Monday, 17 December 2007

Plan for a Posting

NotesonCreationof17thDivisionHistory Further to the posting on creating an article or chapter for a book (see: Writing with MindManager) here is the quick map I drew to outline the posting itself.

There is nothing clever or sophisticated here - just another demonstration of how a mind map and MindManager can be used to rough out a plan for any kind of communication.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Books Written Using MindManager

MMBooks I've just received a map of books written using MindManager courtesy of Melinda Venable at MindJet.

The map presents a number of books all developed or 'written' using MindManager and has internet links to connect you to further details of each book.

You can read about my approach to writing using MindManager in yesterday's posting here.

You can download the books map here.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Writing with Mind Manager

MindManager is a superb tool for preparing a written piece such as an essay, article or, as in this case, the chapter of a book.  This post illustrates one approach using MindManager and is based on the drafting of a chapter on a historical subject (a history of the 17th Indian Infantry Division).  The steps I followed were:

 

17thIndianDivisionOverview

- create an overview map with the main events as topics, the events begin determined from preliminary research and reading

 

LinkedMapForReorganisationTopic - for each topic in the overview, create a linked map and add detailed notes to the linked maps as topics.  Each source is reviewed in turn and details added to the topics which are also amended and shuffled into a narrative order (I don't use MindManager notes as I like to be able to insert, amend and move text around.  I find it easier to do so using topics).  I write in sentences with one or more sentences per topic.  As I find detail or amend sentences I also use the 'split topic' feature

 

CcombinedMapDraftMultimap - when all the overview topics have been filled out via their linked maps, I create a single map prior to exporting the consolidated piece to Word for editing and formatting.  To do this, from the overview map go to the multimap view which will show all the linked maps with the overview map.   Select all the maps and combine them into a new map.  Remove any duplicate topics that are created by this process.  I now have one large map with everything I typed in

 

InitialExportToWord- export this new consolidated map to Word.  With the export options: turn off numbering; don't indent; and set all topic styles to 'Normal'.  Export to Word.  This gives you one long piece of text, in narrative order and reading reasonably well

 

FinishedDraft - edit and format the text using Word to achieve a completed draft.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Real Time Note Taking

cima notes One of the uses of mind maps is real time note taking such as during a meeting or lecture.  Here is an example from a presentation I attended for accountants who might be thinking of setting up in business for themselves. 

I had turned up only with my fountain pen so had to use this and notepaper provided by the conference centre.  Still, this simple example gives an idea of what can be achieved.

Why was I at a presentation for accountants, well it's a long story ......

Friday, 30 November 2007

Thinking Skills

"In our evolving world, the ability to think is fast becoming more desirable than any fixed set of skills or knowledge.  We need problem solvers, decision makers and innovators.  And to produce them, we need new ways to teach and learn.  We need to prepare our children for their future, not for our past."

Mike Fleetham, "How to Create and Develop a Thinking Classroom"

I have only just discovered the interest and effort being put into the education system to teach children how to learn and think, as opposed to just memorising facts, for instance.  It seems my own children are receiving some coaching in different approaches to learning.  I've found a collection of resources at Brainbox, from where I copied the quote that heads this post.

I'm also intrigued by this publication:

Here is a synopsis:

"Think you can't see someone's thinking? Think again! This book reveals what happens when the normally private, hidden and undefined act of thinking is transformed into one that is public, available and explicit.

Thinking Skills and Eye Q is the world's first lexicon of visual tools – once tooled up, you can transform teaching and learning in your classroom. Thinking Skills and Eye Cue is a breakthrough in thinking. Ironically, there has been lots of fuzzy thinking about thinking skills. Caviglioli, Harris and Tindall, though, are very clear about what thinking is. In this book, they link thinking skills with visual tools and the genres that pupils encounter in every lesson. "

I would love to hear from you if you have read this book.

