You are on page 1of 99

Companion to Version 2.0 of PersonalBrain.

Posted September 17, 2001

©
2001. TheBrain Technologies Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

TheBrain, PersonalBrain, Brain, Thoughts, and Work The Way You Think are trademarks or registered trademarks of TheBrain
Technologies Corporation. Other trademarks or service marks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents
List of Figures.............................................................................................................. vi
1 Introduction............................................................................................................. 1
Thoughts are Information .................................................................................... 1
Dynamic Graphical Interface ............................................................................... 1
2 Setup........................................................................................................................ 2
System Requirements ......................................................................................... 2
Quick Start Instructions ....................................................................................... 2
Installing PersonalBrain....................................................................................... 2
From a CD-ROM ........................................................................................... 2
From the Web ............................................................................................... 3
Purchasing PersonalBrain ................................................................................... 3
Getting Help ........................................................................................................ 3
Online Resources.......................................................................................... 3
E-mail Technical Support .............................................................................. 3
3 Getting Started ........................................................................................................ 4
What You See On-Screen ................................................................................... 4
The Auto Hide Button .......................................................................................... 5
Icons and Tools............................................................................................. 6
What Are Thoughts? ........................................................................................... 8
The Active Thought ....................................................................................... 8
Thought Relationships................................................................................... 8
Gates ............................................................................................................ 9
Touring Through Lou’s Brain ............................................................................. 10
Creating a Child Thought .................................................................................. 12
Creating a Child from a Child....................................................................... 13
Creating Thought Content ........................................................................... 14
Opening Thought Content ................................................................................. 15
Creating a Thought and Attaching an Existing File ............................................ 15
Drag a File to Create a Thought .................................................................. 15
Drag a File to an Existing Thought .............................................................. 15
Drag a Folder to Create Multiple Thoughts .................................................. 16
Icons ........................................................................................................... 17
More Dragging Methods .............................................................................. 17
Attach a Shortcut to a Thought .................................................................... 17
Attach a Web Page to a Thought................................................................. 17
Using Jump Thoughts ....................................................................................... 19
Using a Thought to Open an Application ........................................................... 19

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 i
Table of Contents

From the Desktop........................................................................................ 19
From the Start Menu ................................................................................... 20
4 Establishing Relationships Between Thoughts.................................................. 21
Families of Thoughts ......................................................................................... 23
5 Navigating Your Brain .......................................................................................... 25
Pins................................................................................................................... 26
Creating Pins............................................................................................... 26
Deleting Pins ............................................................................................... 27
Using Pins to Link Thoughts........................................................................ 27
Open Content Without Activating....................................................................... 27
The Past Thought List ....................................................................................... 27
Using the Past Thought List to Link Thoughts ............................................. 28
The Search Tool................................................................................................ 28
Keyboard Navigation ......................................................................................... 28
6 Expanding Your Brain .......................................................................................... 29
The Brain Menu................................................................................................. 29
The Thought Menu ............................................................................................ 30
Naming Thoughts.............................................................................................. 30
Renaming Thoughts.......................................................................................... 31
Creating Thoughts............................................................................................. 31
Using the Auto Hide Button with Drag and Drop.......................................... 31
Creating Several Thoughts at Once............................................................. 32
Using Notes to Expand Your Brain .................................................................... 32
Linking Existing Thoughts ................................................................................. 32
Link to Thoughts Visible in the Plex ............................................................. 32
Link to Thoughts Not Visible in the Plex ...................................................... 32
Link by Dragging to a Pin ............................................................................ 33
Link by Dragging to the Past Thought List ................................................... 33
Link by Naming ........................................................................................... 34
Saving Thoughts ............................................................................................... 34
Do Not Use “Save As” with PersonalBrain................................................... 34
Printing Files ..................................................................................................... 35
7 Editing Your Brain ................................................................................................ 36
Setting the Home Thought................................................................................. 36
Changing the Relationship Between Thoughts .................................................. 36
Unlinking Thoughts ........................................................................................... 37
Forgetting and Remembering Thoughts ............................................................ 37
Forgetting a Thought ................................................................................... 38
Activating a Forgotten Thought.................................................................... 38

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 ii
Table of Contents

Displaying Forgotten Thoughts.................................................................... 38
Remembering a Thought............................................................................. 39
Deleting Thoughts and Files.............................................................................. 39
Deleting Thoughts ....................................................................................... 39
Deleting a File or Web Page Attached to a Thought .................................... 40
Undo/Redo........................................................................................................ 40
Moving Thoughts and Files ............................................................................... 40
Moving Thoughts......................................................................................... 40
Moving Files ................................................................................................ 41
Copying Thoughts and Files.............................................................................. 41
Moving and Copying Brains............................................................................... 41
Importing and Merging Brains ........................................................................... 42
Renaming Brains............................................................................................... 42
8 Maintaining Your Brain......................................................................................... 43
Compacting Your Brain ..................................................................................... 43
Backing Up Your Brain ...................................................................................... 43
9 Tools ...................................................................................................................... 44
Notes Tool......................................................................................................... 45
Importing Web Images from Netscape ........................................................ 45
Adding More Content to a Thought.............................................................. 46
Using the Notes Word Processor ................................................................ 46
Notes File Menu .......................................................................................... 46
Notes Edit Menu.......................................................................................... 48
Properties Tool.................................................................................................. 50
Name .......................................................................................................... 50
File .............................................................................................................. 50
Details ......................................................................................................... 50
Keywords .................................................................................................... 50
Private Thoughts ......................................................................................... 50
Created ....................................................................................................... 51
Modified ...................................................................................................... 51
Active .......................................................................................................... 51
Select Content............................................................................................. 51
Attach Graphic ............................................................................................ 51
Search Tool....................................................................................................... 51
Find ............................................................................................................. 52
Copy............................................................................................................ 54
History Tool....................................................................................................... 54
10 Customizing PersonalBrain ................................................................................. 55
The Window Menu ............................................................................................ 55

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 iii
Table of Contents

Auto Hide (for Docked Windows)................................................................. 55
Always On Top (for Floating Windows)........................................................ 56
Displaying Your PersonalBrain Windows..................................................... 56
Resizing Your Brain........................................................................................... 56
PersonalBrain Window ................................................................................ 56
The Plex Window and the Tools Window .................................................... 57
The Options Menu............................................................................................. 57
Undo/Redo .................................................................................................. 58
Search Web ................................................................................................ 58
Refresh Virtual Thoughts............................................................................. 58
Wander ....................................................................................................... 58
Import Folders ............................................................................................. 58
Forgotten Thoughts ..................................................................................... 59
Hide Links ................................................................................................... 60
Display Properties ....................................................................................... 60
Preferences....................................................................................................... 64
Animation Tab ............................................................................................. 65
Sizing Tab ................................................................................................... 66
InstantBrains ..................................................................................................... 67
Installing an InstantBrain ............................................................................. 67
Removing InstantBrain Wallpaper ............................................................... 68
Removing an InstantBrain ........................................................................... 68
11 PersonalBrain and the Internet ............................................................................ 69
Searching the Web............................................................................................ 69
Creating Thoughts and Attaching Web Pages ................................................... 70
Attaching a Web Page to an Existing Thought................................................... 70
Working with Thoughts Containing E-mail ......................................................... 70
Creating Thoughts Containing E-mail Messages ......................................... 70
Creating Thoughts Containing E-mail Attachments ..................................... 71
Spidering a Web Page................................................................................. 71
12 PersonalBrain and Your Applications ................................................................. 73
Juggling Several Thoughts at Once................................................................... 73
Keeping Multiple Versions of a File ................................................................... 74
Using Templates ............................................................................................... 74
13 PersonalBrain and Networks ............................................................................... 75
Multiple Brains on One Computer...................................................................... 75
Appendix A – The Transition to PersonalBrain ........................................................ 76
Using Windows to Move Files into PersonalBrain.............................................. 76
Dragging Files ............................................................................................. 76
CTRL+Dragging Files.................................................................................. 77

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 iv
Table of Contents

SHIFT+Dragging Files................................................................................. 77
How PersonalBrain Stores Files ........................................................................ 77
Advice for the Transition.................................................................................... 77
Appendix B – Alternate Commands .......................................................................... 79
Keyboard Commands........................................................................................ 79
Help............................................................................................................. 79
Navigating ................................................................................................... 79
Creating Thoughts....................................................................................... 79
Searching .................................................................................................... 79
Notes........................................................................................................... 79
Mouse Commands ............................................................................................ 80
Appendix C – Troubleshooting.................................................................................. 81
Glossary ...................................................................................................................... 84
Index ............................................................................................................................ 88

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 v
List of Figures

List of Figures
Figure 1. PersonalBrain ................................................................................................. 1
Figure 2. PersonalBrain on the Desktop ........................................................................ 4
Figure 3. The Plex ......................................................................................................... 5
Figure 4. PersonalBrain Elements .................................................................................. 5
Figure 5. Auto Hide........................................................................................................ 6
Figure 6. Thought Relationships .................................................................................... 8
Figure 7. Gate Types ................................................................................................... 10
Figure 8. Lou Green's Brain ......................................................................................... 10
Figure 9. Recently Accessed Thoughts........................................................................ 11
Figure 10. Parent Thoughts ......................................................................................... 11
Figure 11. Active Thought Linked to the Writer, Related Stories, and Data .................. 12
Figure 12. Active Thought (Your Name) with Two Child Thoughts ............................... 13
Figure 13. Select Content Dialog Box .......................................................................... 14
Figure 14. Active Thought with Shortcut to Document.................................................. 17
Figure 15. Example PersonalBrain............................................................................... 21
Figure 16. Child Thought Link to Two Headings........................................................... 22
Figure 17. Jump Thoughts to the Active Thought......................................................... 22
Figure 18. New Parent Thought ................................................................................... 23
Figure 19. Example of Parent/Child Relationships ....................................................... 24
Figure 20. Close and Distant Thought Relationships ................................................... 25
Figure 21. Pins for Frequently Accessed Thoughts...................................................... 26
Figure 22. The Past Thought List................................................................................. 27
Figure 23. The Brain Menu .......................................................................................... 29
Figure 24. The Context-Sensitive Thought Menu ......................................................... 30
Figure 25. Dragging to a Pin ........................................................................................ 33
Figure 26. Dragging to the Past Thought List............................................................... 33
Figure 27. Link by Naming ........................................................................................... 34
Figure 28. Changing Thought Relationships ................................................................ 37
Figure 29. Tools Window ............................................................................................. 44
Figure 30. Customizing Tools Display.......................................................................... 44

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 vi
List of Figures

Figure 31. Notes Tool .................................................................................................. 45
Figure 32. Notes File Menu.......................................................................................... 46
Figure 33. Notes Edit Menu ......................................................................................... 48
Figure 34. Properties Tool ........................................................................................... 50
Figure 35. Search Tool Window................................................................................... 51
Figure 36. Search Thought Categories ........................................................................ 52
Figure 37. Find Thoughts Dialog Box........................................................................... 53
Figure 38. History Tool Window ................................................................................... 54
Figure 39. Window Menu ............................................................................................. 55
Figure 40. Resizing the PersonalBrain Window ........................................................... 57
Figure 41. Resizing the Tools Window......................................................................... 57
Figure 42. Options Menu ............................................................................................. 58
Figure 43. Import Folders Dialog Box........................................................................... 59
Figure 44. Display Properties – General Tab ............................................................... 60
Figure 45. Preferences Tab ......................................................................................... 64
Figure 46. Animation Tab............................................................................................. 65
Figure 47. Active Thought Indicator ............................................................................. 66
Figure 48. Sizing Tab................................................................................................... 66
Figure 49. Search Web Box ......................................................................................... 69

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 vii
Introduction

1 Introduction
Welcome to PersonalBrain™, the first software package that lets you use your
computer the way you use your mind—intuitively. PersonalBrain’s easy-to-use
visual interface integrates information from the Internet and all your applications,
allowing you the freedom to think less about your computer and more about your
work and interests. Your mind works in a way that is unique to you, and
PersonalBrain (see Figure 1) allows you to organize your information in the same
way, without limiting you to a pre-determined file structure.
The human mind is a container for a virtually limitless number of Thoughts. The
wonder of the mind, and the source of human creativity, is the connectedness of
all these Thoughts. Intelligence comes from the mind’s ability to think
associatively—that is, to leap from Thought to Thought, building webs of greater
and greater complexity, until new ideas are built. Associations are our
inspirations.

Figure 1. PersonalBrain

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 1
Introduction

Thoughts are Information
PersonalBrain uses a brand new concept, a data format called Thoughts.
Thoughts can be just about any type of information, including documents,
spreadsheets, images, shortcuts, and Web pages. By letting you create links and
associations between Thoughts, PersonalBrain expands to become a visual
interface that reflects the way you think.
With a simple click-and-drag interface you can create, and navigate through,
networks of Thoughts in a conceptual space unique to your work habits. When
you begin using PersonalBrain, you will find that your computer becomes easier
to use—faster, more enjoyable, less frustrating, while using your time more
efficiently.
No more searching through files and folders, going to the Start menu, or scrolling
through long bookmark lists. There is no longer any reason to organize your
information around your computer’s generic storage systems. With
PersonalBrain, you organize your computer around your information in the way
that makes most sense to you.

Dynamic Graphical Interface
How does PersonalBrain accomplish this? By allowing you to create a simple,
dynamic graphical map in which to input and navigate all your information. Your
Brain starts with a single Thought, to and from which several other Thoughts can
be visually linked. These Thoughts have their own links to other Thoughts, and,
possibly, to each other. PersonalBrain’s flexible structure allows any Thoughts to
be linked, so you are never more than a few steps away from the information you
are seeking. Connections between Thoughts are simple to make, and reproduce
the steps you make in your mind.
Now that you’ve downloaded the software, you’re ready to begin downloading
PersonalBrain into your computer.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 1
Setup

2 Setup
This section describes system requirements, outlines Quick Start instructions,
installation details, and resources for getting help with PersonalBrain.

System Requirements
PersonalBrain will work on any computer running Windows 95/NT/98/2000 or
greater. For optimum performance, we recommend using a Pentium II processor
with at least 32Mb RAM and at least 40Mb of available space on your hard drive.

Quick Start Instructions
PersonalBrain is simple to set up using the Getting Started Wizard.
1. Download PersonalBrain™ from our Web site,
http://www.thebrain.com/download. The program is available for a free 30-
day trial period.
2. Install the program on your computer. A window appears giving you the
choice to get started on your own or use The Getting Started Wizard.
3. Choose Getting Started Wizard.
4. Start building your PersonalBrain with the Wizard.
Note: If you choose not to start the Wizard now, you can always go back to it.
From the Help menu, choose Getting Started Wizard to quickly start
creating a “Brain.”

Installing PersonalBrain
PersonalBrain is simple to install. Installation will not change your computer’s
configuration or interfere with your existing files or operating system in any way.

From a CD-ROM
1. Insert the PersonalBrain CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive.
2. If your computer supports Autoplay, skip to step 3. Otherwise, click Start,
then select Run.
3. Type D:\Setup (where D: indicates the letter of your CD-ROM drive) and
press Enter.
4. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the software.
When setup is complete, PersonalBrain will launch.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 2
Setup

From the Web
1. Double-click the file you downloaded: PersonalBrain20.exe
2. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the software.
When setup is complete, PersonalBrain will launch.

Purchasing PersonalBrain
Your trial version of PersonalBrain will expire after 30 days. When it expires, you
will not be able to add or edit any Thoughts to any Brains you create, although
you will be able to access all the information you have stored in them.
Purchasing PersonalBrain will allow you:
Unlimited use of your Brains
The ability to merge or link Brains
To purchase PersonalBrain, click the Help menu and choose Purchase, or order
online at http://www.thebrain.com/purchase.

Getting Help
To get online help with PersonalBrain:
1. Click the Help menu.
2. Choose Contents and Index.

Online Resources
TheBrain maintains an Online Tutorial, Online FAQ, and Online Reference at
http://www.thebrain.com/pbsupport. You can also access these resources from
the Help menu if you have established an Internet connection.

E-mail Technical Support
If you still have a question after checking our online resources, you may
purchase e-mail support for a $15 yearly fee or phone support for a $15 per
incident fee.* Contact our Technical Support department at
support@thebrain.com.

______________________
*
Please note that all prices are subject to change without notice.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 3
Getting Started

3 Getting Started
Now that you’ve installed PersonalBrain, you can start creating a Brain of your
own:
1. Click the PersonalBrain menu.
2. Choose New Brain.
3. When PersonalBrain asks you to name your Brain, type your first name.
Congratulations! Your Brain is sitting on the screen, awaiting information. You
can now begin loading your Brain with the ideas and knowledge that you have
stored in your mind.

