They can be managed nowadays, but the way

Whenever there are properties like tags or types, it's a common convention to have a separate UI to manage them (delete, rename, nest them, etc). 

The way that this is managed in The Brain works, but requires users to develop completely new mental models that make more difficult to understand and remember how to do this.

For example, I had to go on a search through the forums to understand how to manage types, then again to find out how to nest them, and I still don't know how to delete them. Also, I have had to revisit these investigations a few times, because since they have nothing to do with my mental models and my experience, it's more difficult for me to remember them. 

Doing things in a novel way makes sense if it's adding more value. Does the current way of managing labels and types add enough extra value to compensate the difficulty that adds not having a typical types/tags managing interface?
I have tried several times over the last seven years to use The Brain. Every time a new version comes along, I give it another try… just to quit a few months, some times weeks, later.

The Brain (the software and development team) is stuck in their own conventions and don't realize that the users need a better/different interface with the graph engine. It's a case of a brilliant idea failing due to execution.

Your request is a perfect example of that. No new user gets it… but that's the way it works and it doesn't look like it will change.

Same thing for the reports vs filters. I suggested many times to make the reports (they're not reports!!!!) become filters like ALL other applications in the market. That would allow the software to evolve the FILTERING capabilities that are of upmost importance… no can do! It continues to be reports because the 10 users that bought the tool ten years ago call it reports. It also continues to be the most frustrating filtering experience there is...

It's like Hotel California: you can check in all the information but it will never leave. You're not going to access any more because it's damn hard to find it and visualize it properly once it gets into the tool. I developed several Brains over the years with thousands of thoughts, notes, attachments. Several times, I had to give up on hundreds of work hours because I was unable to find and visualize my data properly.

Meaning... good luck with your feature request! You'll probably give up too in a few months.

ex-Brain heavy user

I'm sorry to hear that 🙁 I can totally relate to what you are saying. I agree 100% on what you say about the reports, and created a couple threads to push for it:

Why don't you explain your perspective there? It could help adding more resolution to this issue. 

I hope you end up finding a satisfying way to use The Brain. It's so promising that it would be a shame not to be able to. 
This is my other login... the right one.

I saw your posts and recalled many of my posts, mail exchanges with the development team and even phone calls...  Good luck. I hope you do better than I did! I could even return and finally start using the tool and get benefit out of it.

Some of my old posts:

Biiig post with plenty of suggestions to improve the product


Better search and filtering

Easier to use brain

Easy interface mockups

Auto Import and Classification
Hi Fernando,

Thanks for all your suggestions. 

Isilion wrote:
...Whenever there are properties like tags or types, it's a common convention to have a separate UI to manage them (delete, rename, nest them, etc). 

...The way that this is managed in The Brain works, but requires users to develop completely new mental models that make more difficult to understand and remember how to do this...

Types and tags are just special kinds of thoughts. V10 makes the much more obvious as you can now switch thoughts between types, tags, and normal thoughts. This is why current way of managing types and tags is to edit them exactly the way you edit all other thoughts. Deleting, renaming, nesting and so on are all the exact same actions that apply to all other thoughts.

That said, a dedicated way to quickly navigate between and edit all your types and tags is actually something that we would like to do. TheBrain 3.0 actually had this and I do miss it.
Hi Joao,

It's been a while since we spoke and I am sorry to see that you are frustrated that we have not been able to implement your suggestions. As the person in charge of design and development, I am actually listening to what you and other users have to say very carefully. I do think that many of the ideas we talked about would be valuable additions to TheBrain.

With regard to the name of reports/filters, while it would be easy to change the name, doing so would also change the expectation of what that feature actually does. As of right now, it can't actually "filter" what is visible in the plex and if it were called "filter" I think it would cause quite a bit of confusion.

Now if I might talk a little about feature requests generally...

Unfortunately implementing feature requests is not always as easy as everyone, including me, would like and takes time. Just because we don't implement something immediately doesn't mean we weren't listening or didn't want to implement it. We don't have the resources of Microsoft/Apple/Google/etc at our disposal but we do have a very dedicated team that is always working hard on improving the software and the systems that support it.

TheBrain is a native application that runs on all 4 major operating systems (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android) plus the web client and the sync server backend that support it all. It is not a trendy HTML app that was hacked together to run using whatever was conveniently available. This makes it scalable to millions of items, capable of running offline, lightweight, and performant, but it also means that it's quite a bit more complicated than most other "modern" applications.

Thanks again to everyone for your thoughtful contributions.
Edited Post v2
Hi Harlan,
glad to hear from you.

I understand that you are a very small company and don't expect to see you move like Google or Microsoft. Having said that, in my opinion, you need to focus on the right thing:

- Make The Brain easier to use and more appealing to a broader audience.

That is how you will survive and, eventually, grow.

Without dumping what you offer as unique, you could start following proven conventions. Don't reinvent the wheel where others are doing better. Just copy and improve if you can.

If you have spare resources:

- Make information upload, search and retrieval easier.
- Improve the filtering (filter, not report) capabilities.
- Improve information display capabilities for filtered information.
- Show filtered views on the canvas - we discussed that through mail in the past.
- Improve tagging and thought types setup and organization. Improve tagging and thought types filtering and viewing.
- Add an easy to understand folder-like view - this will be an addition, not a replacement of what you have. It's the way to make the brain appealing to newcomers.

and by the way… and some will argue against this:

- Stop investing effort on capabilities that only appeal to a handful of users and are easily beaten by any specialized tool in the market: Timelines…

Many mindmap tools have this. 90% of the time it's not good and is not used. If you want to do this right you'll have to invest a LOT of effort and it will only make the product more complex, without solving basic issues that prevent its use by new users.

In a nutshell, please make The Brain better, easier and quicker at Collect, Connect and Communicate information. Right now it's Manual Collect, Hard Connect, Unlikely Communicate… a black hole of information. 

That should be enough for the next 6 months. Sorry for being so harsh but someone has to tell you that The Brain doesn't really look to be improving that much.

That's my feedback… you've heard it in the past. Not sure it makes sense to you.


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