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Mind maps are ancient theory, but they’re not ancient history! Since the concept of mind mapping was popularized by Dr. Tony Buzan’s work in the 1970s, they have become a staple in academy and productivity circles in the past 20 years especially. Learn how the ProductivityCast team uses mind maps in their personal productivity systems, and how you might want to use them, too!
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Show Notes | How mind mapping fits your productivity system
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Tony Buzan books on mind mapping
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Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling productive life, then you’ve come to the right place productivity cast, the weekly show about all things productivity. Here, your host Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
And Welcome back, everybody to productivity cast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity, I’m Ray Sidney Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:24
I am Augusto Pinaud.
Francis Wade 0:26
I’m Francis Wade.
Art Gelwicks 0:27
And I’m Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:25
Welcome, gentlemen, and welcome to our listeners to this episode of ProductivityCast. Today, we’re going to talk about mind mapping. And if you don’t know what a mind map is, then you’ve come to the right episode, because we’re going to talk about what mind mapping is, and how it fits into each of our productivity systems, if at all, and how it might fit into your personal productivity system as a tool in your toolkit. And so what I wanted us to do was to first talk about what a mind map is, and to kind of kick the tires on the definition of a mind map, which is very malleable. And then talking about how we might use or do use mind maps, and then ultimately, some of the mind mapping software that we all use in the context of our systems. So let’s start first with a mind map. And I’ll just start with the sense that a mind map is a third century invention, if you want to call it that. But the concept of a mind map is very early dated in our history, and is in essence, a visual diagram. It has a hierarchy, where nodes, individual thoughts, if you want to call it that are connected to other thoughts. And they are hierarchical, because you have a parent thought, child and sibling thoughts or nodes that are connected to one another visually beyond that there’s very wide latitude in terms of defining a mind map, who wants to tackle what a mind map is. And this comes from a conversation I had recently
Francis Wade 1:55
where I found that I was doing them wrong, I’m informed by a practice that I picked up that was incorrect. But a mind map is intended to be intended to be a nonlinear brainstorm on paper, where you’re you have a central node or a central question is how I know learned it. And you answer the question in this nonlinear kind of way, where your your mind is allowed to put anything anywhere on the people. There’s no order and no necessary connection between the way you’re basically downloading your thoughts. And as you download your thoughts onto paper, more thoughts popping that are connected to the things that you’re writing, or they’re unconnected, what you just keep adding, adding, adding, adding. So it’s a little bit like that brainstorming session in which you spend the first part of it just collecting ideas on an uncensored kind of way. And I found that I was I was I had fallen into a trap of doing it in a structured way, which defeats the purpose of the brainstorming and the creative element of it the nonlinear, kind of allowing your mind just to run free and to allow it to collect on paper. So my my definition
Art Gelwicks 3:10
for me mind mapping, and I’ve done mind mapping for years, I consider mind mapping the visualization of ideas, being able to provide those direct interconnects between ideas, to really facilitate the process of coming up with new ones and making sure things don’t get missed. It is very visually heavy. So I define it as exactly as its name says it is a map of what’s rattling around in your mind at that time. And we have to think about it that way. Because everybody who if you ask them what a mind map is, they either have no concept whatsoever, or the one I’ve got more commonly is they have this incredibly detailed, visually colorful design of conceptual and theoretical models around ideas and oh, it’s just they’re beautiful, but boy, are they impractical. To me, it’s a happy medium, it is literally just a map to the thoughts around a particular topic. and allowing that map to lead itself wherever that topic needs to go. Which I think is probably the more important part
Augusto Pinaud 4:28
mine mind map is it’s an interesting tool and has always been a tool for me in the sense that it break the linear thinking and allows you to make sure you don’t get stuck into loops thinking you know one of the problem sometimes when people are thinking is they go 1456678 and then go back 678678678 and they they go to stock mine man allows you to go on a spending that, but also helps you to break those loops. So that way you can do better things. That way you can get things actually accomplished. So it is a, it is a tool that I use often. And as proved to be really effective for me.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 5:23
