Friday, October 14, 2005

Free Your Mind ... The Rest Will Follow

I love brainstorming. Whether it is a story idea, or a set of programming features, brainstorming is my all time favorite activity. The best part about this activity is that you turn off the part of your mind that is cynical and open yourself to possibilities you would never consider in your daily existence.

The worst part about brainstorming is trying to figure out how you are going to capture your ideas in a way that makes sense when you look at it later. I have found the perfect tool to handle this data capture issue, FreeMind. FreeMind lets you store your ideas as a kind of directed graph. You can use it to group your thoughts under conceptual ideas. You can expand/contract the parts of the graph you are interested in seeing, enabling you to focus on the parts of your ideas you are presently working on. Another cool feature is the ability to encrypt nodes in your "MindMap" in order to protect them from prying eyes. All in all this is a very cool (and free) program that I find useful when I am in the planning phase of any new project. I hope you will agree.

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