Use a standardized set of icons to represent the different sections of the map. This doesn't have to be pretty drawings.
This is where understanding bubble to-dos help. With bubble to-dos, you don't need to put your mindset in a place where you're drawing circles or creating beautiful paintings like the many examples on the internet.
Nor do I have to convince you that I'm not just telling you to create a minimalized version of a Concept Map and repackaging it under a different name. You already know the icons associated with a to-do list from it's basic form.
You "get" that in a to-do list, there's a place where you need to place a check, and that place is also where you check that item out. From that simple image alone, you can create variations of to-do lists to change and tweak the significance of each items under that list.
Now just expand the usage of those standards and blow it wide open by creating your own set for Rico Clustering.
Who is this for?
For those who feel like mindmapping is something that will make them productive but they just can't apply it's concepts efficiently when they actually follow through with the instructions and that it seems everytime they get motivated to jump on the wagon again, they just end up feeling good at the beginning but then the problems just keep coming back or they find new problems within the mapping concept yet they could see how mindmapping should be able to fix the problems they have with orthodox left-brained systems.
Recommended time for testing:
1 full Cluster with the following qualities:
-should feel like you've just doodled and still got something out of it that was worthwhile
-should give you an instant effect at the start even and especially on the mundane topics that you don't care about
-the cluster when comparing to Buzan-style mindmapping and Concept Mapping should give you the impression that it was still faster than when you applied those concepts on the same topic afterwards. (That's why a topic you really don't care about helps. Because brainstorming is often associated with the idea that you "need" to generate an idea, it's very hard "not" to generate an idea under that circumstance and that's why Mindmapping/Concept Mapping will always produce results since all you really need is a word to get the thing going. However, a topic you often don't care about, doesn't have that same pressure and that's when you can best know whether the concept is really giving you that idea pop, pop, popping feel. Now add the fact that you've already pre-written the Cluster, then if the other systems were really equal or better, you should get a faster result with those systems and since this is for people who are bad at those concepts, then this should be a clear-cut manner of figuring out whether the concept is not only better than mindmapping but also whether it is for you.)
If at the end of the exercise, you just felt like you just did a mindmap, it's not for you.
This trick has zero productivity value for those who benefit from mindmapping because the pros mindmapping provides (whichever variation you prefer) are the same as this.
What it does differently is that for those who couldn't utilize mindmapping well, it provides them a trick that leapfrogs them from someone who struggles with mindmaps into that mindmapping zone where you're just BAM! BAM! BAM! idea pops up, you write it down, idea pops up, you write it down and then you just discover you've filled up an entire page without realizing it so in a sense, it's not better than mindmapping, it should just make the action feel more casual which decreases the barrier of entry.
Of course the problem is also like fishboning, there is little reference on the internet and the most popular link about it on Google: http://www.lifehack....to-mind-mapping.html happens to have people saying it's just another phrase for Concept Mapping.
To add to that, I haven't really read the book on Rico Clusters either so there's a 100% chance I don't know the "full" concept behind this but that holds true for all of the terms I've listed in the glossary.
sigh I really wanted to show the casual feeling this technique should generate by creating and posting this topic as close to the post date of this topic (Mozilla Contest: How Would You Improve Tabbed Browsing?) so there's very little room for someone to get the impression that I "planned" the contents of the map out.
Unfortunately I was much less productive creating this topic than I had hoped. The Cluster was easy enough to make. The most thought-needed item I had with the map was writing the words "How would I improve tab browsing?" on the blank side of the notebook. From then on, I just kept writing.
Didn't have to consciously worry about any of the items afterwards.
When the sentences start to overlap, I just tried to fit the words anyways.
When the first page idea was going full and I felt I needed a separate area for the Session manager concept, I just added a "-pg. 2" to the item and kept flipping back and forth and just letting my instincts run with where I wanted to put a word down and then later connect them with arrows if I feel like it.
Anyways it's too late now and outside of not prettying up the whole map, there's really no way I can show how many of those were spur of the moment stuff like with the "- pg. 2" which I never did before but because I had a standard icon set to refer to, it was like jotting down notes as opposed to creating maps minus the fact that there weren't any actual notes to jot down aside from some items which were based on actual Firefox extensions.
