One Brain for Instant Access to Everything

May 21, 2013
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onebrain01Most of us spend our time juggling an array of projects for all aspects of our life. Creating a Brain with both business and personal Thoughts can help you get the big picture on everything. Moreover, you will gain instant access to any idea or file in seconds, making multitasking a breeze!

This blog entry features a “Template Brain for Everything” to download and will provide some useful ideas for creating that one Brain that has it all.


Work and Life Template Brain for Starting

The first step to creating your all-encompassing Brain is to build a fundamental Thought structure with two primary domains of “Personal” and “Business”. Start with your name. Under your name create key categories for all the major areas of your life and work.

MyBrain01

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You can browse this template Brain online or download it and view it in your desktop Brain. Use this Brain to get ideas for your own Brain. If it feels right, it can also serve as the foundation of categories for your Brain. Remember, if you do start using this template you can right click to rename, or delete anything you don’t want. You can also copy portions of these Thoughts into an existing Brain.


hobbies02Your Personal and Life Projects

There is no limit to the number of Thoughts or connections you can make in your Brain. Any topic that you like to browse the web on or think about on a regular basis should go here. The great thing about adding Thoughts for your personal projects is that you can always return to them at a moment’s notice. You can use them in the present but also have them for future reference. In this way your Brain becomes your digital memory. These Thoughts will also give you a greater sense of control and more insight into any personal plans or decisions you are pondering.

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For Instance, I have mapped out and added many vacation destinations in the travel section of my Brain. This has helped me prioritize activities and plan successful trips. And as an added benefit, if I ever need to go back to that destination all my best thinking and information is right there.

For more information on mind mapping personal information see “Creating your autobiographical Brain.” To learn more about creating your Travel section see: “Go Smarter with Your Travel Brain

In addition to travel, I also frequently use my Brain for information related to health, family and hobbies.


business-life-01Your Business and Work Projects

With TheBrain’s flexible linking you can connect any project to the right person, department or client to see valuable relationships. In this area of your Brain you should create Thoughts for all relevant work domains that you oversee or are involved in. I also recommend having an area for key projects right at the top. These projects can also be linked under their relevant departments or trends because in your Brain one piece of information can live under multiple categories.

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If you have a lot of meetings, a separate Thought on “Meeting Management” is useful. Here you can store all relevant meeting notes, research, supporting files, and highlight key action items.


Brain-Tag-01Useful Thought Types and Tags

As your Brain for everything comes together, you can further contextualize information with Thought Types and Tags. For example, you can create Thought Types for key types of people and projects. Tagging information also lets you assign key attributes to Thoughts and then see all Thoughts tagged with that attribute at once.

If you are working with a number of people understanding their role in your organization can be helpful to leverage the right contact.

My-Team-Brain-01

Each person in your Brain can be given a Thought Type indicating their primary role. Additionally, Tags can be added for skill set. The above “person types” are included in our template Brain.

Project-Management-Brain01

You can also use Thought Types to visually convey status of a project. Secondary attributes of a project can be captured with Thought Tags. For more information on Thought Types and Tags watch TheBrain’s online tutorials.


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One Brain Versus Many

Now that we have discussed how to build a single Brain I think it’s only fair to acknowledge that there are some cases when you might want separate Brains. For instance, if you want to share an area of your Brain and your Brain is very large you might be better off copying those Thoughts into another Brain. (You can make Thoughts private before sharing and publishing but if you have to make the majority of your thoughts private sometimes creating a specific Brain for publishing is the way to go.) Here are some general guidelines for what approach is best for you.

Create One Brain for Everything When:

  • You have an intermingling of personal, business and everything under the sun projects happening throughout your day
  • You want to activate different subjects/Thoughts concurrently. Make sure those topics are all in the same Brain to take advantage of TheBrain’s powerful Instant Activate feature
  • You want to create an expansive knowledgebase or digitize your thought processes on your entire life

brainscreens01Create a New Brain When:

  • You are publishing or sharing a specific topic with other users
  • You would like some firm lines between business and personal projects
  • You need a fresh start on a new topic or want to take a new direction from your existing Brain

Not sure which approach to take? Don’t worry about it. We make it pretty easy to change your mind. If you already have multiple Brains and want to bring them all together you can import one brain into another. Just go up to File and select Merge to get the Brain you want to add and merge it. Conversely, if you have a larger Brain and decide you want to make a set of Thoughts into a separate new Brain, you simply select all the Thoughts in that area and copy them into a new Brain

For two interesting perspectives on having a single or many Brains see “One Brain or Many? Approaches to Creating a Brain” Let us know what approach works best for you!

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Filed under: Getting Things Done, Improving Your Brain, Self Discovery and Inspiration | Posted on May 21st, 2013 by Shelley Hayduk

2 Responses to “One Brain for Instant Access to Everything”

  1. Brad Says:

    Suggestion: Need to have getting started from the very first step. One or two training videos geared toward age group of 12 year olds. Also be able to change the parent, child, jump wording to anything the person wants. Teenagers have a very difficult time dealing with parents and child issues or names to start with. I believe you’ll have more sale’s to younger people getting away from parent child names.

    Regards, Brad

  2. Patrick Thompson Says:

    Hi Brad. We do have many beginner tutorials available on our website at: http://www.thebrain.com/support/tutorials.

    I’d also like to recommend joining us for our Live, TheBrain 101 web event available every Tuesday and Friday at 10:00 am Pacific Time. This free web event is the best way to get started on your Brain. We cover all the basics so you will be able to get going on your own Brain quickly. We also take specific questions so you get a live demo of any aspect of TheBrain that interests you.
     
    If you’re interested in joining this event, visit: http://www.thebrain.com/support/101 for more information. If you are not able to attend, we also have a pre-recorded 101 available on this page.

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