Thursday, May 23, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

HomeBusinessTech in the 413TECH TALK: Directivity...

TECH TALK: Directivity Drawing

Drawing helps me see connections and dependencies that often get lost in translation when using mere words, which tend to start at the top of the page and go from left to right and top to bottom. Diagrams have no such constraints.

|

Editor’s note: Besides following developments in tech, our author is also a musical composer (Juilliard-trained), He has provided a musical composition for you to listen to while reading this column. This piece is called “Rising Sun.”

 

Every morning, like clockwork, I sit down to do a mind dump and a journal. It helps me transition from being conscious to becoming rational. While words are the usual tools in this process, they don’t go far enough for me when it comes to organization. I find that drawing diagrams uses a different part of my brain from writing words and gives my day more structure. That’s where my secret weapon comes into play: directivity diagramming. Literally, I diagram the direction of the day. There are more degrees of freedom in a drawing than in a list.

Here are some examples of my daily diagrams:

 

Diagramming permits me to deal with my thoughts in the nonlinear manner that they occur. I know we are taught that life and reality are linear and hierarchical, but to my mind, they are not, and, as I said, diagramming permits me to exercise a different part of my brain than the part I use for conventional prose. Drawing helps me see connections and dependencies that often get lost in translation when using mere words, which tend to start at the top of the page and go from left to right and top to bottom. Diagrams have no such constraints.

Directivity diagramming is a powerful approach to the day, which I evolved to uncover two critical types of dependencies. The first is time dependencies, which highlight the necessary sequence of actions. It’s like a roadmap, showing me what steps to take and when to take them to reach my destination efficiently. The second type is what I call system dependencies. These are akin to having all the ingredients ready before you start cooking a meal. Without this preparation, the process can quickly become chaotic. In short, diagramming takes me from being conscious to being organized and more ready to get things done.

In today’s world, we’re fortunate to have an array of tools that make directivity diagramming not just manageable but also quite elegant. These tools are more than mere software; they’re companions in our quest to bring order to the jumble of thoughts and tasks that crowd our minds.

This image was created by Howard Lieberman with the assistance of DALL-E-2, an AI software program.

Visio, with its Microsoft lineage, is a staple in the corporate world. It’s a tool designed to create detailed diagrams that adhere to the strict standards of business and technical documentation. Visio’s comprehensive set of features makes it the go-to choice for enterprise-level diagramming.

OmniGraffle stands out as a tool for those in the Apple world who appreciate precision and detail. It’s a haven for professionals who need to create diagrams that are both informative and aesthetically pleasing. With its extensive library of stencils and templates, OmniGraffle caters to a variety of needs, from software design to organizational charts.

Then there’s Scapple, a tool that embraces the chaos of creativity. It’s a digital canvas that encourages freeform expression, allowing ideas to flow without constraints. Scapple is particularly beloved by writers and researchers who thrive in an unstructured environment. This one is my favorite. It is inexpensive, runs on everything from Apple to PC to Linux, and has a very short learning curve.

Apple’s Freeform is the latest addition to the diagramming scene. It’s a tool that embodies the spirit of collaboration and spontaneity. Freeform is part of the iPad OS 16 and macOS Ventura lineup, offering a seamless experience across all Apple devices. It’s a platform that encourages real-time collaboration, allowing teams to work together on a shared canvas. It is free on all Apple products running on recent operating systems and is fantastic for collaboration.

When we compare these tools, we see a landscape of options tailored to different preferences and requirements. OmniGraffle and Visio are the titans of structure, offering polished outputs for those who need to present their ideas in a professional format. Scapple, on the other hand, is the champion of the free-thinkers, providing a space where ideas can roam wild and free.

Platform compatibility is another consideration. OmniGraffle is exclusive to macOS and iOS, making it a perfect match for those invested in the Apple ecosystem. Visio is a Windows-centric application, aligning with the needs of users in a Microsoft-dominated environment. Scapple offers the middle ground with cross-platform support, ensuring that no matter what your operating system is, you have access to its creative potential.

This image was created by Howard Lieberman with the assistance of DALL-E-2, an AI software program.

In the end, the choice of tool boils down to how your mind operates. If you’re looking for a tool that offers a blend of sophistication and functionality, OmniGraffle might be your best bet. For those who prefer a less structured approach and value the freedom to explore connections organically, Scapple could be the ideal companion. And if you’re operating within the realms of business and need a tool that integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft applications, Visio is likely your candidate.

Directivity diagramming is more than just a method; it’s a journey through the landscape of your thoughts. Each tool offers a unique path, and it’s up to you to choose which one aligns with your vision. Whether you’re a meticulous planner or a spontaneous creator, there’s a diagramming tool out there that will resonate with your style and help you navigate the complex web of ideas that define your world.

 

spot_img

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

Continue reading

TECH TALK: Communication—transparency, privacy, sensitivity and speed

AI is reshaping communication by providing new platforms and tools that enhance our ability to convey information quickly and efficiently. This shift is not just about speed; it's also about the depth and quality of interactions.

TECH TALK: Layering tools

Smartphones, with their advanced capabilities and high cost, are not just a present-day phenomenon. They are poised to play a significant role in the future.

TECH TALK: Using AI to improve your writing

Here’s how to use software to proof and edit your writing.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.