You find it often difficult to write quality replies, when the question is poorly structured or worded e. g. in e-mails and forums. And you want to boost your productivity and save time doing that.
Therefore, you are searching for a tool which help visualizing that by
- breaking the original text into parts
- maybe re-organizing them
- summarizing them to extract the essential info/question
- and then lets you write a reply for each part of the original question.
I suggest you to try the MindMapping software Freeplane
Advantages and benefits
- it is highly visual
- as it lets you enter and re-order chunks of text (even html) in a hierarchic structure
- you can use color or other formatting for visualization
- you can add icons to nodes
- it lets you filter nodes for display/hide with complex criteria
- it can embed hyperlinks to files and folders
- and much more http://freeplane.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Mind_map_gallery
- and all that without using the mouse, if you want - keyboard commands are easily defined for all editing work etc.
- It can be extended by scripting (groovy).
- it is free to use and open source
- it is actively developed and the developers are very responsive and helpful with an open to improvements and suggestions
Demonstration with this answer to your question
I've tried to write the answer to your question with such an approach (the distinct steps are described below and the mindmap document is attached), which could surely be optimized but in general worked very well.
For exporting the "answer" (by copying selected nodes or by a script) into a special format or maybe using HTML, this could be improved for sure.
Here you'll find the complete example document: http://mabe.bplaced.net/se/mindmap_to_structure_content.mm (needs Freeplane to be opened)
for those who just want to see the mindmap without installing the software, I've exported a flash HTML which allows browsing the mindmap and hiding/showing branches:
(Freemind offers a lot of other export formats also.)
Screenshots of example workflow
I've attached some screenshots of the "workflow".
1. paste text into mindmap - paragraphs are converted to nodes, mark original text with a special icon, e. g. question mark for later filtering
2. maybe split nodes into pieces - the editor helps you
3. summarize orignal questions / points
4. hide original questions (by filter) and write answers
then copy the answers to e-mail/discussion forum