 

Exporting to Word from MindManager

Recently I was asked my thoughts on potential improvements to MindManager.  I decided to focus on the MS Word export feature as I feel it to has the potential to be very powerful. In business I sometimes find an overall culture of mistrust and misunderstanding of things visual and it is of great help to be able to issue proceedings of a meeting or workshop both as a map and a set of notes - to satisfy all types.

I am beginning to understand the Word export option better now but still find it hard to imagine what the results of an export will be like before I do it.

So, the ideas I came up with for possible improvements were:

a) a preview option - based on the selected Word template options, a preview to be generated rather than having to run the export in full to see the results
b) the document created to use the Word template styles and not clones of them created by MindManager
c) I would like to be able to export embedded images in addition to icon markers
d) A faster loading of user defined Word templates - this is slow currently
e) a two way interaction with Word such that an MM template may be designed/derived/built by interpretation of a selected Word template - in terms of levels, heading, topic and note formatting
f) More control and options over how notes are exported.

What are your thoughts and experiences with this feature?

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Survey of Web-Based Mind Mapping Applications

My Photo

Chuck Frey has just released the findings from his latest survey.  He says:

"In September, I conducted a survey of users of web-based mind mapping applications, to learn how people are utilizing them and to shed some light on the advantages, disadvantages and future potential of this exciting new technology. The results of this survey are finally available (attached).

There's a lot of great data here, as well as many user opinions on what they like about web-based mind mapping tools, what needs to improve about them and where developers should focus their efforts in order to deliver the functionality that they expect."

Please follow the link here to find out more or go here to download the report for free.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Whiteboard Photo Software in Action

I have posted earlier about this remarkable piece of software which cleans up photos of workshop flipcharts at the press of a button.WorkshopResultsPhotoAnon WorkshopResultsChartAnon

Here is an example - the graphic was used to present the workshop plan and updated throughout with progress (the green ticks). The before and after images are included to demonstrate what can be produced quickly using Whiteboard Photo. This is great for getting a record of the workshop distributed to attendees at the end or very soon after.

MindManager and MS Office

One of the truly great features of MindManager is its integration with MS Office. I've long used the links with Outlook to manage my to dos and personal plans. Recently I've begun to use the Word export feature also.

Conceptually, I think there are two ends to a spectrum on how the Word link might be used. At the simple or 'quick and dirty' end is the approach which where a map is created, exported to Word and then the Word document edited to achieve the desired result.

Mindjet Productivity Pack for Microsoft® Office

The other approach is more considered and involves pre-planning to achieve a finished Word document at the press of a button. This is not a criticism merely a pointer to users - if you want great results first time from the Word export feature, then invest a little time first to 'design' you map and a template to match - and then check it.

Things I have learned are:

- ensure each branch of the map conforms strictly to the Word template hierarchy. Having a branch with an additional level, say one between what should be level 1 and level 2, will give corresponding results in the Word document
- design and save the Word template file (.dot) first. Remember to include any additional items such as: title page(s); document control; ToC; headers and footers, additional branding)
- check the leveling on the map is consistent with the template hierarchy
- select the correct options (template, mapping of levels to template styles, understand how deep the leveling goes, consider what you want to happen to notes and images)
- export.

Prove the map and the template give the desired result by testing with simple outputs - especially before using the feature live in front of an audience.

I think what also takes first time users by surprise is that MM creates "MM" versions of the template styles rather than use the styles as-is (as-are?). This is OK once you understand it will happen (maybe a future release can get around this?).

If anyone has any good/interesting Word templates that could be experimented with, modified and otherwise adopted by users (inc me) they would be gratefully received by all I'm sure.

It's also worth reviewing the 'Value of an Hour' presentation on the MindJet website. There is also a 'Microsoft Tips and Tricks' map to download here.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Pixid Whiteboard Photo

While at the IAF Europe annual conference in Edinburgh I attended a session on Graphic Facilitation given by Meeting Magic. One of the items they introduced was a great piece of software which automatically cleans up flipchart and whiteboard notes and drawings. This means you can photograph the work done, clean it up and send it electronically to the participants. The great advantage is that they are getting an exact record of what was produced on the day in the format in which it was produced - thus reinforcing their experience and memory.

