10. One large model or several smaller ones, your considerations...

Some people throw everything into a single huge model and use it as their 'thinking space'. Some will be fairly unstructured while others prefer to enter data in a fully organized structure. Where material needs to be in two places at once, the namesake function comes into play and lets you have the illusion of multiple copies of stuff sprinkled around but taking up hardly any storage space.

The advantage of this approach is that everything is on tap at all times. We know a television producer who has been doing this with various incarnations of BrainStorm since the early 80's. Every programme is a major project and he stores every relevant fact in BrainStorm.

He says, "these models now constitute a searchable database of each of my past projects, so the usefulness continues on well beyond the transmission of the programmes."

Merging Models

The powerful Merge command enables BrainStorm models to be merged in a variety of interesting and useful ways. In particular, namesakes can be recognised and integrated, or not. Colours can be preserved or not. It's up to you.

The Merge facility is useful in team work. Suppose a group of people, maybe separated by time or distance, want to collaborate on a project. The team leader could issue a BrainStorm model with the headings to be considered. By merging the contributions, the team leader will end up with the collected thoughts of the team all under the appropriate headings.

So, whether you opt for one model or several, a structured or unstructured approach, BrainStorm is flexible and will accommodate your work style. It becomes completely unobtrusive. After an hour or so, you forget you are working in a computer program --thoughts flow and your information is stored in a natural intuitive way.