What Is an Ideas Board? (Plus How To Use One in the Workplace)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Posting your ideas in a dedicated space can inspire your plans and goals. Idea boards in the workplace can also encourage collaboration between team members. Discovering the varied uses for this professional and personal tool can help you organize your thoughts and input from others through a visual medium. In this article, we explain the purpose and uses of an idea board in the workplace and personal creative pursuits.

What is an ideas board?

An ideas board is a physical or digital tool used to hold and display thoughts and goals. Idea boards can provide inspiration and motivation for professionals in a variety of fields. They also function as a space for individual motivation. Idea boards give you the opportunity to organize thoughts related to a specific topic. You can use an idea board for personal goal setting and inspiration or publicly for collaborative planning.

Idea boards can include the following items that represent ideas and motivation:

  • Suggestions for future projects

  • Plans

  • Project timelines

  • Creative outlines

  • Feedback and critique

  • Images

  • Fabric or paint samples

  • Drawings and sketches

  • Storyboards

  • Reflective questions

  • Data analysis

  • Responses to specific questions

  • Solutions to specified problems

  • Project outcomes

  • Goals and objectives

  • Maps

  • Events

  • Rewards and incentives

Related: 31 Motivational Bulletin Board Ideas for Work

What are the benefits of using an idea board?

Idea boards offer an outlet for creativity and visionary planning. Here are some of the key benefits of using idea boards:

  • Visualization of ideas: One of the biggest advantages of using an idea board is how it provides a visual space for plans. Placing an idea board in a space you can view often can help you organize and track thoughts.

  • Varied content: You can use an idea board to share various items, including pictures, quotes and outlines. Whatever written or visual information is relevant to your thoughts can be posted to a digital or physical version.

  • Shared ideas: Both virtual and physical boards can provide a space for collaborative ideas. This can be helpful during and after staff meetings, especially through virtual boards that you can update at any time from a digital device.

  • Record of thoughts: Idea boards offer a unique way to store plans, goals and concepts you can use at a later date. They also offer a dedicated place to record your ideas to help you remember important details.

  • Customized boards: You can personalize any board with the words and images that suit your objectives, adding and removing items as needed. Repurpose a board depending on your changing workflows or dedicate specific boards to particular topics.

  • Equal opportunities: When used in the workplace, idea boards give all staff members the chance to give input regardless of their position in the company. This gives everyone an equal voice in shaping ideas that lead company initiatives.

Related: 22 Methods for Creating Ideas in the Workplace

When is it helpful to use an idea board?

Idea boards make useful tools for sharing information and creating a visual representation of thoughts. Here are some ways idea boards help individuals and groups share concepts:

  • Creative planning: Visual artists, writers, filmmakers and other creative professionals can use idea boards to highlight story ideas and artistic inspiration for their work.

  • Group projects: Collaborative idea boards allow group project members to contribute ideas whenever they find inspiration.

  • Project management: Project managers use virtual or physical idea boards to map out important timelines.

  • Brainstorming sessions: Idea boards can be ideal for generating and posting lots of ideas in one location.

  • Marketing and advertising campaigns: Marketing professionals use idea boards to track leads and other metrics to compare different campaigns.

  • Design projects: Idea boards can help professionals involved in design visualize spaces, color choices and room layouts.

  • Educational tools: Teachers can set up idea boards where students post reflections on course content.

  • Feedback collections: Idea boards can offer a space to gather staff reflections on meeting content, collaborative projects or company initiatives.

Related: How To Be More Creative: Why It's Important and Steps To Boost Creativity

How to make an idea board for the workplace

Using an idea board in the workplace creates opportunities for all team members to share their thoughts. It also helps organize feedback from collaborative sessions. Used as a digital tool or physical space like a whiteboard, an idea board provides an easy way to facilitate creative input. Follow these steps to set up an idea board for your workplace:

1. Designate your method

Determine if a digital or physical board fits your needs. If you work with virtual teams, an online idea board may be the best option to share content in one location. Personal idea boards can add interest to an office or studio space, serving as a visual reminder of your inspirations.

2. Start your board

Once you know which method you want to use, start creating your board. Companies offering digital boards typically let users sign up for a free version or upgrade to a paid board with additional options for customization and sharing. It may be helpful to designate a particular staff member to manage the board.

3. Post ideas or upload content

After you set up your board, you can begin to add content to your space. Virtual boards give you the option to post digital note cards or upload visuals. Introduce the idea board and outline your purpose for using this tool during a meeting or through office communication. Include guidance on how employees can share their ideas and what types of items to post. Include a deadline for idea boards pertaining to a timely topic.

4. Organize your ideas

Set up your idea boards with designated sections for specific idea paths. Create columns to separate topics. Virtual boards offer a variety of tools to customize your posts. Arrange these sections before a collaborative idea session or set them up based on staff input.

5. Share ideas

Post your board in a common area or send out a link to a virtual board to give access to all contributors. Encourage participants to use the board frequently to check for others' input and add their own. Some virtual tools send out alerts whenever someone adds an idea to your board.

Related: 9 Types of Collaboration You Can Use in the Workplace

6. Preserve ideas

Virtual idea boards allow you to save content for digital files. Unlike physical boards, you can save and download a specific idea board and refer to it in the future. If you're using multiple boards at once, consider saving and deleting old projects to remove clutter from digital accounts. To save a physical board, take a picture and store the photo digitally.

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