Idea manager

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Idea manager can mean several things:

In the context of general idea production and management

An Idea manager is a tool that allows you to write down ideas, to find them again, to organized them and to display some sort of structure.

“[..] it should be easy to quickly take down a sketch of your idea and to make sure you will find this idea again later - even if you don't exactly know yet how this new idea relates to your other ideas.” (IdeaManager, retrieved 11:08, 11 May 2007 (MEST))

In the context of innovation (organizational learning, etc.)

Idea manager is a tool for the management of ideas in an organization.

“Idea management is the practice of gathering and evaluating ideas in a structured fashion, with a goal of selecting the best ideas with the greatest bottom-line potential for implementation.” (Idea ManagementResource Center, retrieved 11:08, 11 May 2007 (MEST)) See also: knowledge management

Typology of idea management tools

Let's be clear: To manage ideas you don't necessarily specialized idea management software. E.g. Daniel K. Schneider uses this wiki to manage his. Therefore, also consider any sort of cognitive tool.

Here is a provisional list


other than listed in more special articles only (none tested, no endorsement. In addition categorization below is bad !)


Through the web editing

  • Exhibit (from the [1]/Haystack project) is a lightweight structured data publishing framework that lets you create web pages with support for sorting, filtering, and rich visualizations by writing only HTML and optionally some CSS and Javascript code.

Web server based idea authoring

  • KnowledgeRoot s a knowledge base system that lets you structure your content in a tree. It integrates FCKeditor to make adding content easy. Knowledgeroot use PHP and MySQL or PostgreSQL (can be included into the WOS WAMP server.

Off-line idea authoring tools

Cheap Commercial
  • Web Idea Tree (WIT). Outline your ideas in a tree, add content (text, images or links), choose a style template, and let WIT create HTML pages. (25 Euro).
  • VoodooPad (MacOsX) is a garden for your thoughts ....
  • Ideabox (Php/MysQL, basic version is free).

Tools for organizations

(commercial, high price usually)


Research & Development
  • Haystack Project.The M.I.T. Haystack Project is investigating approaches designed to let people manage their information in ways that make the most sense to them.
  • See also the related [2] who created a number of interesting and free tools, e.g. Exhibit (see above) and Timeline.


  • Vandenbosch Betty; Argun Saatcioglu and Sharon Fay (2006). Idea Management: A Systemic View, Journal of Management Studies, 43:2. PDF (Access restricted).