Simon Chester, an attorney at Heenan Blaikie and a long time leader of the ABA Law Practice Management section, put me on to mindmapping software. Mind mapping is a thinking technique using visual representations to connect ideas. Mindjet just came out with their latest version, which is easier to learn and use. You can download a free trial to check it out before you buy.
How does this apply to lawyers? Mindjet posts a case study about a law professor who uses mind mapping to teach legal concepts.
I learned to take notes in outline form, nesting ideas in a linear fashion. Ideas and thoughts, however, are not often linear. They are organic, interconnected and unbalaned. Mind mapping is a great technique for brainstorming a strategy, sketching out an article or book or planning anything.
For those who have been mindmapping for awhile, check out mindjet's blog.