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Getting My Own PersonalBrain March 24, 2007

Posted by cjescribano in information management.
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Following up on my Wikipedia search into personal knowledge management, I decided to find out what this PersonalBrain was all about. Googling the phrase PersonalBrain got me to www.thebrain.com where I learned that this tool was going to let me organize all my files, favorite Web sites, e-mails, and contacts in a way that is just how I think them. This I had to see! 

So, I downloaded the 30-day free trial and started playing with it. An hour later, I bought it. PersonalBrain is about the coolest tool I’ve ever used, and it more than lives up to its promises to “Free Your Mind,” “Think More Clearly,” “Work More Effectively,” and “Navigate More Easily.”  It really does organize things the way I think because I’m the one associating each “thought” with another. And I can create links to just about anything just by clicking and dragging to it.

The first thing I did was to start organizing all the research I’m doing in my areas of interest: mLearning, neuroscience, information management, Second Life, and social networking. Suddenly, all the various items I’d been collecting in my file folders, wikis, blogs, and favorites were neatly organized in one easy-to-navigate mind map. I could even link to relevant e-mails. And because the “stikkits” (virtual post-it notes for snagging information) I’ve been creating on www.stikkit.com are each individual Web pages, I can link directly to them as well.

This tool gives me an overall organizing construct that is as flexible as my thinking. And I build the structure as I go, both adding and weeding as needed.

Then, I realized that PersonalBrain could also help me keep up with all those personal goals that I diligently wrote down on January 1. Instead of trying to remember where I wrote them down, I now have them listed in a My Goals brain, and as I complete associated tasks or find resources, I can build out that brain and watch my goals being achieved.

I feel like I’ve taken a big step forward in better managing my information. Now I just have to make it a habit.

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