What You See On-Screen
PersonalBrain is a collection of connected Thoughts. As you create and move
among Thoughts, you are navigating through the structure of your Brain. This is
like scrolling through your folders but vastly more powerful. Figure 2 shows how
PersonalBrain appears on your desktop.

Figure 2. PersonalBrain on the Desktop

A fully developed Brain is too large to be viewed in its entirety. The visible area of a
Brain is called the “plex,” a collection of closely related Thoughts (see Figure 3). As
you navigate among Thoughts, the plex dynamically updates to allow easy
movement within your Brain.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 4
Getting Started

Figure 3. The Plex

Figure 4 is a snapshot of Lou Green’s Brain (see Touring Through Lou’s Brain in
Section 3), with the elements of the plex labeled for easy reference.

Figure 4. PersonalBrain Elements

The Auto Hide Button
PersonalBrain’s default setting is to automatically hide when you begin working in
another application. When the PersonalBrain window disappears, it is replaced
by the Auto Hide button, which is always on top of other windows. The Auto
Hide button is an inconspicuous gray circle surrounding PersonalBrain’s logo.
When you need to display the PersonalBrain window, click the Auto Hide button
and the window reappears.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 5
Getting Started

The PersonalBrain window may be docked to any edge of your screen. Figure 5
illustrates the use of the Auto Hide button in docking.

Figure 5. Auto Hide

Icons and Tools
A number of icons and tools to help you navigate PersonalBrain are located at
the bottom of the plex frame:

Icon/Tool Description
The Back and Forward Arrows allow you to
backtrack to items you’ve clicked on
previously. This is a sequential history of the
Thoughts you’ve activated in your current
session. When you click on the back arrow,
PersonalBrain activates the previously visited
Thought. The back and forward arrows are
like those on your browser.
The Home Button takes you back to the
Home Thought of PersonalBrain This is the
Thought that is activated when you click the
Home Thought icon.
A Brain button provides quick access to
Brains other than the one currently displayed.
The Recent Brains button has a menu that
lists the Brains you have accessed recently.
From this menu, you can also add or remove
Brain buttons to the menu bar for quick
access.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 6
Getting Started

Icon/Tool Description
The Current Brain button gives the name
and location of the current Brain.
The Search Box allows you to look for
content in PersonalBrain When you start
typing, all Thoughts containing these letters
appear in the list. The list narrows as you
type more letters.
The Past Thought List scrolls across the
bottom of the plex, and shows the path
you’ve clicked through. You can activate a
Thought by clicking it in the Past Thought
List, causing it to appear in the center of the
plex.
Two Scroll Arrows are located on each side
of the Past Thought List. Use them to
navigate sequentially through Past Thoughts
from the first Thought you’ve activated to the
last.
Scroll Bars indicate that additional Thoughts
are out of view. To see those Thoughts, click
the arrow on the scroll bar.
Pins are frequently accessed Thoughts
placed in the area just below the menu bar.
Pins are a way of storing Thoughts for later
activation or linking.
The Detach button separates the current
window from the rest of PersonalBrain. On
the plex, it moves the plex out to its own
window. On the tabs, it separates them from
the PersonalBrain window so they can be
dragged to different locations.
The Divider button partitions the tab windows
so multiple tabs can be viewed
simultaneously.
The Reattach button moves a window back
into the PersonalBrain interface.
The Splitter button is in the middle of the
splitter bar. Click the splitter button to change
the orientation of the windows from the
top/bottom to left/right. Double-click to
reverse the top/bottom orientation.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 7
Getting Started

What Are Thoughts?
Thoughts are the basic building blocks of PersonalBrain. A Thought can
represent virtually anything: a concept, a project, a person, a subject, a
document, a Web page, a spreadsheet, a file, a shortcut, a game, an
application... whatever you can think of. You decide what Thoughts represent,
how they are related, and what they contain. Because a Brain is not a
hierarchical structure, no Thought is more or less important than any other—
except when it is the Active Thought.

The Active Thought
At the center of PersonalBrain is the Active Thought, which represents the
central concept you are currently viewing—the one you are working with at the
moment. You make a Thought active by clicking it when it is visible in the plex
window. As you navigate between Thoughts, PersonalBrain reorganizes
dynamically to show the set of Thoughts closely related to the Active Thought in
different zones around it.
Zones are areas in the plex devoted to specific relationships of the Active
Thought. There are four zones: the parent zone above the Active Thought, the
child zone below it, the jump zone to its left, and the sibling zone to its right.

Thought Relationships
The idea behind PersonalBrain is to create and display relationships among
types of information. Before you create more Thoughts, you should understand
the different relationships between Thoughts. Relationships in PersonalBrain are
built by creating and arranging child, parent, and jump Thoughts (see Figure 6).
The relationship names don’t have anything to do with the type of information
each can contain, but simply describe their association to the Active Thought and
to each other.

Figure 6. Thought Relationships

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 8
Getting Started

There are four types of relationships among Thoughts:

Parent A parent Thought has at least one Thought beneath it. You
can think of parent Thoughts as representing different
categories of information. In the plex a parent Thought is
displayed in the parent zone, directly above the Active
Thought. A Thought can have multiple parents (up to a
maximum of 32 per Thought).
Child A child Thought is a subcategory of the Active Thought.
Several Thoughts can share a parent. The same parent
Thought can have numerous child Thoughts. Child Thoughts
are displayed below the Active Thought, in the child zone.
Note: The maximum number of child Thoughts for a parent
is 128.
Sibling A sibling Thought shares the same parent with the Active
Thought. Siblings are part of a group whose source or
subject is the parent Thought. The Active Thought’s sibling
Thoughts appear in the sibling zone, to the right of the
Active Thought.
Jump A jump Thought is related to the Active Thought but is not a
subcategory. Jump Thoughts are used to create
relationships between groups of Thoughts They are
displayed in the jump zone, to the left of the Active Thought.
Note: The maximum number of jump Thoughts to one
Thought is 32.

Gates
Thoughts are linked visually through the three circles around them, called gates.
Gates are hollow if there is no link through them to another Thought, and solid if
there is a link to another Thought. You can use gates to create new Thoughts,
create links to existing Thoughts, or as visual reminders of the relationship
between linked Thoughts. You’ll use all these methods to build your
PersonalBrain.
In Figure 7 the parent gate appears above the Active Thought (Stories). This
means the Active Thought is a child of another Thought. The child gate appears
below the Active Thought, and because it is solid in this example, a Thought is
attached but not visible. The jump gate appears to the left of the Active Thought;
in the example, the hollow gate means that no jumps are attached to the Active
Thought. Every Thought in the plex contains all three kinds of gates.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 9
Getting Started

Figure 7. Gate Types

Now that you have some background on the basic terminology, you’ll see how
simple it is to create a PersonalBrain. You’ll be building your own in no time.

Touring Through Lou’s Brain
Now you’re ready for a quick tour through an example Brain, called Lou’s Brain.
Lou is the editor of a Chicago Newspaper.
Lou has organized his Brain into three main Thoughts: Chicago News (his
workplace), Family, and Personal. These are child Thoughts of the Lou Green
Thought. At the top of the plex window is an area for pins. Pins are a way of
storing Thoughts for later activation or linking. They stay in place regardless of
where you are in your Brain. Lou has created pins to let him return easily to Lou
Green (and three of its child Thoughts), Advertisers, and Annette (see Figure 8).
Annette is a writer working on a big story for the current issue. (For more
information about pins, see Pins in Section 5.)

Figure 8. Lou Green's Brain

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 10
Getting Started

Below the plex is the Past Thought List. As the name suggests, this is a list of
Thoughts that Lou has recently accessed. (For details on navigation, see
Section 5, Navigating Your Brain.) You can tell from the Past Thought List that
Lou has recently been thinking about Annette and Work (see Figure 9). Let’s
probe more deeply to see how Lou has created links that will help him at work.

Figure 9. Recently Accessed Thoughts

When Lou is thinking about the Stories Thought, its siblings—Advertisers, Online,
and Writers—are displayed. Notice that Current has, as parent Thoughts, both
Stories and Online (see Figure 10). This arrangement lets Lou get to the stories
in today’s issue from either Stories or Online.

Figure 10. Parent Thoughts

Additionally, the child Thoughts of Current contain today’s stories, which are also
linked to the writers that are child Thoughts of Writers. (If a gate is filled, it leads
to other Thoughts; if a gate is hollow, it does not lead to other Thoughts.)

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 11
Getting Started

For example, today’s story, Big Crime, is linked to Annette the writer, as well as the
other current stories, Big Festival and Big Flood. It also has, as child Thoughts,
various sources and notes to back it up. Some of these sources are Web pages;
note that these are kept alongside other types of data (see Figure 11).

Figure 11. Active Thought Linked to the Writer, Related Stories, and Data

Since Lou needs to keep in mind all the stories he’s working on, Big Crime’s
siblings appear in the sibling zone to the right of the Active Thought.
Now that you’ve explored the big concepts behind PersonalBrain, you’re ready to
start building your Brain.

Creating a Child Thought
The first Thoughts you create in a new Brain will likely be subject headings that
are child Thoughts of your first Active Thought. At the moment, Your Name is the
Active Thought. You can think of it as the major subject heading of your Brain.
To create a child Thought:
1. Using the mouse, click the child gate (lower circle) on the Active Thought
(Your Name) and drag a line to any empty area beneath the Active
Thought.
2. Release the mouse button. A dialog box appears, inviting you to “Create
Child.”
For this example, type the word “Work.”
3. Press Enter or click the green check mark.
You have created a child Thought called Work. Work is linked to its parent
Thought, Your Name.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 12
Getting Started

Now, create a child Thought another way:
1. Click the Thought menu above the plex window.
Or,
Open the Thought menu by right-clicking the Active Thought.
2. Choose Create Child. The same “Create Child” dialog box appears.
3. For this example, type the word “Fun.”
4. Press Enter or click the green check mark.
Note: The new Thought “Fun” automatically appears in the child zone below its
parent Thought.
The plex should now look like the one in Figure 12:

Figure 12. Active Thought (Your Name) with Two Child Thoughts

Creating a Thought does not activate it. This stability lets you quickly create
many relationships without having to move back and forth. To activate a Thought,
just click it.

Creating a Child from a Child
You can create a child Thought even if its parent is not the Active Thought.
Notice that the Thoughts you’ve created have gates. For example, create a child
Thought from Work. (If you’re not following the example, you can create a child
Thought from any other child Thought in your Brain.)
1. While Work is in the child zone, click and drag downward from its child
gate.
2. For this example, name the new Thought “Order.”
3. Press Enter or click the green check mark.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 13
Getting Started

Creating Thought Content
Some Thoughts, like Fun and Work, act as subject headings. You can think of
these as similar to (though more flexible than) file cabinets or folders. Thoughts
that are members of these categories generally have content in the form of a file
or a Web page.
To give a Thought some content:
1. Click to activate the Thought for which you want to create content. For the
example, activate Order.
2. Click the Active Thought once more to open the Thought.
Opening a Thought that has no content displays the Select Content dialog box
see Figure 13). This dialog box should list all the applications on your computer
capable of creating files.

Figure 13. Select Content Dialog Box

Later, you can select your favorite word processing application to write a letter.
However, one option that should appear, no matter what, is “Text Document” in
Notepad. So, for the example, use Notepad to write a business letter.
1. Choose Text Document. Notepad opens and displays a new document.
2. Type into the document: “Dear Customer: We have received your order and
will ship it immediately.”
To save the letter and exit Notepad:
1. Click the X in the upper right of the Notepad window. Notepad asks if you
want to save the file.
2. Click Yes. PersonalBrain automatically gives the document a file name.
An icon representing the attached Notepad file appears to the left of the active
“Order” Thought.
Remember, you used Notepad for this example because if you have Windows
you also have Notepad. In the future, you will select the word processor or
application you want to use instead. All the same steps apply.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 14
Getting Started

Opening Thought Content
If you have attached a file or Web page to a Thought, clicking the Thought when
it is active automatically opens the necessary application and loads the file. You
can also open the Active Thought’s content by pressing Alt+Enter.
Remember, a Thought that has content displays the icon of the content’s type
next to the name of the Thought. Because you no longer have to open an
application and find a file, you no longer need to create or remember file names
or folders—PersonalBrain does that for you.

Creating a Thought and Attaching an Existing File
As you use PersonalBrain, you’ll probably want to attach an existing file to a
Thought. You can do this by dragging the file from Windows to PersonalBrain.

Drag a File to Create a Thought
1. Activate the Thought to which you want the new Thought and its file linked.
2. Open Windows Explorer or My Computer. (You can also drag files from the
desktop.)
3. Find the file you want to attach to the Thought.
4. If PersonalBrain is in Auto Hide mode, click the Auto Hide button to display
the PersonalBrain window or simply drag the file onto the button.
5. Drag the file to the plex. Do not drop the file yet.
Notice that depending on which zone you drag the file over, a link extending
from that zone’s gate appears between the Active Thought and your pointer.
6. Drop the file into the desired zone. A new Thought, named after the file,
appears in that zone and the file’s icon appears next to the new Thought’s
name.

Drag a File to an Existing Thought
1. Create a child Thought and name it in a way that identifies the file it will
contain. An appropriate name will indicate the content of the file and need
have nothing to do with the file name.
2. Activate the Thought.
3. Open Windows Explorer or My Computer. (You can also drag files from the
desktop.)
4. Find the file you want to attach to the Active Thought.
5. If PersonalBrain is in Auto Hide mode, click the Auto Hide button to display
PersonalBrain window or drag the file onto the button.
6. Drag the file directly onto the Active Thought until an icon appears next to
your pointer.
7. Drop the file. It attaches to the Active Thought, and its icon appears to the
left of the Thought’s name. PersonalBrain creates a shortcut to the file.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 15
Getting Started

Note: If you want to move the file into PersonalBrain, right-click on the Thought
with content and select Move File into Brain (see Moving Thoughts and
Files in Section 7).

Drag a Folder to Create Multiple Thoughts
If, prior to installing PersonalBrain, you kept a very organized set of folders, you
may find it quick and easy to move all the files in a particular folder into your
Brain. To maintain the power of PersonalBrain, the folder should be fairly small
and all the files in it should be related in some way.
To drag a folder into your Brain:
1. Activate the Thought to which you want the folder linked.
2. Open Windows Explorer or My Computer. (You can also drag folders from
the desktop.)
3. Find the folder you want to bring into PersonalBrain.
4. If PersonalBrain is in Auto Hide mode, click the Auto Hide button to display
the PersonalBrain window or drag the folder onto the Auto Hide button.
5. Drag the folder from its Windows folder to the plex. Do not drop it yet.
Notice that, depending on which zone you drag the folder over, a link extending
from that zone’s gate appears between the Active Thought and your pointer.
6. Drop the folder into the desired zone. A new Thought, named after the
folder, appears in that zone.
If you activate the new Thought, you can see that it has a child Thought for every
file and folder in the original folder. PersonalBrain will map out the folder and
display the contents as virtual Thoughts.

Viewing Virtual Thoughts
To view virtual Thoughts:
1. Click the Brain menu, then Preferences.
2. Check the Virtual Thoughts option.
Note: Virtual Thoughts are created when a folder is dragged into PersonalBrain.
Virtual Thoughts are not searchable.

To turn virtual Thoughts into regular Thoughts:

Display virtual Thoughts and rejoin the “original” link by drawing the line
from the parent Thought to the child gate of the virtual Thought.
Or,
You can also re-link it to another Thought with the link-by-naming method
described in “Link by Naming” in Section 6.

Importing Multiple Folders
To import multiple folders, your Desktop folder, your Windows’ My Documents
folder, Explorer Favorites, or Netscape Bookmarks, click the Options menu and

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 16
Getting Started

choose Import Existing Folders. (See Import Folders in Section 10 for details on
this function.)

Icons
The icon that appears next to a Thought’s name indicates the type of content
attached to the Thought. Most Windows applications have distinctive icons. If an
icon has a small arrow in the lower left, it is a shortcut to a file outside
PersonalBrain. The icon for a Web page is that of your Web browser. You can
open Thought content without activating the Thought by clicking its icon (see
Open Content Without Activating in Section 5). In Figure 14, the Active Thought
contains a shortcut to a Microsoft Word document.

Figure 14. Active Thought with Shortcut to Document

More Dragging Methods
In the methods described in the previous sections, dragging created a shortcut in
your Brain that pointed to the location of the file in its folder. That action didn’t
actually move the file into PersonalBrain. If you want to move the file itself into
your Brain, you have two options:
To leave the file in its folder and make a copy in your Brain, hold down Ctrl
as you drop the file in the plex. This method uses the most disk space since
multiple copies of the same file will exist.
To move the file out of its folder and into your Brain, hold down Shift as you
drop the file into the plex.
The same rules apply to folders you drag into your Brain. For more information
on when and how to use different types of dragging, see Appendix A – The
Transition to PersonalBrain.

