Brainstorming usually involves hours of mind-numbing conversations with colleagues, scribbling notes on small pieces of paper, and transcribing those notes at a later date. As an alternative, try the latest revision of Inspiration Software’s great tool for organising, outlining and planning ideas in a visual format. It’s compatible with both Windows and Macintosh computers. After a trouble-free installation on a Windows XP-based system, the program opened into a diagram view with one symbol already visible; ready to begin.
Concepts and information can be captured quickly using the toolbar at the top of the window. Relationships between ideas can be highlighted with the Link tool, and graphics, symbols or URLs can be linked to indicate special ideas or meanings. To complement the information in the document, audio can be linked to any symbol, whether it is on-the-fly recording or a pre-existing audio file (see here for a screenshot).
A formatting toolbar and symbol palette (with 1300 different symbols) identifies key aspects of the ideas with categorised colours or shapes. When jotting down ideas quickly, correct spelling sometimes gets ignored — no need to worry, as Inspiration has a built-in spell check.
Inspiration 7 is a flexible and powerful visual tool, which would be suited to an education or corporate environment. A special ‘Kidspiration’ version is available for grades K-5.
In brief: Inspiration Software Inspiration 7
A great visual tool that is extremely user-friendly and has the potential to ease much brainstorming pain.
Phone: (02) 9975 2799
URL: www.conexus.com.au; www.inspiration.com