I’ll disagree with Francis on just a minor note here, which is that while he thinks he was doing mind mapping wrong, I believe there’s no wrong way to do mind mapping. And so the challenge is to actually relinquish this notion that there is a right way. And think about it in the perspective that there are skills associated with various types of mind mapping tools. So the type of Mind Map you’re creating will dictate the, the skills you use, but the reality is, is that if you want to use mind mapping for brainstorming, go for it, if you want to do mind mapping for note taking Go for it. Mind Mapping was in at least modernity popularized by Dr. Tony Buzan. And he had a television show on the BBC back in the in the early 70s. I believe it was and he has written many books and published before his his passing a couple of years ago, Mind Mapping today has traditionally been used as a creative tool, because of Dr. museums, making the term Mind Map popular and the the tool popular as a as a creative tool. But reality is, is that it’s a you know, if you want to call it a spider diagram, if you want to call it a visual diagram, or what have you. It is a it is a form of capturing thoughts and rearranging thoughts potentially, if you are using something that can rearrange thoughts, I guess pencil and an eraser would allow you to rearrange thoughts as well. But they allow you to connect thoughts to one another. And this this whole notion of a mind map is interesting when you’re thinking about it from a personal productivity perspective, because it can be used in so many different arenas. I know individuals who use mind mapping software as their complete GTD system. I know people who use mind mapping software as a function for brainstorming, as Francis was talking about. I know folks who use mind mapping for note taking in in courses and lectures, and workshops and seminars. And that’s how they take notes. So there was just so much flexibility and interest in the function of a mind map that my number one, I think tip is don’t limit yourself in terms of what and how you can use a mind map. And once we get into some of these techniques, one of the things I do is link mind maps to mind maps. So my software allows me to say Oh, you know what, this node is actually a whole other Mind Map. And so therefore, you have this relational database, this database that connects one mind map to another, which are independent thoughts, but are connected by some central construct. Let’s talk about how mind maps fit into your own systems. And I’m going to start with you, Francis, because what you said, was really interesting in the sense that you perceive that you were doing this wrong. And so how does mind mapping out today fit in your system? And what do you do with that brainstorming? Once you’ve done it? And that free form? How do you do it? Do you do a paper and pen? Are you doing it in software? And what does that process look like? For you?
Francis Wade 8:36
I think I think your your qualification was point on and well taken there. The reason I made the comment about doing it wrong was because there was something I was leaving out when I was doing my mind mapping. So the most most of my mind mapping is done on paper, and it’s to prepare for a presentation or a speech. So I’m I’m I’m trying to prepare him get my ideas together for some kind of, I guess it could be a something I’ve written something I’m going to speak on something I’m going to present on a webinar, it’s to achieve a particular objective. That’s most a madman mapping. And what I found was that I was following an outline, because I actually follow an outline in order to do each of my speeches. But what I should have done, I was doing wrong, so to speak, was to do a brainstorm first. So mindmap the ideas first, and then go into the structure because the reason I mindmap isn’t the list is because it doesn’t have linearity. And what I was doing was imposing linearity onto the activity of mind mapping. And that was where I was doing it wrong person, but I agree with you. There’s no wrong way to do it. It’s just that it’s power comes in different forms. And what I was doing was conflating the different forms. So that was missing the benefit of the free thinking. And that’s one thing I think no one wants to do. You want to be using your mindmap to accomplish a particular objective, because it’s better than the other tools that are available for that objective. And then if you switch to a different one, use it for that objective. So I used to buy my first use of it was in high school, my father actually had one of the Busan books in his bookshelf, and it will see saw him ever do a mind map, but he had it in his bookshelf. And I remember picking the book up and, you know, that was maybe 16. And I started to read it. And I was like, Oh, my God, this is pretty cool. And I started doing my maps as a result, but what I was using it for, was actually the study was to recall. So what I would do is I would sit down and try to mind map all of the different aspects of a particular subject, just from from memory, to see what I would remember and what I would leave out. And also to get a bit of a topography of the entire subject, to see how it all fit together. So it gave me a visual representation of what the subject was all about. And include all the different parts, which is something that you don’t get from a syllabus. syllabus is very linear. And it you can only remember it in a particular way, which is in order, you don’t have a visual picture to draw from, and I am a pretty visual person. So studying using a mind map was very, very useful because I could just picture the interconnections and then reproduce them on paper. So that’s what I started out using it for. I don’t do exams any longer. So I don’t have that. But no, today, I’m, like I said, I’m pretty careful about how I do my mind mapping to make sure that I’m in the right. I’m using it for the right purpose that I’m intending it for I’m using I’m using the right mind mapping method to produce the right outcome.