It's stormy in Portland… well, brainstormy anyway: Planet Argon and Opal take different approaches to getting us thinking

Portland is a town of creatives. And creatives do a lot of thinking. So it should come as no surprise that there are a couple of Portland startups focused on helping people do a better job of thinking. And brainstorming.

Brainstormr from Planet Argon

Brainstormr is designed to help folks kick off powerful brainstorms from a very simple interface.

An effective brainstorm starts with a good question, collects lots of ideas—even crazy ones—and holds back critical analysis. Ask your question, share the URL & watch the ideas flow.

The service is offered as both a Web app—which is free—and as an iOS app which will run you $2.99.

Got a small team or group of friends looking to share ideas? Brainstormr is a great solution. And you’ll all be forming and storming on ideas in a matter of moments.

Brainstorms from Opal

Need a little more to manage your brainstorms? Well, if you’re looking to manage a variety of interrelated ideas and/or managing larger brainstorming teams, Opal Brainstorms may be more your speed.

Opal Brainstorms radically amplifies the innovation potential of your organization. Unlock insight sharing across geographies, business units and specialties. Surface new ideas, solve problems, tackle ignored opportunities. Watch your team discover just how good they can be.

Opal Brainstorms starts at $100 per month, which provides access for 10 users. But you can try it for free for 15 days.

Working with a bunch of people? Opal Brainstorms does a ton of heavy lifting right out of the box, helping inspire teams to creatively attack issues and opportunities. And it does it all with a beautiful UI.

(Image courtesy Danielle Henry. Used under Creative Commons.)