Archive for September, 2008

US Constitution Mindmap: Creating a “More Perfect Union”

September 28, 2008

As the US Congress finalizes the details on a $700 billion dollar bailout for the US financial system and as we, American citizens, make up our mind about who will be the next President of the United States, I thought it appropriate that we all reflect on our rights as US citizens.

The foundation of these rights (and structure and purpose of our government) is found in the US Constitution, a document signed by America’s forefathers on Sept. 17, 1787.  

This document was by no means perfect when it was signed.  After all, at the time of its signing there was still slavery and women could not vote.  But there was something “perfect “ about the document found in its Preamble.

In the Preamble are the words,  We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…” 

What makes these words perfect is that the American forefathers knew they themselves were not perfect.  They knew that future generations of Americans would have to make America better than it was when they signed the Constitution.

In fact, it was those words that made it possible for future generations to add 17 additional amendments, after the Bill of Rights, to the Constitution.  Amendments 13 and 19 among them, which ended Slavery and gave women the right to vote.  Those words also made it possible for the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

The American forefathers understood that this would be a journey.  And the journey continues…

Today, we face more tough choices as we “make our union more perfect”. 

As we face these challenges, I thought it would be helpful for all of us to have a clear understanding of the document that forms the foundation of American society. 

To help you quickly and efficiently understand the components of the US Constitution, I’ve created a US Constitution mindmap.  In addition to a brief overview of the Articles and Amendments, I’ve also included full descriptions under the Notes Icon for each Article and Amendment.  In order to use the Notes functionality and see the full descriptions you will need to: 1) Download the free MindManager Viewer and 2) Download the US Constitution mindmap from 

Click on mindmap image below to enlarge:



Mindmapping Comes to the iPhone!

September 24, 2008

In a previous post I wrote about the iPhone being a game-changer.  I also created an iPhone mindmap to illustrate the new features of the iPhone.

Well, I’m glad to announce that mindmapping has come to the iPhone!  A new application called MindMaker can be downloaded directly to your iPhone from the App Store at a price of $4.99.

As an avid iPhone user and mindmapper, I think this application is pretty good.  It is simple and efficient and allows you to mindmap on your iPhone.

Here’s how it works:

Launching MindMaker on the iPhone

  • Tap the MindMaker Application Button on your iPhone.  The application opens with a list of mindmaps.  
  • By tapping the name of a mindmap in the list it launches the mindmap.  A default mindmap called “Mindmapping” comes preloaded with the application and appears at the top of the list. 
  • This default mindmap has four sub-topics: History, Tools, People, and Uses.  Those topics then have a few more subtopics.
  • Getting back to the mindmap list is standard iPhone navigation with the menu arrow in top left of the screen (Same navigation used in Address Book or iPod app).

Moving around a Mindmap on the iPhone

  • You simply slide your finger around the iPhone screen to see any area of the mindmap.
  • You can also tap on arrow buttons in the bottom menu to quickly move through topics and subtopics in the mindmap.

Creating, Editing, and Deleting Topics within a Mindmap on the iPhone

  • There is a plus (“+”) button in the bottom menu that allows you to create new topics. 
  • Each subtopic you create from the main topic is shown in a different color.  All subtopics from a given color remain in that color.  This makes it easy to distinguish parts of the mindmap.
  • You can double tap on any topic (which highlights the topic) and press the plus (“+”) button to create a subtopic for that topic.
  • To edit a topic, double tap on any topic and then press the writing tablet icon in the bottom menu.  This launches the iPhone QWERTY keyboard and isolates that topic for you to edit.
  • To delete a topic, double tap any topic and press the trash icon.

As with other applications for the iPhone it will only get better with future updates (which are free). 

There are a few areas where this application could use some improvements, however:

1) The arrow navigation does not navigate through the entire mindmap.  Only down one path at a time and then back to the main topic.

2) You can only view the mindmaps in portrait mode.  It does not take advantage of the acceleromator and allow you to move through the mindmap in landscape mode.  This isn’t a showstopper, as you can move very quickly around the mindmap with your finger in portrait mode.  But it would be nice to have landscape.

3) It would also be nice to be able to e-mail mindmaps from the iPhone and import mindmaps into industry standard mindmapping software like MindManager and NovaMind.

Even with these suggested updates, if you are a mindmapper and you have an iPhone, I’d recommend purchasing it.  It’s pretty incredible to be able to mindmap on my iPhone.  I’m already getting some good use from the application.

