Flying Logic for thinking (better) and knowledge management

Continuing the discussion from Recommendations for mind mapping other than MindNode:

@anon41602260 mentioned an interesting piece of software called Flying Logic.

It’s a visual system that helps you think through things, as the website says, “…before traditional project management even starts.” It is based on Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints and was inspired by Lisa Scheinkopf’s book, Thinking for a Change: Putting the TOC Thinking Processes to Use. I think it is more broadly applicable than it would seem. Interestingly, the software handles all the layout of the diagrams, freeing the user to focus on the content. This is quite nice.

I’ve been watching the videos and playing with the demo version. I would love to see more demos and examples from different knowledge areas, and hear from other users.


The Latest Examples and Templates section of the FL Discourse site contains a number of examples created by the developer.

Also, the File menu of the application (once a document is created) has an Open Examples… action that opens access to several examples. (I did not check for overlaps between the two sources.)

Flying Logic will not teach logic, nor how to design and interpret decision models, etc. Just as Excel will not teach someone to build a financial model or statistical analysis. It’s the kind of software that depends on what you bring to the party, but isn’t the party.


I’m running the trial right now. It seems quite excellent at what it does, and support is fast and friendly. I do wish it was a native app, but I certainly wouldn’t let that stop me from using it if it proved itself an essential tool to me.


I’m getting a lot of information from Dettmar’s The Logical Thinking Process.
Scheinkopf’s book Thinking for a Change inspired McNally to write Flying Logic. I’m finding better info in Dettmar’s book, but may return to Scheinkopf’s at some point.

Edit: It’s also worth mentioning McNally’s books, which are available from the Help menu in the program.


I love this. Thanks for your recommendation. I need to plan processes and systems for my company.
I tried to use Tinderbox but the fiddling with the layout drives me crazy.

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Wow. I looked at Flying Logic and it’s really impressive. It’s an expensive piece of Software for individual use. Especially when you cannot be reimbursed.

Hmm may be there should be a MPU group licensing category for Mac apps or I wish a MPU discount code came for this software.

I really enjoy Flying Logic but dislike that it’s a Java app and has a displeasing (to me) interface. Searching around last night, I discovered a Mac app that does some of the same things as Flying Logic but is quite a bit less expensive: Vithanco. Some of you may be interested in it.

One of the cool things it can do is import/export Flying Logic documents.

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If you’re interested to learn more about flying logic, take a look at these two videos from my YouTube channel:

The first one is with Wolf, the software’s creator. The second is a demonstration of the ToC thinking processes, using FL.

The ToC thinking tools are very clever. I use them most days in my consulting work though I use Miro, since it’s brilliant when you’re diagramming over the internet.


@ebarstad Good tip! Looks like a neat app.

@Clarke_Ching I skimmed one of those videos without audio, but couldn’t answer my question: are you talking about Theories of Change, or Theories of Constraints? Two different “ToCs”! Shameless plug: some of my research on ToCs is getting published as one of my first journal articles in a few months. :tada:


Vithanco looks interesting - a less expensive alternative to Flying Logic.

One thing I really like about FL is that values in diagrams can propagate and logic operations can be applied to them.
For instance, flour AND water AND sugar are required to enable the ready to bake operation.
They can also appear as partial completions, flour + water would show 67% on ready to bake.

I also like that FL shows the entity type for each item on the diagram.

Congratulations on the upcoming publication!

Popularized by Eliyahu M. Goldratt.

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It is $269, John!!! A wee bit out of the ball park.

I like Mind Nodes fine. And I love, well, there is another one for the iPad but I cannot find it.

Plurals are hard. Thanks!

Here’s an example diagram.

The little ‘percent-complete’ controls in the lower-left of some of the items can be set by clicking and dragging to change the percentage. This then propagates forward (if appropriate) to other items. When at 100%, they become T for True.

Edit: link to the FL Discord server.

(I scrapped this approach to this project, so the dates and percentages are incomplete.)

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Looks like Vithanco might have found it easier to rip off Flying Logic’s design than come up with their own.

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The good thing is, FL 4 will have a subscription model, so the entry cost will be lower.

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Watched and enjoyed the first one, thanks for sharing @Clarke_Ching . Can you give me info on this group of people you have? Looks interesting.

Where did you see information on FL 4?

Wolf talked about it in Clarke’s video. No timeline or anything, but in the works.

Looks like Greek to me! How neat to be able to do that. Beautifully organized, John!

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