At the risk of sounding like a sad case pining for System 7.5, I still miss Mark Fisher’s IDEAFISHER: software you could throw ideas at which would ask questions back.

Now I see that THOUGHTOFFICE is claiming to be able to do the same job and more…

I haven’t been able to find any reviews that are anything other than promotional puff. Has anyone tried it and does anyone use it in earnest?


Huh, looks like ThoughtOffice is calling their stuff “based on” IdeaFisher.

I also notice that it has “expert” questions set up in topical modules. Great way to restrict your thinking to what the experts come up with :slight_smile:

I actually once “wrote” a brainstorm tool - for those who know eliza (the computer psychotherapist - discussed extensively here on L&L) I basically gave her an alternate script, so that instead of asking you how you felt about something you said, she would ask leading questions intended to help with brainstorming. All eliza really does is throw your own words back at you anyway, so her questions aren’t topic limited.

I’m a big fan of IdeaFisher. And, since I’m still on Tiger and a G5, I sometimes fire it up (version 2.05, year 1994) and do my associative thinking in it.

It’s a great help to develop a story. The best help I know, since it does not produce a set of pre-made solutions to a story point, but helps in thinking around concepts.

It’s a way of browsing through your own culture and feelings. It’s a great help in find unexpected developments.

I will probably upgrade to ThoughtOffice when switching to more modern systems, but at the moment I’m more than happy with the old IdeaFisher. The lack of an “office” part in the name makes me more comfortable.


After switching to Intel/Leopard one month ago, I had to stop using IdeaFisher. So I downloaded the demo of ThoughtOffice to see if it really was the heir of IF.

Despite the claim of its develper that this was originally developed on a Mac, TO looks like a bad port from Windows. Even colors are not the same “mixture” of those defaulting on the Mac. The font menu shows only Windows names. And erratic functioning of the user interface is everywhere.

I’m very sad of this recent implementation of a great idea, and I’m more so, considering the refusal of the developer to admit it is a port – something that makes my hopes for a later rewriting very unlikely.