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User stories which include the Write/Document themes


Michael Williams - academic

I am an academic and I find BrainStorm really good for preliminary drafts of academic research papers.


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Kenneth S. Rhee - academic

I'm an academic who uses Brainstorm to keep track of my new ideas, and/or generate drafts of research papers from those ideas. I also write quite a bit of new PDA gadget reviews, and I also use Brainstorm to write my first draft of reviews or articles.


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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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Dareen A. Bridge - archivist and historian

As archivist and historian to the Rough Collie, one of this country's oldest and most popular recognized breeds, Brain Storm is invaluable for storing research notes, as well as article planning, and outline writing. It is also the best means I have found of storing extended canine genealogy charts, and cataloguing archive material. One of its most useful features being the ability to turn BrainStorm models into HTML so enabling me to exchange research material quickly and easily with other breed archivists scattered around the world.

If you need the above elaborated further, just ask, but do not want to deluge you with a lot of unnecessary material. However it has to be said that BrainStorm, along with LocoPro are my bread and butter software packages, ones that I could never do without.

Dareen A. Bridge

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Nigel Hall - Freelance writer

I am a freelance writer. I specialize in writing articles and white papers for companies selling computer software and hardware to Fortune 1000 customers.

I find BrainStorm to be an invaluable tool, and I use it constantly throughout the writing process. During the research phase of a project I cut-and-paste information from web pages, PDF documents, word processor files, and email into a BrainStorm database. This gives me a single source for all of the data I need when drafting an article. I then sift through this pool of data to draft an outline - the ability to have 2 views of the same BrainStorm document open at the same time makes this task a breeze.

When I begin to write I continually refer back to BrainStorm for quotes and clarification. It serves as my authoritative source of input for a paper or article. I recommend BrainStorm wholeheartedly to any creative professional needing help organizing their thoughts.

Nigel Hall
Freelance Writer

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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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Jimmy McLachan - Industrial Automation Software Engineer

I am a Self-employed Industrial Automation Software Engineer, that is to say I write programmes for Programmable Logic Controllers,(PLC's), and SCADA systems among other things.

I find Brain Storm particularly useful for documenting the logic used in these programmes. Whilst using Word in Outline mode is somewhat similar, the additional Search facilities and having the ability to produce an HTML document of the programme is a real bonus.

Jimmy McLachlan

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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 - Journalist

My work involves masses of research, very little of which ends up getting used. The Internet is a major source of information as well as my experience - I have worked in the computer industry for over 35 years.

Whenever I am about to write an article I rough out the main scope that I plan to cover in BrainStorm - five to ten entries is usually enough. Then I go off in search of material. Every time I find something relevant on the web, I either copy and paste it straight into BrainStorm or I get the print version of the document up and then do it.

Frankly, BrainStorm is pretty good at weeding out spurious characters. Copy and paste straight from the web page is pretty good. The Smart paste command is especially useful in this respect. [Magic paste is even better - Ed]

I don't read the stuff online, I just hoover likely looking stuff. It keeps me on track and I can always take a peek at my original structure if I start wallowing.

Sometimes I then use BrainStorm's 'throw' short cut (ctrl/t) to take my amassed information and attach it to its relevant entry in the original list.

All of this activity takes place in a single BrainStorm model. All the information is on tap all the time. And if I ever wonder where a certain reference is, I can always search for it.

The process of reading through the amassed material and highlighting relevant paragraphs is often enough to enable me to write the article. I generally find that I intersperse the material with remarks of my own - in double brackets so that I realize that I made the remarks if I ever re-use the material.

I often turn my back on BrainStorm having gone through this gathering, thinking and categorizing process and just start writing in my word processor. The process of using BrainStorm is enough to enable me to write a good, deep article with little recourse to the original material.

When it's written I then read through it and remember quotes, figures and other interesting information from the original material. A quick search within BrainStorm and the material is found and popped into the finished article.

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Michael Gowlett - management trainer

I am a management trainer, semi-retired, still doing occasional work for past clients. I find BrainStorm useful for:

- organizing thoughts on new topics

- logically listing info for meetings, lesson plans, etc.

- forming initial structure for writing, (I don't always follow the structure developed but this isn't a disadvantage)

Michael Gowlett

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Kristin Levine - occupational therapist

I am an occupational therapist with a doctorate in clinical psychology, and I work with teens and young adults with learning disabilities, high functioning autistic spectrum disorders, and emotional disorders. Many of my clients find computers easier to relate to than people, and most are able to focus more easily when attending to a computer screen. So I use technology extensively in my work and play.

BrainStorm is very useful for helping my clients organize their thoughts, complete writing assignments, and store information in a visually appealing manner.

Kristin Levine, Psy.D., OT/L
Technologies for Learning & Creativity

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Gwen Harlow - presenter and writer

I use BrainStorm for a number of different things. I sometimes have to give presentations, so I use it to help me to sort out my main message, and then fit in all the information I want to present, in a logical way.

Sometimes I have to write a report on an event I have been to, and BrainStorm can help with that. Especially if it has been an event lasting for more than one day.

I also write fiction as a hobby. Sometimes I just write and it all falls into place (don't ask how!), but other times, the ideas come thick and fast and I just want to get them down somewhere. BrainStorm can help to sort out all the ideas and see where they should belong.

Gwen Harlow

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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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Ira Bern Hansen - student

I am a student and I find BrainStorm really good for a lot of different purposes. Whatever task I`m doing on my computer.

BrainStorm is always close to my thoughts when they change direction. It might be a writing task, a sudden idea needing to be followed up later, an old track that needs a new input. This is not a program you buy and store away. This is a program for frequent use.

I. B. H. Norway

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Caitriona Reed - teacher and writer

I am a teacher and writer and I find BrainStorm invaluable in organizing ideas for writing and planning for classes and workshops.

Caitriona Reed

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Mike Loughlin - Retired technical writer

I am a retired technical writer from Hewlett-Packard.

I find BrainStorm ideal for catching the comments, ideas, and other bits and pieces of interesting stuff that flies by during a day. I write the bi-monthly newsletter for our Homeowners Association and make web sites for visual artists. Just a key word or two jotted down and I have enough to record the idea and my comments later into BrainStorm.


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