Organizing With Visual Containers
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How do we organize information? Many programs exist that let you make vertical lists of text items or pictures. That is the limit of their organization.

Other programs approach organization as if everything were in a database. You define tables and categories, and then try to fit everything into those pre-defined categories. Changing the organization becomes complex.

CollectedThought™ uses the idea of visual containers. A folder on your desktop is a visual container. You can make links to web pages or files, although it usually takes several steps, and you can't share your links with other people, nor can you move them to other computers. And you can't draw or take notes inside desktop folders.

CollectedThought™ has many forms of containers you can easily use by dragging and dropping them from the toolbar. Closed containers such as boxes or folders that you double-click to open into their own window, and open containers such as your own tool palettes, pages, and books (multiple-page containers with automatic indexes).

Just as you can drop links, pictures, and text onto a CollectedThought™ document, you can drop anything onto a container and it automatically becomes part of the container. You move things around in a container or a CollectedThought™ document by dragging the objects you want to move. You can CTRL-drag (just as you do on your desktop) to make a copy of anything.

The important point about visual organization is that it is easy to remember. You can make a folder in a CollectedThought™ document that has links to files scattered all over your computer, and information located anywhere on the web. You can use the container to "pull together" the information into one document for easy access, but the actual information always remains in its original location. With CollectedThought™, you will only use a file dialog or web search once - from that point, you can click on the link, picture, or text, and bring up the original source of the information using the program best able to handle the information.

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