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Outlining software - Inspiration

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  • Outlining software - Inspiration

    I'm relatively new to GTD, but am applying it to my work and learning to adapt the tools I use often.

    I'm an outliner; as a writer, I couldn't imagine writing a book or article without outlining (and, in many cases, need to have outlines for my proposals). So I've long been a user of Inspiration, which is a combined outliner/mind-map program.

    I was surprised to find, in GTD, that David Allen didn't grok Inspiration: he puts it down, when talking about "brainstorming" software, saying "You might as well dump ideas into a word processor."

    I wonder if he really used the program - Inspiration offers both a mind-map view and a standard outline view, so after you've brainstormed, you can switch to outline view and start organizing your ideas hierarchically.

    In fact, Inspiration is the most flexible tool I've used for idea generation and management. Anyone else use outliners? Any thoughts on Inspiration? I'm wondering if Inspiration could be a tool for organizing tasks and projects, but I hesitate because of the lack of attributes (categories, etc.)

  • #2
    Old Inspiration problem.

    Some years ago I bought and was trying to use Inspiration but it couldn't handle Polish language properly. So I had to dump it .
    TesTeq

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    • #3
      TesTeq: Mac or Windows? You might want to check and see if it handles Polish now...

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      • #4
        Inspiration/PC

        It was PC version. The overall Windows internationalization progressed since that time so now it can work OK with Polish language, who knows? Anyway currently I do not plan to test it.
        Thanks,
        TesTeq

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        • #5
          Why Inspiration is good -- but not for GTD

          Responding to the individual who likes Inspiration: I'm a big fan of Inspiration and other outlining software. I use Inspiration a lot for my writing. (I'm an author and journalist as well.) But I understand what David means when (if -- I'm taking your quote at face value) he says that Inspiration is no better than word processing software. When it comes to GTD, I think he's right. An outliner may help you get information down and it may give you a means for organizing the information. However, it will not help you see connections more clearly, and it alone is not a tool for taking a project through to completion. Indeed, I've often gotten lost fiddling around with Inspiration when using it for planning, and here's why: It does not define the connections between items. YOU have to do that. And that takes time. You could just as easily oultine your steps on the back of an envelope or using a word processor. The key is seeing the relationship between the steps -- projects, action items, etc.

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          • #6
            Re: Why Inspiration is good -- but not for GTD

            Originally posted by Vilmosz
            Responding to the individual who likes Inspiration: I'm a big fan of Inspiration and other outlining software. I use Inspiration a lot for my writing. (I'm an author and journalist as well.) But I understand what David means when (if -- I'm taking your quote at face value) he says that Inspiration is no better than word processing software. When it comes to GTD, I think he's right. An outliner may help you get information down and it may give you a means for organizing the information. However, it will not help you see connections more clearly, and it alone is not a tool for taking a project through to completion. Indeed, I've often gotten lost fiddling around with Inspiration when using it for planning, and here's why: It does not define the connections between items. YOU have to do that. And that takes time. You could just as easily oultine your steps on the back of an envelope or using a word processor. The key is seeing the relationship between the steps -- projects, action items, etc.
            But Inspiration is not a tool for planning, and Allen talks about it in the section on brainstorming. I don't see that using Inpsiration can help you plan projects, other than, say, brainstorming the different steps involved so you can then assign/orginize these steps elsewhere. But it is much better than any word processor for brainstorming, and for outlining.

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            • #7
              You get waht you pay for

              Inspiration is a lovely piece of software primarily designed to introduce the concepts of mind mapping, brainstorming, and outlining in the classroom. It lacks the tools required to really make it a GTD tool. At the risk of sounding like a fan boy, this is what you pay for when you buy MindManager - extensive integration into Office apps that let you actually do something with the results of your work by getting it into your system.

              If you're a practiced GTD'er with a stable system, the combination of MindManager and ResultManager is well worth looking into. It's not cheap. But it does provide a level of visual organization and display that no other software solution I've found can match.

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