Computers are supposed to make life easier for us, but they work in logical steps and we do not. If you are planning any project more complex than going to the corner shop for some milk, you will want to break it down into steps, and those steps aren't always thought about in their final order. FreeMind is mind-mapping software, it starts of an an onscreen whiteboard on which you can jot ideas and concepts. This can be topics to be covered in an essay, features of a program you want to write or stages of building a house. The task is irrelevant, FreeMind lets you manipulate and organise your thoughts. After ideas are added they can be fleshed out, either with sub tasks, more details or even the text to be used in that section of an article. Ideas can then be linked to give the project some structure.
Items can be coloured, to show importance or mark those that are completed, in progress or yet to be started. Items can link to external resources, such as images or web pages, so you can also use FreeMind to build a knowledge base. It can be a better choice than a database when you don't know the structure you will need before you start, or it could be used as an intermediate step in designing a database, it's uses are endless. The map can be exported in other formats, such as HTML, for sharing and viewing outside of the program.
FreeMind is a powerful but complex program, making it more suitable to larger tasks or frequent use. For one smaller task, you may spend longer learning it that using it, but with a big project, or if you need its features regularly, it is worth the investment of your time. This is a Java program so is portable across many platforms. You could even keep the program and data files on a USB stick for a completely portable project.
A somewhat steep learning curve, but worth the effort.