In my megabrain, I have several thoughts with many different kinds of child thoughts. If I link all the thoughts directly to the parent, it's not easy to view subsets of child thoughts. If I create categories or "container thoughts" below the parent thought and then link child thoughts to each category, I lose the direct connection to the parent thought.

For example, I have "France" as a thought and I have many related thoughts: regions, cities, famous people, historical events, companies, and various products from France. I could connect all of them directly to "France" but then I have no easy way of displaying, say, famous people from France. It gets even more complicated when considering different kinds of famous people (e.g. performers, creative artists, historical figures, sports stars) but those are just more levels of the same problem.

If I create "container thoughts", then I can easily view a subset if I start from "France", but the connection to France is not as obvious if I'm starting from the child thought. The problem is worse if there are several levels below the parent thought. Outline View is better at displaying deeper-level relationships but it is difficult to work with if there are many child thoughts.

How are you dealing with organizing, selecting and displaying various levels/categories of connected thoughts?


Edited: I realize that multiple levels of thoughts are a fundamental aspect of TheBrain so it seems like I'm asking "How do you use TheBrain?"
But, geographical locations (especially countries of origin) are used in many contexts and I'm having a hard time organizing thoughts in TheBrain to maintain and view connections to those locations.

FWIW, there's a similar problem with performer/albums/songs: I want to know which songs were recorded by a performer and which songs are on an album by that performer but I don't want to connect every song to the performer and to the album. I'd prefer just linking the song to the album which is linked to the performer and then click on the performer to view all the songs from all albums by that performer. Again, Outline View comes close but it doesn't show all the songs in one place.

In this case I think that having a redundant parent may be the way to go. I would have the France Thought, and another jump linked "France - Organized". Put the categories under the France - Organized Thought, and have all the France related ones linked directly to the original France.

Another option would be to set a number for each category. Say people is 01, cities is 02, etc... Then label each ".01 Jacques Cousteau", and ".02 Paris". This would put all people before the other categories, cities next, etc... Of course you could put it in the order you prefer.
3 Other options you might consider:
(1) Use the intermediate parent (container) thoughts to gather the children into collections, but also keep the original parent/child connection.
-- This would allow you to maintain the parent/child relationship and then, when desired, view the smaller subset/collection

(2) Instead of using a container thought to create a new generation of children, use thought types (with distinctive icons and/or colors) to sort the large collection of children under their original parent -- and then set TB to display thoughts by types.
-- This would essentially group the children into collections that are all still visible, but sitting in distinct groups, under the original parent.

(3) Since TB10 now provides nested tags, you might also be able to use these nested tags to further refine the thought types recommended in option #2 above. For example:
> Use thought types for regions, cities, famous people, historical events, companies, and various products
> Then, for your famous people, use nested thought tags for performers, creative artists, historical figures, sports stars
Metta, thank you for your thoughtful response.

Option #1 solves the problem of viewing categories of thoughts but it can lead to a very cluttered Plex.
Option #2 kind of works but the groups are not as obvious. Also I prefer having Thoughts arranged by Name, although I realize that it's quite easy to switch. I even have keyboard shortcuts for the various ways of arranging Thoughts.
Option #3 doesn't work, unless I'm missing something. If I have a Tag, e.g. "performer" attached to the Type "Famous Person", how do I display performers from France? Seems to me that I would need the Tag "Performers from France" nested below "Performers", along with many other Tags below "Performers". 

Seems to me that what's missing is the ability to filter Child thoughts by Type.

Anyway, thanks again. Ã°Å¸â„¢â€š
Thanks for your your prompt feedback, Cerebrum.
  1. Agree completely re: clutter in Option #1.
  2. Would love to learn more about the keyboard shortcuts you are using for arranging thoughts -- if/when you have time?
  3. Re: nested tags: Just to clarify, I was imagining adding the tags to the individual thoughts, instead of attaching the tags to types. Also, I had assumed a fairly complex set of tags (with considerable duplication) would be needed.
In light of this, I am interested in understanding how your proposed solution (filter child thoughts by type) would work. Sounds like it could be a very good fix.

