Friday, May 21, 2004

The Brain

Had a thoroughly engaging dinner last night with Ross, Jerry Michalski, and Peter Kollock. Peter asked Jerry for a demo of Personal Brain, a personal mind mapping kind of product that is quite interesting. (Jerry advises TheBrain Technologies Corporation, the company behind The Brain.)

I had heard about the product before, but never seen it or used it, and after watching Jerry navigate through his thoughts (he’s been using the product for the past 7 years) it was pretty wild. (For a far more elegant recap of Jerry’s Brain, see Jeremy Wagstaff’s article in last month’s Wall Street Journal.) Needless to say, I’ve downloaded a copy and am going to start playing with it.

Any Brain users out there? Anyone care to share comments, feedback, tips & tricks?


  1. Rick, I made this comment several years ago after about a month playing with The Brain. (I paraphrase from recollection.)

    The Brain organizes its items in "thoughts". It would seem to be most useful for those who don't have many thoughts and whose thoughts are not very deep.

  2. Rick, I've written up a few thoughts about the differences between brainstorming in The Brain and in a wiki here:

    In summary, I like using it as a tool on airplanes for freeform thinking, but other better connected tools have mostly replaced it for me while I'm on land.

  3. I read Ed. He has a good point. My look at The Brain had been from the perspective of using it as a more or less permanent repository of information. I like the DIA/DIM concept - some items can serve as a tool for disposable information management.