Business meetings dominate the lives of American business professionals today. About 37% of work hours is spent in business meetings, says the National Statistics Council. According to the study “Meetings in America” by Verizon, one of the largest broadband and telecoms company in the world, the average busy business professional attends over 60 meetings monthly.
In general, business professionals in the US find most of their meetings to be productive. Most business meetings center on sales, updates and information-sharing, strategy development, and brainstorming. But while an overwhelming majority of employees, roughly 92% of them, perceive business meetings as “an opportunity to contribute”, some just can’t help but daydream (more than 90% of employees) or worse, snoozes (40%) during meetings.
Natalie Peace, contributor to Forbes, said in an article that “traditional brainstorming sessions are rarely the best way” to generate innovative ideas. But does that mean that we should forget all about brainstorming? Most definitely not. But aside from having a strong leadership facilitating brainstorming meetings, you should make idea contribution mandatory for your employees. And it follows that you should give them ample time to think and share their ideas. This way, you can also keep their minds from wandering off!
Here are some apps that can start and keep those light bulbs alight:
- Creative Whack Pack
Creative Whack Pack for iOS mobile devices is available at the iTunes store for $1.99. A mobile version of the creative thinking expert Roger von Oech’s Creative Whack Pack card deck, this app provides you deck cards with illustrations of creative strategies that can help encourage brainstorming and “whack” out usual business ideas from your head.
IdeaDeck for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch comes in two versions: a basic version that can be downloaded for free and its premium version which can cost you $9.99. IdeaDeck brings to life sticky notes or Post-its, a staple in business meetings for the purpose of brainstorming, right at your gadget’s screen. And like paper Post-its, you can do just about anything on IdeaDeck.
SimpleMind+ works on most devices running on iOS and Android OS; and can be availed of for free or at $4.99 to $6.99 for its premium version. It is a mobile brainstorming app that allows you to create, edit, and finalize mind maps using your Smartphone or tablet PC. Most experts say that mind mapping is an effective technique for generating and remembering just about any idea. You can also sync SimpleMind+ with other mobile devices and even your desktop PC so that you can have access to your mind maps anytime, anywhere.
MindMeister comes as a freeware for iOS and Android OS gadgets and a premium version that costs $4.99 to $14.99 monthly as well. It is a mobile brainstorming and mind mapping app that allows you to generate ideas on the go. MindMeister allows you to create, edit, and view mind maps even in a location without an Internet connection. You can also export your mind maps and share access with others straight from your mobile device or through email.
Unstuck is free for downloading at the iTunes App Store. Among iTunes’ best apps of 2012, Unstuck is a mobile brainstorming and decision-making app that moves you forward to careful planning and taking actions. It provides you with the tools that come in handy every time you need to “unstick” yourself from whatever problem you have—may it be about work or your personal life.