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graphical scenario outliner

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Posted by Nestor Sanchez (ThinkComposer creator)
Oct 26, 2013 at 01:23 AM


Hi Luis,
I think you should try ThinkComposer (http://www.thinkcomposer.com).
If you have multiple scenarios, based on a common field (let’s call it a “Domain”) you can pre-define the types of objects of that Domain, and later use them in your diagrams.

For instance, suppose you provide “emergency supply of energy” and must design multiple solutions for multiple customers.
With ThinkComposer, you could create a Domain where “blue boxes represents Machines, red circles represents Generators and green arrows represents electric-flow between generators and machines” and those object type having appropriate custom-fields (i.e. “KW/h”, “Cost”, “Weight”, etc.).

Also, each node (Idea) of the diagram can contain a whole new diagram within, and later connect Ideas at different levels by using shortcuts.
Plus, you can export that valuable information as text-files, images and HTML + PDF/XPS reports.
Good luck!

Néstor Sánchez
(ThinkComposer creator)


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Oct 26, 2013 at 05:37 AM


Luis, welcome to the forum.

To add to the already presnted ideas and considering that you liked Scapple, I would say that any of the so called mindmappers (Freemind, MindManager, MindGenius, MindView, etc, even Inspiration) could do what you want. You would probably want to use the ‘affinity’ (one-directional) format rather than the classic mindmap which extends to all directions. I’d say that the ‘fork’ concept can be well depicted with such a tool.

The advantage of some of these tools (and ThinkComposer as well, i think)  is that they can also accomodate attributes/values for each node, which you can include in the diagram or not, and you can even perform calculations on these. The hierarchical structure can then be exported to Excel to share with others that don’t have the same tool. MindView and MindGenius are particularly powerful in this regard.


Posted by MadaboutDana
Oct 26, 2013 at 09:42 AM


Wow, ThinkComposer looks very interesting. I haven’t come across that before. I shall be taking a closer look!


Posted by Dr Andus
Oct 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM


As Franz suggested, the main question with these kinds of tools is what is the nature of the task to be solved.

These tools could be ranked within a matrix where one axis has speed of use at one end, and presentability (making the output consumable by others) at the other end. The other axis would go from solving simple problems to complex problems.

E.g. if you have a relatively easy problem, need to solve it quickly, and there is no need to communicate it to others later on, nothing beats a big piece of paper and coloured pencils, or a whiteboard with markers, or some software for hand-drawing (a tablet with a pen).

If the problem is more complex and needs to be analysed in depth over a longer time, with nodes needing to be split, repositioned, maps duplicated etc., then concept mappers and mind mappers would be better (some of which may also have decent export options).

If the problem is already solved and it’s about communicating it to others, then a pretty flowchart-maker with nice templates would be the most appropriate, such as SmartDraw (which however would be too slow for brainstorming and analysis).


Posted by Hugh
Oct 26, 2013 at 11:18 AM


Flying Logic (http://flyinglogic.com/index.html) is another possibility. It’s built to use a particular theory of operations management, but can be deployed for much wider purposes. I use it for plotting fiction.


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