Attach a Shortcut to a Thought
You can also attach a shortcut to the Active Thought by using the Select Content
dialog box:
1. Display the Select Content dialog box by activating and clicking a Thought
that doesn’t have content.
2. Click the Create Shortcut to File button.
3. Find the file to which you want to create the shortcut.
4. Click OK. The shortcut icon appears to the left of the Thought’s name.

Attach a Web Page to a Thought
Web pages can be attached to Thoughts in much the same way as files. When a
Web page is attached to a Thought, click the Thought when it is active to open

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 17
Getting Started

your Web browser and display that page. This eliminates the need to keep
separate, disorganized bookmarks.
You can attach Web pages in four ways: by dragging, by selecting content, by
naming, and by spidering (for spidering information, see Section 11,
PersonalBrain and the Internet).

By Dragging
1. Activate the Thought to which you want to attach the Web page. For your
Brain-in-progress, activate Fun. (If Fun is not visible in the plex window,
navigate to it by retracing your steps or use the Search box.)
2. Open your Web browser and go to a fun Web site, for example,
http://www.WebBrain.com.
3. From one of the Active Thought’s gates, drag a link to any Web page. The
Web page’s title will become the name of a new Thought; the Web page will
be attached to that Thought (see Section 11, PersonalBrain and the
Internet).
Once the page is attached, you can rename the Thought (see Renaming
Thoughts in Section 6).

By Selecting Content
If you want to attach a Web page to an existing Thought:
1. Activate the Thought and click it once. The Select Content dialog box
appears.
2. Click Attach Web Page.
If your browser is open, the current site is displayed in the Attach Web Page
dialog box and you will be asked whether you want to attach that Web page to
the Active Thought. If your browser is closed or if you want to attach a different
page, type the address of the site you want to attach. In either case, your
browser’s icon will appear to the left of the Active Thought’s name.

By Naming
With or without your browser open, you can create a Thought with a Web page
attached:
1. Drag from a gate or choose Create Thought from the Thought menu. The
Create dialog box appears.
2. Type the URL address of the page you want to attach.
After you have created the Thought, you can rename it as you would any
Thought without losing the Web address attached to it (see Renaming Thoughts
in Section 6).
Note: If you incorrectly type a URL, you can rename it as you would normally, or
detach it by right-clicking on the Thought and selecting Detach Web page.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 18
Getting Started

By Spidering
“Spidering” a Web page lets you Brain-enable an entire Web site in seconds. To
spider a Web page:
1. Attach the home page of the site you want to Brain-enable to the Active
Thought.
2. Choose Spider Web Page from the Thought menu.
3. Select the options you want when spidering (see Spidering a Web Page in
Section 11).
4. Click Start.

Using Jump Thoughts
There is no difference between the sort of information that a jump Thought
contains and the information that a parent Thought or child Thought contains. A
jump Thought is a connection to different Thought relationships. Activating a
jump Thought will move you out of the “family” of Thoughts you’re working in and
cause a significant reconfiguration of the plex. Jump Thoughts appear in the
zone to the left of the Active Thought. Jump Thoughts can exist on their own, or
they can link disparate groups of Thoughts.
If, for example, a person who is a mathematics student and also runs a small
business creates a Brain, the two families of Thoughts (Mathematics and
Business) won’t be closely related. However, if the student wants to take a break
when working on each Thought, she could create a jump from each Thought to
one containing the Solitaire program.
Jump Thoughts can also be used as a link to a Thought that is related to the
Active Thought but not to its child or parent Thoughts. For example, a vending
machine may have as child Thoughts the names of the candies it sells; however,
the Thought for the machine itself might be linked by a jump Thought to an
agency that counts and rolls quarters.

Using a Thought to Open an Application
If you need to open an application that creates files, you will usually do so by
creating a Thought and choosing the appropriate application in the Select
Content dialog box. But applications that do not create files—such as games, e-
mail applications, news readers—can also be opened from PersonalBrain.
Program files install and work best if left as part of Windows, so they are not
moved into PersonalBrain. Here are two methods of creating shortcuts to
program files:

From the Desktop
If the application you want to add to your Brain has a shortcut on the desktop,
drag the shortcut into the plex, linking it to the desired gate of the Active Thought.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 19
Getting Started

From the Start Menu
If there is no shortcut on the desktop:
1. Click the Start menu on the Windows taskbar.
2. Select Programs, then Accessories, Games, and Solitaire.
3. Drag the Solitaire icon into the plex, linking it to the desired gate of the
Active Thought.

And That’s a Basic Brain
Congratulations! You have built a small, simple Brain. As you add further
Thoughts, your Brain will evolve into an increasingly more useful tool—and
reflective of the way you think.
If you’ve followed along, the hard stuff is out of the way. In the remainder of this
User Guide, you’ll see some of the features and tools that make navigating and
working with PersonalBrain even simpler and more powerful.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 20
Establishing Relationships Between Thoughts

4 Establishing Relationships Between
Thoughts
The only significant difference between different categories of Thoughts is where
they are displayed in the plex. The categories describe the relationships of
Thoughts to the Active Thought and to each other. All Thoughts are directly or
indirectly related to each other by virtue of being in the same Brain. There are no
rules governing the creation of relationships between Thoughts—whatever
makes sense to you is the way your Brain ought to be organized.
However, you might find that the examples in this section will help you
understand the variety of relationships.
Imagine that you are the owner of a company and you are reviewing personnel
files. Each employee has a file. You decide it makes sense to organize your
employees by department. Your PersonalBrain is called My Brain. From My
Brain, you create a child Thought called My Company (see Figure 15). My Brain
is now My Company’s parent Thought. You create four child Thoughts from My
Company—Manufacturing, Sales, Service, and Billing. These departments are
sibling Thoughts of each other.

Figure 15. Example PersonalBrain

Now you go to each department and create more child Thoughts, one for each
employee of the department. If an employee splits time between two
departments, you can make him a child Thought of both departments—he’ll
appear in both and you won’t have to duplicate his file. In this example, Bob is a
child Thought of both Manufacturing and Sales (see Figure 16). This is one of the
powerful features of PersonalBrain—having one Thought under more than one
heading.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 21
Establishing Relationships Between Thoughts

Figure 16. Child Thought Link to Two Headings

If you own more than one company, but have one accountant for all of them, you
might want to make a Thought called Accountant and link it as a jump Thought to
each company (see Figure 17).

Figure 17. Jump Thoughts to the Active Thought

Imagine you’ve just completed a merger between My Other Company and one
headed by a competitor named Joe. Since you and Joe are now partners, Joe’s
Company becomes a parent of the merged company (see Figure 18).

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 22
Establishing Relationships Between Thoughts

Figure 18. New Parent Thought

Because Joe wants to avoid a conflict of interest, the merged company (My
Other Company) no longer uses the same accountant. So its jump gate is hollow,
while its sibling’s jump gate (My Company) maintains that link and is filled.
As you use PersonalBrain, you will develop a sense of the types of relationships
you wish to make between Thoughts. It is always possible to change
relationships (see Changing the Relationships Between Thoughts in Section 7).

Families of Thoughts
It is tempting to view Thought relationships as families, and indeed these
different parts of your Brain are types of families, with their ancestry visually
spread before you, represented by subjects and categories. But unlike human
families, a child Thought can be a parent of one of its siblings and a Thought can
have more than two parents.
The complex relationships you can form in PersonalBrain are the source of its
power. Let’s consider sibling Thoughts that also share a parent/child relationship:
Let’s say you are studying philosophy. You might have a parent Thought called
Philosophy (see Figure 19). Individual philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle
could be child Thoughts of Philosophy. Each of these siblings, in turn, may have
child Thoughts. Aristotle was a student of Plato, so you may want to make
Aristotle not only a child of Philosophy, but of Plato, so that when you’re working
with Aristotle, Plato is only a Thought away.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 23
Establishing Relationships Between Thoughts

Figure 19. Example of Parent/Child Relationships

Notice that when Philosophy and Plato are in Aristotle’s parent zone, their
relationship (Philosophy is a parent Thought of Plato) is shown by the line linking
the child gate of Philosophy to the parent gate of Plato.
Clearly, PersonalBrain is a powerful method of organizing ideas and information.
No hierarchical file structure can provide as much cross-referenced information
at a glance. And our example is pretty basic—a fully developed Brain can hold
many more Thoughts and much more information.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 24
Navigating Your Brain

5 Navigating Your Brain
All Thoughts are related—directly or indirectly—simply by being part of the same
Brain. Thoughts do not exist on their own. You can always navigate from one
Thought to another by following links. Thoughts that seem to have nothing to do
with each other are related through a chain of links. Even, let’s say, the Queen of
England and asparagus:
You have a Thought called Queen of England. One of its child Thoughts is Prince
of Wales, which has a jump Thought to the story of the Frog Prince. The story
has a parent Thought called Fairy Tales. A sibling of Frog Prince is Jack and the
Beanstalk, which has child Thoughts called Giant and Jack. Giant has another
parent Thought called Famous Giants, which has a child Thought called Jolly
Green Giant. Jolly Green Giant has child Thoughts named after canned
vegetable products, one of which is Asparagus. Figure 20 is an example of the
connections among the various kinds of Thoughts.

Figure 20. Close and Distant Thought Relationships

Depending on the relationship you create between them, Thoughts may be
closely or distantly related. Thoughts are considered to be closely related when
they are linked directly or are siblings. Close Thoughts of the Active Thought are
always displayed in the plex. Distant Thoughts are not, although Thoughts that
are only one step (generation) away from the Active Thought can be displayed.
In Figure 19, Famous Giants is a distant Thought. See Distant Thoughts in
Section 10 to learn how to display them.
As your Brain grows and becomes more complex, you can navigate more
efficiently by using pins, the “open without activating” function, and the Past
Thought List.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 25
Navigating Your Brain

Pins
The part of PersonalBrain window just below the menu bar functions like a
bulletin board onto which you can place pins. Pins are a way of storing Thoughts
for later activation or linking. No matter where you are in the plex, the pins remain
visible. In general, pins are created for frequently accessed Thoughts
(see Figure 21).

Figure 21. Pins for Frequently Accessed Thoughts

Remember Lou Green’s Brain and the way he used pins to move quickly to a few
important Thoughts.
Simply click the desired pin, and the plex will immediately reconfigure to activate
that pin’s Thought.
All pins are shown at once—there is no list of pins to scroll through. If you have a
lot of pins, their names may not be fully displayed. You can move your mouse
pointer along the row and, as it moves from pin to pin, the current pin’s name will
be enlarged and highlighted.

Creating Pins
To create a pin:
Drag a Thought from the plex or the Past Thought List (see The Past
Thought List in this section) and drop it just below the menu bar.
Or,
Choose Create Pin for the Active Thought from the Thought menu.
Remember, when you drag a Thought to create a pin, you are not moving the
Thought—you are creating a reference to the Thought.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 26
Navigating Your Brain

Deleting Pins
To remove a pin:
Drag it into the menu bar or title bar.

Using Pins to Link Thoughts
Pins can also be used to create links between Thoughts (see Link by Dragging to
a Pin in Section 6 for details).

Open Content Without Activating
At times you may want to look at or work on a file, shortcut, or Web page but
don’t necessarily want to activate it (that is, make it the Active Thought and
rearrange the plex). To open a Thought’s content without activating it, place your
mouse over the desired Thought’s icon (located just to the left of the Thought’s
name). The icon will become highlighted. Click the highlighted icon to open the
content.
By using pins and the “open without activating” feature, you can access any file,
program, or Web page with a simple click of the mouse. Navigating has never
been easier.

The Past Thought List
You can think of the Past Thought List as the visual representation of the phrase,
“train of thought”—a scrollable list of Thoughts in the order you activated them.
The Past Thought List is displayed at the bottom of the plex window
(see Figure 22).

Figure 22. The Past Thought List

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 27
Navigating Your Brain

Scroll arrows in the shape of triangles are located to the left and right of the Past
Thought List. Use them to navigate sequentially through past Thoughts, from the
first Thought you’ve activated to the last.
The most recently activated Thought (the current Active Thought) appears to the
right of the list. As with pins, if you hold the mouse over the name of a Thought in
the Past Thought List, the name is enlarged and highlighted for easier reading. If
a Thought in the list has a file or Web page attached, the icon for the file’s
application appears to the left of the Thought.
You can activate a Thought by clicking it in the Past Thought List. The plex
moves to show that Thought as the Active Thought.

Using the Past Thought List to Link Thoughts
You can also use the Past Thought List to create links between Thoughts. (See
Link by Dragging to the Past Thought List in Section 6 for details.)

The Search Tool
You can use the Search tool (see Search Tool in Section 9) to display a list of
Thoughts based on certain criteria. Activate a Thought in a Search list by clicking
that Thought’s name.

Keyboard Navigation
Another way to move from Thought to Thought is by using your keyboard. To
navigate through your PersonalBrain with the keys, press Alt+Arrows. The links
will appear highlighted as well as the Thought to which you have moved. To
activate a highlighted Thought, release the Alt key.
To open the content of a Thought, click it or press Alt+Enter.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 28
Expanding Your Brain

6 Expanding Your Brain
All Thoughts in a Brain are linked directly or indirectly to each other. Links are the
source of PersonalBrain’s power. Each Brain can hold over 32,000 Thoughts.
Any Thought can have as many as 128 child Thoughts; although only 72 can be
displayed in the plex, you can access the rest by scrolling. Each Thought can link
up to 32 jump Thoughts and up to 32 parent Thoughts. You can see how
powerful this makes PersonalBrain if you consider that in Windows a folder can
be related only to one other folder, and then only in strict hierarchy.
As you’ve seen from examples earlier in this manual, the plex can display a great
deal of information when Thoughts are linked associatively by context. In a well-
developed Brain, the Active Thought will always be surrounded by other relevant
information—its close Thoughts. Developing the power of your Brain depends on
the relationships you create between Thoughts. In this section, we’ll look at ways
to create links and enhance the use, efficiency, and power of your Brain.

The Brain Menu
The Brain menu gives you several options for selecting the PersonalBrain you
want to work with (see Figure 23):

To build a new Brain, choose New Brain.
To open an existing Brain, choose Open Brain.
To rename a Brain, choose Rename Brain.
To see options to customize settings, choose
Preferences.
To see a list of Brains that have been in use
recently, choose Recent Brains.
To see a list of ready-made Brains, choose Add
InstantBrain.
To load a new instance of the PersonalBrain
program, choose New Brain Window.
To make global changes in status of Thoughts
or their attached files, choose Utilities.
Figure 23. The Brain Menu
To print the current view of the plex, choose
Print Plex.
To quit PersonalBrain, click Exit.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 29
Expanding Your Brain

When you choose New Brain, a dialog box appears, inviting you to name the new
Brain. You can give PersonalBrain any name you like, but to avoid confusion with
other Brains, we suggest naming it as closely as possible after the name of the
person who will be using it. We suggest you create only one Brain for all your
information, although you may want to create several Brains for networking
purposes (see Section 13, PersonalBrain and Networks).

The Thought Menu
The Thought menu is one of PersonalBrain’s smartest features. When you open
it, you see a list of options pertaining to the Active Thought. Depending on the
status of the Thought’s content, this context-sensitive menu will change, offering
only the options available—no frustrating grayed-out options (see Figure 24).

Figure 24. The Context-Sensitive
Thought Menu

As you can see, in the second image the menu changes because the Active
Thought contains a file.
Also, instead of viewing the Thought menu from the menu bar, you can bring it
up by right-clicking a Thought, active or otherwise. This has the advantage of
displaying options applying to any Thought in the plex, not just the Active
Thought.

Naming Thoughts
The essence of PersonalBrain is simplicity. To help you make meaningful
associations between Thoughts, you’ll probably want to keep their names as
short and direct as possible. Also, the shorter a Thought’s name, the likelier it is
to appear in the plex window in its entirety.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 30
Expanding Your Brain

It is possible to create more than one Thought with the same name. If you try to
create a Thought whose name exists, PersonalBrain will ask, if instead of creating
a new Thought with that name, you want to link to the existing Thought of that
name. If you create a new Thought, PersonalBrain will not be able to distinguish
these same-name Thoughts to establish links by name, even though the Thoughts
may be in different relationships or contain different content or notes. (To learn
about Notes, see Notes Tool in Section 9).

Renaming Thoughts
A Thought’s name can be changed at any time. To rename a Thought:
On the Thought menu, choose Rename Thought and give the Thought a
new name.
Or,
Right-click on the Thought and select Rename Thought.
You can also change a Thought’s name in Properties (see Properties Tool in
Section 9).
If you change the name of a Thought, its pin and its name in the Past Thought
List also changes. The Thought’s links, content, and notes are unaffected.