My only other evidence and this is a weak one since there's no way to verify it is that I've never drawn a mock-up before, I'm not a programmer so I don't know how realistic many of these contents are (hopefully the stupidity of the ideas can speak for themselves) and despite posting some browser related stuff in this forum, the combination of my programming ignorance and lack of knowledge of mock-up creating prompted me to not even really be interested with the topic at hand.
At best, the most interest I had was on the question so I added it to my RTM to-do list and this is where the "I don't care about this" situation breaks down.
Sure, I can say I have 395 undone items in RTM and that I'm so unproductive, I've never really checked many items in that list in the first place except when transferring it on another notetaker to cut some of those items down.
I can't even show that prior to that, I didn't really have any interest in using that topic as the example for this thread and it was after putting that topic under RTM that I thought...
"Hmm... since I'm bad at this and I really just put this here [-> to-do list] out of curiosity as to what I might one day think up when I actually know how to program and really I'm too occupied with something else like writing topics for GOE, wouldn't this kinda be neat if I sort of use this as an example for Rico Clustering by just writing this question down on a blank pad, scan the page and flush the contents out no matter how stupid it is? ...and if I do this fast enough [-> match closely with the date of the thread] there's a bigger chance that the reader will get the impression that I didn't have enough time to write and plan out the contents in there (either to make it look good by purposefully putting "cliche" "feel good" ideas in there or to make it look bad on purpose so that it seems like casual mindmapping)
Anyways, for those who have a hard time reading the contents (I use FastStone Maxview's Zoom for reading the scans but really I also have the advantage of image association as to where I put what and I also have the actual paper still here so I'm not sure how readable it is. Plus I was bored the entire time I was doing the cluster so my bad penmanship is even made worse here), here's the sequence and the contents of the scans. Note: Many of these I'm just retelling from memory so it's far from accurate.
I started with a vertical two page notepad.
First up, was really where should I put "How would I improve Tab Browsing?" (although it was more closer to where I want to since it doesn't matter in Rico Clustering)
I decided to write it in the lower area because I figure'd at best I would generate only ideas that will fill one side of the notebook but I might come into an idea that could further branch it out to another page so I just left the upper area in case.
First thing I thought of was incremental sessions just because the words incremental has been stuck in my head ever since I first used a software with those words. It just seems synonymous with "lots of items" management rather than where most management software and add-ons focus on which is "lots of items" reduction or "lots of items" containment. It just seemed like the bulk of my idea was going to come from that word and that it was the fundamental structure for tab management so I put a light bulb on it as a mark of it's core feature feel to me.
The second thought that came to my mind was how to implement this in a GUI so the obvious thought I got was based on when I first heard the words "Set it and Forget It" from when I used Diskeeper (which coincidentally might also be where I first heard of the words incremental) so a 1 click button was obvious.
Then I thought: "Hmm...no. That would be pointless since it would just further slow down Firefox with it's constant saving" so the obvious next step was just remove Set it and Forget It and just use it as a button.
However, where to put the button? I hate having anything on my Firefox toolbars and hide all of them except when I want to use them except for the tab bar and the navigation bar so I really wanted to set that button as far away as possible.
I couldn't think of how to do it but I'm reminded of Chrome's Web Apps which Firefox called Prism so I wanted that except for sessions and for system tray. Didn't make sense so I left it alone.
Felt I needed to continue working on the incremental session idea as a base but like I said, I didn't really care for the topic and I didn't know all the flaws of the idea anyway since I'm not a programmer so I just put an arrow to it with the words structure in between it but I didn't bother putting the words in the middle of the arrow line.
The next was obviously to integrate Opera's features into Firefox so I wrote the arrows with the words absorb pointing at it as in absorb Opera's quality so you don't have to actually rely on leeching on Add-on developers' work for a change, developers. God knows you don't do it fast enough anyway.
The obvious two things missing from Firefox to me was linked tabs and the Windows Panel ease of moving lots of tabs because Firefox isn't really MDI.
I wanted improved linkd tabs but I really didn't want to think of what improved linked tabs means so I just type improved linked tabs.