WhiteBoard Photo, WinThe software is Whiteboard Photo. It lets you take snapshots of your dry-erase board, flipchart, chalkboard or document with your digital camera and convert them into crisp, perfect images in seconds. Whiteboard Photo uses proprietary image processing algorithms to correct the angle of your photograph, correct the colors, and clip the borders so that you get a perfect printout every time. You don’t need to worry about the angle of the camera, the lighting, reflections, or even small print. Whiteboard Photo can create brilliant hardcopies in less than 30 seconds.

You can see examples in my posting: Graphic Templates. More examples will follow soon.

Available from Publishing Perfection at $79.95 as a download

Monday, 5 November 2007

Graphic Templates

TemplateAn important tool in graphic facilitation is the visual template. Typically a template is prepared before the workshop and posted at the start of the exercise. The group works on their ideas with the template in mind and with the knowledge that what they produce will be used to populate the template. This helps them stay focussed on their objective. The completed template provides a memorable record of the achievements and conclusions of the group.

This example is based on one available from the The Grove Consultants.

Further examples of workshop graphics as templates can be found in these excellent books. The key thing to remember is that anyone can prepare these - no previous artistic skills are needed.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Useful Resources

I've come across some invaluable references and books over time. I thought I'd start to try and pull these together in case they are of use to anyone.

I've kicked this off by pulling together some book lists via Amazon - click here to see the initial lists. I'll add to this over time with recommendations from books I have in my collection or have otherwise read.

By all means drop me a line with your recommendations and I'll include them here.

image

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Visual Planning

One of the many pleasures in attending the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) European conference in Edinburgh was the opportunity to see different workshop techniques in action. The graphic facilitation session was hosted by Meeting Magic and demonstrated the use of graphics such as pre-designed templates and graphic recording.

VisualPlan We were also introduced briefly to the idea of planning workshops and meetings graphically. The power of this is that it helps the workshop designer visualise not only the elements or tools needed but how they fit together ('process' in facilitation terms). It even provides a mental rehearsal of key workshop sessions. Here is a sketch I did earlier this week as part of the preparation for a planning session with a client.

The plan is a simple one - use a four stage idea generation and evaluation process to produce a summary for each of several key headings. These summaries are brought together around a large summary graphic as they are produced and build a complete picture of the subject of the workshop.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Mind Mapping Software and Workshops

MindManager in Workshops A while back I posted a question asking for your experiences of using MindManager or similar tools in group workshops. The uses to which these tools are put cover the full life cycle of a typical workshop - planning; delivery; recording and reporting.

Here is a thumbnail summary of the experiences reviewed to date:

  • Planning the event - see an example here
  • Presentation - used to support a presentation or talk with the map providing the summary, navigation, content and links to other files - see Nick Duffil's thoughts here for ideas
  • Interactive brainstorming, sorting/sifting of ideas, clustering, project planning - some use has been reported however this seems to be an area not exploited by users to date. One fear is that the tool may prove a distraction for the audience and the facilitator
  • Recording and reporting - a mapping tool is used post workshop to make sense of the workshop outputs, to record flipcharts in some state of order and to report the synthesis of ideas and actions.

As ever, I welcome your thoughts on these interim findings and any further workshop experiences you would care to share.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!

I've just got back from Edinburgh where I had a fantastic time at the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) European Conference - the Festival of Facilitation. One of the speakers was Sandra Janoff, co-founder of Future Search. Sandra reminded us why meetings are so important.

We are often cynical about the effectiveness of meetings, especially in large organisations, however meetings are where we could be doing our most important work - resolving issues, making decisions and achieving genuine understanding.

Sandra has co-written a book with Marvin Weisbord describing 10 principles for successful meetings. They show exactly how to establish a meeting structure that will give everyone a sense of common vision and purpose, make productive use of dissension, and encourage people to take responsibility rather than passively waiting to be told what to do.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Use MindManager to Sort, Sift and Summarise

Post-Its 003 How to make sense of all the ideas gathered in a workshop session? They need grouping, sorting, sifting and summarising so that the key themes can be identifed and the group can review them to achieve a consensus.

