Archive for July, 2008

A Mindmap for Weighing the Pros and Cons of Any Decision

July 30, 2008

We all have to make decisions everyday.  Weighing the pros and cons of those decisions can be very difficult at times.

To help make the process easier, Mindjet has created a mindmap template that helps you more effectively identify the right solution.  It helps you sort through the pros and cons of any decision. 

I’ve personally found this template to be very useful.  There is nothing like seeing your pros and cons side by side. 

Here’s the template for your review:

(Click on mindmap to enlarge)

If you are interested in downloading and using this template, download it from the Mindjet website.   Click here to download.


Hand-Drawn Mindmaps vs. Computer Based Mindmaps: Pros and Cons to each

July 26, 2008

Due to the great work of Tony Buzan many people leverage the benefits of hand-drawn mindmaps.  In his many books he highlights how such maps are aligned with the thinking processes of the brain and how they help you to use a wide range of association techniques as well as images and colors.

Jamie Nast, Mindmapping Thought Leader, Author and Creator of the Idea Mapping Blog, also is a strong proponent of hand-drawn maps and their benefits.  

There is no doubt that there are times when a hand-drawn map is the most practical thing to do.  For example, when you are at a meeting and you don’t have your computer.  Or you want to create your own personal work of art with your mindmap to help you associate and recall things in a particular way.

However, both Tony Buzan and Jamie Nast, also fully understand the power of computer based mindmaps.  Tony Buzan has created iMindmap and Jamie Nast is an expert on using mindmapping software such as MindJet’s MindManager.

In fact, when you think about all the things you can do with computer based mindmaps, it becomes very clear that mindmaps via a computer are much more than a visual image. 

Chuck Frey, MindMapping Thought Leader and Creator of The Mind Mapping Software Blog recently highlighted 10 advantages to computer based mindmappping: 

  1. Mind mapping software enables you to arrange information in expandable and collapsible topic trees.
  2. Mind mapping software enables you to embed documents, links, notes and other data within the structure of your map, transforming it into the equivalent of a powerful visual database.
  3. Mind mapping software enables you to re-arrange the topics in your map at will, until it perfectly represents your ideas.
  4. A software-produced visual map isn’t just something you create once and forget about. Because you can update its contents as needed, it can become a powerful tool for managing your projects and tracking their progress on an ongoing basis.
  5. Mind mapping software enables you to export your ideas to other types of software, such as word processors, presentation and project management software. 
  6. Mind mapping software also opens up new opportunities for collaboration that don’t exist with hand-drawn maps.
  7. Another powerful advantage of mind mapping software is that you can utilize it to present your ideas, which makes it a powerful alternative to PowerPoint.
  8. Another unique capability of mind mapping software is that it can be used with an LCD projector and screen to record and display ideas during a group brainstorming session.
  9. Another unique capability of mind mapping software is that you can utilize it to create your own “information dashboard” – a map that consolidates a wealth of data that you need to manage into a single, visually-oriented screen.
  10. Finally, what makes mind mapping software unique is its flexibility. The number of different things you can do with it – from a business, education or personal standpoint – is amazing.

Please go to Chuck Frey’s site and read the full article as he goes into greater detail on each benefit.  Click here for the full article.

With all the benefits of computer based mindmapping, however, there still will always be a place for hand-drawn mindmaps.  

Chuck Frey, puts it this way, “In closing, please don’t take this list to mean that I am criticizing hand-drawn mind maps. There are still many occasions when nothing else will do – such as when you want to create a unique, colorful and very personal visualization of your ideas.”

MindManager Pro and JCVGantt: Project Management at its Best

July 23, 2008

If you are looking for a way to creatively and dynamically manage your projects then you need to get MindManager Pro 7 and JCVGantt Pro 3.

These two applications made by Mindjet give you the creativity of mindmapping software and the structured output of traditional project management software.

Here’s how it works: You create all the major project tasks and subtasks with timeframes in MindManager. Then you simply click the “Show JCVGantt” button. And just like that, all of your project data appears in JCVGantt, a project management software tool.

You can toggle back and forth between your mindmap and the JCVGantt view. The programs are also linked so anything you change on the JCVGantt view is automatically updated on your mindmap!

