Brainstorming Ideas, Mapping and Modeling Software, Creative Thinking Software, Visual Thinking Software

Brainstorming Ideas, Mapping and Modeling Software, Creative Thinking Software, Visual Thinking Software

Brainstorming Ideas, Mapping and Modeling Software, Creative Thinking Software, Visual Thinking Software


Up ] VC Tutorial 3 ]


The most popular shapes are already entered on the shapes toolbar ready for use and you can adapt these shapes as you wish. Right click on a shape and you can unlock the Size in the dialogue box. Now you can manipulate the shape by means of the active points at mid point of its sides. Re-lock your shape when you are satisfied with it.

To erase all you need is the eraser tool from the right toolbar and click on the object to be removed. The undo function enables you to go back a step if you delete something accidentally – more serious deletions may be retrievable by going to the saved version of the model. Incidentally titles and background text can only be deleted if the Re-size function is switched on.

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You can write whatever you like in objects given only the constraint of text size in relation to object size. However there are some skills of composition which will contribute to the quality of your final outcome. This is something that comes with practice like any other kind of writing. Some simple guidelines will help;

It is a good idea to avoid being too brief. One-worders provide a convenient code at the time but will tend to lose their meaning when associated with other ideas. It is better to ensure you have made a complete statement. E.g. where you may have written "no overtime" , when you ask yourself to be more specific, you might find you actually want to say "Good planning ensures work gets done in the time available". At the same time you cannot say too much. Just capture the whole of your idea in precise language.

You should also avoid using relative statements – more of, greater than etc. Again be as precise as possible even stating exact amounts. E.g. "I will spend at least 24 hours per week with my children" instead of "more time off". In cases where the idea requires amplification there is provision for entering copious notes - but more of that later.

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There may be occasions when you want to say more than can be written in a single hexagon or you may want to add notes to remind you what you had in mind. If you are writing a report or article, you may want to write a paragraph or two that illustrate the idea your shape is refering to. When you first click left on the object to write text into it there is, in the dialogue box, an option for Notes. When you select this you have a pad on which you can write extensive notes in normal word-processing mode. Alternatively, click right on the shape and you get a dialogue box in which you will see the Notes folder. This enables you to model your ideas without obscuring your thoughts with details.

On the Model drop down menu there is an option to Show note mark. When this option is taken an icon like an open book is displayed in any object which contains notes. When you print out your model in text mode your notes will appear as sub-paragraphs to your object title.

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Put the cursor on one of the hexagon shapes in the right toolbar and click the left button. You will have armed the cursor with that shape and as you click left on the whiteboard space you will create objects. To disarm the cursor click on the arrow shape at the top of the toolbar. Now if you click and hold on an object the cursor changes to a hand and you will find you can move the object wherever you want, dopping it by releasing your finger.

So far your objects have no content, so to make them represent ideas you need to enter text. Double click on an object and a window opens. Type in your thought about a topic and Return. The text now appears in your shape – you have created a thought object! Notice now, that when the cursor is over an object, a text line appears in the bottom toolbar – for an empty hexagon it simply tells you it is a hexagon object. If you have entered text you can read your text here even when the original shape is too small to allow you to read it on the whiteboard.

Enter a few more thoughts on your chosen topic – indeed write thoughts until you exhaust the topic and you generate sufficient material to work with. Now try arranging your thought objects in relation to each other in a way that makes sense to you. You may find that some thoughts are very closely related and others are more remote. It is likely that when you are done you have a number of clusters of thoughts and one or two isolated ideas.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 09 September 2003.