Main Interface Overview
In order to make the most of ThoughtOffice, it is
important to understand the general concepts underlying ThoughtOffice
and the key features that are used to bring it all together.
This section covers the following topics:
•What is ThoughtOffice? A brief overview.
•Brainstorming-How to brainstorm using ThoughtOffice.
•Session-Your brainstorming document.
•Entries-The building blocks of your Session Document
•Topics Browser-Your eXpertTopic Module database and viewer.
•eXpertTopic Modules-Topic Outlines containing open-ended questions surrounding a particular subject.
•IdeaBrowser-Your brainstorming search engine.
What is ThoughtOffice?
ThoughtOffice is a creativity and brainstorming software application that was designed to help the user do the following:
•Drill down on any situation
•Solve a problem
•Explore creative options
•Develop a killer solution or strategy
is based on the concept of Associative Thinking and is comprised of a
unique set of tools to simply this process. A person using
ThoughtOffice can begin to address any situation or problem in three
different ways, or by using a combination of them:
1. By using your own imagination, knowledge, and ideas you already have stored in your brain.
2. By using eXpertTopic Modules on a specific subject that addresses the situation or problem you need to solve.
By using the IdeaBrowser to perform web-based searches for words,
phrases, concepts, and images that stimulate new associations and ideas.
All of these features and processes are designed to help you
create a Session document that captures every link and association you
make in the above 3 ways.
Associative Thinking is the process of making
associations or following threads between ideas by connecting words,
ideas, phrases, memories, concepts, and experiences. It is
this process that ThoughtOffice uses to trigger associations from ideas
and knowledge you already have stored in your brain, and creating new
associations prompted by open-ended questions from eXpertTopic Modules
and word searches made using the IdeaBrowser.
our lifetime, we have collected vast amounts of information about the
world around us. We store this information in the form of
memories and our brain acts as a filing cabinet that separates this
information into categories of words and concepts that are associated
with one another. Whenever we begin to think about how to
solve a problem, come up with new ideas, or to process anything new we
encounter, our mind will automatically pull up the appropriate category
in order to create an association with it.
When addressing any
problem or searching for new ideas and solutions with ThoughtOffice, try
creating new associations by borrowing, adding to, or manipulating old
concepts and their associations with those of other
concepts. You can easily do this by first thinking about the
situation you are trying to address. This will automatically
tap the databases of your memory to draw from past experiences and
knowledge that you have already acquired. Now take the
information that you have drawn from the well of your memory, and use it
to re-associate or rearrange those concepts to form new
Brainstorming is a lateral thinking process and a problem solving technique
used by individuals or groups to spontaneously generate new ideas,
concepts, and solutions. Associative thinking and brainstorming are the
fundamental building blocks of ThoughtOffice and it is important to
have a general understanding of these concepts in order to make the most
out of every Session you create.
Brainstorming With ThoughtOffice:
Identify your current objective or problem. Stay focused and keep
your current objective or problem in mind at all times during your
2. An excellent way to begin a
brainstorming Session with ThoughtOffice is by selecting an eXpertTopic
module that covers the subject matter you wish to address. Select
anywhere from 10-20 relevant questions from the module and add them to
your Session Document. The open-ended questions will help jumpstart the
associative thinking process and act as a foundational guide to get
3. When answering questions you have carried
over to a Session Document, let your ideas flow without restriction.
Limiting your ideas only serves to stifle your creativity, thereby
decreasing your chances of coming up with the best idea or solution.
4. Use the IdeaBrowser to perform word and image searches to inspire and generate new associations and ideas.
ThoughtOffice leans more towards individual brainstorming, it can also
be used for group brainstorming sessions with some modifications to the
traditional process. For example, ThoughtOffice can be used by a
corporation and made available to each employee on the management team.
When a problem arises, each member of the team creates their own
Session Document based on the problem. Information from all members can
then be compiled for review. A new Session Document can be made
highlighting the best ideas and solutions, and the process continues
until a unified solution and decision is reached.
Your Brainstorming Document
Session is the Document you create in ThoughtOffice and is developed by
using a series of entries made by adding questions from eXpertTopic
Modules, adding content and images you find during your searches using
the IdeaBrowser, and by adding your own thoughts and ideas.
your Session Document may appear somewhat disorganized as you simply
use it as a collection plate for your ideas, associations, images, and
streams of consciousness. Consider this to be Phase 1 in your
Session development. This is where you give the right side
of your brain the freedom and permission to explore and be the most
In Phase 2 of your Session development, you
can allow the left side of your brain to dominate as you use the
editing tools in ThoughtOffice to reorganize your thoughts and ideas,
move them around to different locations, and otherwise tidy things
up. You may also make changes to the font style, size, and
color of your text.
Your finished Session Documents can then be shared in a variety of ways:
a Session file that can be sent to others who also use
ThoughtOffice. Session Document files end in the extension
2. Presented as a Slideshow using the Slideshow feature in ThoughtOffice.
3. Printed out in a variety of ways using our new Print Templates.
•Standard and Professional Outlines
•One image slides with text entry underneath
•3-image storyboard presentations
4. Or turn your Session Document into a pdf.
The Building Blocks of Your Session Document
is a single line-item/paragraph/text + image you add to a Session
Document. By adding a series of entries, you create a
ThoughtOffice Session Document.
You can add entries to a Session in three ways:
1. By clicking the Add Entry button located in the toolbar on the main ThoughtOffice interface.
selecting questions from eXpertTopic Modules in the Topics Browser and
clicking the Add to Session button located in the lower right corner of
the browser screen.
3. By selecting the Add to Session button in the IdeaBrowser when performing word and image searches.
adding entries to the Session Document from the Topics Browser or
IdeaBrowser, each entry will be placed below the one before
it. So all entries will flow from top to
bottom. However, entries can be rearranged and moved to new
locations by selecting the Move Up or Move Down arrows located along the
The Topics Browser is where eXpertTopic Modules are accessed and
viewed. It launches in a separate window when you click the
Topics button located along the left side of the main
This special browser allows you to expand
and collapse the eXpertTopic Modules and provides a Queue window so that
you can see any images attached along with the comments and questions.
The browser also provides an Add to Session button so that you may add
questions from the module to your Session Document.
more information on the Topics Browser and how to use it and to import
new eXpertTopic Modules, please refer to the main Topics Browser heading
located in the Table of Contents.
eXpertTopic Modules are topical outlines surrounding a specific
subject and made up of open-ended questions grouped into categories and
headings. These questions were compiled by experts in that
particular subject and were designed to trigger the associative thinking
Our current stock of eXpertTopic Modules
cover a wide variety of subject matter ranging from Business Solutions,
Writing, Speaking, Private Investigator, and more.
The IdeaBrowser is a unique web-based search engine filled with a
variety of idea tabs that perform different kinds of
searches. For example, the istockphoto tab will search for
images related to any word you add or type into the search
field. Other search tabs include Defintions, Hypernyms,
Synonyms, Keywords, Quotes, Lyrics, Rhymes, and more.
IdeaBrowser is launched in a separate window when you click on the
Ideas button located along the left side of the main ThoughtOffice
interface. This browser enables you to draw upon different
sources to reseed your thoughts when you've run out of ideas of your
own. Use it to expand on the answers you provided using the
eXpertTopic Modules. It can also be used to start your
associative thinking process simply by entering a word that pertains to
your idea or problem.
The IdeaBrowser also allows you
to add images and text you have found during a search to your Session
Document. For more information about IdeaBrowser, please
refer to the IdeaBrowser main topic heading in the Table of Contents