14 Virtual Brainstorming Ideas & Activities for Work

By: | Updated: December 14, 2022

Here is our list of the best virtual brainstorming ideas & activities.

Virtual brainstorming ideas are activities used to generate ideas over a video conference session through Zoom or similar online platforms. Examples include star bursting, mind mapping, bad idea brainstorming, and forced connections. These activities aim to make the employees think outside the box and bring new ideas to the table, contributing to the growth of the business or company.

Online brainstorms are an example of a Zoom meeting idea and a way to build successful virtual teams. These sessions are possible through the use of online collaboration tools.

This list includes:

  • virtual brainstorming activities
  • virtual brainstorming games
  • virtual brainstorming meeting ideas
  • Zoom brainstorm ideas

Here we go!

List of virtual brainstorming ideas

Virtual brainstorming meeting ideas are great for remote workers and are just as practical as getting those creative juices flowing in the office. Here are some zoom brainstorming ideas you can use for your next meeting.

1. SWOT Analysis

SWOT means strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This framework allows a company to plan its projects strategically and assess all the internal factors, which include strengths and weaknesses, and the external factors, which include potential opportunities and threats.

Since this form of brainstorming is data-driven, it will allow you to look into your ideas with the proper planning based on the facts and identify your core strengths and weaknesses.

To brainstorm using this method, ask your team to list your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and assess your performance in the past, your competition, and future risks. Then, keeping these primary factors in mind, your team will be able to develop successful strategies that will help you effectively fulfill your main objective and gain a competitive advantage.

2. Star Bursting

Star bursting is one of the best virtual brainstorming games. For this activity, you will use an online whiteboard to draw a star with six points. Then, you will dedicate each point to the following words: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

These essential words guide when thinking of solutions or ideas to reach a goal. Once you have written the words, ask your team to come up with questions for each word. These questions must be related to the central problem. Once the team members have their questions ready, you can start reviewing them individually and discussing the answers.

The star bursting activity will give you a starting point for reaching your goals and allow every participant to understand the problem better.

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3. Thirty Circles

Thirty circles is a great virtual brainstorming activity to help you develop ideas quickly. For this technique, you can use any virtual brainstorming tool, such as Miro, to ask your team to draw thirty circles. You can ask teammates to perform this activity individually or in groups, depending on the number of participants.

The game includes providing the participants with the main object and then asking them to come up with thirty ideas related to the goal. Of course, not all thirty ideas will be excellent since the members might fall into a slump after the first few ideas. However, these ideas will still give you new perspectives to work on because every person thinks differently. Besides, you never know which idea might be the starting point of your next brainstorming session!

4. Lotus Blossom

For this activity, use an online whiteboard to write ideas and keep track of your brainstorming session. To begin, you will write your primary issue in the center of the whiteboard. Next, ask your team to think of eight ideas relating to the problem. These ideas should be words associated with the issue.

You will then ask the participants to think of eight more ideas for each of the eight words you wrote. You can divide players into teams for this if you prefer. Each team can discuss and develop eight terms associated with the one they have been assigned. You can continue this activity until you have a detailed view of the central problem.

You can take this session further by asking your team to vote on the best or most important idea and then using the winning word as a starting point for the next vote. When your team votes on one of the eight ideas associated with the previous word, then you can move on to the next one. Continue this step until you reach the root. Then, finally, you can start thinking of how you can put the idea to work.

This activity can help the employees generate new ideas while providing your team with a visual guide you can refer to anytime.

5. Exaggeration

This method will encourage teammates to think outside the box and devise creative solutions for the problem. To brainstorm, you will start by coming up with challenge statements that are highly exaggerated.

Here are some examples:

  • What if we had no choice but to launch our new product using the sources currently available only?
  • If we had only two weeks to put this plan to work, how exactly would we start?
  • Asking questions like these will open you to more opportunities, and you might even get some ideas that you can use later on!

This activity will also promote team building as your employees will use their critical thinking to develop the best possible solution.

6. Storyboarding

Storyboarding is a brainstorming technique used to organize and arrange ideas. This exercise gives you a visual representation of how you will carry out your project and the exact steps you need to take to make your ideas a reality.

You will start by generating the basic ideas. Then, to make the game more detailed, you can design a list of questions before the meeting begins. You can also use the start bursting technique here.

Once you have your questions, you can have your team answer the prompts. Make sure your questions are specific and will require the participants to dig deep into how to achieve particular goals.

Then, collect answers and sort them out on the storyboard. You will divide your storyboard into steps on how your project will come to life. Each of the questions you asked will correspond with one of those steps, and you can use a virtual whiteboard to categorize the answers.

Dividing the steps and categorizing the answers will help you in the future whenever you want to refer back to a particular action or further work on the ideas.

7. Sub-group Brainstorming

Sub-group brainstorming is one of the best Zoom brainstorm ideas for large teams that face difficulty with management and team building. In this game, you will divide the larger teams into subgroups. The best thing about sub-group brainstorming is that almost 50 members can participate at a time.

When the participants are on board, you will make groups of at least eight members each.

Once you have your groups, divide them into breakout rooms and give all of them a spreadsheet. This virtual spreadsheet will consist of questions regarding your project or goal. All groups will get the same set of questions to discuss in detail and answer in the same document. Once they have their answers, you will collect them and create a visual representation so everyone can see the ideas presented by the other groups.

You can share the results by using the online tool Miro, which allows you to easily copy and paste the spreadsheets’ contents into a mind map. You can use different colors to represent the answers of other groups.

