How many ways can your brain organize your life? Based on how the human race is doing, not enough. Adding to the effort to organize your brain is a personal brain app for Mac users.
Think of what happens when Dorothy’s Scarecrow meets Obi Wan Kenobi. The result is PersonalBrain, a free Mac app that gives your notes, and links, and files, and stuff, some visual clarity.
Trust The Force, Mac User
PersonalBrain is a collection of Mac apps that can help you end Mac clutter, help you to think more clearly, work more effectively (ostensibly because you know where your stuff is), and navigate said stuff more efficiently.
Easier said than done, right? Check.
Most of us manage our digital stuff the old fashioned way. Long lists. Lots of folders. We add things to the list. We dump stuff into folders.
When those folders get full or ominously confusing, we create more folders and dump stuff into those. Is it any wonder that even with wonderfully creative and freedom inspiring digital devices from Apple that we’re still a confused species?
We are. Well, my husband more so than me.
PersonalBrain Mind Mapping
Mind mapping is all the rage in the digital age. Honestly, there are people who think my mind can be mapped; that all the stuff I keep in there can be dropped onto my Mac’s screen making it easier to index, easier to find, easier to use.
They just don’t know the limits of a modern day Mac. PersonalBrain starts with a free version that helps track all those pieces of digital and genetic human information—lists, files, links, thoughts, notes, folders, and attempts—in a visual way—to make some organizational sense out of them.
The free version gets you started in visually saving stuff and delves into associative linking. Add as many Thoughts (notes) and Links as you want. Create notes with checkboxes (sounds sorta 1999 to me).
Cough up some money and PersonalBrain Core adds file attachment functions for documents (including spreadsheets). Quickly link Types and properties. Create zoomable Thought icons (even a Force-like personal brain assistant comes with eye candy) and merge brains (presumably for half-wits).
The Pro version does even more, including spellcheck, saving of custom reports, multi-page printing, thought events and calendar reminders, and even multiple attachments per Thought.
I jest a bit, but I’ve tried many dozens of Mac apps to organize my brain and soul, and the secret to any personal information manager is rather simple. Discipline. Whether you’re totally linear and need list management, check boxes, and folders, or whether you’re a free form visual right brain type, none of these aids work well without personal discipline to make the tool useful to you.
I find it telling that the first question in the PersonalBrain FAQ is How do I buy PersonalBrain? Really? That’s the most frequently asked question? No one is asking, “How does this work?” At least this app can be tried before you buy.