One of the tools that I've looked at off and on over the years is TheBrain by The Brain Technologies. Tonight, I had a fascinating conversation with CTO and Co-Founder, Harlan Hugh and Shelley Hayduk (VP Mktg & Sales). We discussed the genesis for TheBrain and how Harlan came to design the brain 15 years ago, based on the associative thought process of the brain. For those of you into mind mapping, TheBrain is not your traditional mind-mapping/diagramming tool - at least not in the sense of the Buzan model or MindJet's MindManager.
I see TheBrain more as a tool for visualizing nonlinear associative knowledge links in real-time. Knowledge taxonomies can be built and shared and tools can be used to crawl through existing knowledgebases to display the results in a map. At least, that's my current take, based on my current understanding.
One of the topics we discussed is the idea of using TheBrain as a system for David Allen's Getting Things Done methodology. According to Harlan, many GTDers have told him that they use TheBrain as their organizing and information management tool. I'm not sure this [the organizing part] would work for my own work-style, but I certainly see the benefit of using TheBrain as a real-time dashboard for my existing eProductivity knowledgebases. (Here's a link to an interesting thread on TheBrain on David Allen's blog last year.) If you're actively using TheBrain, either as a tool for GTD or as Personal Knowledge Management system, I would like to hear about your implementation.
I'm still trying to wrap my brain around all of this (OK, pun intended) and I know that I have much to learn. As I do, I'll post my thoughts here. I'm heading back to the conference tomorrow. Perhaps I can get Harlan or Shelley to join me for an eProductivity podcast on knowledge visualization.