Cognician is a new, well-designed, web-based application that enables you to use a series of questions to brainstorm new ideas. It also gives you several intriguing ways to view and share them.
Collections of questions in the world of Cognition are called, naturally, enough, “cogs.” These are the catalysts for your thinking. Once you have selected a cog, you click on a button to start the questions flowing. The questions and your responses (140 characters or less, a la Twitter) appear in a chat-like view in Cognition’s worksheet. You can also switch to a mind map view to more clearly see the relationships between your ideas. Additional stimuli are provided in the form of several dozen lists.
When you’re done brainstorming, you can export the stream of questions and ideas to an HTML file. These appear in the form of a simple, color-coded hierarchical outline.
When you sign up for a Cognition account, you have access to 6 cogs, including “5 Ws & H,” “Six Thinking Hats” and “SWOT Analysis” (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats). Additional topics are available for purchase from the developer’s website.
I love the simplicity and intuitive design of this application. I will be getting a detailed overview of Cognition’s latest features and capabilities in a Skype call with the developers of this cool ideation tool. Based upon that opportunity to drill down deeper into the thinking behind Cognition and what it can do, I plan to write a review of it, which will be published in a few weeks on this website.
Cognition is still in beta testing, which means you can sign up and play around with it for free. As I mentioned earlier, if you need more cogs, you can purchase them from the developer’s website.