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Author Topic: have you tried mind maps?  (Read 5623 times)
urlwolf
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« on: October 16, 2006, 09:44:22 AM »

D. Allen was using mind maps (instead of powerpoint), he seems to swear by them. Have you tried them? Any thoughts? I cannot help but be reticent with a highly hyped up thing like this one...
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brotherS
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2006, 09:51:02 AM »

D. Allen was using mind maps (instead of powerpoint), he seems to swear by them. Have you tried them? Any thoughts?
I have and it's a nice way to structure thoughts and ideas. I can't say that it changed my life, but I like it.

Check out FreeMind, a free and quite nice mind mapping program: http://freemind.sourcefor.../wiki/index.php/Main_Page
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nudone
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2006, 10:27:57 AM »

i sort of got into using mind maps many years ago after reading a few books by Tony Buzan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Buzan.

well, when i say 'got into', i mean i thought the idea was brilliant but after creating a few i didn't find it helped a great deal. during my big 'backlog' clear-out for the DC GTD experiment i came across several of these mind-maps that i had done about 15 years ago - i couldn't understand them at all - it was like peering into the mind of a lunatic.

so, if you do try using them, i'd say it's best to keep it simple - and obvious to yourself so you can read them without having to get the enigma code busters to work them out.

i'm tempted to try making some again - but i really fear that i'll just end up with a load of scribble that i can't understand.

i guess it depends on what you are trying to do with them - i'm sure they are the best way of looking at the 'big picture' when you want to see all the connections between your topic - again, just keep it simple.

like brotherS, i didn't find that they changed my life - though, Tony Buzan gave me the impression that they would.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2006, 11:55:53 AM »

I find them a good way to diagram an issue that's just a little too complex to hold in wetware.
For me, they're useful for practiacl issues that need some organizational logic applied. As an example, I recently bought an investment property and 'mind-mapping' it quickly established the most time-effective and cost-effective sequences of steps between making a final offer and installing tenants.
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Chris
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2006, 03:56:33 PM »

I have tried Personal Brain.  The problem is that I have tried too many things in the search for the best software for all my information needs.  I'm a research librarian who works with about 200 staff in an institute within a university (I work with few students).  I also advise people on KM stuff, and would like to be able to show them options for managing all the stuff they need to keep track of, keeping in mind that different things work for different people.

I have also tried EverNote and am trying Surfulater (as a result of the Note Taking software discussion, on the strength of which I became a member of this site).  I use Net Snippets for stashing research and editing it for client reports. Of course what happens is that I only skim the surface of each AND my information gets split up in different places.

What I liked about Personal Brain other people hate: whatever you're working on at the moment becomes central, and you can see the parent and children of that thought.  It's also good at lateral links.  Most people want to see the whole hierarchy, and Personal Brain probably leaves some people feeling lost or unanchored.  That's not a problem for me, though.  Still, I haven't completely committed to it over the other programs.  In fact, I'm still dating them all.
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EĆ³in
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2006, 05:22:33 PM »

I used them years ago when I had to learn off an awful lot of information for a History exam. I believe they did work for me and put it down to a combination of ...

a) the act of hand writing mind maps full of relevant doodles and other aesthetic features themed around the topic in question and ...

b) my partly visual memory (not photographic though).

Thank God I gave up learning things off by heart after that Cool .
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brotherS
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2006, 04:42:52 AM »

I also advise people on KM stuff
KM what? Please elaborate.
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tinjaw
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2006, 10:41:10 AM »

KM what? Please elaborate.

Knowledge Management. It is a very interesting field. It intersects (overlays ?) with my interests in things like web site authoring, database design, etc.
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rjbull
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2010, 04:23:28 PM »

i sort of got into using mind maps many years ago after reading a few books by Tony Buzan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Buzan.
I did an evening class recently.  The tutor seemed keen on mind maps, but it's something I'd never done because I was borne too soon  Wink  I came across one of Tony Buzan's books in the library and flipped through it.  It looked like he was defining new jargon to use in describing mind maps, which made me think it could easily end up as a groupie ghetto.  Also it looked like you had to be quite artistic with broad-tipped coloured markers.  So, I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has any further thoughts on this topic?
Quote
after creating a few i didn't find it helped a great deal.
That's rather what I was concerned about.
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like brotherS, i didn't find that they changed my life - though, Tony Buzan gave me the impression that they would.
You're English, so (if you're old enough) you'll probably know what I mean when remind you of Mandy Rice-Davies' famous rejoinder...
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mwang
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2010, 11:19:58 AM »

I use Freeplane (a Freemind fork) and XMind regularly. I've also stopped using Powerpoint and use Freeplane/XMind instead for presentation. Ever since I started doing that (about more than a year ago), there are always people approaching me after my presentation to inquire about the software.
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app103
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2010, 10:53:34 PM »

I suppose some of my use of digital sticky notes (Notezilla) could be considered a more freeform style of mind mapping. I consider it the external hard drive and backup system for my brain.

I can sort them in columns, rows, stack them, overlap them, sort them into folders, color code them, insert links, images, etc.

What I really like about doing it with sticky notes is that they are very easy to rearrange and I am not locked into one way of doing it.

Best part is when working on tasks, I can pull one out, isolate it, slap it right on my desktop till I finish, then either archive it or trash it, as needed. I can change the color of the note to gray & transparent to indicate it's done.

To remind me to stay on schedule, I can set an alarm on a note and even set it to open a file or application I am going to need at that moment to do that task. Those alarms really help me get things done.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2010, 11:58:44 PM »

I suppose some of my use of digital sticky notes (Notezilla) could be considered a more freeform style of mind mapping. I consider it the external hard drive and backup system for my brain.

I can sort them in columns, rows, stack them, overlap them, sort them into folders, color code them, insert links, images, etc.

What I really like about doing it with sticky notes is that they are very easy to rearrange and I am not locked into one way of doing it.

Best part is when working on tasks, I can pull one out, isolate it, slap it right on my desktop till I finish, then either archive it or trash it, as needed. I can change the color of the note to gray & transparent to indicate it's done.

To remind me to stay on schedule, I can set an alarm on a note and even set it to open a file or application I am going to need at that moment to do that task. Those alarms really help me get things done.

Bingo! I have a gazillion notes and other apps that have reminders but I also find that sticky notes (also using Notezilla) are the only thing that really grab my attention.

Thanks!

Jim
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Antonimo
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2010, 02:55:54 AM »

Been using FreeMind for many years. In my opinion it is most useful for organizing information. I almost always use FreeMind to plan projects and take notes.

With a short learning curve, FreeMind offers advanced attributes and notes to each entry (node) as well as calendar and scheduling.

Furthermore, there are a number of excellent import / export filters.

The Mind Maps themselves are stored in an XML format meaning that the data is not hidden inside an impenetrable proprietary file format.

It is also very easy to search within MindMaps across folders using the FreeMind Search tool.

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iphigenie
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2010, 02:23:27 AM »

Been using commercial product ConceptDraw - their mindmap and project tools are linked, so you can break down an idea in the mindmapping tool, with notes, estimates, whatever - then switch to the project view and see it as a gantt chart, add dependencies, assign resources - and go back and forth.

The project tool is not a full blown PM app, but the seamless switch between map and charts is a great way to keep things updated, communicate and discuss etc.
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