Namesakes: information when you need it

4. Namesakes give you information exactly where you need it

Namesakes are any entries in a BrainStorm model with identical text. They are created automatically but you can disconnect them if you want to. They enable you to see when you've already entered or pasted something. They give you a way of leading people round your work. And they provide the same key information at all points in your model where you need it.

Namesakes allow all identical entries to share the same underlying entries. Here's an example:

Let's assume your model has top level entries for contacts, notes, and letters. Under contacts, you have entries for all of the people you know. Each entry has sub-entries for address, phone, etc. One such entry is for Bob Quincy. If you go into your letters entry and create a new entry for Bob Quincy, a namesake is automatically created and sub-entries for Bob's address, phone, etc. automatically appear. Later you may make a note with an entry for Bob Quincy and another namesake is created. Now if Bob should change his name or phone number, etc., a change in any one namesake is automatically reflected in all namesakes.

Namesakes are normally formed automatically, although the user can force their appearance by using 'wildcards'.

For example, you may remember part of a book title and author, but you know there's an entry and a bunch of descendants in the model somewhere.

Just type (for example) *Audubon* and, if it's there and you've spelt it right the matching entry might be "John James Audubon, Birds of America." In which case, this will replace the *Audubon* and the entry will become a namesake.

All the descendant information of "John James Audubon, Birds of America." now appears to be attached to this new namesake.

Namesakes give you a very neat way of 'hypertexting' your way around a model. For example, you may be sharing a model with someone else and you read their thoughts and decide to add some of your own.

To save them viewing the whole model and looking for your comments, you could just add a line after each comment that says "Joe 01/03/04". Make sure you put the same entry in the Title list as a start point and your colleague can start there and skip around all your entries using the right or left arrow keys. It is that simple.

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