Here’s a graphical view of the steps:

Step 1: Create your mindmap with project tasks and dates:

(Click image to enlarge)

Step 2: Click “Show JCVGantt” button to transform your mindmap data into a JCVGantt project view:

(Click image to enlarge)

Step: 3: If Microsoft Project is your project management software of choice, you only have to click one button:

…and your mindmap project data is imported into Microsoft Project:

(Click image to enlarge)

Now you can finally leverage the power of mindmapping AND traditional project management. THANK YOU MINDJET!

Personal and Financial Records Mindmap

July 21, 2008

How many times have you searched for a reciept, insurance policy, credit card statement or tax form?  How many times have you wasted time and energy trying to figure out where you put that important document?  

We all have been there.  But now there is a better way. 

To help you quickly organize and locate all those documents whether they be in an electronic form (on your computer) or physical form (in your file cabinet), I’ve created a mindmap that can serve as your template for organizing these documents more efficiently.

This mindmap not only allows you to see where all of your important documents are located (via notes) but also allows you to link Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDFs, or images to the mindmap itself!  No more looking through Windows Explorer trying to find that illusive document.  Or looking through those stacks of paper on your desk.  Now you can organize all of your important documents (or the location of those documents) in one place – a mindmap.

I’ve organize the mindmap into 4 major areas:

  • Records You Carry with You
    • In Your Wallet
    • In Your Vehicle
  • Current Active Records
  • Permanent Active Records
    • Personal Records
    • Property Records
    • Financial Records
    • Investment and Retirement
    • Estate Planning
  • Safe Deposit Box

(Click on mindmap to enlarge)

You can download this mindmap and customize it with your personal and financial information.

The MindManager file (.mmap) for this mindmap is available for download at  You will need MindManager Pro 7MindManager 7 for Mac or the free MindManager Viewer 7 to download the file (though you can not customize it with the Viewer)..  

Click here to download mindmap.

The opportunity cost on your time (i.e. the time you could have spent doing something else instead of looking for a document) is well worth the purchase of MindManager.

Traditional Learning vs. High Impact Learning: A Big Difference

July 18, 2008

All across the world corporations are spending billions of dollars on employee training that produces very little business impact. 

According to Training Magazine’s Industry Report, in the US alone organizations spent a total of $55.8 Billion on formal training in 2006.  

However, as Dr. Robert Brinkerhoff points out, in his book High Impact Learning, “if we define ‘training impact’ as simply transfer of knowledge and skills to on-the-job performance, research indicates the impact of training is realized only for about 15% of all training participants.”

Tragic as that percentage is, he goes on to say, “When we define the impact of training more rigorously, such as application of new knowledge and skills to enhance performance in a way that makes a worthwhile difference to the business, then our evaluation studies typically show even more dismal results.”

Why such poor business results from training?  Why are billions of dollars producing such low business impact?  The answer lies in how training is aligned with the business.

Traditional corporate training often lacks alignment to business results.  Whereas High Impact Learning is very aligned to business results.

I’ve created a mindmap that illustrates the differences between traditional corporate training and High Impact Learning.  You will quickly see why the training efforts of those who use High Impact Learning are far more successful than those who don’t.

(Click on mindmap to enlarge)

For more information on High Impact Learning read Dr. Robert Brinkerhoff’s book High Impact Learning.  

You can also contact Advantage Way Consultants who specialize in helping companies leverage the tools and techniques of High Impact Learning.  Click here to contact an Advantage Way consultant.

Dr. Brinkerhoff’s Instructional Model: Promoting Effective Learning

July 16, 2008

I’ve been in the Learning and Development field working in global corporations for over 10 years and I can tell you from personal experience that having a good instructional model makes a world of difference when you want learner engagement and retention.

Dr. Robert Brinkerhoff, in his book High Impact Learning, outlines an instructional model that promotes powerful learning interactions.  The model includes 4 major components: 

  1. Strategies for presenting content
  2. Opportunities for learners to practice content
  3. Approaches for soliciting feedback
  4. Promoting learner reflection

I’ve created a mindmap to highlight the components of Dr. Brinkerhoff’s model:

(Click on mindmap to enlarge)

Consider this model and share it with those responsible for learning and development at your company.

Remember, you don’t have to use every strategy noted in the model.  

However, every learning event should include the four main components highlighted in the mindmap:

  1. Present content 
  2. Provide Practice
  3. Engineer Feedback
  4. Promote Reflection

Mindmapping Webinar with Two Thought Leaders

July 15, 2008

Jamie Nast, author and creator of the Idea Mapping Blog and Chuck Frey, author and creator of The Mind Mapping Software Blog are both Mindmapping Thought Leaders.  And they both have made enormous contributions to the growth of the mindmapping industry.

