Idea Boards for Work: What They are and How to Make and Use Them

Idea boards are gathering places for ideas from teams, departments and any other collaborative units. The ideas can be anything from visuals, models, concepts and many others. Idea boards are then used to keep track of the ideas for all to see and engage with. 

Traditionally, they were whiteboards or blackboards but they have evolved to include glass walls, computer screens, papers and, most recently, digital whiteboards. With these idea boards, you can gather solutions, concepts, directions, product names and many other ideas.

Making an idea board requires having a specific goal in mind, designating a scribe, inviting team members to contribute, providing feedback and evaluating the ideas. Your team can make decisions based on the gathered ideas from that point onwards. 

What is an idea board?

An idea board is a gathering place for ideas for a team at work. it’s used to collect and visualize ideas, concepts, models and visuals among others. the focus of an idea board is to include everyone in the ideation process since it can act as a way to educate them and even get better ideas out the team. 

Idea boards can be in any of the following forms:

  • Blackboards
  • Glass walls
  • Paper
  • Whiteboards
  • Computer screens – shared screens
  • Digital whiteboards

It all depends on which form is the most convenient one at a given time. The digital ones, however, have an advantage over the other forms. 

When are idea boards used?

Idea boards are used when a team is gathering and brainstorming on:

  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Artistic directions
  • Improving existing products
  • Ideas for events and parties
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Generating names for products
  • Advertising concepts and ideas
  • Sprint retrospectives 
  • Project postmortems
  • Generating random ideas

As long as there are specific targets for the idea board, it always helps the team better understand what’s going on and how best to tackle the issue. The level of freedom in the ideation process gives the team the ability to combine many different ways of thinking to find a solution or advance and idea. 

How to make an idea board 

The steps to making an effective and efficient idea board are as follows:

1. Set a specific goal for the team

Every great did starts with a solid plan. Your idea board should be based on everyone knowing what it is you are going to discuss. If you’re the one organizing the session, always make everyone understand exactly what you are going to discuss and the aim of the discussion. 

2. Choose on a scribe

The work of the scribe is to write the main ideas and points of interest for the whole team. The scribe is then given the ability to organize the ideas into categories as deemed fit by the whole team. 

One way to make this role more effective is to give everyone in the team the ability to add to the idea board. This way, everyone on the team can make contributions that they completely understand. Introverted members of the team are also given a chance to contribute better with this method. They can be handed a set of sticky notes for this purpose. 

3. Allow all members to add their ideas to the idea board

If you’re all in the same location, members can then start adding their respective sticky notes to the sticky note. if you’re apart, they can add their cards and sticky notes on the digital idea board. Whatever method you choose to add the ideas on the board, always have a regulator ensuring that everyone understands them and is on the same page. 

4. Provide feedback on the session

As the members add their ideas to the board, always provide feedback to each idea so that everyone on the team understands and approves of the idea before it’s adopted. As a moderator of the whole process, one should focus on encouraging everyone to share their ideas and the others to provide open and genuine feedback. 

5. Assess the ideas

Once the brainstorming session is over, everyone on the team is encouraged to assess the ideas picking the ones that are urgent, doable and relevant. The other ideas can be put into other categories or simply deleted if they’re not relevant or needed at that time. You then choose as a team what to do with the chosen ideas. 

Digital Idea Boards: Benefits of digital idea boards

Digital idea boards are pieces of software on your computer that replace physical idea boards. They’re better than physical ones due to the following benefits:

1. They update in real time

With digital idea boards, the idea sharing process is done in real time whether the team members are next to you or half the world away. You can thus save on the time it takes to go to a physical idea board to stick on your idea and just update it with a few clicks on your computer and everyone will see it. 

2. Simple to use

You can easily organize and arrange ideas with digital idea boards without wasting too much time. Easily switch or add categories, delete irrelevant ideas and other actions without spending too much time doing it. 

2. Aids in broadcasting success

With idea boards, you can easily outline how successful an idea has been since its implementation. This helps in employee recognition and award schemes for the firm. Also, the rest of the firm can learn of what works and what doesn’t. 

3. Easy to read and communicate

Unlike physical idea boards which require each member to write their ideas in their handwriting, the digital ones have a standard font for everyone to use. As such, you won’t have to suffer poor handwriting from some members of the team. 

4. Help measure the effect of one’s ideas

With digital idea boards, you can showcase the progress of your ideas overtime with ease. You can add statistics, diagrams and other concepts to show how your ideas will improve the firm reducing costs for example. This can be done when you’re first floating an idea or when discussing its progress. This way, the idea will receive solid support for better execution. 

5. Easy to share

Unlike physical idea boards which require someone to take a picture of it then send it to the relevant parties, digital ones can be shared with a few clicks on the computer. Members can also be sent a link to join into the ideation process with ease. 

6. Encourages action

Most digital idea boards have timely alerts notifying people of when their tasks are due and what time they have left to finish the task. These alerts are also used to notify users of new ideas being fronted by the members of the team. This is a good way to keep everyone in the same page and make quick work of the tasks at hand. 

7. Easily accessible 

Digital idea boards are stored in the cloud and can still be emailed as images, pictures, documents and in other formats where they’re available to everyone in need of them. Once the team has agreed on the method of execution, they no longer have the authority to edit the board and won’t affect it any further. 

8. Encourage cross-functional collaboration 

Physical idea boards require the participants to be present for the session to be effective. On the other hand, digital ones only require the participants to have computers in whatever location they are at. As such, participants from other departments can also take part without being limited as the case is with physical boards. 

9. Easy to turn ideas into action

With some tools, you can easily turn some ideas into diagrams, concepts and others without much effort on your end. And his way, the ideas agreed upon become actionable tasks in no time. 

You thus have no reason not to adopt these great tool for your workplace. They’re cheap yet faster than physical idea boards. 


  • How do you use an idea board?

An idea board is used by stating specific goals for a certain meeting then the ideas are gathered in the board by the team members. The best ideas are then chosen upon and executed. 

  • How do I make an idea board online?

You can either use a template or create an idea board from dedicated software. 

  • What do you put in a notice board?

Notice boards are for communicating ideas to the rest of the firm or specific groups or people. They can be announcements, deadlines and many others. 

  • How do you make a bulletin board for work?

You start by choosing a theme then select a color palette, make a supply list, buy missing items, arrange the items, add the wrapping paper, attach the border, add words and pictures, and complete the board. 

  • What is another name for a vision board?

A vision board is also called a dream board. 

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