To have the possibility to add a new metadata to the thought that is Time. This should not be the creation date but simply a date added by the user.
Thoughts can then be visualized on a timeline. It will be nice that links will be visible in this new view of the plex.
May be this is a big implementation to insert in a new version. But I think will be very usefull to add a new dimension to the Brain.
TheBrain 9 includes a new timeline view with the ability to show thoughts on the timeline as well as calendar events that will be syncable with Google Calendar.
The timeline view features the ability to assign thoughts start and end times and to see those times visualized over a smoothly scaling, fully animated display spanning anywhere from multiple years to several hours and everywhere in between. Rather than replacing the existing view of the plex, the timeline works in concert with the plex so that clicks on the timeline can trigger thoughts on the plex and vice versa.
TheBrain 9 is available now as a beta, including the timeline feature. Final release date is not set. http://www.thebrain.com/thebrain9
Chris Andersen commented
Great, exactly what I need :-)
When do you release TheBrain9?
calendar sync will be included in TheBrain9?
Oussama Jarrousse commented
Looking forward to version 9.0
I'd like to throw my support behind the idea of a timeline. I use TheBrain for writing a massive fiction story, and a timeline (which I had full control of) would be a fantastic feature. Especially if it were incorporated with some sort of filter which allowed us to display just certain qualified thoughts along the timeline. Also I'd suggest making the visual user interface able to display the time with gradients and the thoughts showing up in their appropriate spot on that gradient, as opposed to simply listing thoughts in their chronological order.
Roger Kapp commented
Your timeline is nice, but nearly unusable (it only show modified thoughts in chronological order).
What we would like is "timemachine" type of functionality, where we could browse through past versions of our Brain.
The time UI is a low quality implementation of in fact the logging file of a change. It is not really thought of, looks rather to quickly add a feature to be able to create a new version. The time line should help users of the brain to get back in time in order to re-fire the neurons they fired at that moment in time and recreate the state of mind at that time. The time-line now is just a visualization of a log-file, which is better than nothing but far from good enough. This function should be extended. It must be possible to select a time point and start replaying the plex based on the sequence of adding thoughts in time bringing the person back in the mental state of that moment in the past helping him to elaborate at these thoughts.
Vanessa Oltmann commented
I echo others' thoughts here. I work on both fiction and non-fiction projects, and for both it's very important for me to be able to construct a timeline. When I saw that TheBrain 8 had a timeline view I was excited, but I'm very disappointed to learn that it's not a user controlable date.
I see that this option has been requested since 2008, which makes me think it's unlikely it will manifest. Do you know if it's on the drawing board at all?
Thanks Harlan, certainly a step in the right direction, but disappointed that a user-assigned date was not added in the same release. I would have expected that it would have been a relatively small task, having created algorithms for Date1, to have included Date2, but I guess you have your reasons.
Shame, but this is a deal breaker for me. Perhaps Release 9, eh?
Thanks Harlan, very useful.
it will be nice to have the possibility to visualize the timeline on the plex. e.g. the date may behave as a tag (obviously the function should be activate or desactivated at will)
This evolution will have also the advantage to delete some date/tag
It doens't have to have a big impact on the current implementation... the biggest challenge here is how to make this practical and still keep it simple.
Here's what my mind comes up with:
Take the example of Jeff that works for "Company NoMoney" from 1995 to 2002 and then moves to "Company LotsaMoney" from 2002 and still works there currently.
If you connect Jeff to "Company NoMoney", you give the connection a start- (1995) and an enddate (2002). In the case of connecting Jeff to "Company LotsaMoney", you just fill in the startdate (2002) and leave the end-date blank.
Now imagine a simple timeline slider on the bottom of the plex. If you drag that timeline slider to year 2000, the connection of Jeff to "Company LotsaMoney" disappears (since it didn't exist back then) and the connection to "Company NoMoney" appears. If you drag the slider up to the year 2012, the connection of Jeff to "Company NoMoney" appears and the connection to the other company disappears.
Technically, all you need is two new parameters on a connection: startdate and enddate.
Visually you only need a timeline slider and maybe a switch to enable or disable the timeline.
Basically all you're making is a filter: the slider just filters (show or hide) all connections that were active in that timeframe, where 'blank' date means active.
You could take this up a few notches, like for example when you select a node, and the node has date-enabled connections, then on the timeline the dates are shown, suggesting the node has date-enabled connections and you can easily 'snap' to those dates on the timeline.