There is a role for MindManager during or after the workshop to organise ideas recorded using Post-It notes and flip charts.

WhyWillClientsWanttoWorkWithUs.mmap

In this example the ideas generated by the group were grouped and sorted using MindManager and presented back for review and agreement.

An alternative approach would have been to capture the ideas directly into MindManager as the first part of the exercise. Once idea capture is complete, the group can move on to review and group them in the tool.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Graphic Workshop Template

imageHere is an example of a graphical template used as a handout during a workshop. After some preliminary work, the group were asked to work in pairs to draft a marketing message using the handout. The completed templates were gathered back in and after the workshop were consolidated into a single set of messages. This was done using MindManager.

What Is Our Initial Market Message The final version was published to the team as a PDF. This map includes graphical elements from the original hand drawn template to retain the theme used in the workshop.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Presentation Handouts

Seminars At a recent meeting, the group was given an excellent presentation on planning seminars by John Basinger (Business Continuity Consultants). The presentation was accompanied by PowerPoint slides and handouts were given at the end. The handouts were a traditional set of the slides notes and, more interestingly, a one-page summary as a mind map. Recipients now have the choice as to how they recall and access the key information from the presentation.

The map was created using Map it!. Thanks to Harry Hodgson (Hodgson Consulting) for kindly allowing the map to be published.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

6 Thinking Hats

Andrew Wilcox of Cabre has published some notes on using Edward de Bono's 6 Thinking Hats in conjunction with MindManager to run workshops. Andrew writes:

SixThinkingHats"In applying this process Cabre has found that no voice at the meeting dominates. New ideas always come up in the Green Hat and surprise the attendees. It is as useful with a large group as it is with a one to one coaching session."

See the full article at the Cabre website and download a 6 Thinking Hats MindManager template. There is also a sample workshop output here.

Many thanks to Andrew for making this available.



Monday, 10 September 2007

Marketing Copy Made Easy

Recently I needed to create a flyer for my business in a hurry; to outline the key features and benefits. FeaturesAndBenefitsI got my thoughts out very quickly using MindManager and then used the tool to group the ideas. A further quick review of the map led me to the key topics and my thoughts were arranged a final time under the topic headings.

FandBflyer From the resulting map I was able to create the copy I needed in next to no time. In fact I spent more time on formatting the document than I did on the copy.

This time saving and creative process has been discussed widely. See Roger C. Parkers Design to Sell web site for more and download Mindmapping for Marketeers and Writers. There is even a user-created video of the creative process accessible via the MindManager Users forum on Ning here.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Manage Information Using Drag and Drop

Whilst collating Anjum Anand's Indian recipes using MindManager (see earlier posting 'Style Comparison' here) I discovered that such maps can be created using drag and drop from Windows Explorer.

I have been creating such maps the hard way its seems. I have been working from the MindManager map and creating a topic for each item I wish to hyperlink to. Then I have been adding the hyperlinks by right clicking and browsing for the file using the hyperlink dialogue.

DragNDrop InformationManagement When building the recipe map I created a new map first, with only a central topic and then minimised the window. This gave me access to another window displaying the folder holding the recipe files. In this window I selected and held down the cursor a recipe and dragged it over to the MindManager map until I got a link from the central topic. When I let go of the mouse button, MindManager created a new topic, using the file name of the recipe, complete with hyperlink. When all the recipes were added I created some new topics on the map to help me organise the recipes by main ingredient. Simple and quick.

This simple demonstration confirms the power of MindManager to organise and manage information.

Style Comparison

This posting includes two maps used to collate recipes.

100_1153 The first is hand-drawn and includes rich, hand-drawn graphics. Its purpose is to draw together recipes from different books and to group them by ingredient or recipe type. The references to the recipes are page numbers and are colour coded by author. You can see the key in the top left hand side.

