This is a capsule review of a few tools for mapping information that I am using at the moment. They are:
PersonalBrain is a tool for visually organizing information into a network of related thoughts. Thoughts have a title and optionally either text or can attach to a web page. From within the plex you can see all the thoughts that are related to the current thought and navigate the links between them. Much like Ted Nelson's original concept for hyperlinking, thoughts in PersonalBrain are linked bi-directionally and support the concept of sibling relationships as well as parent/child.
PersonalBrain has good searching capability and an innovative interface but like all information management tools it begins to break down a little once the number of thoughts and links grows large. Whilst this can be managed, PersonalBrain provides few tools to assist with this and requires a pro-active housekeeping style. I would like to see this area of the product improved.
Also lacking is what I consider a key feature to enable creation of new pathways through information and that is, associative linking, the ability to of the software to dynamically create links between related thoughts based on keywords and attributes. This is a Wiki like quality that I think would add greatly to the power of this software.
MindManager is a tool for creating and working with Buzan MindMaps ® Again this is a powerful visual way of relating information. MindManager is aimed more at the professional worker and recent versions are adding collaborative abilities. Although untrained I have found MindMaps are, with a little thought, easy to get started with. However I think the power of a simple uncluttered map is not necessarily an easy thing to achieve.
There is the ability to link maps together and to export maps to powerpoint as a presentation. I haven't really had much use for either of these yet but they could be powerful features.<%myNote( "Axon is another information manager/mapper that I'm hoping to try out soon", "yellow", "right" )%>
Q: Does anyone have any other Brain Tools that they want to share?