In the course of thinking about something, it can be extremely useful to pause now and again to consolidate what has been achieved up to that point.
Ask the question:
How far have I got?
A consolidation is more than just a summary because different ideas can be put together to give a single idea.
Different ideas can also be put together under one heading.
When there is a consolidation you can look at it to find the gaps in the thinking or to find the points that need thinking about more fully.