Some time ago, I had noticed a technique to present and organize ideas whose name is Mind Mapping. I’m sure that specialist will say that I over-simplify things (an may want to add comments to complement this), but I got the feeling that it is merelyÂ a hierarchical organisation of ideas insisting on easy re-organisation (more a technique for managing ideas than a theory of idea organisation, but this is secondary).
For a long time, I kept the intent of verifying what tools could support such a promising approach and I recently found the opportunity to evaluate FreeMind, an Open Source Mind Mapping software for Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.
As a matter of fact, FreeMind behaves as well as could be expected for a small software application that must mix graphical and textual data, user-friendly interface (when you are trying to think straight about your important problem, you don’t want a klunky Man-Machine Interface to fight against you), and speed of execution. It is a real pleasure to entre ideas, modify them, re-organize them, browse them. What looks – at first – like a small application appears to be a very well-thought tool. A real success.
Then, it is up to you to decide whether or not the hierarchical organisation (or rather the spider-like or octopus-like organisation) fits your way of thinking, but I admit I was quickly won to the approach. The example I provide along this post may not be the best (the upcoming (?) availability of Windows Vista obviously infuenced my choice, I did not find the time or the mind to to do better and I could not decently present the mind map I worked upon at my job), but my feedback is very positive and I urge you to try it.
Side note: The wiki help web site is extensive and it also contains other examples and screenshots.