A curated repository of innovative tools for thought to make use of.
Each tool listed below introduces new mechanics, primitives, or affordances which can be broadly used in knowledge work. This platform aims to encourage creative individuals and small teams to bring innovative tools for thought to life. The projects listed below are not affiliated with Psionica.
By Paul Bricman
Description: A Google Drive for thoughts, enabling users to easily store, relate, and surface their ideas. Unlike the Zettelkasten family, this tool automates the entire book-keeping process using AI, so that you can focus on the knowledge work. It supports both language and imagery, can be accessed from both desktop and mobile, and can easily integrate with third-party tools.
New mechanics: copy-recall-paste, dynamic linking of notes, serendipity as search parameter.
Description: Elicit is a GPT-3 powered research assistant. Elicit helps you classify datasets, brainstorm research questions, and search through publications.
New mechanics: steer language models by starring responses, GUI wizard for defining tasks for language models.
By Christophe Van Deputte, Paul Rony
Description: The Kosmik Universe is your infinite, digital playground to put objects together, manipulate the objects and the relationships they share with each other, as you let the many become one until the One emerges out of the play. It is akin to a whiteboard transformed by all things digital, all things web-native, all things Internet. Such a new paradigm introduces a whole new set of creation flows and in our explorations, we’ve already seen some unprecedented possibilities.
New mechanics: spatial hyperlinks, drag and drop links onto canvas as page objects, transclusion on a canvas.
By Anthony Diamond
Description: Memory Maps is a digital tool for learning which makes the method of loci (i.e. memory palace) intuitive and easy to use. It achieves this by using Street View panoramas as support for associating abstract ideas with concrete places which the user is familiar with. The process of using Memory Maps involves breaking down a line of reasoning, a train of thought into an outline of discrete steps. The outline is then linked to a journey across a real route along a real neighborhood. The paths are then traversed based on a spaced repetition schedule, one location after another, assisted by the panoramas.
New mechanics: Street View panoramas as support for method of loci, learning by turning outlines into journeys.
By Linus Lee
Description: Monocle is Linus's universal, personal search engine. It can query across tens of thousands of documents from his blog posts, journal entries, notes, Tweets, contacts, and more to act as his extended memory. Monocle is designed with a focus on speed, privacy, and hackability.
New mechanics: universal personal search, personal search engine in the browser.
By Mark McGranghan, Julia Roggatz, Adam Wiggins, Lennart Ziburski, Adam Wulf
Description: Muse is a spatial canvas for your research notes, reading, sketches, screenshots, and bookmarks. Because deep thinking doesn’t happen in front of a computer. Pull in relevant information , then arrange as you see fit. Muse lets you sift and sort through it all, helping you find new patterns and insights. Sketching in Muse isn‘t restricted to a dedicated space. Ink on top of, next to, or between things. Type a sentence, then scribble a note over it. The unique zooming interface lets you rely on your brain‘s spatial memory to switch contexts without ever getting lost.
New mechanics: spatially nested canvases.
By David Felsmann, Fabian Wittel
Description: Napkin is an easy system to collect and reflect thoughts. Its network structure reveals connections you couldn't see in a classic list and folder structure. The interface is optimized for flow and inspiration and built around a directed graph instead of a classic file tree. Each thought becomes a node in a dynamic network and can convey more information than its mere content through either manually or automatically defined relationships to other thoughts.
New mechanics: live surfacing of past thoughts while editing a new entry.
By Andy Matuschak
Description: Orbit is an experimental platform for publishing and engaging with small tasks repeatedly over time. In the short term, it's focused on supporting the "mnemonic medium", a way of augmenting texts so that readers can easily remember all the key details. More abstractly, Orbit aspires to offer a more general form of spaced repetition systems like Anki, as part of a connected cloud service. Orbit stores a collection of tasks and manages their schedules. Tasks can be ingested from around the web, via APIs or embedded iframes, or through various services running on your local computer. You can complete scheduled tasks in desktop, mobile, and web applications. A backend service syncs user data and orchestrates notifications.
New mechanics: embedded flashcards, SRS API, flashcard removal by repeated dismissal.
Description: Patera is an environment for teams to think, plan, and model scenarios in, allowing you to throw out the boring, endless sheets of paper and present dynamic documents. By using excel syntax you can explore possibilities, outcomes and alternatives. Like a spreadsheet you can actually read.
New mechanics: spreadsheet rendered as natural language, linked spreadsheet cells as editable text labels.
By Krishnan Chandra, Aaron Scindian, Ben Slater, Nora Awadallah, Michael Ma
Description: The Research Rabbit Discovery app which unlocks a completely novel way to search for papers and authors, monitor new literature, visualize research landscapes, and collaborate with colleagues. The user can seamlessly go down informational rabbit holes by applying sequential transforms on data (e.g. related papers, author connections, etc.).
New mechanics: chained data transformations as horizontal items, backtracking across data transformations for tweaks