The second map is a Mind Manager map. It too pulls together recipes from different sources although this time they are all by the same food writer. The recipes were found on the internet and printed as image files to my desktop (using Repligo). They were then linked to the central topic as Anjum Anand's Recipeshyperlinks and I added images from the websites where available. An alternative approach is to have created hyperlinks to the web pages themselves.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Discussion with a Graphic Facilitator

Via the Centre for Graphic Facilitation blog, I've found a discussion with a successful graphic facilitator - Mark Pinto. It makes interesting reading and is full of tips on how to develop graphical note taking skills.

Follow this link to read the article.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Brainstorming

Mindjet_MindManager_CI_Brainstorming_largeI'm very interested to hear from anyone who has used MindManager to facilitate group workshops.

A key feature of many workshops is of course brainstorming. MindManager includes a brainstorm tool and MindJet have provided a map describing "how to brainstorm with MindManager".

It's available from the MindJet site at Brainstorming with MindManager.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has used the MM brainstorm tool with a group.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Facilitated Workshops and MindManager - A Survey

The classic tools of a professional facilitator include flip charts, marker pens, Post-It notes and a big empty wall. MindManager and a data projector offer enormous potential to supercede or supplement some of these tools.

I'd love to hear your stories of how you have used MindManager to facilitate group workshops of any kind.

Workshop tasks that can be supported by MindManager include:

  • sorting, sifting and summarising of ideas using mind maps
  • timeline charting for action plans can be done with MindManager and MS Project
  • brainstorming using the MindManager brainstorming tool.

MindManager in WorkshopsI would welcome the opportunity to share your experiences. Have you experienced any limitations with the software? What has worked well for you?

What was the subject of the workshop? Who were the participants? Was it business, public or some other purpose? Which features of MindManager did you use? Have you used the brainstorming tool? How did the participants react to use of the software?

It would be great to share any notes or guidelines for specific workshop approaches that you may have developed. Later on we may be able to consolidate the responses to produce guidelines on using MindManager in group workshops.

Thanks to all in anticipation.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Idea Tree - Innovation with Mapping Software

Roberto Vidales - TreesAnother great mapping example from Jamie Nast - Roberto Vidales is an ecologist and has been using what he calls "idea trees" as a tool to develop an ecological-holistic view and consciousness about nature. He uses the idea trees as an educational tool to share with friends, neighbors, local government authorities, and different audiences in Mexico City and surrounding areas.

Robert has integrated photographs into his map which makes it an an extremely visual reference tool. See the original posting at Jamie Nast's Idea Mapping Blog - Idea Tree

Friday, 27 July 2007

Group Decision Making in the Press

brainstormingSteveSmlThis week I had the opportunity to speak to the Business Editor of the local newspaper here in Reading. The following are extracts from the Reading Chronicle article headed "Barnstorming [sic] Steve's the man who puts the meat into meetings".

"MOST workers will know how unproductive some meetings can be. Steve Rothwell has made it his job to put that right. Errors, assumptions and miscommunications often leave workers going along with decisions they don't really support, or even not going along with decisions because they feel excluded.

As facilitator Mr Rothwell says he can go into firms, independently of office politics and with a few ground rules laid down, get groups of workers, often in diverse workforces, to jointly contribute to decisions."

To read the full article visit my company web site, www.elstar-consulting.com or download the pdf here.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Mind Mapping Software Compendium

Via a posting on this blog, I have come to know about a mind mapping software list. It is "Vic's compendium of software that supports knowledge management and information organisation in graphical form. Includes mind mappers, concept mappers, outliners, hierarchical organisers, KM support and knowledge browsers, 2D and 3D."

The site also includes a new search engine specializing in mind mapping. It is a Google Co-op project built (to minimize irrelevant search results) by manual selection of the web sites from which the results will be drawn. There are 89 at present, listed at http://www.mind-mapping.org/mm_sites.php.

