Open source Idea Management Software: The best thing you can do for innovation

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

In today’s fast-paced world, where innovation is key to success, managing new ideas can be a daunting task. They very easily get lost in the shuffle, miscommunicated, or even great ideas may be deferred for shifting priorities – never to see the light of day. Well, until your competitor releases it first.

Thankfully, technology has evolved to offer a solution in the form of open source idea management software. Ideation software is designed to help individuals and organizations manage their ideas efficiently and, in many cases, the tools can often be customized to fit specific needs.

Ideas are an essential element to a company’s ability to manage their innovation. Unfortunately, many of the idea management platforms out there do not support innovation and idea management in the same place that you are doing the work. Or they require you to create a way to track this in the system; often in a way that isn’t naturally intuitive or easy to do. The “best” tools leaving us in the land of needing SaaS for our SaaS.

Fortunately, though, there are idea capture tools that allow you to do both — manage your work & your ideas cohesively. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of using innovation management and the use of the top idea management software in the open source space.

Effective Time Management = Effective Idea Management

One of the biggest challenges people face with their innovative ideas is in managing their time effectively and this error in time management will trickle in to our ability to manage team and company innovations. Add in competing priorities, tasks, and goals… your ideas will naturally end up on the back burner.

This may even mean that the work suffers from “doing the same old thing.” A repeating cycle of bad habits and decisions that actually does allow your competition to get ahead. Organizations need innovation to be able to stay on top of the market and to remain competitive in their space. So… all these things are competing for your time. What do you do?

Manage your time to manage your ideas

The first thing you need to do is to find a way to manage your time more effectively. Whether you tend to procrastinate, struggle to get started, or are just overloaded in work — there will be changes you can make to improve the situation.

If you’re overloaded, begin to prioritize better. What is “do now” and what is “can wait for later?” If it doesn’t need your attention right away, then remember: “No.” is a complete sentence. Not ready for no? “Not now.” is equally acceptable.

If you procrastinate, we’re currently working on some solutions to solve for this here at Leantime. Using principles of change management, neuroscience and psychology to build out features to help us get motivated when we need to be motivated. If you’re interested in partnering with us on testing, be sure to reach out at

Planning your time as part of your idea management process

So if you’ve nailed time management then you’re ready for innovation management! No, not quite. Next is to plan and strategize your time in order to get the most and effective benefits out of doing so. This part is particularly important because the last thing you want to do is to sit in front of your work and then wonder, “What was I going to do again?”

Wait… what was I going to say?

Just kidding.

The elements of planning and the work of saying “No.” will often overlap and coincide.

Idea management should be part of project management

Ok, ok. Before you see the words “project management” and tune me out on this; hear me out for a second. Project management is done in 5 primary phases. These phases are:

  1. Project Conception
  2. Project Planning
  3. Project Execution
  4. Project Monitoring & Control
  5. Project Closure

Project conception will always start with an idea. Whether that idea turns into a goal or something else, it is always birthed by an idea and that second phase lends into the planning to get that idea off the ground or even the planning prep to get to stage three. Managing your ideas is how you get to the next great thing you’re working on.

Hang on. Do I need project management or idea management?

Well, it depends.

Largely on what tool you intend to use.

At this point, you’ll find that many of the tools in the work management space (whether project management or a innovation management solution) are segregating your ability to track your ideas with your work, don’t include them at all, or are not conducive to moving from start to finish on your ideas (or your projects). The reality here is that the project management lifecycle has a very different beginning than most tools offer.

If you’re looking at innovation management tools, you’ll find the first two phases of project management in many cases. If you’re looking at project management systems, you’ll find they support Project Execution and the final two phases only.

There is idea organization software, though, like Leantime that will allow you to take your ideas and turn them into the day to to day work — making it part of the full process of capturing ideas and implementing them.

Getting to Open source Innovation Management Software

You and your team have great ideas and should get to work on them – and you’ve worked hard improving your time management. Yet getting to work on the next great idea isn’t as easy as saying, “Time to work.” Instead, ideas need the right time, right resources (people & money) and need to be planned and handled with a good strategy.

Why use idea management software?

Idea management is of paramount importance for several compelling reasons. Without a systematic approach to capturing and nurturing ideas, organizations risk missing out on potentially groundbreaking concepts that could propel them forward. Idea management provides a structured framework to collect, evaluate, and prioritize ideas, ensuring that no great thought goes unnoticed.

Moreover, idea management fosters a culture of creativity and employee engagement. When individuals feel their ideas are valued and have a platform to contribute, they become more motivated and invested in the success of the organization. This, in turn, boosts morale, productivity, and overall team collaboration.

Idea management also facilitates continuous improvement. By encouraging ongoing ideation and feedback, companies can iterate on existing processes, products, and services, optimizing them to meet changing customer needs and market demands.

Effective idea management can also lead to cost savings and efficiency gains. By tapping into the collective intelligence of the workforce, businesses can identify innovative solutions to operational challenges, streamline workflows, and reduce waste.

Lastly, in an increasingly competitive landscape, idea management sets companies apart as forward-thinking and adaptable entities. Embracing innovation through idea management allows organizations to stay agile and relevant in the face of rapid technological advancements and evolving customer preferences.

Go for open source idea management software

Two open source idea management systems that are worth looking at include Leantime and OpenIdeal. These are two of the top idea management software solutions.

Leantime is an open source project management tool that was built by project & product managers who were looking for that full project life-cycle and in a way that is ADHD and non-project manager friendly. In order to do this, we’ve reconnected that idea, planning, and strategy to the execution and remaining two phases of project management. Plus, being an open source software, you can install Leantime on your own self-hosted servers or you can use our cloud hosted version. Albeit titled a project management tool, it is also an idea organization software.

OpenIdeal is an open source idea management software that you can schedule a demo for. While they don’t currently have any images on their website of their feature sets, they do showcase a list of the ways you can manage your ideas. They offer a blend of both components and page type views. It does not appear as if you can do both the work management side alongside the idea management here.

The benefits, though, of open source software is that, whether you use Leantime or a system like OpenIdeal, you have more flexibility of customizing the platform to your organization’s specific needs. Be sure to reach out to the project teams to see what their customization and support is like.

Good team centered innovation management…

requires being in the right mindset, with the right resources, and is supported by the right idea management tool. Benefits of using idea capture software to manage your ideas means that you’re 1. less likely to lose them in a sea of sticky notes and 2. gives you better visualization to prioritization.

Open source software in this space will also promote collaboration within the teams as your members can share their ideas with each other, prioritize, work together and refine them. In a tool like Leantime, you can even tie them to milestones and keep everyone on the same page as to what the purpose of the work and what they are working towards.

In addition to time management and prioritization, a good open source ideation management platform will also offer other benefits. For example, it can help users track their progress and monitor the status of their ideas. This can be useful in identifying areas where improvements can be made and ensuring that goals are being met. Seeing your idea make impact can also be validating to team members and promote more creative brainstorming.

In conclusion…

Overall, open source idea management software can be a powerful tool that can help individuals and organizations manage their ideas more efficiently. They can offer a range of features, including time management, prioritization, collaboration, and progress tracking. All of which can help users achieve their goals while building smarter. By cultivating a culture of idea-sharing and leveraging the right tools, organizations can harness the full potential of their workforce and thrive in an ever-changing world.

Gloria Folaron is the CEO and founder of Leantime. A Nurse first, she describes herself as an original non-project manager. Being diagnosed with ADHD later in life, she has hands on experience in navigating the world of project and product management and staying organized with ADHD.

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