Excerpts from my February 2008 quarterly "Web Reviews" Column: From Sticky Notes to Mind Maps: Visual Collaboration Environments (February 2009). SciTech News. 63 (1), p32-34.
I use sticky notes, both electronically on my desktop and in the real world. They are invaluable to quickly jot down information that might slip away the moment someone walks into your office or that second mouse click takes you onto a new topic. Of course these precious bits of paper present new problems: how to connect those ideas, make sense of your various projects, and manage your time efficiently (Not to mention presenting your scribbles in such a way to effectively share with others!) Naturally I’ve been impressed with the electronic sticky note programs that are freely available on the web. These virtual "mind mapping" tools to do all this and more. Going beyond the simple list tracking applets, like the popular “Remember the Milk”, they can map and visualize your ideas, connecting the various threads of you latest article, and allow web-based collaboration with others, for tasking-out those larger group assignments. My notes still might not make sense to others, but at least they won’t fall off the monitor anymore!
Download the full text or try the reviewed sites for yourself (Recommended in bold)