Link to the main site is here

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Now available: Power Tips & Strategies for Mind Mapping Software Second Edition

Cover130px I'm pleased to report that Power Tips & Strategies Second Edition is now available for purchase. Author Chuck Frey has consulted users and experts to capture their best practices, tips and strategies. The e-book contains interviews with leading experts and more than 20 case histories.

You will find my Visual CV included on page 83.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Brainstorming with Mind Maps

Using the team mapping method described by Jamie Nast in her book "Idea Mapping", helps overcome some of the drawbacks of what might be called traditional brainstorming. People can be put off by having to call out ideas and the group can be lead down the path of the strongest or most vocal member. Having everyone brainstorm on their own and on paper as a first step allows everyone to contribute in their own way. The results are then posted for the group to review and this is where the most powerful cross-fertilisation of ideas can occur.

BrainstormMaps In this example, I provided a map template for the participants to use as this was the first time they had used the technique. The individual maps were then posted on the wall and reviewed by the group. Individuals were seen to add further ideas to their maps during this process as they were stimulated by what others had put on their maps. The maps were subsequently consolidated outside of the workshop.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Project Definition and Planning - Workshop Outline

The purpose of initial meetings with my clients is to establish their needs and a possible approach to IdentifyWorkshops meeting them. This will involve reviewing the client's situation and objectives and often leads to a list of candidate workshops or workshop sessions, with an outline of goals and outputs for each. A recent example is seen here, covering the definition and early planing of a new project. My client is also a fan of mind maps so I fed back my thoughts using this MindManager map.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

MindManager 7 Review at Amazon.Com

Prompted by the MindJet Blog, we are all invited to leave reviews of MindManager 7 at Amazon.com. See the link here. See my review by clicking the image below. Have you used the new topic editing features yet? Or the query function? What do you think?

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Media Coverage of My Company, Elstar

Elstar launch Reading Chronicle Extract from the monthly Business Review, published by the Reading Chronicle. This short piece introduces my unique approach to consultancy - helping business and public organisations resolve issues, make decisions and plan projects and services. Read more about accelerating your business at www.elstar-consulting.com.

Active Facilitation on Squidoo

Check out my lens

See my Lens at Squidoo Business. It brings together sources for facilitation and mapping. Click on the image (left).

Festival Of Facilitation

iafmem Edinburgh October 5th - 7th 2007

In October 2007, the 13th IAF European Conference will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Follow this link for details and registration.

Visual Facilitation

The Citizens Advice Bureau in Reading, England are developing a new service. I Post-It synthesisplanned and facilitated a workshop to achieve a number of goals. One goal was to define the activity model to guide the coaches who would deliver the service.

The starting point was for each participant to list their individual view of the activities, one per Post-It note. All Post-Its were then stuck on the wall and reviewed by the group as whole. Summary of review

I provided an empty template to help the group synthesise their individual ideas. Having achieved a consensus, I quickly drew a summary of the model they had built and discussed.

Software draft

Following the workshop this was redrawn on the computer. You can see the key steps illustrated by actual images from the workshop.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Visual Map or Graphic Facilitation

One feature of my job as a facilitator is to help people visualise the subject we are dealing with. Mapping is an obvious tool to use. I created this visual map in preparation for a workshop and used the map from the start to help the group better engage with the subject, making it more memorable in the process. Click on the image to see a larger version.

with acknowledgements to Nancy Margulies, author of Mapping Inner Space

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Hand Drawn Mind Map to Project Plan

My facilitation work often involves helping project managers develop their plans. Recently I had the opportunity to develop ideas from a hand drawn map into a software tool and finally into a project plan.

My preparation for the session with the project team involved reviewing the draft project initiation document (PID). From this I noted my initial ideas using a hand drawn mind map.



Then with the project team, we captured initial thoughts on a work breakdown structure using MindManager. We used the tool to regroup and restructure the ideas until we had a structure that reflected the deliverables, phasing and nature of the project. Next we began entering task information on key items – milestone dates, elapsed time, resources and dependencies.