They will be giving a free Mindmapping Webinar on Tuesday, July 22, 2008.

Here are just a few of the things they will cover:

  • How is mindmapping evolving?
  • How do idea mapping, concept mapping, and diagramming relate to mindmapping?  Are they the same?  Do they have different uses?
  • What are some of the interesting uses of mindmapping?
  • Which is better hand drawn or computer-based mind maps?
  • What new features are available in the computer- and web-based tools?
  • How do I choose the right tool/approach?
  • How do I get started? 
  • And many more, including your questions
Here’s a mindmap view of what they will cover:
To Register for the Webinar, click here.

The iPhone Mindmap: Seeing What the iPhone Can Do

July 14, 2008

As you probably know Apple, Inc. released its latest version of the iPhone on July 11, 2008 in the US.  

As an iPhone user I am just amazed at all the things this phone can do.  I thought a mindmap would be a great way to show all the features of the iPhone.

If you have an iPhone, this mindmap let’s you see just how amazing your new phone really is.  

If you don’t have an iPhone (and you don’t have a problem with AT&T as they are the exclusive provider in the US), you REALLY need to consider getting one.

Whether people like it or not, this phone completely changes the game!

(Click on mindmap to enlarge)

To see the detailed descriptions for each feature under the Notes icon you will have to download the mindmap.

The MindManager file (.mmap) for this mindmap is available for download at  You will need MindManager Pro 7MindManager 7 for Mac or the free MindManager Viewer 7 to download the file.  

Click here to download mindmap.

Chuck Frey’s New Research & Reports Page for Mindmapping Software

July 13, 2008

Chuck Frey, Mindmapping Thought Leader and Creator of the The Mind Mapping Software Blog recently launched a Research and Reports Page on his site.

As part of his ongoing commitment to growing the global base of knowledge about mindmapping software, he has created this information rich resource on mindmapping.  He does a fabulous job of providing you with mindmapping information from a variety of perspectives.

The resources below are currently available on his site:


Web-based mind mapping applications
This survey reveals how people are utilizing these tools and sheds light on the advantages, disadvantages and future potential of this exciting new technology.

Benefits of mind mapping software
This survey reveals how users got started with mind mapping software, and the biggest benefit they’re getting from it. It also explores how people are utilizing it for collaboration, and how they are exporting and sharing their maps with others.

Applications of mind mapping software
This survey shows what applications people are utilizing mind mapping software for, how it specifically benefits them and quantifies the productivity increases they are enjoying as a result of making mind mapping software part of their workflow.


8 Ways to Improve Your Mind Maps

10 Mistakes to Avoid with Mind Mapping Software


Power Tips & Strategies for Mind Mapping Software
Tips and best practices for current users of mind mapping software. This popular reference guide will help you to take your visual mapping skills to the next level!

The Mind Mapping Manifesto
Overloaded with projects, e-mails, documents and the other flotsam and jetsam of being a knowledge worker? The secret to higher productivity and less stress can be found in today’s powerful mind mapping software, which can help you to get more done, make better decisions, manage projects more effectively and reach clarity faster on key issues. This e-book explains how.

To get these resources, click here.

The Questioning Mindmap: How Do You Frame Your Challenges?

July 12, 2008

In a recent post, I talked about the great work that Adam Sicinski is doing over at Study Matrix Blog.  I highlighted one of his mindmaps called “Strategic Questioning”. 

His point about strategic questioning is so important that I decided to create my own mindmap on the subject.

So how do you frame your challenges?  When something happens what do you say to yourself?  Do you say things that help you solve the problem or do you say things that make you less able to solve the problem?

Ultimately, it is not about the challenges we face –  it is about how we respond to the challenges we face.  

The event (whatever has happened) is the event.  What the event means to us is what really matters.  And it is the questions we ask ourselves that shape what the event means.  And more importantly what we’re going to do about it.

So, I offer you this mindmap to help you stay mindful of the questions you ask yourself when something happens.  Some questions empower and help you find a solution. Others disempower and make you a victim of circumstance.  Choose wisely.

Click on the mindmap to enlarge:

You might want to print this out and keep it with you for the next time you face a challenge.  

The MindManager file (.mmap) for this mindmap is available for download at  You will need MindManager Pro 7, MindManager 7 for Mac or MindManager Viewer 7 to download the file.  

Click here to download mindmap.