Same goes for Windows Panel. I want it optimized but I didn't really care to think about it so I just typed optimized.
Out of ideas but felt I still had ideas so it just clicked on me how I always wanted Taboo to be native especially with the recent development of the extension where the previews became too dark for my monitor settings.
Note: I actually added something extra here when I posted this topic the first time but since I added it after the version I have saved in the My Personal Area when the topic got deleted, I didn't have a copy of it when it disappeared. It was about how this screenshot could look clear depending on the monitor settings and how I didn't realize it was so and not because I captured it under a brighter settings when I re-captured a second image and it remained clear and it was then that I realize that I was viewing it on my 2nd monitor which was an LCD where as my other monitor was a CRT with a brightness setting of 0 and a contrast setting of 80, give and take some from Desktop Lighter because I didn't bother and didn't know of a better free program that can control the brightness of a monitor separate from the monitor settings (I have read something about a program that changes the settings depending on the day though I haven't tried it)
Then it clicked on me how I can use my Firefox add-on lists as a cheat list for some more ideas. Some might say this proves how I wasn't treating this as a casual mindmap but I say it's another added pro of a casually thought of mindmap. So many times I couldn't even leave my eyes off the paper of a concept map because I was too worried of something not fitting in with the map and now I have to use another paper just to tape an extra section into it while with mindmaps, I was just bored to tears with all the words needing to be connected and I was just constantly staring at it hoping, yawning for everything I'm writing to "have value"
Anyways duh! idea next. One of the major suggestions for Taboo was always for it to have online sync and one of the things I wanted from Opera for so long was online sync'd sessions when they started releasing Opera Link so I just put it in there.
I thought the whole thing was going wild so I might need to mark what this map was about so I wrote N. Mozilla Contest on the upper left corner.
I didn't liked how the N look so for the first time I wrapped a square around it just to make it more noticeable.
Ehh... Taboo was one of my most used firefox add-ons so * it is.
Just remembered how having too much tabs causes Taboo to slow down to the point that you can't click the T options which shows all your Taboos in a new tab without Firefox hanging for forever so add the option of "Clip Tabs" which makes it more like ReadItLater with an option to turn some tabs into having previews like Taboo.
Another favorite Firefox extension of mine, SortbySize which adds a Star Icon on a toolbar that when you click sorts your tabs from shortest to longest. I wanted to expand on this so I said I wanted to turn it into two things. Sort by value and sort by numbers which is kind of the same thing except one involves changing the percentage and the other changing the numbers.
I kind of thought of it being part of the tab like how those tab renamers do it except instead of renaming the tab, you can scroll wheel and change the value of the tabs either through percentage or numbers and optionally have it so that the higher the number the darker the tabs which kind of turns it into something like colorfultabs which is why I wanted to make it optional.
I wanted the placing of these options to be where the secondary minimize/maximize/close buttons of Opera should be but apparently I didn't bother writing down lots of things about these. It'd be button 1: sort, button 2: choose which to sort by and button 3: undo plus with a pop-up message that asks you if you are sure which can be disabled under preferences or whatever the user interface for the manager is.
Anyways, back to the Prism idea and I still have no idea so I guessed and just wrote Session Group Replacement and since I filled the entire two page up, I needed to turn another page so without any bright ideas and not really interested in thinking how to best present the Cluster, I just did the most obvious and put - pg. 2 into it which is just an obvious sign for flip to page 2
First off though, since I already started with the idea of taking from to-do lists with the whole percentage thing, I thought I might as well revamp the whole session managing idea and the session manager extension from my experience is not only much better at managing sessions than Firefox's default but it's also more stable and it has more options than Opera's session manager except for the save active window options (which Opera annoyingly doesn't have an option to set it on by default) so...
Restore Session Manager aka Slap Session Manager's options as native into the browser, add "save active window only" as another option to steal from Opera.