Creating Thoughts
To review what was presented in Section 3, you can create a Thought by:
Dragging from a gate of a Thought in the plex.
Dragging a file from Windows or the desktop into the plex.
Using the Thought menu.
Using keyboard commands to create a child Thought (F6), a parent
Thought (F7), or a jump Thought (F8).
If the PersonalBrain window is not visible, dragging to create a Thought is still
possible if you use the Auto Hide button, but the Thought you want the new
Thought to link to must be the Active Thought.

Using the Auto Hide Button with Drag and Drop
When the PersonalBrain window disappears, the Auto Hide button replaces it.
Again, the Auto Hide button is a small gray circle with the blue Brain logo inside
it. To attach a file to the Active Thought, drag it into PersonalBrain as a child
Thought, parent Thought, or jump Thought:
1. Start Windows Explorer.
2. Drag the file to the Auto Hide button. Keep in mind the different types of
dragging (see Appendix A – The Transition to PersonalBrain). When your
mouse pointer touches the Auto Hide button, the plex window appears.
3. Continue to drag the file into the desired zone, or onto the Active Thought
to attach the file to the Active Thought. Notice that as soon as your pointer

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 31
Expanding Your Brain

moves into the plex window, a link forms between the file and the Active
Thought’s gate. As you move the pointer around the Active Thought, the
link will jump from gate to gate.
4. Drop the file when it is linked to the gate you want, or when it is on the
Active Thought.
To make dragging and dropping easier, you can prevent PersonalBrain window
from disappearing by turning off the Auto Hide function (see Auto Hide (for
Docked Windows) in Section 10.

Creating Several Thoughts at Once
If you want to create several Thoughts of the same relationship, you can do so
simultaneously. Drag from a gate as if creating a single Thought and, when the
Create Thought dialog box appears, type the names of the Thoughts you want to
create, separating each with a semicolon.

Using Notes to Expand Your Brain
A Thought may only be associated with one file, one Web page, or one shortcut.
However, the Notes tool lets you add information to any Thought in the form of
text, pictures, sound, and shortcuts. (See Notes Tool in Section 9 for details.)

Linking Existing Thoughts
As has been said, links are power. Not only do links allow for associations that
group Thoughts conceptually, they allow information to be stored in and
accessible from numerous places. There are several ways to link to existing
Thoughts:

Link to Thoughts Visible in the Plex
Simply drag from the desired gate of one Thought in the plex to another Thought
in the plex.
The Thought you drag from does not have to be the Active Thought, but it must
be closely related to the Active Thought to have its gates displayed. If you drag a
link to connect from a non-Active Thought, the plex will not change.
You can drag a link from a close Thought to a distant Thought as long as you
display distant Thoughts (see Distant Thoughts in Section 10). Distant Thoughts
do not display gates, so links can only be dragged to them, not from them.

Link to Thoughts Not Visible in the Plex
You cannot link directly to a Thought that is not displayed in the plex. But you can
still link in any of three ways. If the Thought you can’t see in the plex has a pin or
a name in the Past Thought List, you can drag links to them, or you can link by
naming.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 32
Expanding Your Brain

Link by Dragging to a Pin
You can link to a Thought that is not visible in the plex if it has a pin. Simply drag
from the appropriate gate to the pin (see Figure 25). Pins help you save time.
When you want to link a Thought to many other Thoughts, create a pin of the
Thought and link to it.

Figure 25. Dragging to a Pin

You cannot link from a pin to a Thought because pins do not have gates.
The relationship you establish by linking a Thought to a pin is between the
Thoughts; if you delete the pin, the link between the Thoughts will remain.

Link by Dragging to the Past Thought List
As with pins, you can link a Thought in the plex to other Thoughts by dragging a
link from the appropriate gate of the Thought in the plex to a Thought in the Past
Thought List (see Figure 26). You cannot link from the Past Thought List to
another Thought because the Past Thought List does not display gates.

Figure 26. Dragging to the Past Thought List

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 33
Expanding Your Brain

Link by Naming
You can also link by creating a Thought with the name of the Thought you want
to link to:
1. Create a Thought by dragging or using the Thought menu.
2. The Create Thought dialog box appears.
3. Type the first few letters of the name of the Thought you want to link to.
PersonalBrain will fill in the rest (see Figure 27).
4. Press Enter.

Figure 27. Link by Naming

PersonalBrain will ask whether you want to link to the existing Thought or create
a new Thought of that name.

Saving Thoughts
All information pertaining to your PersonalBrain itself is saved on the fly. There is
never any need to save Thoughts in your Brain. However, you must manually
save files you create with applications. You can do this in one of two ways:
Choose the Save icon or Save menu entry in your application.
Exit your application and select Yes when the application asks if you want
to save changes before exiting.

Do Not Use “Save As” with PersonalBrain
When you work on a file, you should not use its application’s Save As command
to change the name or location of the file. Doing so will make the Thought unable
to locate the file the next time you want to access it. If you use Save As to make
a copy of a file, you will have to drag the file back into your Brain and re-attach it

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 34
Expanding Your Brain

to a Thought. Instead, consider making a template of the file that is to be used as
the basis for other files (see Using Templates in Section 12), or use the Thought
menu’s Copy Thought function (see Copying Thoughts and Files in Section 7).

Printing Files
If you want to print the file attached to the Active Thought:
1. Open the Thought menu.
2. Choose Print.
PersonalBrain opens the application used to create the file and tells the
application to print the file. The application automatically closes after printing.
You can also open a file’s application by activating the Thought and clicking it;
then choose Print from the application’s File menu. You would use this method if
you require a specialized print job, such as printing a specific page range.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 35
Editing Your Brain

7 Editing Your Brain
Sometimes, as in your mind, information in your Brain needs to be put on the
back burner. As your use and understanding of certain Thoughts and information
evolves, you might find that the relationship between Thoughts needs to be
adjusted or information that you had considered unimportant is now valuable.
PersonalBrain easily handles the adjustments required.

Setting the Home Thought
The Home Thought is the Thought that is activated when you click the Home
Thought icon. This takes you to the main or top Thought of your PersonalBrain.
To change the Home Thought:
Make active the Thought you want to set as the Home Thought.
Click the Thought menu and choose Set Home Thought. The current Active
Thought becomes your Home Thought. You may change it as often as you
like.

Changing the Relationship Between Thoughts
Thoughts can have any relationship with each other, and the relationship can be
changed at any time. But two Thoughts may only have one relationship with each
other at a time. For example, you can change a Thought from a child Thought to
a jump Thought, but doing so removes the link to the child gate.
To change a relationship:
Drag from a different gate. The plex automatically reconfigures to show the
Thought in its new zone.
Or,
Drag the Thought around the Active Thought. Notice the link move from
gate to gate, depending on the zone over which you drag the Thought
(see Figure 28).

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 36
Editing Your Brain

Figure 28. Changing Thought Relationships

Unlinking Thoughts
When you find that the relationship between Thoughts is no longer relevant, you
can remove the link. As long as it has another link to the Active Thought, the
Thought you unlink will remain in your Brain. It is only when the last link to the
Active Thought is severed that you risk “forgetting” the Thought (see next
section).
If you want to unlink the last link between a Thought and the Active Thought, but
want to link the Thought to another Thought, establish the new link before
removing the old one.
The unlinking procedure is simple:
1. Click the link between the Thoughts you want unlinked.
2. PersonalBrain will ask if you intend to unlink the Thoughts. Click Yes if
you do.
If you unlink a Thought that has at least one other link to the Active Thought, that
Thought and all the Thoughts related to it will remain in your Brain. But you will
have to navigate to it through the remaining links. You can still activate the
Thought by clicking its name in the Past Thought List, or its pin if available, or
using the Search box.

Forgetting and Remembering Thoughts
When a Thought is no longer of immediate use, you may “forget it.” Forgetting is
not the same as deleting. When you forget a Thought, it remains in your Brain
with all its related Thoughts—it simply will not appear in the plex unless you have
chosen to display forgotten Thoughts. Forgotten Thoughts can be remembered
when the need arises. Since forgetting does not affect a Thought’s content, you
can think of forgetting as a way to simplify the plex.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 37
Editing Your Brain

Forgetting a Thought
To forget a Thought:
1. Click its link to the Active Thought.
If the Thought you want to forget has no other links to the Active Thought,
PersonalBrain will ask if you want to forget the Thought and its relatives. If
the Thought has other links to the Active Thought, the Thought will not be
forgotten, but merely unlinked from the Active Thought (see previous
section); its other links will remain.
2. Click Forget. When you unlink a Thought’s last link to the Active Thought,
that Thought is forgotten.
When you forget a Thought, you also forget Thoughts related exclusively to it. If
you click an Active Thought’s last link to the rest of your Brain, PersonalBrain will
assume that you intend to forget everything except the Active Thought. If you risk
forgetting all Thoughts except the Active Thought, PersonalBrain will ask you to
confirm this intent—to confirm, you must type the name of the Active Thought
and click OK.
When you forget a Thought that has links to other Thoughts, PersonalBrain will
tell you the number of Thoughts you risk forgetting.
If you want to forget a Thought but not its relatives, instead of clicking the broken
link, right-click the Thought to open the Thought menu and choose Forget
Thought. PersonalBrain will forget the Thought and automatically re-link its
relatives to another Thought. PersonalBrain makes an intelligent guess as to
which Thought to link to—if no obvious choice is available, PersonalBrain will ask
you to specify a Thought.

Activating a Forgotten Thought
You might want to activate a forgotten Thought. You can activate a forgotten
Thought by using any of the following methods:
Clicking its pin.
Clicking its name in the Past Thought List.
Displaying forgotten Thoughts and navigating to it.
Activating a forgotten Thought does not cause it to be remembered; see below.

Displaying Forgotten Thoughts
Forgotten Thoughts can be displayed. To toggle their display on and off:
1. Click the Options menu.
2. Choose Forgotten Thoughts.
All forgotten Thoughts are displayed in gray in the plex. Links to forgotten
Thoughts show as broken lines.
Regardless of whether forgotten Thoughts are visible in the plex, the pin of a
forgotten Thought remains visible, as does its name in the Past Thought List if
the Past Thought is on. Clicking its pin or its name in the Past Thought List will

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 38
Editing Your Brain

activate a forgotten Thought and set PersonalBrain to display all forgotten
Thoughts. Such clicking will not cause the Thought to be “remembered.”
It is important to note that you cannot create a Thought from a forgotten Thought
or link forgotten Thoughts to each other.

Remembering a Thought
If you need to bring a forgotten Thought back to regular use, you can “remember
it.” To remember a Thought:
Simply click Undo if you’ve just forgotten the Thought.
Or,
Display forgotten Thoughts (see previous sub-section) and rejoin the
“original” link by drawing the line from the parent Thought to the child gate
of the forgotten Thought.
Or,
You can also remember a Thought by re-linking it to a Thought that is not
forgotten, courtesy of the link-by-naming method described in Link by
Naming in Section 6.

Deleting Thoughts and Files
Deleting Thoughts
Deleting a Thought permanently eliminates it from PersonalBrain. You can never
remember a deleted Thought. To delete a Thought:
1. Forget the Thought (see Forgetting a Thought).
2. Make sure forgotten Thoughts are displayed (see Displaying Forgotten
Thoughts).
3. Click the broken link between the Thought to be deleted and the Active
Thought.
4. Confirm that you want to delete the Thought.
Another method works just as well:
1. Forget the Thought (see Forgetting a Thought).
2. Make sure forgotten Thoughts are displayed (see Displaying Forgotten
Thoughts).
3. Click the Thought menu.
4. Choose Delete Thought.
When you delete a Thought that has links to other Thoughts, PersonalBrain will
tell you the number of Thoughts you risk deleting.
To delete a Thought without forgetting it:
Hold down Shift as you click the link.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 39
Editing Your Brain

Deleting a Thought permanently deletes any file attached to it. Deleting a
Thought with a shortcut attached only deletes that shortcut; the original file will
remain in its location.
You can only delete multiple files or Thoughts by disconnecting the only
remaining link between the Thought and the Active Thought. You must take care
when deleting Thoughts. If you delete an Active Thought’s only link to the rest of
your Brain, PersonalBrain will assume that you intend to delete everything except
the Active Thought. If you risk deleting all Thoughts except the Active Thought,
PersonalBrain will ask you to confirm this intent; to confirm, you must type the
name of the Active Thought and click OK.
If you want to delete a Thought but not its relatives:
Instead of clicking the broken link, right-click the Thought and choose
Delete Thought from the Thought menu. PersonalBrain deletes the
Thought and automatically re-links its relatives to another Thought.
PersonalBrain makes an intelligent guess as to which Thought to link to. If
no obvious choice is available, PersonalBrain will ask you to specify a
Thought.

Deleting a File or Web Page Attached to a Thought
If you want to delete the content of a Thought, but not the Thought itself:
1. Click the Thought menu or display it by right-clicking the Thought.
2. Choose Delete File, Delete Shortcut, or Detach Web Page—whatever
applies. Note that only the applicable option appears in the context-
sensitive Thought menu.

Undo/Redo
The Undo/Redo feature is on the Options menu. Undo allows you to step
backward through a virtually unlimited number of actions since your Brain was
opened. However, Undo will stop at the point you last deleted any Thought or file,
since there is no way to undo a deletion.
Having used Undo to step backward, you can use Redo to step forward through
past actions. When you reach the most recently performed action there will be
nothing left to Redo, and the feature will be disabled until you use Undo again. If
you perform an action while working “in the past,” Redo will be disabled and you
will not be able to continue stepping forward.

Moving Thoughts and Files
Moving Thoughts
There will be times when you want to move Thoughts relative to the Active
Thought or to each other. Thoughts are not moved as such; rather Thought
relationships are changed.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 40
Editing Your Brain

There are three ways to change a relationship between Thoughts:
Click and drag a Thought to a different zone around the Active Thought.
Unlink Thoughts by clicking the link between them.
Link from a different gate, for example to make a child Thought a parent
Thought, link from the parent gate of the child to the current parent.

Moving Files
To move a file into your Brain:
1. Click the context-sensitive Thought menu.
2. If you have a Thought that contains a shortcut to a file in a folder outside
your Brain, select Move File into Brain. The file will move from the folder
into your PersonalBrain.
To move a file to a folder outside your Brain so others can work on it:
1. Click the Thought menu.
2. Choose Move File out of Brain.
3. Select the folder to which you want the file moved.
When you move a file out of your Brain, the Thought it was attached to will
be associated with the file by a shortcut. You can still open the file by rolling
over the icon with the mouse and clicking on it.

Copying Thoughts and Files
If you want to copy the Active Thought, choose Copy Thought from the Thought
menu. The copy is linked as a child Thought of the original and is titled, “(Name
of Active Thought), Copy.” The Thought’s content is copied as well.

Moving and Copying Brains
You may want to move your Brain from one drive to another drive, to another
computer, or to a hard disk. You would copy a Brain to back it up or, if you have
a basic Brain built up, create different Brains with the original as a starting point.
Before you copy a Brain, see Appendix A – The Transition to PersonalBrain, for
background on how PersonalBrain stores information.
To move or copy a Brain:
1. Using Windows, go to the folder where the PersonalBrain you want to move
or copy is stored. If you accepted the default installation, this will be c:\My
Brains.
2. Click the .brn file whose filename is the name of PersonalBrain you want to
move or copy.
3. Ctrl+click the _brn folder whose name matches the name of the
PersonalBrain you want to move or copy.
4. Right-click to display the Windows Edit menu.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 41
Editing Your Brain

5. Choose Cut to move a Brain, or Copy to copy a Brain.
6. Navigate to the location you want to move or copy PersonalBrain.
7. Choose Paste.
8. If desired, rename the copied files and folder, by opening the copied .brn
file and selecting Rename Brain from the Brain menu.
When a Brain is moved or copied from one computer to another, keep these
points in mind:
The .brn file may be too large to move or copy easily, requiring this to be
done via serial cable connection or removable disk drive.
The second computer will require the same applications used to create the
files in the _brn folder.
Shortcuts to files will not work unless the destination computer can access
files on the first computer.

Importing and Merging Brains
If you work with more than one Brain, you may find at some point that you want
to merge two Brains together. This is easy to do:
1. In Windows, find the Brain (.brn) file of the PersonalBrain you want to
import into the PersonalBrain that is currently open.
2. Drag the .brn file into the plex and create the relationship you want with the
Active Thought.
3. PersonalBrain asks if you want to import PersonalBrain. Click Yes.
(Clicking No will create a link (shortcut) from the open Brain to the
PersonalBrain that was dragged in.)
When you import (or merge) one Brain into another, the Active Thought of the
open Brain is linked to the most recent Active Thought of the imported Brain.
Note: You cannot cut and paste pieces of a Brain (a Thought or group of
Thoughts) from one Brain to another.