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:08
So it sounds like you’re using it in a planning, area of your system
Francis Wade 12:13
planning, planning, when I’m planning and brainstorming when I’m brainstorming. But I try not to mix the two.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:19
Right, right. And how does that then become a part of the output? How does it become a part of the deliverable? Do you? Do you do this? On paper? Do you do it? digitally, it’s
Francis Wade 12:31
always on paper. For me, unless I’m presenting a mind map. As a part of the presentation I have a software I use. It’s free, where it’s called think free mind free mind. Sorry, right. And it, it produces a nice, pretty picture, which is good. But I don’t go there first. Because it’s, it’s not quite fast enough. For me to it’s easier for me to grab a piece of paper, grab a pencil and go at it with my pencil and eraser that’s much faster than using pre made. But what I do is I go from the mindmap into PowerPoint. So once I have for typical speech or idea or paper, I would brainstorm first. So get all the ideas out there and along the way, then I would do another one for Okay, here’s my structural structured way of giving a speech. So I always start with a question and then I expand on the question and I have a whole thing in the beginning. And then the three points I follow the three act structure, which people are probably familiar, some people may be familiar with. I once I’ve done that on PayPal, then I go into PowerPoint. And more or less do a slide per point or per node on my mind map. And then I don’t have any use for the paper anymore. I thought if I’m if I’m if I’m knowing PowerPoint, and then move on. So that’s my process for most of the structured output that I put together.
Augusto Pinaud 14:05
I think I discovered mind mapping from the Getting Things Done book I think that was mind comes a lot later done, Francis and there was two pieces of software that were added to my arsenal one That one wasn’t one piece of software called active words for the PC at that time I was a PC user and the other was was mine manager. Mine Jed mine manager and that’s how my first experience of Mind Mapping was today. If we move forward to today, I obviously you said I leave on the iPad and I use both things I use an application called mind note. That is quite interesting. Recently, I was introduced to really basic app called a mind 42 that allows you to do an interactive mind map with somebody else. And, and that was a really interesting recent experience, because for me mind map was something that you do almost privately. And being able to share the process of creation of a mind map comes to be really, really interesting. And comes with a really, really interesting outcome. Having an iPad that has the Apple Pencil, I have also gone in to do that. Mind Maps by hand, but the problem is, it’s hard for me later, to read what I tried to wrote. And then I, it’s, it kind of lose the purpose unless all that I want to do is, is dump his stuff. And I don’t care about what gets dumped daddy’s unusual. So my note tend to be my experience, I love, again, the tablet form factor, that I can go grab that thing, sit anywhere, and then really go and work and move the things I’m connected to things. What it gives, to me is a really good download of the information in a way where I can come later, and grab it, reorganize it and give really an actionable aspect to that.
Art Gelwicks 16:27
Well, I use my mapping primarily for the brainstorming part of the process, trying to find those idea connections, I’ve been using a couple of tools over the years free mind is one of those that I fall back on quite a bit because it is free. And it’s easy and straightforward. But a few years ago, I started using a tool called simple mind. Primarily because it’s available on Windows on Android, I could pull it up on my Chromebook, I could have it pretty much everywhere I needed it. And it gave me the opportunity to work on a mind map wherever I was, rather than having to make sure I was in the right spot to work on a mind map. I do things this is one of the few times I defer to digital over analog when it comes to creating mind maps though, because for me part of the process is the dynamic flow and connection between the ideas and the components of the idea. And on paper, that’s a little bit harder for me, because I like just visually clean layouts on paper. So I don’t really have the flexibility of changing this link changing that link changing this connection or that connection as easily as I do in the digital space.
