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  • May 10, 2006
  • By Steve Barth Author and Consultant - Reflected Knowledge
  • News

Personal knowledge management

If you're looking for a way to access and organize files and ideas on your computer, you might look into PersonalBrain 3.0 from TheBrain Technologies.

PersonalBrain works very well for brainstorming, although it really excels at discovering and visualizing the fundamental interconnectedness of complex networks. A brain can have up to 1 million thoughts. Relationships start out hierarchical, but any thought can have multiple dependencies in parent, child and lateral links. In other words, different paths will take you to the same thought, depending on context. That is much closer to the way people really think.

Items can be created rapidly in PersonalBrain, by typing, dragging, spidering or importing—linking to files, sites, Outlook items or even applications. Both thoughts and links can be assigned to types or categories.

The newest version, renamed TheBrain Desktop Edition, has emerged in beta form. It represents a significant cross-platform re-engineering of the original concept. The new version automatically presents a real-time "brain" view of an existing hard disk or server, making it an alternate interface to the whole file structure—allowing multiple paths to be added, but retaining the right-click functionality of Windows Explorer. Any new thoughts automatically create new files or folders, and the links can be read as HTML pages even without the application. Among other enhancements, Desktop Edition can display extended views, with many more branches visible, for a bird's eye view.

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