Renaming Brains
To rename a Brain:
1. Open the Brain (.brn) file.
2. On the Brain menu, select Rename Brain.
3. Type the new name in the dialog box and click the check mark.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 42
Maintaining Your Brain

8 Maintaining Your Brain
After you create and customize your PersonalBrain there are a few things you
need to do to keep your Brain in top working condition.

Compacting Your Brain
To maximize your PersonalBrain’s performance, you should compact the files in
PersonalBrain every couple of days, especially if you’re making lots of changes.
With every change you make, the Thoughts in PersonalBrain are re-indexed, to
avoid corruption.
On the menu bar, hold the Ctrl key down while you click the Brain button of
the Brain you want to compact. You can quickly compact all the Brains on
the menu bar in the same session.
Or,
Hold the Ctrl key down while you click the X to close your Brain.

Backing Up Your Brain
To back up or move your Brain, you need to copy or move both the .brn file and
the _brn folder. Each time you create a Brain, it forms a .brn file and a _brn
folder. These are located in C:\My Brains\ as the default location.
For example, if your PersonalBrain name is “Customers,” the Customers.brn file
will have a corresponding folder, Customers_brn. You need to copy or move both
these items. Make sure you back up your files separately if they are only LINKED
to PersonalBrain (shortcuts). If you prefer to keep your files in your Brain, right-
click on each Thought name containing a file and click Move file into Brain.
See Moving and Copying Brains in Section 7 for details.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 43
Tools

9 Tools
Below the plex window is the tools window. It contains four tools: Notes,
Properties, Search, and History (see Figure 29). Click the appropriate button
to use the window you want.

Figure 29. Tools Window

The order in which the buttons are displayed can be changed to suit your
needs—simply drag the buttons to the left or right. You can also drag the buttons
to configure the tools window and allow multiple tools to be displayed
simultaneously. See Figure 30 for an example of one configuration.

Figure 30. Customizing Tools Display

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 44
Tools

In the upper left corner of the tools window is a context-sensitive button. Until you
become a registered user of PersonalBrain, the button reads “Purchase.”
Clicking the button displays a dialog box to help you purchase the software—or,
if you have already purchased the software, help you register it. Once you
register, the button disappears.

Notes Tool
Although a Thought can only be associated with one file, one Web page, or one
shortcut, it can contain a variety of information in its notes. Notes associated with
a Thought are visible when the Notes button is active, so no application need be
opened to see them (see Figure 31). They are therefore extremely useful for
annotating or expanding the Thought information.

Figure 31. Notes Tool

The Notes tool is both a simple word processor and a sophisticated one; a
Thought’s notes can contain text that you type or copy, or an object like a picture
or a sound, or a shortcut, or any combination of these.
Any application that supports Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) will let you
drag and drop into Notes. For example, if you see a picture on the Web that
you’d like to include in the notes of a particular Thought, go ahead and drag it
into Notes. However, when dragging in a picture from the Web, there is one
caveat: the picture may not contain an address (hyperlink)—if it does, only the
address will appear in Notes, not the picture. If an application does not support
OLE, you can copy and paste into Notes.

Importing Web Images from Netscape
A known exception to the above procedure involves the Netscape browser, which
does not support OLE. To bring a Web image into Notes from Netscape:
1. Right-click the picture.
2. Choose Save Image.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 45
Tools

3. Select a folder in which to save the picture.
4. Drag the saved image from Windows into Notes.

Adding More Content to a Thought
Good news! If you want to attach more than one file to a Thought and didn’t think
you could, you’ll be happy to learn that you can create shortcuts to files (right-
click on any file and select Create Shortcut) and drag the icons from either
Windows Explorer or your desktop into Notes. Click an icon in Notes to open its
file.

Using the Notes Word Processor
If you use any word processing application more sophisticated than Notepad, you
will have no trouble using the Notes processor.
Features like font selection and size, bold, italics, underline, color (click the down
arrow to display a list of colors), justification, and even bullets are available on
the button bar at the top of the Notes section. You can also insert the time and
date by clicking the Date icon on the button bar.
The margins of notes are limited to the width of the tools window (see The Plex
Window and the Tools Window in Section 10 to learn how to resize this window).
You can access additional features by clicking the Notes File menu or Edit menu.

Notes File Menu
These are the options on the Notes File menu (see Figure 32).

Figure 32. Notes File Menu

Import File
The Notes feature can import files that are saved in either of two formats, ASCII
or Rich Text Format (RTF). If you want to import a whole file into Notes, your
best bet is to open it in the application used to create it and then save or export it
in RTF format, which retains much more formatting information and graphics than
does ASCII. When you’ve done this, you can drag the file into Notes or choose
Import from the File menu.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 46
Tools

If you only want a part of the file to appear in Notes:
1. Select the part you want and copy it.
2. With your cursor in the Notes window at the point you want the imported
text to appear, click the Edit menu.
3. Click Paste to bring the text into Notes.

Save a Note
You do not need to manually save a Thought’s notes; they are saved
automatically when the next Thought is activated. However, in certain
circumstances you may want to save manually. For example, if a note is very
long, you may want to save it every now and then to guard against losing
information in the event of a power failure.
To manually save a note:
1. Click the File menu.
2. Click Save.
To save a note as a separate file in any folder:
1. Click the File menu.
2. Choose Save a Copy.
3. Choose a folder in which to save the note and click OK.
The note is saved in Rich Text Format (RTF), which is readable by any recent
word processing application compatible with Windows 95 or higher.
After you have used it, Save will be grayed in the File menu and will not be
available until you make changes in Notes.

Save a Copy
As mentioned above, you can save a Thought’s note as a separate file in any
folder. To save a copy of a note:
1. Click the File menu.
2. Click Save a Copy.
3. Choose a folder in which to save the note and click OK.
The note will be saved in Rich Text Format (RTF), which is readable by any
recent word processing application compatible with Windows 95.

Print
To print a note, choose Print from the File menu.

Print Setup
Selecting this option will display your printer’s name and information and permit
access to its properties. Other information in the Print Properties window includes
paper size, source, and orientation.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 47
Tools

Page Setup
Selecting this option will display the page setup of a Notes object. In this window,
you can change page size, source, orientation, and margin settings.

Set Default Font
This option will allow you to specify a new default font that will be used when
creating notes for new Thoughts.

Abandon Changes
Choose Abandon Changes to cancel any changes you’ve made to a note. If you
have manually saved a note, this function will only cancel changes made since
the note was saved. Remember that activating a Thought causes the resident
(outgoing) note to be saved and that changes cannot be abandoned when you
return to the Thought.

Notes Edit Menu
You can use the Edit options in Notes much like you can in a word processor
(see Figure 33).

Figure 33. Notes Edit Menu

Undo
When an operation has been performed and can be undone, the Undo option will
appear at the top of the Note’s Edit menu.

Cut and Copy
Cut and Copy perform the same functions in Notes as they do in other
applications. If you have selected all or some of the text in Notes, choosing Cut
will delete the selection and store it in the clipboard; choosing Copy just stores
the selection in the clipboard. You can move parts of a note into other
applications by using the Cut or Copy function of Notes and the Paste function of
your application.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 48
Tools

Paste
Paste moves information stored in the clipboard into Notes. This will allow you to
move information from one part of a note to another part, or to another note, or to
transfer information that has been cut or copied from an application into Notes
and vice versa.

Clear
The Clear function deletes any information that has been selected; pressing
Delete will do the same. Clear is different from Cut in that it does not store the
information in the clipboard. The only way to restore information removed by
using Clear or Delete is to choose Undo (see above).

Select All
The Select All option selects all the information in a note. You would use this
function, for example, if you want to copy and paste the entire contents of a note
into an application.

Find/Find Next/Replace
These functions allow you to search for a specific word or phrase anywhere in a
note and, if you want, change it to another word or phrase.

Insert New Object
If you want to create or edit an object such as an image or a sound before
bringing it into Notes, use the Insert Object function. Choosing it displays a dialog
box asking you to select the type of object to create and giving you the option to
create an object or create an object from an existing file. You will also be able to
check a box to instruct Notes to display the object as an icon.
When you click OK, PersonalBrain will open the application you selected. As you
work on the image, it will be displayed in Notes. When you are finished, simply
close the application and the image will be stored in Notes. Some applications
actually open within Notes.

Object Properties
Displays the general properties of the object within Notes as well as options for
viewing that object as editable information or as an icon.

Object
When you have inserted an object in Notes, choosing this option will let you open
the object (if only the icon is displayed) or edit the object with that object’s
application menu.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 49
Tools

Properties Tool
The Properties tool provides information about the Active Thought and its
content, if any. It is a context-sensitive menu; therefore the dialog boxes and
buttons described below will change depending on the Active Thought’s content.
Figure 34 is an example showing the properties of a Thought called Writers that
has a Microsoft Word document called “Writers.doc” attached.

Figure 34. Properties Tool

Name
This displays the name of the Active Thought. You can rename the Active
Thought by editing its name in Properties.

File
If, instead of a file a Web page were attached, Properties would display the
page’s Universal Resource Locator (URL).

Details
Clicking the Details button provides information about the path and filename of
the Thought’s content. This is helpful if you want to move the file out of your
Brain. The Content Details dialog box also lets you change the file attached to
the Thought.

Keywords
You can assign keywords to any Thought. These will be helpful when performing
searches for Thoughts using the Query function in Search (see next section). If
you use more than one keyword, separate the words with a space.

Private Thoughts
The Private Thoughts feature is only applicable when you use PersonalBrain
Exporter to transfer PersonalBrain to our enterprise solution, BrainEKP. To learn
more about BrainEKP, visit http://www.thebrain.com/.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 50
Tools

Created
This function shows the date and time the Thought was created.

Modified
Shows the date and time the Thought was last modified.

Active
Shows the time spent on the Active Thought, not just in this session, but since its
creation.

Select Content
If there is no file or Web page attached to a Thought, the Select Content button
is present. Click it to display its dialog box and add content to the Thought. You
can display the same dialog box by opening (activating and then clicking) a
Thought that has no content.

Attach Graphic
By clicking the Attach Graphic button, you can attach a picture to the Active
Thought. A thumbnail of the picture is displayed in the Properties window. You
may also have the picture appear above the Thought by checking Thought
Graphics in the Display Properties menu.

Search Tool
You can identify and activate specific Thoughts immediately by using the Search
tool. The Search tool window displays an alphabetical list of Thoughts organized
by category. The default category “All Thoughts” (sample shown in Figure 35)
displays every Thought in your Brain. Other categories include: Forgotten
Thoughts; Parentless Thoughts; Thoughts with Files, Web pages, and/or
Shortcuts attached; Related Thoughts; Invalid Web Links and Thoughts with
particular file extensions.

Figure 35. Search Tool Window

To activate a Thought from a Search list, simply click it.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 51
Tools

To see other Thought categories, click the down arrow to the right of the category
box (see Figure 36).

Figure 36. Search Thought Categories

Forgotten Thoughts
This option displays all forgotten Thoughts.

Parentless Thoughts
Parentless Thoughts are Thoughts without parents. In the PersonalBrain you
created in Section 3, Getting Started, Your Name and Lou Green were
parentless Thoughts. Parentless Thoughts tend to be subject headings or
organizers.

Related Thoughts
This category produces a list of Thoughts related to the Active Thought. It helps
you see which Thoughts are close to the Active Thought. The Related Thoughts
list updates automatically when you activate a Thought.
When you select this category, PersonalBrain will ask you how many generations
you would like to display. Generations are counted from the Active Thought. The
less generations you select, the more closely the found Thoughts will be related
to the Active Thought. A large number of generations may display every Thought
in your Brain.

Invalid Web Links
Choosing this category will allow PersonalBrain to search for any Web links that
are no longer valid and list them.

Find
This feature is a very useful tool in your PersonalBrain. The Find button is
located to the right of the Search box.
To find a Thought quickly:
1. Click the Find button. The Find Thoughts dialog box appears (see
Figure 37).

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 52
Tools

2. Fill in the criteria for performing a search of your Brain.

Figure 37. Find Thoughts Dialog Box

The criteria are: “Names contain,” “Keywords include,” “Keywords exclude,”
(assigned in Properties; see previous section), “Notes contain,” and “Files
contain.” You can choose to ignore or include Privacy Status, along with date the
Thoughts turned private.

Criteria Description
Names contain A subset of words that are part of the Thought
name.
Keywords include Assigned in the Properties window.
Keywords exclude Assigned in the Properties window.
Notes contain A subset of words that are in the notes for that
Thought.
Files contain A subset of words of phrases in the files
associated with a Thought.
Privacy Status Assigned in the Properties window.
Ignore Privacy Status Find any Thought regardless of whether it is
marked private.
Any Private Thoughts Lists any private Thought that meets the other
criteria.
Turning Private between Limits search to Thoughts that turned private
during the designated time period.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 53
Tools

Copy
Use this function to copy the entire contents of the Search list (all Thoughts in
PersonalBrain). When you click Copy, PersonalBrain copies the alphabetical list
of all Thoughts onto the clipboard, from which you can paste the contents into
MS Word or Notepad.
Alternatively, whatever is currently displayed in the list will be copied onto the
clipboard. For example, if you search for parentless Thoughts, and they are
displayed in the list of Thought names; that is what will be copied to the
clipboard. Similarly, if you want to copy all your Web pages, select that category
from the drop list and choose copy.

History Tool
The History tool displays an alphabetical list of Thoughts created, modified, or
activated within a selected time frame, along with a bar chart showing the relative
length of time the Thoughts were active (see Figure 38).

Figure 38. History Tool Window

This function will help you see what you’ve been doing recently. It comes in
handy if you are interrupted and lose your train of Thought. It’s also a great aid to
project managers who need to control productivity, professionals whose billing is
based on time, and people who want to manage their time and work more
efficiently. For example, if a lawyer has assigned a Thought to each of his or her
clients, a look at a History list will be helpful when filling out time sheets for
billing. On the other side of the coin, a list can also show you how much of your
time has been devoted to playing Solitaire.
Click the Update button to refresh a History list.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 54
Customizing PersonalBrain

10 Customizing PersonalBrain
This section deals mainly with the way PersonalBrain is displayed, both internally
and in relation to other applications. Each Brain has its own set of customizable
preferences. When you create a Brain, it is set to default preferences. When you
open a Brain, you load its preferences simultaneously.

The Window Menu
The Window menu allows you to set the way PersonalBrain is displayed
(see Figure 39).

Figure 39. Window Menu

Auto Hide (for Docked Windows)
The Auto Hide option (the default setting) allows you the most desktop space for
working in other applications, but only works when the PersonalBrain window is
docked (see Dock Left, Right, Top, Bottom). This means that when you click your
mouse pointer in another application, PersonalBrain conveniently disappears
from the screen, and is replaced by the Auto Hide button, a small gray circle with
PersonalBrain’s logo inside. (The uses of the Auto Hide button in relation to
attaching files and Web pages are discussed in Creating a Thought and
Attaching an Existing File in Section 3.)
You can drag the Auto Hide button to any of the four edges of the screen (see
Dock Left, Right, Top, Bottom, below).
When Auto Hide is off, other applications will run next to the PersonalBrain
window. Even when maximized, they will only be displayed in the area not taken
up by the PersonalBrain window. Since the PersonalBrain window will never be
out of sight, the Auto Hide button will never be displayed.
You may find this setting useful as you make the transition to PersonalBrain, but
after you’ve attached existing files to Thoughts, you will most likely want to use
Auto Hide to free screen space for working with your applications.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 55
Customizing PersonalBrain

Always On Top (for Floating Windows)
This feature is only available when PersonalBrain window is floating, when it is
not docked. With this option, you can ensure that PersonalBrain is never out of
sight. PersonalBrain window will always be displayed on top of other
applications.

Displaying Your PersonalBrain Windows

Float
Selecting the Float option allows you to move the PersonalBrain window
anywhere on the screen and adjust both its height and width (see Resizing Your
Brain, in Section 10). With this option the PersonalBrain window acts as a normal
window, and The Auto Hide button will not work when Float is selected. If
PersonalBrain becomes hidden by an application, just click its button in the
Windows taskbar.
With the PersonalBrain window set to Float, you may also select Always on Top.
If you do, the PersonalBrain window will always be displayed, but you can
change its location and size it to fit the display of other applications.

