collaborate with team members enables you to refine the ideas and show their real impact. 


The platforms I included in my review offer multiple features, but I only included solutions that enable you to gather ideas with ease. Being able to collect ideas from a variety of sources can be crucial in your innovation process. 

Software Integrations

I picked solutions that offer native integrations with other tools in your app ecosystem, such as communication tools, CRMs, and project management solutions. 

Pipeline Management 

Ideas are not valuable if they don’t lead to updates, or new features and products. And managing ideas through your pipeline without dedicated tools can be difficult, so I included tools that help you manage your ideas and move them through your ideation funnels. 


Your team might be full of ideas, but the ideas you collect from your users are often the most valuable. I selected tools that enable you to include your target audience in the idea selection process so you can understand what your target audience is looking for. 


While idea management solutions come at different prices, I included only tools that offer a good variety of features in my list so you can make the most out of your investment. 

People Also Ask

Want to learn more about idea management software? Here’s a list of answers to common questions about this topic:

How does idea management software work?

Idea management solutions create a central location for you to collect, assess, and refine ideas with your collaborators. They also provide the tools you need to accomplish all these tasks.

What are the three main elements of idea management?

The three main elements of idea management are:

  • Idea generation: In the forms of idea collection and/or brainstorming.
  • Idea assessment: Evaluating their potential impact, which may involve voting and collaboration.
  • Idea implementation: Taking your idea from concept to reality, which may involve prototyping or product development.

How can idea management software benefit my business?

Idea management software can help you identify in-demand features. By collecting feedback and ideas from your users and team members, you can see which feature or update requests align with your core values and long-term goals so you can improve your solution and create phygital experiences – experiences so good they transcend the digital space.

Other Core Software Reviews For CX Professionals

If you want to improve your product, here are some other reviews from CX Lead experts you might be interested in:

Final Thoughts 

Idea management software helps you develop a purpose-driven strategy for your organization. It enables you to listen to your customers and improve your product based on user demand, so you can enhance the customer experience you offer. 

As Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China, said: “Customer preferences are constantly evolving, while new technologies transform the way we interact. I have always believed that the companies that survive and prosper in dynamic, competitive markets are not necessarily the strongest or the smartest; they’re the ones that can respond quickly and adapt effectively to changing circumstances. 

[...] Another key part of our innovation culture is making sure that our decision-making is fast, while still of high quality. We have worked hard to reduce the layers of bureaucracy that can slow the process and the speed at which we respond to changing customer preferences. [...] Innovation is the lifeblood of our business—as it is or should be for every organization trying to be successful today.” 

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