This probably also allows for the very elaborate ideas I see appearing here, like complex exports... anyway, on a very practical level, thinking from a company and personal point of view, all I would want to see is:
-> does a node has date-enabled connections?
-> I want to go easily back to those dates
-> when I go back to those dates, I want to see "a vision" of that time and how the connections were back then.
-> an off-switch of the timeline would then just show all connections that ever existed
point is: look at it as a filter and it becomes both very easy and practical in use, as well as easy to implement.
For my company right now it would definitely be an added value: currently my plex is filled with connections that are of historical use, whereas I'd only would like to see the connection if I turn back the hands of time to for example ask the question "how did our finance department look back then?"
I'd then just select the finance department node, see in my timeline it changed in say 2001, I click-snap to 2001 and connections disappear and other appear, giving me a visual snapshot of my entire company as it existed in 2001
Just want to offer my input on how such a great new feature might be implemented.
 Any thought could be tagged with either a date or a date range from the right-click menu.
 The date or date range would display faintly below the lower left of each thought.
 Added thoughts would then sort by time order instead of alphanumeric.
 A range of dates to be displayed would show in large but faint type in the lower left corner of the plex.
 Only thoughts within the date range filter would be displayed.
 The date range would be changed by clicking on the start or end dates by a calendar popup.
 Mousing over year, month, date would reveal up and down arrows to make incremental date adjustments foward or backward.
 A lock icon would restrain the current date range to allowing incrementing time filter by year,
month, day, etc.
 The date range filter can be disabled to display all dates.
 New views could be created to display a date range of thoughts relative to the timeline context.
 A Preference to display time in addition to dates could be added.
 A Preference could be added to automatically date/time stamp thoughts as they are entered.
 Thoughts without date tags would appear normally after time sorted thoughts.
 Timeline mode could be toggled off to present the normal mode with no dates showing.
I believe that users would find such a feature to be quite helpful in visualizing information in a time context. Imagine the tremendous benefit to researchers, teachers, students, historians, writers, biographers, journalists, detectives, documentarians, business and everyday people. Events and milestones could now be described as thoughts and tagged with dates. For a great many applications an option to order thoughts automatically by time sequence would allow for visualizing event relationships in a way not currently found in mindmapping. Time stamping would be particularly useful for documenting and tracking communications and progress of projects.
@Craig, I share your sentiments, well said!
TheBrain has been very generous to enable me to publish my autobiography: http://webbrain.com/brainpage/brain/498E34F8-61E2-C7AF-70B7-7E8281379166#-1
adding arbitrary dates and being able to sort on them would automate its creation.
one of the biggest challenges I have is the template I developed to help get people started has years hardcoded to ages and it requires people to "restitch" the years which is a pain in the ass the older you are (just being honest!)
All objects should have a start and end date as to enabling a timeline. It's not only the thoughts, but the links in particular.
Exampe: take a person as a thought (start date as birthday, end date open)
education links: to 5 different institutions (enlementary school, high scool, university1 etc) with to some degree overlapping start and end dates
employment link: same as before but with maybe 10 links
marriages link: maybe just in this case 3 of them
home addresses: two dozens or so
Another idea of timeline implementation :
- add fields due date, end date
- then make different displays based on the filtering tool that we have yet,
... except that we could :
- decide to organize it by creation date, due date, end date and display as PB tree or timeline.
- decide what to display for each date (thougth name, category, number of displays etc)
That way it would fit everybody's needs.
Great idea ! *like* and copied :-)
On my side i created the following structure :
- a thought named Timeline parent of
- 2012 being parent of (one per year)
- 2012-01, 2012,02,2012,03 .. 2012-12 being parent of (one per month)
- 2012-01-01,2012-01,02,2012-01-03 etc. (one per day)
... these structures being parent of the corresponding thoughts that i need to be linked to a typical date.
Then i use tags for my GTD, being gtd-inbox, gtd-today gtd-next, gtd-somedays and then i can know exactly where I am on my todo timeline ...
Apart from that i have other tags and types that make it possible to quickly structure information.
Nathaniel Sloan commented
This lack has been one of the most difficult parts of my use of Personal Brain. I can't quite get things organized appropriately without it; but this is not just a matter of a standard timeline.
Being able to input information with relative time information, like if you're trying to remember a sequence of events, but need time to put down each thought and then organize them as you go; still leaving room for out of context events that would be then related more like a jump thought.
That in turn with a sequential system, which a timeline basically is, would make this program way more efficient to use.
an example --> opensource: http://www.simile-widgets.org/timeline/