How to Use a Napkin - Dan Roam - Six-by-Six Rule

The Back of the Napkin author Dan Roam gave a wonderful Google Talk where he described his Six by Six Rule of problem solving. In his consultant work with corporate execs, Roam's "value proposition" is...

"We can solve your problems by using pictures."

He supports this assertion with the observation that humans are fundamentally visual creatures -- over 75% of the sensory processing going on in the brain is visual processing. Further, the brain seems to process information using at least six "pathways"...

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Mind Mapping With Free Mind

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Freemind resources
Writing an essay with FreeMind
Flash browser - FreeMind - free mind mapping software
Main Page - FreeMind - free mind mapping software
"So you want to write a completely new metaphysics? Why don't you use FreeMind? You have a tool at hand that remarkably resembles the tray slips of Robert Pirsig, described in his sequel to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance called Lila."

I'm becoming enthralled with mind maps. Where an outline is linear, a mind map is two (if not three) dimensions. That extra dimension adds enormous perspective to the ideas in view. Entries (called nodes) can be easily rearranged to test relationships between nodes. There's just something profound in that extra level of perspective. Something profoundly missing from a linear outline. Here's an example.
Ideas for using Mind Maps better
What Can You Do With Mind Mapping ?
Main Page - FreeMind - free mind mapping software
Fascinating concept. I tried this a few years ago and didn't get it...Now I do. Incredible tool for following threads of thought into new directions. Something about the way it forces you to ask the question "What is this related to?" and the freedom to move nodes around, change relationships, create new's not perfect, but certainly a wonderful tool. Just need to figure a way to embed it into my website. No success yet.

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7 Ways to Build a Creative Attitude

Creative Attitude - Found these suggestions about becoming more creative in blog post: 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People. I distilled the original list of nine tips into seven. Not terribly profound, but good reminders.

1. Curiosity
Learning to ask ‘why’, ‘what if’ and ‘I wonder…’ are great questions t build into your life if you want to be a more creative person.
2. See Problems as Interesting and Acceptable
Instead of seeing problems as obstacles and unacceptable, see problems as natural, normal and fascination.

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New Think - by Edward de Bono

New Think by Edward de Bono

New Think - In this classic, Edward de Bono presents an accessible, practical handbook on how to generate new ideas or lateral thinking. His original book Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step is excellent, but a bit difficult to get through. New Think is quite the opposite. It's an easy, informative read. Below are my notes. New Think by Edward de Bono

Below are notes from Edward de Bono's book New Think.


Hallucinogenic drugs alter our perceptions, the direction of our gaze, our focus. Many drugs alter perceptions. Funny. Altering perceptions is the goal of lateral thinking, too. Techniques of lateral thinking are like hallucinogenic drugs. And this, the 100th birthday of LSD's creator, Albert Hofmann.

Is the way we try to solve a problem, part of what makes the problem difficult to solve?

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Happiness Helps Creativity

This looks very interesting. It starts out acknowledging the conventional belief that depression is the soil of creativity. Not so say scientists. Happy people are the most creative. That is a "happy thought."

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Biological Basis For Creativity Linked To Mental Illness

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