Art Gelwicks 17:47
for me, if I’m going through and trying to let’s say, for example, define the requirements of a particular site that I’m going to be configuring for a client. Mind Mapping is a perfect way to go through and do that, because I can take a starting mind map that has the key thought triggers that I need user experience data connections files to store all of the different pieces. And those get me started thinking about, well, how’s this going to wind up working. And then I can continue to add and evolve the idea to the point where it’s, it’s resilient. One of the things that I’ve had to really press for in whatever tool I use for mind mapping is the ability to output it in a non Mind Map format. Because one of the struggles and I don’t know if you guys have run into this or not, people don’t always gravitate towards a mind map. If you’ve created a fully fleshed out one and pull it put it in front of them, they look at it. And sometimes they can get a little intimidated, they can get a little overwhelmed, because there’s a lot of information in a very small visual space. tools like simple mind, give me the option to output the mind map in an outline format that I can then say blowed into Word or OneNote, or something else like that, and have that structure in something that people are more comfortable with. Or maybe I’m going to take it to another step beyond the original mind mapping. I’ve done this for developing presentations, for example, create a mind map for the presentation, dump it out as an outline, and then flesh out the actual content for the presentation.
Augusto Pinaud 19:24
And you made a really interesting point in there. That is the sharing of that that’s that’s exactly why I agree with you after you show the mind map you know after you did the mind map, okay, and the people were not part of the process of creation. What produce is that overwhelmed feeling that you were talking about? And and I have experienced and seen that over and over? What was interesting for me was what happened when that creation happened together because then as you are discussing Then you can come into Okay, let’s put this in here. And let’s move the connections exactly in the digital world, as you were describing, that make now, it’s not your mind map is a team Mind Map. But it made it a lot less overwhelmed for people than when you present a full fledged Mind Map daddy’s overwhelm, I tend, like you described not to show these mind maps to people. Because the first reaction is audit stats too much? Well, not necessarily. But if you put it now in a linear way, in a presentation or in a text or in a file, some kind of flat file people will not consider that is too much. But if you put it into graphical Mind Map way, people will tend to feel that overwhelming that you’re describing.
Art Gelwicks 20:48
Yeah, that’s one of the aspects I like about the digital tools is the ability, pretty much across the board to expand and collapse various nodes on a mind map. So for example, if I had to present a mind map to someone, I usually will start with just the central concept. And the first level of nodes expanded, so you can see the base ideas. Then as I start to talk through each of the ideas, I expand that corresponding node to its sub nodes. That way, the mind map visually grows in front of them. It’s not something where all of a sudden, you’ve got all this stuff. It’s not like walking into a forest. This is watching the tree grow as you discuss and work through the ideas and the concept. It it does require it to be interactive, though it’s not something you’re just going to throw in somebody’s lap. But many of the tools give you the ability to generate, say, an HTML output. So you can have a web page that’s interactive, that’s derived from your mind map. But again, this is more about sharing the mind map. You mentioned earlier, I think it was you a gousto, that it’s typically a personal thing. My Mind maps are very personal, I don’t normally share them with others, because there’s very few well formed well structured ideas at that point yet. And being able to effectively communicate those ideas can often make or break them as to whether or not they can be implemented. And for me, the mind mapping is such an early stage exercise, that it it almost sets those ideas up to struggle, if you try to immediately leap them into execution.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:30
A good example is that about a decade ago, I sent a mind map that I had hand drawn to a client of mine, if you want to call it that, but basically the executive director, Executive Directors of this organization, and they just responded back. We don’t know what to do with this. And I thought to myself, it’s a mindmap. What do you What are you talking about? These are ideas that we were brainstorming topics for something. And so then I went into my software and exported exactly as you were talking about art into a formatted list, same content, just different format, right, a list format, and sent it back to them. And they’re like, this is great. You know, we love all these ideas. And it was it’s just such an interesting view of the way some people think, and others don’t. And I happen to actually be a very linear thinker. It’s just that with mind mapping, I get, I think more the generative quality of a mind map is higher for me than it is in a hierarchical list. Just like I don’t know why, but it just is that way.
