The Brain7, formerly known as Personal Brain6, has one single purpose; to bring order and form to the otherwise muddled thoughts we create on a day to day basis in our personal and business lives. It does this using a “plex” view – a window – letting you create a graphical database of individual thoughts in a hierarchy that does not need to have the rigid structure of a database or project management application.
These thoughts can be linked to others forming a logical matrix and “thought flow” of ideas. Thoughts can be subordinate (“children”), contain their own subordinates or be a “jump” thought that is not linked directly as a subordinate thought, but a reference piece of information related to a thought. An example of a jump thought might be a phone number or someone’s address, for example.
Creating a linked thought type simply depends from where on the parent thought you choose to place the linking anchor point. Dragging a new thought from the bottom centre of a thought for example creates a child (subordinate) thought while dragging from the left centre creates a Jump thought. Dragging from the right centre creates a parent. Linking lines are curved or, if you wish, can be displayed as simple straight lines.
Once thoughts have been created, they can be moved around manually to form patterns and linked to other multiple thoughts. Further, each thought has the ability to store information in any of a wide variety of types inside it.
The Brain 7 uses a linkable system of ‘thoughts’ to organise its data structure.
Native to Brain7, data can be entered into a Notepad attached to each thought, multiple user and searchable defined tags created and applied and there is an inbuilt calendar that, while not linking to Microsoft Outlook, does link to Google Calendar, thus allowing “pass through” updating.
The Notepad is more than just a simple text editor, with text formatting supported including tables, fonts, colours, format painting and both numbered and bulleted lists.
Further adding to the power of the program is its ability to collate external data that might relate to a thought. Complete files from almost any application can be dragged into a thought and either simply linked to a thought, or actually embedded inside it. This means you might for example want to include an Excel spreadsheet, a Word document, email, audio or video file, image, webpage or link as a part of a thought. This system means that all references or assets that go to make up a project can be encapsulated in the one place.
Link lines too can have notes and attachments, and arrow heads can be added to show the direction of flow of a thought link.
To discover patterns in Brain7 files, searching is available to find trends and matches in such things as tags, notepad data, calendar entries and so on. Even documents embedded or linked to thoughts are searchable by the engine in Brain7. Searches are started as soon as keystrokes are entered and build in context as you continue typing. This makes the searching process very fast.
Once a Brain starts to grow, selecting a particular thought becomes the centre of the plex (main view) showing all the hierarchies above and below that thought. Using this process you can drill up or down inside the Brain at will. You can also instruct a Brain to collapse or expand different levels to show more or less of the hierarchy.
The latest version of Brain7 takes advantage of Cloud services with the option to install the application on up to four computers and keep them synchronised automatically.
You can add your own “skins” to a single Brain7 file to create your own look and feel and there are a number of templates on the Brain7 website you can download for such disciplines as Project Management, Client Management, Market Research, Human Resources, IT Management and Presentations and Meetings. The site also has a library of instructional videos showing how to get the most out of the application. Data inside a Brain can be exported into an outline for importation into Word or Excel.