Is this what you are imagining?
> France (parent/container thought | type)
==> Famous People ((parent/container thought | type)
====> Multiple children each with different thought types: performers, creative artists, historical figures, athletes
You can set keyboard shortcuts for the various ways of arranging Thoughts by going to the View section in Preferences/Keyboard.
I have three:
Shift-Ctrl-N: Arrange Thoughts by Name 
Shift-Ctrl-T: Arrange Thoughts by Type
Shift-Ctrl-M: Arrange Thoughts by Date Modified.
(The default for Shift-Ctrl-N is "New Window". I deleted this shortcut before assigning the keystroke combination to "Arrange Thoughts by Name".)

As for filtering by Type, I'm not sure how to implement it but the general issue is one of filtering thoughts below a Parent thought, which would be very helpful when there are hundreds of Child thoughts. 

It could be an extension of your suggestion #2: "use thought types (with distinctive icons and/or colors) to sort the large collection of children under their original parent -- and then set TB to display thoughts by types."
In addition to arranging Child thoughts by Type, there could be an option to filter by a specific Type, similar to how filtering works in the Report area. Thoughts could be filtered in the Plex based on the nested Types, e.g. "Person" would display every person linked to France (and filter out all other thoughts) and selecting "Performer" (which is nested under Person) would display only performers linked to France. 

Ideally, the filter options would display only those Types that exist in the Child thoughts. And, now that Types are visible, there could be an option in Outline View to expand/collapse Types that are linked to a Parent thought.

The challenge is to make the filtering easy, quick and intuitive. 
Love the idea of filtering child thoughts, Cerebrum -- and I hope this will be logged as a feature request.

In the meantime, thanks for sharing this additional (helpful) detail about how you would like it work, along with the info about your keyboard shortcuts. I may experiment with this in the days ahead.
If I create "container thoughts", then I can easily view a subset if I start from "France", but the connection to France is not as obvious if I'm starting from the child thought

To me the answer is in comma thoughts, which preserve the "path" to the parent.



I use this a lot in my "how to" sections as well so that searches like "exiftool xmp sidecar" work. In those sections my comma tree often goes 3 levels deep: parent topic, child topic, subject.
Using: Evernote | FilterizeDynalist | InstaPaper | Liner | TheBrain v10.0.45.0
@ruudhein, thanks for your suggestion.

I use the comma trick but you've given me some additional insight about using it to help organize the various levels of related thoughts.

The issue is still that container thoughts create layers of separation between the thought and the ultimate parent. Sometimes I want to know everyone who is from a particular country and I can't do that easily if I have several levels below the country.

Let's look at your example: France->France, Artists->Gad Elmaleh.
It's clear that Gad Elmaleh is connected to France through the intermediate "France, Artists" but what does "Artists" include? Should Elmaleh be in the same category as Monet, Berlioz and Jean-Luc Ponty?
There are performing artists -- comedians, actors, singers, instrumentalists, dancers, etc.-- and creative artists: painters, sculptors, architects, photographers, filmmakers, novelists, poets, playwrights and composers. How do I connect all of these types of artists to "France"? How many first-level Child thoughts, and how many levels below?

What does "France" include? Gad Elmaleh was born and raised in Morocco, spent some time in Canada, and achieved fame in France. A few years ago he moved to New York but, for the next few months, he will be performing in Paris. How many container thoughts should I create for artists connected to each country in various ways? Not easy to determine.

Also, there are many other categories of famous people, including scientists, politicians, historical figures, athletes and many subcategories. Each level creates more distance from the country.

And, there many other categories below France besides Artists and Buildings, including: political regions, geographical features, highways, airports, historical events, museums, hotels, restaurants, tourist sites, works of art, movies, sports teams, companies, and various consumer products.

I have some Thoughts in my Brain that are related to France but very few of them are linked (directly or indirectly) to France. Too much visual complexity if linked directly and too much work to create categories. And, then I have to figure out what to do with the other countries ... 

Part of the solution is to expand, standardize and simplify my use of nested Types and Tags. 

Thanks again.

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