Dock Left, Right, Top, Bottom
The Dock options in the Window menu let you choose where on your desktop the
PersonalBrain window is attached. These options work with the Auto Hide
feature. Try each option to see which suits you. PersonalBrain window can also
be docked to a different edge of the screen by dragging the Auto Hide button to
that edge.

Resizing Your Brain
You can change the size of the components of PersonalBrain to suit your needs.

PersonalBrain Window
No matter what settings you select from the Window menu, you can adjust the
PersonalBrain window to any size you like. However, with PersonalBrain window
docked, it takes up the full length or width of the screen, depending on whether it
is docked left/right or top/bottom. You will only be able to expand it in the
direction opposite the docked edge.
To resize PersonalBrain window:
1. Move the pointer over the window border until the pointer changes to a
double arrow (see Figure 40).

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 56
Customizing PersonalBrain

Figure 40. Resizing the PersonalBrain Window

2. Click and drag the border of the PersonalBrain window to the desired size.
You can drag it all the way to the opposite end of the display if you like, but
if you’ve set the PersonalBrain window to Always On Top, you will not be
able to see other applications.
When set to Float, a maximize button appears in the top right corner of the
PersonalBrain window. If you want to adjust the size of the PersonalBrain
window, drag any border or corner until the window reaches the desired size.

The Plex Window and the Tools Window
You can adjust the relative size and position of the plex window and tools
window. If you have a complex Brain and are displaying distant and forgotten
Thoughts, you may want to make the plex window larger. On the other hand, if
you work frequently with Notes, you may want to make the tools window larger.
Simply drag the splitter bar between the windows to make them bigger or smaller
(see Figure 41). Double-click the splitter to switch the positions of the windows.

Figure 41. Resizing the Tools Window

The Splitter button is in the middle of the splitter. Clicking the Splitter button will
change the orientation of the windows from the top/bottom to left/right.

The Options Menu
You can display the Options menu by clicking its entry on the menu bar or by
right-clicking any empty area of the plex. The Options menu contains a number
of important settings (see Figure 42).

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 57
Customizing PersonalBrain

Figure 42. Options Menu

Undo/Redo
As discussed in Section 7, you can step back and forth through actions using
Undo/Redo. This is a context-sensitive entry that identifies the action to be
undone or redone next to the entry. Note that Undo ends at the last deletion of a
file or Thought.

Search Web
As discussed in “Searching the Web,” Section 11, you can launch a Web search
directly from PersonalBrain by using this feature, which can be set to use search
engines such as WebBrain, Yahoo, Lycos, Excite, and others.

Refresh Virtual Thoughts
If you make revisions to the contents of the folder that contains virtual Thoughts,
you can click this option to update PersonalBrain to reflect the changes while you
work.
Note: Virtual Thoughts are refreshed automatically when you open
PersonalBrain.

Wander
Just as many of your most creative moments stem from letting your mind
wander, so can PersonalBrain be set to Wander. If you select this option,
PersonalBrain will randomly step through your Brain, possibly letting you see
Thought associations that you had not considered before.

Import Folders
If you are happy with the organization of your existing folders, you can move their
contents into your Brain as virtual Thoughts (see Drag a Folder to Create Multiple
Thoughts in Section 3).

Import Using the Options menu
1. Activate the Thought to which the folder will be linked.
2. Choose Import Folders from the Options menu.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 58
Customizing PersonalBrain

3. Check the boxes next to the folders you want to import. Click the Add
Folders button if the folder you want is not listed.
4. Click OK to finish.

Import by Dragging
1. Activate the Thought to which the folder will be linked.
2. Find the folders you want to import using Windows Explorer—you may also
import directly from the desktop.
3. Drag the folders into PersonalBrain, into the appropriate Thought zone of
the Active Thought.
PersonalBrain automatically creates child Thoughts named after the folders you
have imported. Their parent is the Active Thought. Each of these Thoughts has
its own child Thoughts named after and containing each file in the folder.
Though you will be able to launch virtual Thought applications and files, you will
not be able to modify them or add notes. Also, you will only be allowed to delete
the folder you imported, but not its children Thoughts.
Also, while in the Import Folders menu, you will be given the option to import your
Netscape Navigator Bookmarks (see Figure 43).

Figure 43. Import Folders Dialog Box

Since PersonalBrain can replace Netscape Navigator’s Bookmarks by allowing
you to open a Web page from within PersonalBrain, you can check this box and
import your bookmarks from Netscape. They will be stored in a Thought named
Netscape Navigator Bookmarks. All folders will be children of that Thought and
the structure of the Navigator bookmarks is visualized in PersonalBrain.
See Drag a Folder to Create Multiple Thoughts in Section 3 for advice on
creating Virtual Thoughts.

Forgotten Thoughts
This option toggles on and off the display of forgotten Thoughts in the plex. As
discussed in Forgetting a Thought in Section 7, forgotten Thoughts must be
visible in the plex to be deleted. If a forgotten Thought is activated by clicking its
pin or its name in the Past Thought List, the forgotten Thought is automatically

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 59
Customizing PersonalBrain

displayed. If you want to turn off the display, return to the Options menu and
choose Forgotten Thoughts.

Hide Links
This option toggles on and off the display of links. When this option is selected,
the links display only when you roll over them with the mouse.

Display Properties
You may modify the way the plex appears by choosing Display Properties from
the Options menu (see Figure 44).

Figure 44. Display Properties – General Tab

General
In the General tab, you can customize how the Thoughts in your PersonalBrain
will display.

Siblings
Checking the Siblings box will set the plex to display the Active Thought’s
siblings in the sibling zone to the right of the Active Thought. If unchecked,
siblings will not be displayed.

Distant Thoughts
Check this box if you want to display the Active Thought’s near distant Thoughts;
that is, Thoughts one step (generation) removed from close Thoughts. These
Thoughts can be linked to, but not from, because their gates are not displayed.
Near distant Thoughts may clutter the plex, even though they are displayed in
small type compared to close Thoughts. You can move your mouse pointer over
a near distant Thought to highlight it and make it larger. Of course, if you resize
the plex, near distant Thoughts will become larger or smaller along with the rest
of the Thoughts in the plex.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 60
Customizing PersonalBrain

Markers
One of three markers may appear to the right of a Thought if this box is checked.
A red “A” indicates that the Thought was active in the last 15 minutes. A yellow
“C” indicates that the Thought was created in the last 30 minutes. A yellow “M”
indicates that the Thought was modified in the last 30 minutes. Using markers is
a great way to see what you have been working on.

Thought Graphics
Check this box if you want to display the attached graphic of all Thoughts in the
plex. Note that when this box is checked, all Thoughts without an attached
graphic will display a default Brain logo.

Font
This drop-down menu allows you to select the typeface that will be used to
display Thoughts in the plex window.

Icons
File icons are displayed next to Thoughts that have files, Web pages, or
shortcuts attached. The icons let you know which application created the content.
In this drop-down menu, you can select Normal or Small icons, or choose Hidden
if you do not want the icons to be displayed.

Order By
When this drop-down menu is set to Name, Thoughts related to the Active
Thought will appear in their zones in alphabetical order. You can also base
display order on duration active (choose Time Active) and when last active
(choose Last Active). In addition, you can choose “None,” which lists Thoughts in
the order they are created.

Plex Scale
Change the overall size of the plex by clicking the up or down arrows. For
example, the larger the number, the larger the plex size.

Wallpaper
Just as you can select wallpaper for your Windows desktop, the background of
the plex can be changed to any wallpaper.
If you want to select wallpaper,
1. On the Options menu, click Display Properties, and select the General tab.
2. Click the Wallpaper box and click Browse to find the wallpaper file you
want to use.
Depending on the wallpaper you choose, you can check the Fill Thought
Background box, which will put a solid background behind the name of each
Thought to make it easier to read.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 61
Customizing PersonalBrain

Colors
In the Colors tab, you can customize the look of PersonalBrain by selecting a
custom color for every element of the PersonalBrain window. For example, you
can change the color of the links, Thought names, and plex background to suit
your sense of style.
To change colors:
1. On the Options menu, click Display Properties, and select the Colors tab.
The current colors are displayed next to the elements.
2. Select the element you wish to change and choose a color from the drop-
list or the Customize button. Your colors are saved in your Brain until you
decide to change them again.
To save a color scheme:
1. After you have your color scheme set up, click Save in the Colors selection
window. The Save Colors box appears.
2. Name the File and click Save. The color scheme is saved in that folder.
To load a color scheme into any Brain:
1. Click Load in the Colors selection window.
2. Select a color scheme (Brain Color Schemes have an extension of .bcs)
from the appropriate folder. The set of colors is copied from the folder into
the PersonalBrain you have open currently.

This table lists the names and descriptions of the elements you can customize:

Element Description
Active Thought – Background The background fill of the Active Thought.
Active Thought – Border The rectangular box surrounding the active
Thought.
Active Thought – Rotating Ind. The rotating indicator (cam) behind an Active
Thought.
Active Thought – Text The text of the Active Thought.
Background – Center The center portion of the plex background.
Background – Top and Bottom The top and bottom portion of the plex
background.
Gates – Highlighted The gates in the plex that contain parent,
jump, and/or child Thoughts.
Gates – Normal The gate of the connection (link between
Thoughts visible in the plex. Also, the
rectangular boxes separating the Past
Thoughts.
Highlights The border of a Thought when the mouse is
over that Thought.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 62
Customizing PersonalBrain

Element Description
Links – Extra The cross-link between two Thoughts.
Links – Forgotten Thoughts The link between a Thought and a forgotten
Thought.
Links – Highlighted Thoughts The links that are displayed when you roll
over a specific Thought.
Link – Normal The link in the plex.
Markers – Activated The marker of a Thought that has been
recently activated, but has not been modified
or created.
Markers – Created or Modified The marker of a Thought that has been
recently created or modified.
Messages – Background The background of the welcome message
displayed when PersonalBrain is launched.
Messages – Border The rectangular box around the welcome
message displayed when PersonalBrain is
launched.
Messages – Text The text in the welcome message displayed
when PersonalBrain is launched.
Scroll – Arrows The arrows that appear on each side of the
Past Thought List, and also in the child jump
and sibling Thought areas.
Text – Distant Thought The text of distant Thoughts
Text – Forgotten Thoughts The text of forgotten Thoughts
Text – Hints The text of the hints option in the Help menu.
Text – Normal Thoughts The text of normal Thoughts and the Past
Thought List.
Text – Private Thoughts The text of private Thoughts.
Text – Virtual Thoughts The text of virtual Thoughts.
Warning – Delete Background The background of a Thought you wish to
delete. This will only show after “delete
Thought” has been selected.
Warning – Forget Background The background for the Thought you are
forgetting. This will only show after “forget
Thought” has been selected.
Warning – Text The text in the highlighted Thought when
editing or deleting a Thought. This will only
show after “delete” or “forget” Thought has
been selected.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 63
Customizing PersonalBrain

Preferences
You can easily customize your PersonalBrain preferences. On the Brain menu,
select Preferences, and you see three tabs on the Preferences menu
(see Figure 45).
General Tab

Figure 45. Preferences Tab

Load Notes and Properties When a Thought is Highlighted
Check this box if you want to display the Notes or Properties of a Thought when
the mouse pointer is over a Thought other than the Active Thought. When this
box is checked, you can just move the mouse pointer over any Thought visible in
the plex and the Notes or Properties will be displayed automatically.

Maximize Program Windows
You can have multiple programs running at the same time as PersonalBrain. If
you check this option, PersonalBrain will open them with their windows
maximized. If the PersonalBrain window is docked, the windows of other
programs will not cover PersonalBrain window. If it is floating, other programs will
completely cover the PersonalBrain window, unless Always On Top has been
chosen from the Window menu.

Open PersonalBrain on Startup
Selecting this option will cause PersonalBrain to open every time you start
Windows.

Stop Pointer Flashing
Some older computers cause the pointer to flash in the plex window. Check this
box to stop the flashing. If you select this option, your pointer may respond more
slowly.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 64
Customizing PersonalBrain

Virtual Thoughts
Virtual Thoughts are created when you import folders from your hard drive or
desktop, as opposed to normal Thoughts that are created directly in
PersonalBrain. To import a folder into your Brain, you simply need to click on the
folder and drag it into the plex. PersonalBrain will map out the folder and display
the content as Virtual Thoughts. To view these Thoughts, select Preferences
from the Brain menu. Check the Virtual Thoughts box.
To convert these “virtual” Thoughts into “normal” Thoughts, just drag your mouse
over the link between the folder name Thought (or parent) and the virtual
Thought (child).

Count X Minutes of Idle Time as Active
Use this function to set the amount of time PersonalBrain should consider a
Thought active despite being unable to detect mouse or keyboard activity. This
setting affects the accuracy of the History tool and the Order By option, as well
as turning off PersonalBrain’s animation after the timer runs out. For greater
accuracy, a shorter period of idle time should be considered active. This is
important if you are using the History tool for billing or project management.

Reset to Defaults
If you click this button, all the settings in Preferences will be reset to their default.
This will not affect options selected in other menus, but it will affect General,
Color, Animation, and Wallpaper preferences.

Animation Tab

Figure 46. Animation Tab

Thought Movement
When Thought Movement is enabled, the change from one Active Thought to
another is animated. The speed of animation is set by using the slide bar.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 65
Customizing PersonalBrain

Active Thought Indicator
The Active Thought appears in the center of the plex. Surrounding it is the
animated Active Thought indicator (see Figure 47).

Figure 47. Active Thought Indicator

Use the indicator’s slide bar to set the speed of its rotation. You can change the
indicator’s motion from clockwise to random clockwise/counterclockwise.
Disabling the Active Thought indicator removes it from the plex.

Sizing Tab
In the Sizing tab of the Preferences window, you can specify the height and
spacing of distant Thoughts (see Figure 48).

Figure 48. Sizing Tab

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 66
Customizing PersonalBrain

InstantBrains
PersonalBrain contains a collection of ten example InstantBrains that you can
open individually or merge into your Brain. InstantBrains are custom-built around
specific themes and subject matter. They provide easy access to certain types of
Web content and are a great way to explore the Web. With InstantBrains, you
can see the power of organizing information for easy accessibility.
Note: You must create your own PersonalBrain before you open an
InstantBrain.

Installing an InstantBrain
There are two ways to install an InstantBrain.
To install an InstantBrain into a new Brain file (recommended), follow these
simple instructions:
1. Open PersonalBrain 2.0.
2. From the Brain menu, select New Brain.
3. Name the Brain however you like. We suggest you name it similarly,
although not exactly, to the name of the InstantBrain. For example, if you
are installing the “Island Fever” InstantBrain, you may wish to name your
new Brain “Islands” or “Island Travel.”
4. Click OK.
5. From the Brain menu, select Add InstantBrain.
6. Select the name of the InstantBrain you wish to install and click OK.
7. You have the option to import the InstantBrain wallpaper. To include the
wallpaper, choose Yes. To keep your existing color scheme and/or
wallpaper, choose No.
Alternatively, you may install an InstantBrain into one of your existing Brain files
by following these instructions:
1. Open PersonalBrain 2.0.
2. Open your Brain file.
3. Create or activate the Thought under which you would like to attach the
InstantBrain.
4. From the Brain menu, select Add InstantBrain.
5. Select the name of the InstantBrain you wish to install and click OK.
6. You will have the option to import the InstantBrain wallpaper. To include the
wallpaper, choose Yes. To keep your existing color scheme and/or
wallpaper, choose No.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 67
Customizing PersonalBrain

Removing InstantBrain Wallpaper
To remove the wallpaper associated with an InstantBrain you just incorporated:
On the Options menu, deselect Wallpaper. The background will reset to the
colors you specified before, or to the original default.

Removing an InstantBrain
If you want to remove an InstantBrain from your PersonalBrain, follow these
steps:
1. Locate the “top” Thought of the InstantBrain you wish to remove, which is
named identically to the name listed on the InstantBrain menu.
2. If a parent Thought does not exist above the “top” Thought, create one and
name it however you like.
3. Activate the new parent Thought so it resides in the center of the plex.
4. Hold down the Shift key and click the link between the “top” Thought and
its parent Thought.
5. You will be asked to confirm deletion of the “top” Thought and its related
Thoughts. Click Delete to confirm.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 68
PersonalBrain and the Internet

11 PersonalBrain and the Internet
The Web is an amazing resource, offering information and entertainment of
virtually all types. Its power and value lies in its scope and variety. One of the
most powerful and useful features of the Web is the ability of pages to link with
other, related pages, somewhat like the way PersonalBrain works with Thoughts.
But where the Web is troublesome is the source of its greatness: links. Links
appear as underlined, colorful bits of text or images, and there is no way to know
exactly where a link will take you. The problem is one of presentation—the Web’s
links are not represented in a way that is visually recognizable and usable.
Web browsers have tried to relieve this navigational problem by creating
bookmarks to help you access frequently visited sites. But bookmarks are
generally not organized, and if you take the time and effort to organize them, the
best you can do is organize them hierarchically. Further, they are isolated within
the browser, separate from related files.
PersonalBrain solves these problems in a way that requires you to pay not more,
not the same, but far less attention than you did before. Attaching a Web page to
a Thought, or creating a Web Thought, is similar to creating a bookmark, but the
pages are effortlessly organized in a way that makes sense to you. Plus, they are
visually represented alongside other Thoughts you may have on similar subjects.
With PersonalBrain, your travel itinerary is alongside pages about the places
you’re traveling to, which are alongside your calculator for converting money,
which is alongside your address book in which you keep friends’ addresses.

