Thinking Helpers

Since the early development of intelligent life, through the evolution from caves to our modern society, the conscious pursuing for productivity, efficiency, outcome generation, and any other way of “be better than the competitors”, have become a key factor in survival. In today’s world the most valued capabilities are these of: Analysis, problem solving, innovation, communication and management. In other words: A good, balanced, proactive and effective thinking.

As human beigns, we have limited resources (such as personal capabilities, time or money). So, the very basic and common task of thinking must be helped. The many ways we can help our thinking are related also to the many types or styles of thinking. I can think of…

Remembering: We have some set of “fresh” memories or knowledges that are commonly and easily accessed as we need them. But also there are the almost forgotten memories, these of far times or less relevance that sometimes we are in the urgency to get back. Then, I see these alternatives:

– Associating things. If we have a cue from where to start we can reach a context, from there we can enumerate things of that context and touch the required memory.

– Using an stimulus: It can be a sound (like a sound or the voice of somebody), an odor (I remember Dr. House trying to refreshig his memory by sniffing clothes) or and image or scene (a sunset, a rainy night). Maybe an hypnosis session?

Dr. House remembering

Dr. House remembering

Problem Solving: There is a problem and we must to find or make a solution for it. We can…

– Find a previous similar problem, then use an extrapolation of the solution into our problem context.

– Stimulate our creativity by: Making a brainstorming meeting, drawing a Mind Map, play with didactic toys like Legos or Meccanos.

Brainstorming session

Brainstorming session

 Communication: There is an audience to listen, and we must to convince or educate them. Possible ways of doing this…

– Presenting Images, either for analysis or solution proposal: Using drawings, diagrams, photographs and some text (not too much).

– Storytelling: This works by extracting the metaphores.



For each kind of problem, like these just exposed, there have been invented methods, techniques, artifacts, tools or intruments to help in their solution: Writings, drawings, storing (first by hand, then by the press and later with machines), and so on. I hope, in the next posts of this blog, make a trip through the “Thinking Helpers”.