After you finish your Miro whiteboard, share it with the employees and discuss each team’s results. If you spot multiple teams with similar ideas, then take suggestions on how to merge them into a better idea. Once you have your final list of ideas, you can vote on the best one and implement it.

8. Brain Writing

Collecting ideas from each employee would be inefficient and will take much time. You will make progress in putting your project into action, but it will take much longer unless you use better brainstorming techniques. Lucky for you, brainwriting might be what you need!

Brain writing allows each participant in the Zoom meeting to enhance and develop ideas of the rest of the team. You will start by asking your team your main question regarding your central issue. The team will then come up with their unique ideas. Each member can write their idea in an individual Google document or spreadsheet and share it with a different member. The next member will add suggestions to improve the concept. They will then share the document with the following member until it has circulated around the entire team.

You will then go through the ideas and use the suggestions and improvements to create the final idea for each document. Finally, you can share the final idea with the rest of the team, and they can then help you merge ideas or select the best one.

9. Reverse Brainstorming

Sometimes you and your team may need help developing new ideas. This issue may arise if the project is tricky, your team is burnt out, or you have exhausted all possible solutions. Reverse brainstorming is when you ask the participant to brainstorm bad ideas. These ideas will be ways of how can undermine your project or goal.

Here are some examples:

Brainstorming: How can we market our product launch effectively?
Reverse Brainstorming: How will our product launch marketing become a complete disaster?

Asking these questions will help you understand how things can go wrong, and you can brainstorm ideas on how to prevent these from happening.

10. Image-nation

Image-nation is an excellent idea for virtual brainstorming, but try not to use this technique immediately. Instead, wait until your team has already presented all their best ideas. You can then start looking for images related to the problem.

Next, add a one-line description relating the image to the issue. You will then send one image to each of your employees via direct message and ask them to come up with ideas based on the picture. Once all participants have sent you their replies, you can share and refine the ideas. The best way to refine ideas would be to group similar ideas and find a single image and description.

11. The Five Whys

As a leader, it should be your goal to kickstart the brainstorming session by presenting the problem. Your team must have a clear idea of the problem to develop the best solution. You can use this activity as a guide to making your brainstorming Zoom call session efficient and effective.

To start the session, you will present the problem to the participants and ask why you are facing these issues. The participants will take turns replying and listing their answers. You will then pick out the main reason and ask why this reason is the problem. Your team will again list the answers, and you will continue this activity. Finally, when you have asked and discussed the reasons five times, you should be able to work towards a solution.

This activity aims to help you dig into the root of the issue. Once you and your team are clear on the problem, you can get a direction on what ideas you need to brainstorm.

12. Forced Connections

This activity creates a challenge by pushing the participants to make associations between unrelated words. Ask the participants to brainstorm random words and think about how they can connect to the problem. If they cannot make a connection, then give folks a new word to work with. This step will help the employees see the problem in a new light and think of unique solutions.

For this activity, you will ask the participants to think of a successful person or organization before the meeting starts. The members will also have to remember why that person is successful. To make this activity work, you will use a virtual die to select or a different tool to choose the name of one of the famous people your team has presented.

You will also prepare a list of challenges. Once you have the name, ask the participants to review the challenges and think of how that successful person or organization will approach that challenge.

13. Brain Netting

In this activity, you will create a Google Doc and share it with your team. Then, you will allow access to the participants for a week and ask them to add their ideas. These ideas will be related to solving a problem or improving the infrastructure for better performance. You will also ask them to add suggestions for ideas mentioned by others.

At the end of the week, you will hold a Zoom meeting to discuss your progress. Next, the employees will choose which idea they would like to implement. This process will be followed by further stages, which include planning, determining alternatives, and execution.

This method will give the participants time to brainstorm, get inspired, and develop practical ideas.

14. Drawing The Problem

Drawing the problem is an excellent activity that gives you unique solutions. This activity allows you to observe how every team member sees the problem or objective.

For this activity, you will ask the employees to bring paper and markers meeting. You will present the participants with a challenge during the session and ask them to draw it. The members will draw depending on how they view the challenge. You will then share the drawings with the rest of the group and openly discuss the solutions.


Virtual brainstorming activities are just as efficient as those in the office. These games and activities are better for increasing productivity because they allow remote workers to chip in no matter where they are. Brainstorming activities and games are great for problem-solving, team building, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and strategically approaching your objectives. Without time and place as a problem, you can come up with unique ideas for your next project.

Next, check out these quotes on creativity and books on creativity.

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FAQ: Virtual brainstorming ideas

Here are answers to questions about virtual brainstorming ideas.

What are virtual brainstorming ideas?

Virtual brainstorming ideas are activities you can have over a Zoom call to generate new ideas and solutions for a problem. These activities will not drop productivity levels and are an excellent alternative for remote workers.

What are some good ideas for virtual brainstorming sessions?

Virtual Brainstorming sessions call for engaging activities where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. Here are some brainstorming meeting ideas that are fun and effective:

  • SWOT analysis
  • Brainwriting
  • Lotus blossom
  • Sub-group brainstorming
  • Reverse brainstorming
  • The five whys
  • Star bursting
  • Thirty circles

These activities can structure the idea-generating session and get your team’s creative juices flowing!

How do you brainstorm with remote teams?

Brainstorming with remote teams is simple with the help of virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Google Sheets, and Miro. These platforms have all the essential tools required to hold a successful brainstorming session. You can use whiteboards, create breakout rooms, share ideas with groups or individuals, and compile them easily.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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