Florilege: a mapping method and memory aid for mass collaboration and information overload management
Florilege is a mind-mapping method adapted to endeavors involving multiple minds or lines of thought. Florilege maps introduce the dimension of time to register open, iterative, sometimes errant, thought processes. Like traditional florilegia and commonplace books, Florilege maps support individuals and groups in their heuristic pursuits, even when they are poorly organized or involve overwhelming masses of information.
Florilege maps have a limited set of rules:
(1) ideas are pasted chronologically from left to right, like the words they contain, constituting branches;
(2) ideas sprouting from parts of a branch grow above or below it, depending on their inductive (above, more general ideas) or deductive (below, more particular ideas) nature;
(3) new, abductive or disruptive ideas and branches are pasted further above or below but not in the past (left) or future (right) (rule 1);
(4) striking or important ideas are graphically larger than the others;
(5) minor ideas and overwhelming masses of information are graphically constrained in space;
(6) recalling past lines of thought (branches) constitutes grafting and involves the copying of a past branch into a present branch, analogous to rule 2;
(7) all types of media are allowed and may constitute flowers or fruits.
The Florilege, in its attempt to reproduce the way we think and to assist memory, revives Vannevar Bush’s project, the Memex (As We May Think, 1945).