What's better than just plain old Session Managing? Session managing through drag and drop (which gives it the qualities of Opera's Window Panel and both browser's Bookmark panel)
There it is! Open Tabs in Sessions only when it is closed. There's what improved Linked Tabs could be. Have it so a tab can be linked to a session and only when one tab is closed does the next entry get opened. Of course, then it becomes an annoying habit of strolling through entries while constantly closing a tab so I just figure'd it'd be two things:
a) When you close the parent tab, the linked tab auto-generates a linked tab besides it if you click on a link to be opened in a new tab. (Obviously optional for those who don't like it this way)
b) Have it so the linked tab opens a list of tabs within the session and you can configure how it handles the link. It could be the default behaviour like Opera's + the tab actually gets a new icon besides it that when you click switches to a list of sessions or...
b-1) Have it so when a link to the parent tab gets clicked, as the webpage changes, the old page link gets sent to the linked tab list of sessions and then you can organize these links in sets and then you can go to the linked tab and open this set in another tab and the tab will only be limited to reading all the links within that set. That is, the back and forth and other links can only work if the specific link is within the set in that list.
...or you can have all the links be merged into one ala Pagezipper and other programs similar to those like AutoPager and Repaginator
...or you can create a Speed-Dialed tab with those specific tabs thus not needing to create an optional Speed Dial or have the Speed Dial go to waste if they end up following that semi-useless, semi-cool History Dial of Chrome as a standard for their browsers
...or you can create a ShareTabs version of that set
b-2) Or you can cut the middle man and have it so the linked tabs instead of representing the link clicked in the parent tab, adds the link in the linked tab, ShareTabs style thus limiting subtabs inside one tab.
...and since the reverse idea of this is to not have linked tabs associate with sessions but duplicate the same functionality and since I've already taken reference from to-do lists with the whole sort by percentage/numbers things akin to priority in most orthodox to-do lists, why not turn the entire thing into a to-do list?
Why not have it so that it's possible to open only certain tabs within a session as opposed to all of it. Do this through a checklist or a traditional to-do list with an icon of X with a circle around it. Even better, why not have it so there's an X icon and a checkbox icon. When you click the checkbox icon, it not only marks that tab in a session as read but depending on how many times you clicked on the box, it counts how many times that tab have been read.
At the same time, you can click on the X to remove the tab within the session. This is convenient when you have read the tab and want to remove only that one tab. Now that I think of it, this also makes incremental sessions more practical since you can keep a session from overflowing with tabs thus rendering it un-openable if too many tabs fill it up.
Now if this Session "managing" user interface can be separate from the main browser, suddenly the Prism idea starts to make some sense. So... (Prism) Session Group Replacement
Hmm... 2nd page... I didn't really know which I started with. To be honest, Session Group Replacement and Session Manager seemed kind of the same thing but like I said, I didn't want to think on the idea too much so I just wrote both down and gave them each side of the notebook
As always, if the manager aspect can be separated from the main browser like a more developed pop-up interface, more care can go to it's user interface and so more customizations can flow together and so multiple profiles are necessary. Check! "Multiple Tab Customization Setting/Profile"
Hmm...lots of people are starting to figure out how to best optimize the BlogRovr type of reading material suggestion without it getting in the way like XMarks (popular enough over here so I didn't bother linking to it) and SurfCanyon. Apparently I also put something in Firefox which shows relevant twitter search results on top of Google searches so why not a feeling lucky tab?
You're tired. You're beat. You've just gone through one long session and now you finally got your browser to 0 tabs again.
I would procrastinate in this case and end up filling another new bunch of tabs requiring a new session again. So why not a feeling lucky tab that scrolls through all my sessions and opens one tab in it?
Without a session manager, this idea reeks because you at least want to know what session is the tab located while at the same time remove the tab once you have read it without re-opening the session and closing it and re-saving it.
Then if the checkbox is implemented, you can have it set so that it only recommends you an unread tab or a tab that hasn't been read x amount of times.
But wait...that's just the stumbleupon way of doing it. Why not integrate it so the browser will alert you if you have unread tabs in a session that might be related to your Google search. This would make it closer to SurfCanyon. Just press the same feeling lucky tab button while in a search engine.
So what else...
Maybe it's because it's been just a few days since I read app's post here of alarms but even though I hate alarms, hey, I still use Reminderfox for the occassional times I need to catch a show (I use Rainlendar but I just find alarms useless and don't use it enough to warrant being on something other than a browser)
So...some sort of tab/session alert...