(Click image to enlarge)



Dr. O’Driscoll’s Workshop on Web 2.0 and 3Di Technologies

September 20, 2008

On September 16, 2008, I had the great privilege of attending a workshop in Charlotte, NC. on Web 2.0 and 3Di Technologies delivered by Dr. Tony O’Driscoll, Professor of Practice of Business Administration at The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. 

It was a phenomenal presentation with an incredible amount of valuable information on Web 2.0 and 3Di.  It also highlighted how these technologies are working together to literally change the way we collaborate, learn, and innovate.  

I was so glad I had my laptop to mindmap his presentation.  With mindmapping, I was able to take notes AND create URL links to the valuable resources he highlighted throughout the session.  I think when you click through this mindmap you’ll not only get a sense of the wonderful presentation he gave, but you’ll also come away with an appreciation of what computer based mindmapping can do.

No matter how good a note taker you are, paper and pencil can’t compete with computer-based mindmapping.  Not to mention that I can now reuse and rearrange this information anyway that I like. As more people learn about mindmapping I am convinced it will change the way we capture and manage information.

Below is the mindmap I created during the workshop. You can click on the mindmap to enlarge, but to get the full benefit of the mindmap, I suggest you download the Free MindManager Viewer and then download the mindmap from  Then you’ll get the full functionality of the mindmap – all the layers of detail, notes and active URLs.

You can also go to Dr. O’Driscoll’s Blog and see the entire PowerPoint presentation.  Click Here

Click Mindmap to Enlarge

So, How Do You Define a Great Mindmap? Mindmappers Speak Out

September 16, 2008

Chuck Frey, author and creator of The Mind Mapping Software Blog recently posted this question on his blog, “What are the defining characteristics of an excellent software-produced mind map?”

Mindmappers from all over the world are responding to the question.  Take a look and see what they have to say (and if you are so inclined, add your own perspective to the dialogue).  Click Here.

NovaMind Launches New Mindmap Library: NovaMind Connect

September 14, 2008

Like and, Novamind has recently launched their own Mindmap Library called NovaMind Connect.

NovaMind Connect, in the words of NovaMind Founder Gideon King, “is a completely new and unique system for you to share your Mind Maps online.”

He goes on to say, “NovaMind Connect allows you to almost instantly take the Mind Map document that you have created in NovaMind and upload it directly from NovaMind to NovaMind Connect, where it is turned into a full HTML version of the document, where you can click on each Mind Map to view the detail of that Mind Map. From there you see all the branches of the Mind Map in expandable outline form, and you can navigate to each branch either by clicking it on the Mind Map, or in the outline.”

Additionally, NovaMind Connect has full international support built in, so you can upload your mindmaps  in any language.

I had an opportunity to take a look at the site and it is quite impressive.  

NovaMind has created a 2-minute Introductory video on the new site.  Click Here.

Obama’s Plan For America: A Mindmap of His New Book

September 9, 2008

There has been criticism of Senator Barack Obama that he gives a good speech but doesn’t provide the details of what he will do if elected President.

With his new book, “Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama’s Plan to Renew America’s Promise” he provides the detail.

I decided to create a mindmap so you can see at a glance what’s covered in the book.  In addition to providing the details of his Plan for America, he also includes 7 Key Speeches from the 2008 Campaign.

Click on mindmap to enlarge.

McCain-Obama Mindmap: Helping You Decide Who to Vote For

September 1, 2008

The Presidential Election in November will be one of the most important in America’s history.  Barack Obama was nominated as the Democratic Presidential Nominee last week and John McCain will be nominated as the Republican Presidential Nominee this week. 

With all the convention speeches, television ads, and political talk shows it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of the campaigns.  

But given what is at stake for our country, it is important that we not pull the lever in November based solely on emotion.  It is important that we understand “what they will do” if elected.  That we understand their plans for America.

I’ve created a mindmap to help you decide which candidate to vote for.  All of the content and graphics for the mindmap come directly from their respective websites.  I have not added or deleted anything with respect to their policy positions.  It is taken verbatim from their websites.

This is a historic election for the 300 million citizens of the United States of America.  Whoever wins this election will shape our country and the world.  

Choose wisely.

To view the detailed policy positions for each candidate, click on the Notes icon next to each policy area. 

You will need to download the free MindManager Viewer 7 to make the Notes icons active.

Click here to download mindmap.

(click on image below to see the policies covered in the mindmap)