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User stories which include the Plan/Control themes


Thierry Lalinne - analyst-programmer, webmaster and network administrator

I am an analyst-programmer, webmaster and network administrator in a small insurance company in Brussels, Belgium.

I find BrainStorm invaluable to - make various to-do lists - log the time spent in several projects - store, manage and rearrange ideas and notes - store information copied from web pages while surfing - help crystallize my thoughts while I am writing or studying - summarize and restructure long and complex documents - study new computer technologies.

Thierry Lalinne

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Vic Neshyba - general contractor

I am a general contractor in the business of rehabilitating older homes and/or building new homes for affordable rent/sale to low-income families. This is more of a ministry than a business as I minimize the profit factor. I am also a retired Officer of U.S. Marines in which capacity I first began using BrainStorm many years ago.

I find BrainStorm really good for several things but primarily four:

First is listing and tracking every area of interest that I am involved in (and there are several) complete with all the goals, deadlines, tasks to be done and related contacts ... sort of a 'Life's Plan' as it encompasses my work, family, social, educational and spiritual aspects. The result is increased productivity and is evidenced by many comments over the years from folks who ask how I manage to be so involved and to get so much done. Basically I take the time to plan my work, then I work the plan ... making adjustments as I go. They are even more impressed that I take time for myself and family regularly ... e.g. weekend camping every month.

The second is outlining articles/papers that I write, newsletters that I publish and renovation projects that I undertake.

The third is in planning events ... large family reunions, church gatherings, business events, etc. Basically BrainStorm facilitates my keeping track of a myriad of details.

The fourth is in the area of teaching ... BrainStorm helps significantly in laying out the structure of various courses and the development of readings, handouts, papers and student progress ... where each dovetails into and leads to reaching the objective of the course.

In the Marines, I began using BrainStorm in its older versions (CP/M and DOS) in similar ways. The current Windows version is so much easier.

Vic Neshyba

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Robert Smith - IT manager

I am an I.T. Manager at Almac Conveyor Co. Ltd. in Ontario, Canada.

We have been using BrainStorm as our I.T. Knowledgebase for several years now.

Troubleshooting Solutions and software configurations are posted as they are created, categorized by Software Application.

We then publish this to our intranet web page, which employees must refer to BEFORE calling the I.T. department, effectively reducing I.T. calls by 50%.

Robert Smith
IT Manager

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Anonymous - management consultant

I am a management consultant and I use Brainstorm for tracking the various requests of others upon me and the results I have obtained. It tracks my progress for all to see.

I also use it for alpha / beta software evaluation when working with programmers. They can see what problems I have discovered as I work through their projects. It significantly reduces the time on the phone trying to describe a problem and its location within their software models.

Brainstorm also allows me to track the progress of others and can also be very useful tool for uncovering incompetence and decreasing procrastination. Besides being useful for almost any project, it saves me time and increases my productivity.

Signed, Happy Canadian User

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Mike Elliston - retired civil engineer

I am a retired civil engineer with interests in local history of the East End of London, printing and the graphic arts, and elderly computers.

I get roped in to write or edit monographs and small books on topics in the above fields.

I find it very useful at a meeting or discussion group to throw ideas into BrainStorm as they come from those present on what they want in a booklet and thus attempt to structure a contents list for them while they are talking about it.

When they realize they are not sure whether they want to present topics in alphabetical or categorical or some other order it certainly concentrates the mind. BrainStorm helps to show links between topics and how they can be presented from various points of view.

I find that people who want to prepare a book on a subject such as a particular model of printing machine are so close to the subject that often they cannot see that the prospective reader may not be so familiar with the subject as they are. Presentation of a Contents List with its topics and sub-topics (in a similar fashion to the directory structure on a hard disc) can often help to show where the gaps and the assumptions are being made.

Mike E

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Anonymous - retired quality manager

In brief:

I am a retired quality manager who gives informal, voluntary, management consultancy help to interested parties in the public sector.

I find BrainStorm really good for organizing thoughts and structuring documents.

In full:

I may have mentioned before that I am a 78-year old "wrinklie" who is fully retired from paid employment but,on a voluntary and informal basis,I do try to assist people (principally in the local NHS) who need help on management issues. Hence my continued interest in tools like BrainStorm and Inspiration which I find particularly helpful.

Often attempts are made to write a Strategy Document without first creating a logical structure for it - which it makes it hard to write and even harder for uninitiated readers to understand!

There is also a need to collect and structure "random" pieces of inter-related information into a coherent whole. But I'm telling you how to suck eggs!!

Nevertheless,if you haven't done so already it might be worth offering a few templates like "Document your Strategy with BrainStorm!" or "Pull your thoughts together with BrainStorm!"

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David Nash - retired teacher/administrator

I am a retired teacher/administrator. I constantly used BrainStorm in my professional DOS and early windows days and always have it to hand now for planning - anything from detailed preparation for holidays and for the perhaps more serious work of creative thinking and writing. I have also on my disk Inspiration and MindGenius (Ygnius) but find myself time after time using BrainStorm for its immediacy, simplicity and effectiveness in all aspects of getting ideas down as fast as they flow then ordering them into basic structures from which my writing is kick-started. The new developments sound practical and extremely useful.

May I thank you for continuing to tend, improve and elaborate BrainStorm so faithfully right back from the early 90s and for your generous policy as regarding updates and providing me with the single most valued application I have.

Every success in the future.

David Nash

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Peter Ceresole - Television producer

I have used BrainStorm for something like seventeen years now through CP/M, DOS and, now, Windows. Although I own a Toshiba laptop, I use Macintosh machines by preference and I run BrainStorm under a Windows emulator.

For me it is the perfect freeform database. I keep information about all the films I have produced, the people and locations, phone numbers ... you name it, I throw it into BrainStorm. Apart from the sheer pleasure of roaming through my archives (I'm retired now) I can still lay my hands on pieces of information at a moment's notice.

The namesake links are an enormous help when I type in something that's already there - a name or a location for example - and all the information I collected first time around is still there, in context, exactly as I thought it at the time.

If you are running BrainStorm, you can download a model I created for a programme on the European television business by clicking here. I blanked out telephone numbers and some names for obvious reasons. If you are not running BrainStorm and don't mind waiting for a 272K page to arrive, you can view it here as a "3-D" HTML model.


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Anonymous - university lecturer

I use BrainStorm in very many different ways - here are a few:

(a) I plan lectures by using the headings and then place materials in subheadings etc. I find BrainStorm very flexible unlike Outliners etc. I find it useful to be able to concentrate on a detailed section of the work and then zoom back to the "Big Picture".

(b) I use multiple files to relate the parts of the lecture programme with my research. I keep outlines of my research on BrainStorm.

(c) I also use BrainStorm as a general index (at home). I simply have a large file with each main heading being A-Z and then equivalent subheadings(as in indexing) and then keep all the useful/useless information e.g. name and address of electricians, vets, where to buy concert tickets etc in this one file. It would be possible to do this, of course, on a well organized database, but the BrainStorm programme is excellent because my mind is not as tidy as a database. It is brilliant because if I ever think - I've lost that information - I haven't, its in BrainStorm.

I keep that file resident in the "background" whenever I am working on the computer at home.

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