Obviously it needs a link so why not if the alert pops up, there's a link that opens either that session or that tab.
It doesn't sound like it will be oft used, but it's the basic idea behind the Firefox alert box
new add-ons update...new version...Reminderfox...Pop-up blocked...
Ok...last one for Session Managing
1 click incremental session advanced mode/optional mode: Have it so that when you save the session, all tabs except for a number remains opened.
Combined with SortbySize or Value, you can have it so only a certain tabs either starting from left or right remains opened and the rest gets sent into the session or only those with a certain value remain. Tab filtering I guess...(although I didn't think of this name at the time)
Ok...Session Group Replacement
I guess I never really got anywhere with the Prism idea except to have it so that you can control and open sessions in the systray without having the browser opened kind of like what it does now except for sessions.
With this idea in tow, I felt I didn't want it to be there though when I have the browser opened so just replace that systray app with a button on the status bar like many extension do
Set groups of sessions and tabs to all open in a new browser - Again, one of those things that doesn't work without the check list style of session management. Most who use open in new browser for IE only webpages probably don't need this but as a multi-browser, sometimes even when I focus on not filling Firefox with tabs, I do and everyone knows Opera is much lighter at handling multiple tabs than Firefox so why not?
Easy tab management...to be honest I don't remember this. Maybe I was thinking since even though I liked Tree Style Tabs at first, I eventually found it cumbersome, I thought if you can support certain tabs having extra icons besides it, you can have it so you can implement the linked tab in a different sort of way and have a tab gain an extra button and if you click this button, the rest of the tab after it, gets closed but acts like it got hidden and re-clicking the button, opens the rest of the tabs again as if it was an outline. I guess it's more of a hybrid of TreeStyle and Opera's Window Panel (aka Tab Sidebar on Firefox) but instead of structuring lots of tabs which no amount of TreeStyle can help Firefox get on a diet, why not add the the advanced Session Managing idea of closing only certain tabs to make Firefox lighter
Tab snob - I guess this is just a distraction-free way of implementing only certain tabs in a session. Make it so you can only "unlock" the rest of the tabs if you read this tabs first. More of a motivational tool really
Save & Switch or Replace - I guess, I'm one of those who really find Save & Quit pop-up box useless but I also felt it could be replace by something more practical. Session manager already gives the option of appending or replacing the current session but I thought wouldn't it be more imprinted in my mind that I would possibly lose all these windows if I click the close button? So why not do that.
Save & Switch - Auto-saves the current session and replace it with a new one of your choice
Replace - Don't auto-save the current session but open a new session
Close Firefox - Firefox "Quits"
"Improved" Tab Counter - Ahh tab counter. What would I do without it on Firefox? Just an additional option so that you can set a number of tabs before it turns red or even start closing tabs when exceeding the set limit (but without opening a warning pop-up first) Just another way of keeping Firefox from getting bloated.
Anyway that's it. Hope the brain drain wasn't too much. The only other thing I would do that would make this a Rico Cluster is again with the Bubble To-do concept which I didn't bother because like I said, I didn't really care for the subject that much and even if I did, I don't really have the skillsets to do anything about it but let's say this was something I was more passionate on and I actually wanted to work on it.
I would circle some texts I was working on, cross or shade off some of the stuff I've done and make it into a more traditional mindmap/concept map if I want. This is again why I said Rico Cluster should work faster than Mindmapping or it doesn't work. It should address all the stuff a normal mindmap or concept map can't.
Even if it's messy and uglier than the so-called beautiful mindmaps, you're art markings not screwed if you eventually want to give up on one area because you didn't draw grafitti, you put street signs.
Even if it's not as organized on first impression as Concept Mapping, it's less fragile because you didn't make it out of Lego, you made it out of Uno Stacko.
Best of all, it's not designed to work on paper, but is designed to mimic what you do when you're bored and randomly jotting down on notebooks and it's end form is still something that serves suitable as an add-on for mindmapping and concept mapping if you're that masochistic or desperate to make mapping work for you.