Searching the Web
PersonalBrain has a convenient built-in Web search tool. To search:
1. From the Options menu, select Search Web. The Search Web dialog box
appears.
2. Type the topic of interest, and select one of the pre-programmed search
engines (see Figure 49).
2. Click Search. PersonalBrain will search the Web for pages meeting your
specification.

Figure 49. Search Web Box

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 69
PersonalBrain and the Internet

This makes searching the Web quicker and easier, since you won’t have to find
the search windows on the sites. And if one site doesn’t turn up the information
you want, simply choosing another site on the menu launches a search, without
you having to find a bookmark for another site or typing in a cumbersome URL.

Creating Thoughts and Attaching Web Pages
Once you find the pages you want, you can easily create Thoughts of them by
dragging them into the plex, as described in Sections 3 and 6. If the page you
want to attach to a new Thought is currently on your browser, you can drag
directly from any gate to the browser to create a Thought named after the page’s
title.
Note: If you drag from a Web page into the plex, PersonalBrain will insert the
URL, not the page name. You will be prompted to change the Thought
name (if desired) in the Edit Name box. If the Web page does not have a
title or name, the URL will be inserted regardless of which method you
use to attach the page.

You can create a Thought of a Web page even if PersonalBrain is hidden,
by dragging the icon next to the URL in your browser to the Auto Hide
button.
You can also create a Thought of a Web page by dragging from a
Thought’s gate. When PersonalBrain asks you to name the Thought, enter
the URL. The Web address will automatically be attached to the Thought so
that you can rename the Thought immediately.

Attaching a Web Page to an Existing Thought
To attach a Web page to an existing Thought that has no content:
1. Activate the Thought.
2. Display the Select Content dialog box by clicking the Active Thought.
3. Click the Attach Web Page button in the Select Content dialog box.
4. Enter the URL of the Web page you want to attach.

Working with Thoughts Containing E-mail
If you use an e-mail application, PersonalBrain can help you integrate the
messages you want to keep with other information on the same subject. You can
devote a section of your Brain to your favorite joke e-mails, or store e-mail from
your business partner with other information relevant to your business.

Creating Thoughts Containing E-mail Messages
If you use any popular e-mail application, you will most likely be able to create a
Thought of a message by simply dragging the message into the plex, creating
the desired relationship with the Active Thought. The Thought will be named
according to the Subject line of the message. The e-mail message will be much

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 70
PersonalBrain and the Internet

easier to find in your Brain than scrolling through a long list of mail saved in order
of receipt, hoping to recognize the message you need.
When you have attached e-mail to Thoughts, you may go back to your e-mail
application and delete the messages from the saved message list.
If your e-mail application does not support drag and drop, you can copy
messages to Notes. To open e-mail from your Brain, create a Thought and attach
a shortcut to the e-mail application.
Many popular online services, such as America Online, Earthlink, and MSN, have
mail readers built into their software. Since none of these support drag and drop,
and since mail readers are not stand-alone applications, you cannot access e-
mail in these services from PersonalBrain.

Creating Thoughts Containing E-mail Attachments
Attachments to e-mail messages can be dragged into PersonalBrain along with
the message. There is no need to drag attachments in separately. E-mail saved
in a Thought retains any Internet address information or hyperlinks contained in
the message—letting you go directly from the hyperlink to a Web page. This is
useful if you want to link the Web page to the message’s Thought.

Spidering a Web Page
“Spidering” a Web page lets you Brain-enable an entire Web site in seconds. To
spider a Web page:
1. Attach the home page of the site you want to Brain-enable to the Active
Thought.
2. Choose Spider Web Page from the Thought menu.
3. Select the options you want when spidering.
4. Click Start.
These are the spidering options:

Option Description
Depth This sets the number of pages away from the
starting location where the Web site will be
mapped. Depth can be a number from 1-10.
Select Links to Add Check this circle to select specific links to add to
your Brain.
Automatically Add Links Check this circle to have PersonalBrain
automatically add links to your Brain.
Add Redundant Check this box to have the spidering tool add
links that return to previous pages in the Web
site (example: “Home” or “Back to Top”).

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 71
PersonalBrain and the Internet

Option Description
Add Non-Local Check this box to add Web pages that are not
local to the site being spidered (example: a link
on a personal Web site that takes you to the
Yahoo! home page).
Spider Non-Local Check this box and the spidering tool will map
out non-local Web links as far as the Depth is
set.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 72
PersonalBrain and Your Applications

12 PersonalBrain and Your Applications
In regard to PersonalBrain, there are two types of applications: those that create
files and those that do not. PersonalBrain is a great tool for managing both types.
For applications that create files, an advantage of PersonalBrain is that it saves
all the time and attention devoted to starting your application, finding the file you
want to work on, loading the file, etc. All these tasks are performed automatically
when you click a Thought that has content so you can concentrate on your ideas.
Also, when you create a file by choosing an application from the Select Content
dialog box, you will not have to worry about making up a filename or winding
through a series of folders to find a location to save the file.
For applications that don’t create files, such as a Web browser, game, utility, or
CD player, you can attach a shortcut to a Thought that will start the application
when you activate and click the Thought. By grouping these kinds of applications
under a parent Thought, you can create a pin that will quickly take you to them,
saving you the time you’d otherwise spend moving through the Start menu or
hunting for a shortcut (see Creating Pins in Section 5).

Juggling Several Thoughts at Once
You may need to keep several Thoughts open at the same time. This would be
the case when you are cutting and pasting between files. It is easy to work on
more than one Thought at a time. If an application is open and can handle more
than one file at a time, you can:
Drag Thoughts from the plex into the application,
Or,
Activate Thoughts and open their files in their application by clicking the
Active Thought.
If you drag in a Thought whose file is already in use in that application, the
results vary. For example:
WordPerfect will accept the second instance of the file, but, like sharing
files on a LAN, the second instance will be read-only and you won’t be able
to save changes you make to it.
Microsoft Word will ask if you want to revert to the last saved copy of the
file. If you click Yes, you will lose changes made since the last time you
saved the file.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 73
PersonalBrain and Your Applications

Keeping Multiple Versions of a File
Sometimes you will want to keep multiple versions of a file. For example, if you
are writing a report that will go through multiple drafts, you may want to keep
earlier drafts as you rewrite. The best way to work with multiple files is this:
1. Before you work on the next draft, click the Thought menu and choose
Copy Thought.
2. Rename the copy to reflect the new draft.
3. Activate the new Thought and click it.
4. The file opens to let you edit.

Using Templates
You probably often find yourself working on a document that is similar to other
documents, such as a form letter or an invoice. PersonalBrain makes such work
easy by allowing you to select the basic file when you are creating a Thought’s
content.
A template is a file that is used as the foundation for creating other files, for
example, a blank invoice form to which you add the job and price information and
save under its invoice number.
To create a template:
1. Create the basic file. Give it a name that will indicate the type of file that will
be created from it, such as “Form Letter” or “Invoice Template.”
2. Create a Thought for which the template will be used.
3. Click the Add Template button in the Select Content dialog box.
4. Find the file you want to use as a template.
Notice that when you have selected the file, its filename appears in the Select
Content dialog box. It will remain there and you will be able to select it when you
need to create a file based on it.
If you no longer need the template:
Go to the Select Content dialog box and click Remove Template.
One of the most helpful ways PersonalBrain works with templates is in naming
the files created from them. If you’ve worked with templates, you know that you
always run the risk of modifying them and forgetting to rename the new file
before saving it, leaving you with the modified version as your template. It’s a lot
of work to go back and remove modifications to restore the original template.
Since PersonalBrain names files for you, you will never experience this annoying
problem again.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 74
PersonalBrain and Networks

13 PersonalBrain and Networks
PersonalBrain works particularly well in a network environment. Not only can you
open your Brain from any computer on the LAN (local area network), but you can
share Brains with other users. PersonalBrain eliminates the need to think about
the network environment, and enables the network to function more productively.
In a network environment, you might want to create a Brain for each project in
addition to your personal Brain. This way, other members of the team with whom
you’ll share files will only be able to access the files relevant to the project. In
order to maintain different access privileges for different information, you will
have to create separate Brains and set the access privileges for the folder
containing the PersonalBrains, according to your network software.
Project managers will be particularly interested in using the History tool. It will
show how much time has been spent working on any aspect of a project.
Several users can open the same Brain simultaneously. However, only the first
user to open that Brain will be able to modify it.
You can share files with other users without sharing the same Brain. For
example, it is simple to move a file from PersonalBrain into a network folder for
others to use. To do this:
1. Display the Thought menu.
2. Choose Move File out of Brain.
3. Select the destination folder.
4. Click Save.
If you want to give others access to a copy of a file, simply drag it from the plex
and drop it into Windows.

Multiple Brains on One Computer
You can create as many Brains as you like. For individual users, we recommend
keeping all your Thoughts in one Brain, under your name or chosen title so that
all your Thoughts can be related to one another, as in your mind. However, there
are circumstances when it is desirable to create multiple Brains.
You might want to create a different Brain for projects that you want to keep
separate from each other or to pass on for others to assess. The ability to create
multiple Brains is especially useful if you share your computer. Each user can
create a Brain to suit his or her needs and way of computing.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 75
The Transition to PersonalBrain

Appendix A – The Transition to PersonalBrain
PersonalBrain models itself on the unique, complex, multi-dimensional mind of
the individual user. Other interfaces that claim to improve on the Windows
system of file organization are limited to making Windows simpler or prettier or
easier, but they all share the Windows hierarchical organizational structure.
As you use PersonalBrain and time goes by, you will go for long stretches
without thinking about—or even seeing—Windows. However, PersonalBrain is
not an operating system and so it cannot replace Windows entirely. You will find
yourself interacting with Windows from time to time, particularly when you begin
using PersonalBrain and move your existing files and shortcuts into Thoughts.
Also, when you install applications or upgrade existing ones, you will have to use
the Windows’ installation process.
Once you’ve become familiar with PersonalBrain, you won’t miss Windows.
PersonalBrain is much easier to use and vastly more powerful. PersonalBrain
and Windows both serve your file management needs. They visually present the
files on your hard drive and you use them both to access files you’ve created.
But PersonalBrain’s starting point is where Windows ends. By doing away with
the hierarchical structure used by Windows and organizing your information
associatively, PersonalBrain will make it far easier for you to find and work on the
files you need. Because the files are no longer organized from the top down by
application, but by your own sense of what content belongs with what other
content, PersonalBrain breaks down the barriers between applications, files on
your hard drive, and pages on the Internet. Content is content, information is
information, Thoughts are Thoughts, and it is you, the user, who knows best how
to piece them together.

Using Windows to Move Files into PersonalBrain
As discussed earlier, when you want to associate a Thought with a file that you
created before you used PersonalBrain, you will need to use Windows Explorer,
My Computer, or the desktop to drag the file into the plex. There are three ways
to drag files. Each way has implications for hard disk space.

Dragging Files
Simply dragging a file from Windows into the plex will attach to the Thought, not
the file itself, but a shortcut pointed to the file in its folder. You would use this
method, for example, if you were sharing a computer with someone who needs
to work on the same file as you do. The important thing to remember about
shortcuts is that if the other user changes the file name or location of the file, the
shortcut you’ve established in the Thought may no longer point to the file, and
your Brain will not be able to open it. Discourage other users from changing file
names or locations.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 76
The Transition to PersonalBrain

CTRL+Dragging Files
Hold down the Ctrl key while dragging to copy the file and move the copy into
your Brain. There are two things to consider with this method. First, while other
users will still be able to work on the original file, you will be working on a copy—
changes you make will not be available to other users, nor will their changes be
available to you. Second, this method causes a file to take up twice the hard disk
space. You should only use this method if you want to create a copy of the file.

SHIFT+Dragging Files
Hold down the Shift key while dragging to move the file into PersonalBrain (see
the next section for information on how PersonalBrain stores files). No copy will
exist in the file’s original folder. Consequently, no other users will have access to
the file, unless they import it from your Brain (see Importing and Merging Brains
in Section 7). This method uses the least space on your hard disk.

How PersonalBrain Stores Files
If you accept PersonalBrain’s default installation location, the program will be
located in C:\Program Files\TheBrain\PersonalBrain2.0. Files for each Brain
created on your computer are stored in C:\My Brains. Files containing Brain data
are called brn files; that’s their extension. The size of a .brn file depends on how
many Thoughts are in its Brain; each Thought requires 2KB of space. Brain files
are named as follows: Brain Name.brn, where Brain Name is the name you’ve
given to a Brain. You will need to know the name of a Brain file if you want to
import that Brain into PersonalBrain that is open (see Importing and Merging
Brains in Section 7).
The files you attach to Thoughts in each Brain are stored in a separate folder
named after PersonalBrain name with the characters _brn after the name. So for
a Brain named “Lou Green,” files attached to its Thoughts would be stored in the
folder Lou Green_brn. You will need to access your My Brains folder if you want
to move a file out of PersonalBrain to Windows.

Advice for the Transition
The best way to make the transition to PersonalBrain is on a file-by-file basis.
However, for users who had highly organized hard drives before installing
PersonalBrain, there is a quick and convenient method of importing files into a
new Brain (see Import Folders, Section 10).
Importing numerous files at once will turn your Brain into a highly efficient version
of Windows Explorer, but will reduce the power of your Brain to make the
transition slowly and effectively. Effective transition is achieved by associating
Thoughts “as you go.” If you import folders, it is best if these folders contain a few
files related to a specific subject. In this way, the resulting Brain will be
reasonably well organized, although you will have to manually create
relationships between Thoughts to realize your Brain’s potential.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 77
The Transition to PersonalBrain

Avoid the temptation to move large folders into your Brain. PersonalBrain can do
this—it will take all the files you drag in and make them child Thoughts of the
Thought to which you drag them. These child Thoughts will be named after the
file names attached to them, so they will not be organized conceptually the way
they would be if you move files into your Brain as you use them. With the
wholesale approach, your Brain will be cluttered with Thoughts you may not
need; creating the proper links between relevant Thoughts could become a
chore.
Moving files and Thoughts around once they are inside your Brain is not as
straightforward as in Windows. You can move Thoughts, by dragging them
around the Active Thought or unlinking and re-linking them, but on a large scale
this can be tedious. Your first instinct as to where to place a particular Thought is
usually your best (and most easily remembered), and it is this philosophy that
PersonalBrain is designed to accommodate. Your Brain will evolve as links
between Thoughts grow more numerous and more complex—this is a process
that cannot be done quickly or haphazardly without sacrificing your Brain’s
intelligence.
By making the transition on a file-by-file basis, the files that do not enter your
Brain are the ones you never need, and every piece of information your Brain
contains will be useful.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 78
Alternate Commands

Appendix B – Alternate Commands

Keyboard Commands
You can use the keyboard to navigate PersonalBrain and perform many of the
functions.

Help
F1 Opens the Contents and Index section of the Help menu.

Navigating
When you use keyboard commands to navigate PersonalBrain, a highlight
around the Thought indicates the position of the “pointer,” and the links also
appear highlighted.
Alt+arrow keys Navigate the plex. To activate the highlighted Thought,
release the Alt key.
Alt+Enter Opens the content of the Active Thought.

Creating Thoughts
These commands let you edit and create Thoughts related to the Active Thought:
F2 Opens the Rename Thought dialog box.
F5 Refreshes the Virtual Thoughts in the current Brain.
F6 Child Thought
F7 Parent Thought
F8 Jump Thought

Searching
This command allows you to search for Web sites.
F4 Brings up Search Web dialog box

Notes
These commands work in Notes:
Ctrl+S Save Note
Ctrl+P Print Note
Ctrl+X Cut
Ctrl+C Copy
Ctrl+V Paste
Del Clear

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 79
Alternate Commands

Ctrl+A Select All
Ctrl+F Find
Ctrl+H Replace

Mouse Commands
When you right-click the mouse on different areas of the plex, you can bring
up pop-up windows with menu items.
Right-click on the plex background or a link to bring up the Options
menu.
Right-click on a Thought, a pin, or the Past Thought List to bring up
the Thought menu.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 80
Troubleshooting

Appendix C – Troubleshooting
Here are solutions or explanations to some common problems:

Problem Solution or Explanation

I can’t find the top or center A Brain does not have a top or center. A Brain
of my Brain. is not organized by space, hierarchy, or time,
but by degrees of Thought association.

