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Friday, October 26, 2007

Visual Thesaurus - For inspirational ideas

The Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus is a dictionary and thesaurus with an intuitive interface that encourages exploration and learning. It is an 'interactive visual database of words' giving you a different view on the links between words. It can be used in design research to find connecting subjects and ideas. The best thing is that you can try the software (online) for FREE on the site. Once you use it and get used to using it, you'll never want to be without it. Here it is searching for the word 'design' and it's related subjects, meanings and alternatives. We like how design can be related to 'excogitation' meaning 'thinking intensely'. Recommended for those in Marketing and Design Research.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Creative Writing on your Mac

TextEdit and Word are not the best solution when it comes to creative writing, they don't offer the tools you need to help you focus on the creative process of writing.
The first great program for Mac is WriteRoom, it offers a none distracting full screen mode for writers (a bit like the old word processors of the 80's) but with smoother graphics. This program is great if you have the need to just sit down and start churning out text but many of us need to plan and focus on our storyboards before we get going.
This is where Scrivener comes in, it's a storyboard management program with a great intuitive interface. It will help you write a short story to a full on thesis. It helps you manage your writing project by providing a corkboard for you to drop images, text, PDF's and generally organise your research. It also comes with a full screen mode for focussed writing.
I should also mention that there is an alternative to Scrivener costing $35 and that is Avenir for $30, it does not have as many features as Scrivener but does offer a more common user interface that feels easier to use (think iPhoto's interface). The best part is that they all offer a 30 day trial download.