When I first started the blog one thing I wanted to do was share online tools that I like, that I find helpful or useful. I have not done this in awhile and almost all of the ones I have found have been to-do list programs. Last week I found something new and interesting to play with online: Thoughtboxes.
This website is simple but not simplistic. The idea is that you can create trains of thought, 3 of them for free or an unlimited amount for $15 fee. Each train of thought starts out with a title or a general description of the idea. Below that is a space where you can create sub-ideas and within those sub-ideas you can organize notes.
For example I have used it to sort out stories I am working on. I can lay out the main points of the story in the boxes and then gather the quotes I have that support that point. This way for a technical story I can quickly see what areas need more research or which need the voice of an authority on the subject to lend credibility to the story.
So far the interface on Thoughtboxes is easy to use; point here, click there and type in that space. Ideas can be rearranged with drag and drop ease or discarded with two clicks of the mouse.
Like any online tool it does require creating the habit of use, but unlike a to-do list it does not require daily maintenance. Instead it is another tool in the tool box for getting one's thoughts organized. Pull it out when you need it, otherwise let it be.