I can access all my Thoughts Are you using a registered copy of
but I can’t create new ones PersonalBrain? The demonstration copy you
or attach new files to existing downloaded from our Web site will allow you to
Thoughts. add to PersonalBrain for 30 days. After 30
days, you can access all your information, but
to continue building your Brain you must
register your software. To register, click the
Purchase button in the upper left of the
PersonalBrain window.
I can’t drag objects from Netscape does not support OLE. You will be
Netscape. more successful using another browser, such
as Microsoft Internet Explorer.

I can’t drag files from the Applications that support drag and drop from
Open File dialog box of my Open File will allow you to drag a file to a
application to a Thought. Thought. If your application does not support
drag and drop from Open File, you will have to
drag the file to the Thought from the desktop,
Windows Explorer, or My Computer.
Can I change the order in Yes. Thoughts can be displayed in alphabetical
which Thoughts are order; by the order in which they were
arranged? activated; by the amount of time they have
been active; or in no specific order at all. These
options are found under Order By on the
General page of Preferences.

I cannot attach a file, Make sure the Thought does not have content.
shortcut, or Web page to a You cannot attach content to a Thought that
Thought. has content. If the Thought has content,
consider moving the content into Notes.

I clicked an Active Thought You do not have an open Internet connection.
containing a Web page, and There are two ways to fix this problem. Before
the browser opened, but the you open the Web page, open your Internet
page doesn’t appear or I get connection, or configure your browser to open
an error message. your Internet connection automatically when it
opens. It is also possible that the Web page
link has become outdated.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 81
Troubleshooting

Problem Solution or Explanation

Can a Thought be a parent, Yes. Any Thought can have all these
child, jump, and sibling at the relationships with other Thoughts. However,
same time? two Thoughts may only have one relationship
with each other at a time.

I know I didn’t delete a You probably just “forgot” the Thought. Make
Thought but I can’t see it. sure that Forgotten Thoughts is checked in the
Options menu.
How do I back up my Brain? To back up your Brain and its files, make a
copy of both the .brn file and the .brn folder
located in the My Brains folder. For details, see
Moving and Copying Brains in Section 7.

What does PersonalBrain If you delete or rearrange a significant number
mean when it asks me to of Thoughts, you will be asked if you want to
compact it? compact your Brain. This will save hard disk
space. Click Yes.

When I try to open a You probably have an incorrect file extension
Thought, either a different attached to the Thought. File extensions follow
application opens or nothing periods in a file name. Thus, in the file name
opens at all. LETTER.DOC the extension is .DOC.
PersonalBrain uses file extensions to identify
the applications you’ve attached to Thoughts.
You may have created files with incorrect
extensions before installing PersonalBrain.
To change a file’s extension, first move the file
out of PersonalBrain, open Window’s Explorer,
use its renaming mode and then move the file
back into PersonalBrain.
To find the correct extension for an application,
check the application’s manual or check the file
types that have been registered in Windows
(open Window’s Explorer, click the View menu,
choose Options and click the tab marked File
Types). Some applications have more than one
registered extension; it is usually good practice
to use the first one listed.
Why can’t I create additional You may have reached the limit for a specific
Thoughts? Thought. Each individual Thought can have a
maximum of 128 child Thoughts, 32 parent
Thoughts, and 32 jump Thoughts. There is a
limit of 32,000 Thoughts in each Brain you
create.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 82
Troubleshooting

Problem Solution or Explanation

I can't find the resizing circle. PersonalBrain allows you to resize the plex by
selecting Display Properties from the Options
menu. In the box marked Plex Scale, adjust the
number higher to increase the size of the text
or lower to decrease the size.
When I start up my You may need to disable the automatic start-up
computer, I get a "Brain.exe" feature in PersonalBrain. To do this, simply
error message. locate the Startup folder on your computer and
delete the PersonalBrain icon shown there.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 83
Glossary

Glossary

Activate To bring a Thought to the center of the plex and make it
the Active Thought. (See “Active Thought.”)
Active Thought The Thought you are working on right now. The Active
Thought occupies the center of the plex. The Active
Thought’s details are described in the Properties tool
and its notes appear in the Notes tool Only the Active
Thought can be opened by clicking it. A Thought that is
not active can be activated by clicking it, its pin, or its
name in a list (Past Thought, Search, History), and
pressing Enter.
Application A program such as a word processor, database, Web
browser, game, or photo editor.
Auto Hide button When PersonalBrain window is set to Auto Hide, it
disappears when you begin working in another
application and is replaced by the Auto Hide button a
small gray circle with the blue Brain logo inside. Click the
Auto Hide button to reveal the PersonalBrain window or
attach files by dragging them to the Auto Hide button.
Brain A collection of associated Thoughts each of which can
have content. PersonalBrain can create multiple Brains.
Child Thought A Thought with at least one parent. Children of the
Active Thought appear in the child zone, below the
Active Thought. In turn, the Active Thought is a child of
any Thought that appears above it in the parent zone.
Close Thought A Thought that is one step (generation) removed from
the Active Thought. The Active Thought’s close
Thoughts appear in the plex with it.
Content A general term for the file, shortcut, or Web page
attached to a Thought. A Thought can only have one file,
one shortcut or one Web page attached to it. A Thought
need not have content. Content is attached to the Active
Thought by drag and drop or by using the Select Content
dialog box. Existing content must be removed before
new content may be attached.
Delete The complete removal of a Thought and/or its content
from a Brain. Deletion is permanent.
Distant Thought A Thought two or more steps (generations) removed
from the Active Thought. Distant Thoughts only two
generations removed from the Active Thought can be
displayed in the plex by clicking the Distant Thoughts
option on the General page of Preferences.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 84
Glossary

Dock The PersonalBrain window can be attached to any of the
four edges of a screen by choosing a Dock entry in the
Window menu.
Drag and drop To use this feature, select the item you want to drag,
click the mouse button and drag the item to where you
want it to appear.
Forget To remove a Thought from PersonalBrain without
deleting it, its links, its content, or its note. Forgotten
Thoughts can be “remembered.”
Forgotten A Thought that is removed from PersonalBrain without
Thought deleting it, its links, its content, or its note. Forgotten
Thoughts can be “remembered.”
Gate The Active Thought and its close relatives have three
circular “gates,” each of which is used to link to a specific
relation: The parent gate is above a Thought; the child
gate is below it; and the jump gate is beside it. A gate is
hollow when there are no links through it, and solid when
links exist.
History The section of the Tools window that appears when you
click the History button. The History tool lets you search
for Thoughts activated, created, or modified within a
specified time and allows you to see the relative time
spent on any Thought.
Home Thought The Home Thought is the main or top Thought of your
PersonalBrain. It is the Thought that is activated when
you click the Home Thought icon.
InstantBrains A collection of ten example Brains that you can open
individually or merge into your Brain (after you create
your own Brain). They are custom-built around specific
themes and subject matter.
Jump Thought A jump Thought is linked to another Thought through its
jump gate and appears in the jump zone to the left of the
Active Thought. Activating a jump Thought produces a
more significant reconfiguration of the plex than
activating a child Thought or parent Thought. This is
because jump Thoughts of the Active Thought are
related exclusively to the Active Thought and not to other
Thoughts in the plex.
Link The act of connecting Thoughts thereby establishing
close relations. Also, the line connecting two Thoughts in
the plex.
Navigate To move from Thought to Thought by activating
Thoughts.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 85
Glossary

Notes In addition to content, each Thought can have notes.
The Notes box appears in the Tools window when you
click the Notes button. Notes can hold any combination
of text, images, sound, or shortcuts. The Notes function
includes a word processor. Notes are useful when it is
not practical to include information in the body of the
document.
OLE Object Linking and Embedding; a Microsoft standard that
allows images, text, and sound to be moved from one
application to another. Not all applications support OLE.
Parent Thought A Thought that has at least one child. A parent Thought
is linked to its child Thoughts through its child gate. The
Active Thought is a parent of any Thought displayed in
its child zone, below it. Parent Thoughts of the Active
Thought appear in the parent zone, above the Active
Thought.
Parentless A Thought without a parent Thought. A parentless
Thought Thought is often a jump Thought or a Thought
representing a subject heading or organizer. Usually, the
first Thought in a Brain (generally named after the user)
is a parentless Thought.
Past Thought list The scrollable list of Thoughts at the bottom of the plex,
arranged in the order activated. The most recently
activated Thought is the rightmost Thought in the list.
Pin An entry point to a Brain. Click a pin to activate its
Thought. A pin is created by dragging a Thought to the
area immediately below the menu bar. The pin stays
there until it is removed by being dragged into the menu
bar or title bar. You can also create a pin of the Active
Thought from the Thought menu.
Plex The visible portion of your Brain; includes the Active
Thought, its close relations, and the links between them.
It also includes the Search Box, the Past Thought List,
and navigation tools.
Properties The section of the tools window that appears when you
click the Properties button. The Properties tool provides
details of the Active Thought and its content and lets you
rename the Active Thought.
Remember A Thought that has been removed from the plex by
“forgetting” can be remembered by dragging a link from
it to any existing Thought in the plex window that is not
forgotten.
Search The section of the Tools window that appears when you
click the Search button. Search alphabetically lists
Thoughts according to specified criteria (Query function)
or Thoughts in a particular category.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 86
Glossary

Shortcut A small icon that points to a file outside PersonalBrain; a
shortcut allows a file to be opened from the location of
the shortcut in the file directory rather than the location
of the file.
Siblings Two or more Thoughts with a common parent. When a
Thought that has siblings is active, its siblings are
displayed in the sibling zone, to the right of the Active
Thought.
Spidering The act of automatically converting a Web site or a
portion of a Web site into Thoughts in a Brain.
Template A file used as the basis for creating other files. Template
files can be added to the window of the Select Content
dialog box.
Thought The basic unit of a Brain. A Thought can represent
anything the user wants it to. A Thought can have
content in the form of a file, shortcut, or Web page, or it
can be devoid of content and simply act as a subject
heading or organizer. A Thought has Properties and can
have notes. There is a limit of 32,000 Thoughts in each
PersonalBrain you create.
Unlink Unlink Thoughts that you no longer want closely related.
To unlink Thoughts, click the link between them; you will
be asked to confirm unlinking. You cannot unlink a
Thought’s only link to the Active Thought. If you attempt
to unlink a Thought’s only link to the Active Thought, the
Thought will be highlighted to indicate that it can be
forgotten.
Utilities Function on the Brain menu where you can make global
changes in status of Thoughts or their attached files.
URL Universal Resource Locator; the address of a Web site.
Virtual Thought A Thought created when a folder is dragged into
PersonalBrain. Virtual Thoughts are not searchable.
Wander The option to step randomly through PersonalBrain, to
let you see Thought associations.
Zones Areas in the plex devoted to specific relations of the
Active Thought. There are four zones: the parent zone
above the Active Thought, the child zone below it, the
jump zone to its left, and the sibling zone to its right.

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 87
Index

Index

Detach button · 7
Detach Web page · 18
A
Details button · 50
Activate · 28, 84 Display properties · 51, 60
Activating a forgotten Thought · 38 Colors tab · 62
Active Thought · 8, 84 General tab · 60
Active thought indicator · 66 Distant Thoughts · 25, 32, 60, 66
Add folders · 59 Divider button · 7
Always on top · 56 Dock
Animation · 65 bottom · 56, 85
Animation tab · 65 left · 56, 85
Attaching a Web page · 18, 70 right · 56, 85
Auto Hide · 5, 31, 55, 84 top · 56, 85
Auto Hide button · 5, 31, 55, 84 Dragging · 18, 32, 85
Dragging files · 76
copy · 77
B move · 77
shortcut · 76
Back and Forward arrows · 6
Backing up a Brain · 43
Brain button · 6 E

E-mail messages · 70
C

Child · 8, 9, 12, 13, 29, 85, 87 F
Child Thought · 84
Close Thoughts · 25 File icons · 61
Color scheme · 62 Find · 49, 52, 80
Colors · 62 Find button · 49, 52, 80
changing · 62 Float option · 56, 57
Compacting a Brain · 43 Forgetting Thoughts · 37, 38, 85
Copy search list · 54 Forgotten Thoughts · 37, 38, 52, 59
Copying Thoughts and files · 41 activating · 38
Creating a template · 74
Customizing PersonalBrain · 55 G

Gates
D
filled · 9, 13, 32, 85
Deleting a file or Web page · 40 hollow · 9, 13, 32, 85
Deleting multiple Thoughts · 40 Jump · 9, 13, 32, 85
Deleting Thoughts · 39, 40 Parent · 9, 13, 32, 85

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 88
Index

Sibling · 9, 13, 32, 85 L
Getting Started Wizard · 2
Graphic · 61 Link · 9, 15, 16, 32, 33, 85
Link by dragging · 32, 33
Link by naming · 34
H
Linking existing Thoughts · 32
Hide links · 60 Lou Green’s Brain
History tool · 54, 65, 75, 85 Lou Green · 5, 26
Home button · 6
Home Thought · 6, 36, 85 M
setting · 36
Markers · 61, 63
Mouse commands · 80
I
Moving and copying Brains · 41
Icons · 6, 17 Moving Thoughts and files · 40, 41, 75, 78
Back and Forward arrows · 6 Multiple Brains · 75
Detach button · 6 Multiple file versions · 74
Divider button · 6
Home button · 6 N
Past Thought List · 6
Pins · 6 Naming Thoughts · 30
Reattach button · 6 Navigation · 11
Recent Brains · 6 Netscape Navigator Bookmarks · 59
Scroll arrows · 6 Networks · 75
Scroll bars · 6 Notes · 46, 86
Search box · 6 Notes tool · 45
Splitter button · 6
Importing and merging Brains · 42
O
Importing folders · 58, 65, 77
Importing Web images from Netscape · 45
OLE · 86
InstantBrains · 29, 67, 85
Options menu · 57
installing · 67
removing · 68
removing wallpaper · 68 P
Invalid Web Links · 52
Parent · 8, 9, 11, 24, 86
Parentless Thoughts · 52, 54, 86
J Past Thought List · 7, 11, 27, 28, 33, 86
Past Thoughts · 7, 28
Jump · 8, 9, 19, 85
PersonalBrain · 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 21, 73, 79
Jump Thought · 9, 19, 85
PersonalBrain window · 56
Pins · 7, 10, 26, 33, 86
K create · 26, 33
delete · 27
Keyboard · 28, 79 Plex · 4, 7, 8, 9, 21, 86
Keyboard commands · 31, 79 Plex frame · 6
Keywords · 50 Plex window · 27, 57
Preferences · 55, 64, 65

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 89
Index

Animation tab · 65 distant · 25
General tab · 64 jump · 8, 9
Sizing tab · 66 parent · 8, 9
Printing files · 35 parent/child · 23
Properties tool · 50, 86 sibling · 9
Purchase button · 45 Thoughts · 1, 4, 6, 8, 12, 25, 28, 29, 32, 85,
87
Tools · 6, 44, 57
R
history · 54, 65, 75, 85
Reattach button · 7 notes · 32, 45
Recent Brains · 6, 29 properties · 50
Related Thoughts · 4, 8, 25, 32 search · 28, 51
Re-linking · 78 Tools window · 44, 46, 57
Remember · 86
Remembering a Thought · 39 U
Renaming a Thought · 31
Renaming Brains · 42 Undo/Redo · 40, 58
Resizing windows · 56 Unlinking Thoughts · 37, 78, 87
Resizing your Brain · 56 Update button · 54
URL · 87
Utilities · 29, 87
S

Saving Thoughts · 34 V
Scroll arrows · 7, 28
Scroll bars · 7 Virtual Thoughts · 16, 58, 65
Search box · 7, 52
Search tool · 28, 51, 86
W
Search Web · 58, 69
Select Content · 14, 17, 51 Wallpaper · 61
Shortcut · 17, 19, 46, 76, 87 Wander · 58
Sibling · 8, 9, 23, 87
Web · 3, 17, 69
Spidering · 18, 19, 71, 87 search · 58, 69
Splitter button · 7, 57 Web pages · 17
Storing files · 77 Working with several Thoughts · 73

T Z
Technical Support · 3
Zones · 8, 87
Templates · 74, 87 Child · 8, 87
Thought content · 17 Jump · 8, 87
Thought relationships Parent · 8, 87
changing · 36, 41 Sibling · 8, 87
child · 8, 9

PersonalBrain User Guide 9/17/01 90