When we had a working draft in MindManager we exported the map to MS Project (at this point you could actually feel people thinking ‘Wow!’). Using Project we began to schedule the tasks and review the resources. The team took away the Mind Manager map and the Project file to develop the plan further.

The project team were very impressed with their deliverables and the fact they had produced so much in so little time.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Real Time Mind Mapping

I’ve been on a training course recently and used it as an opportunity to practise my real time mapping skills. This was made very easy as the trainer organised the material well, maintained a comfortable pace and also provided excellent diagrammatic summaries which he flip charted as he talked.

I found I was able to produce neat maps, incorporating colour and images. At several points, rather than make my own maps, I copied the flip charts as drawn by the trainer – they were so visual and easy to copy. On the second day, he began presenting some of the material using mind maps. I copied a few of these also before I started to realise my attention was wandering. It struck me that I was paying more attention to copying the diagrams and maps than to the information being presented and discussed.

They key to making sense of information and remembering it subsequently is the effort that is applied in assimilating it, I think. I discovered then when I made my own map, rather than copy that provided, I was more attentive, understood the material better and was able to recall more of it subsequently.

For me, the lesson learned is to make my own notes, in my own words and using my own maps.

Coming Soon - Mind Manager 7

Yesterday I participated in a short presentation given by MindJet to introduce the latest version of MindManager. It includes:

  • new topic editing features
  • the ability to save views of the map based on selections and filters
  • a new toolbar interface conforming to the MS Fluid UI or "ribbon".

This is just a sample as we weren' t able to explore everything in the time available. Also being launched is a "Jetpack" of project management tools containing useful templates and white papers describing how MindManager can transform your approach to project planning, management and reporting.

MindManager 7 is launched on 30th May. Click here for more details.

I can't wait!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Idea Mapping: Idea Map #11 - Considered Colour by Steve

Idea Mapping: Idea Map #11 - Considered Colour by Steve

In her book, "Idea Mapping", Jamie Nast explains the value of deciding the purpose of your map before you start to draw it.

You may have seen on Jamie's blog, Jamie and I discussing different approaches to mind maps. The approach you take may be driven by your own personal style or, in particular, the needs of the moment and the purpose you want to achieve with the map.

Jamie has been kind enough to use two of my examples to demonstrate at least two takes on this subject.

See also Idea Map #10 - Fast 'n Furious from Steve

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Idea Mapping: Hint #5 - If Your Idea Map Gets Messy, Should You Re-draw It?

Idea Mapping: Hint #5 - If Your Idea Map Gets Messy, Should You Re-draw It?

Jamie Nast continues to post valuable tips on mind mapping . Included in this latest post is a reminder to consider the purpose of a map before starting it and to let this define the style and "neatness" of the finished product. A case of "horses for courses".

Friday, 13 April 2007

Wanted: Your mind mapping software success stories

Chuck Frey maintains a great blog on mind mapping software. Chuck is now working on an updated edition of his e-book "Power Tips & Strategies for Mind Mapping Software". He is often asked by readers for examples of successful software produced mind maps and wants to include the best examples in the book. If you have a software created map that has served you well then why not share it with Chuck?

To help you do so right click here to download a form to your computer and use it to prepare a case history. Then mail it back to Chuck with an image file of the relevant map. The form contains guidelines and return mail address details. For more details click on this link - Wanted: Your mind mapping software success stories

If your map is used in the book, Chuck will let you have a free copy of the e-book when published.

Visual CV on MindJet Blog

MindJet have published the latest version of my visual CV on the Mindjet Blog. This link will take you directly to the post - Build Your Resume With MindManager.

Thanks to Gaelen O'Connell of MindJet.

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Visual CV
Building on Michael S. Scherotter's example of a visual resume, I've drafted this example using MindManager. I wanted to emphasise both my achievements as per a traditional CV and also how my skills as a facilitator and visual communicator have developed through experience.

If you have MindManager you can download the file here.
There is a competition running for the best visual resume or CV. Click on this link here for more details.