Exploratree is a new website that offers an impressive selection of free visual thinking guides. While not mind maps, they are marvelous tools for visual thinking and mapping of information and ideas. Think of thinking guides as blank templates that you can fill in with your ideas and information. You can download them for free, or use the site to create your own.
Exploratree’s library of visual ideation tools includes some well recognized idea-generation techniques, such as SCAMPER and Lotus Blossom, as well as tools for evaluating ideas like PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting) and Thinking Boxes (considering things from different perspectives).
To create a new thinking guide, you utilize Exploratree’s slick visual diagramming toolset (a browser-based, simplified version of the tools you would find in a business diagramming program like Visio or SmartDraw).
It will be interesting to see how this fascinating web service develops. I really like the idea that anyone can contribute thinking guides to the shared library, which should result in a rich collection of visual thinking techniques and tools.