Get Social & Collaborate!

Entries in MindMap (3)


My Machine

Every now and then I think most IT types decide it is time to rebuild their PC's/Laptops. I find that this comes for me about every 18 months or so. When I first do it I am always very disciplined as to what goes where, organising it all, etc. Then over time I end up installing, uninstalling, reinstalling, various different products for testing and evaluation. I might need a certain version of a certain product etc or I might just want to evaluate something new. I try and make sure I use VMWare Workstation for stuff that I am just playing with so that I can just dump it later without it effecting my primary install. However sometimes I get slack and just install software to play with it. Over time my nice tidy setup becomes cluttered and messy, and eventually I come to the point of saying bugger it, I will rebuild.

Well that time is getting close for me again. I always start by documenting what I have installed. This time I thought why not bang out a MindMap listing all of the key bits of software. I am sure I have missed a couple of minor things as I always do. Those little things that you only think of on the off chance you need them. The map pretty much shows my setup though.

The other thing I always forget is to copy my bookmarks!! Always need to get these off the backup. 


Lotus Notes Integration with MindManager

Just noted on Bruce Elgort's blog that MindManager 6 SP1 now has doclink integration with Lotus Notes. By all accounts Eric Mack is responsible for this effort. We have been talking about this for a while. When we saw the MindManager had integration with a few months back, we considered doing a similar thing for our Lotus Notes CRM BusinessWorks. The idea would be to use MindManager to diagramatically show all of those relationship links/grey links between various people and organisations. Now that this doclink integration is available we might just have to bring this up the priority list as I think it adds a lot of value. 


Mind Mapping

I regularly use a product called MindJet MindManager. I think this tool is simply awesome. My typical use is for writing proposals and performing requirements analysis but it can equally be used for brain storming and strategic planning etc. The tool enables you to very quickly flesh out a framework for the document you are creating and then you basically fill in the gaps.

I was using it this morning with a colleague to prepare a proposal for a Lotus Notes development. Tim basically drafted the MindMap up with his thoughts on the project. You basically create blobs of information and then link them together into some structure. How often when writing a document do you think of another area that you need to document but then forget to add it later. With a mind map you just create the blob, give it a title, and then later on you drag it into the appropriate place in the document.

Here is an example of what I mean:

Image:Brownies Blog - Mind Mapping

Each blob (node might be a better term I guess) represents a heading in the document. You then add Notes to each node and your document takes shape. If you want to change the structure you just drag the nodes around the screen. Once you are happy you just export it as a Word document and you are done.

You can use MindMaps for far more than just what I use it for. Steve Richards (which is where I first came across the product) uses it for book reviews amongst other things.

Now the ultimate feature for this product would be to enable 2 or more users to update the MindMap in real time over a network or the net. We typically send the map back and forth in an asynchronous manner. We use Groove Virtual office to do this which is probably another discussion on another day.