Art Gelwicks 23:43
I think I know why, though. Because the one thing that a mind map does is it puts you into a unique structure. I mean, we’re so used to working in lists, and tables, and graphs and charts and grids, and everything having nice 90 degree corners. My Maps don’t have those mind maps are fluid, they curve, they flow, they connect. And it’s a different way of allowing your brain chemistry to approach these types of ideas. we so often look at an idea or a concept and we say, Okay, now how am I? How am I going to execute that idea? Now, what’s the next idea? How do I execute it? In a mind map, you’re not operating at that level, you may drop in a couple of nodes around one part of an idea. And then all of a sudden you realize, Oh, wait, that means that I need to do this as well over here and you jump to the other part of the mind map completely and start to expand on that. It can be overwhelming, because you think Well, where’s this going to end? How am I going to miss something? And the answers to those are one, I have no idea where it’ll end and two, yes, the odds are pretty good. You’re going to miss something. This is a reason why you don’t use a mind map as an execute. or project plan. But this change in venue for lack of a better term gives us a unique opportunity to be creative in an area that we normally would not consider ourselves creative.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 25:16
Alright, so I wanted to talk a little bit about some of the ways in which I use the system. But art and acoustic, you’ve brought up a couple things that I think are important for people to understand in the context of how I use my mind mapping in my own world. First and foremost, I really enjoy taking other people’s thoughts, and converting them into mind maps, just because it is, as you said, art, you know, more appealing, nonlinear way of looking at things. And this really comes down to software. But really, you can recreate a mind map in software very easily, if you do get a mind map from someone that has visually drawn one out. Now, of course, if you’re in the museum world, I’ve put a link to the views and books in the show notes, but views and talks about really being creative and drawing and using icons and you know, graphics to be able to develop your your mind maps, I’m not so much that person, I do use icons in my own mind maps that are built into the software. But if I were drawing a mind map on paper, I would not be drawing images of things, it’s just not the way in which my mind works. Even though the mind maps visual organization works for me, I’m not inclined to start drawing pictures. Some people are, and that’s totally cool. It’s just not the way I work. But the idea here is that if someone sends you say, for example, someone sends you a book outline? Well, what I will typically do is that when they send me that book outline, which actually happens quite often someone says, Hey, I’d like to write this book, do you have some thoughts in terms of the outline, I say, Sure, well, you know, send along the book outline, and they’ll send it to me in a hierarchical list, I will then take it into Microsoft Word or another word processor, and export it to opml, which is the which is the format for being able to then import it into one of the science software, the mind mapping software that allows you to then turn it into a mind map. And what will happen then is their organization that is linear, then becomes a mind map that I can then start to reorganize, and look at make comments and then re export to a hierarchical list. Again, the you know, basically an outline format, and send it back to them. And I’ve been able to now look at it and review it in the way in which I naturally think about it, and send it back to them in a way in which they can understand it. So it’s it’s useful to have both of those pieces moving back and forth. And just know that if something is an outline list, you can convert those back and forth and outline list, I mean bullet points, or numbered lists that are formatted that way, you know how Microsoft Word has numbered and unnumbered lists. Those formats allow for the export and import in the opml format. So very, very helpful to be able to move those things back and forth.
Augusto Pinaud 28:24
I don’t remember this study I don’t remember did this study were read this many, many years ago. But when you play with this play with colors, if you don’t, I don’t draw either. Again, as my handwriting is awful, my drawing skills are even worst. But I use colors and the colors. There’s studies that said that the use of different colors will access different ideas. If you start playing with green, you will start thinking on the financial factors on the money. If you play with blue, you will feel under relaxation. Okay, and same thing with other colors. So as you are doing this mind maps start playing with the different colors because the different colors in my experience, bring you different ideas because it connects with different parts of the brain will allows you to start looking into different issues and different perspective on this process that tend to be really useful to
Raymond Sidney-Smith 29:24
you. Absolutely. And if the color of your money in the country in which you’re listening to is different than green then switch it appropriately. Some some other areas that I use with mind maps are project planning as has already been discussed before. I actually like to use the David Allen GTD project planning triggers list and start to use that as my launching point for project planning, and especially large projects and being able to then answer the questions in the mind. And then orient them to where they belong in the mind map as I’m planning, which then again, I can export into a hierarchical format and have checklists created near immediately. If I’m brainstorming, I will usually now this has changed over time. But now I would, I will usually pull out my tablet, and open up note taking software, whether that be Evernote opening up an ink note, or opening up good notes, and starting to mindmap in that space brainstorming for me, I think akin to art, it’s a tool for generating thoughts, akin to what Francis was talking about at the beginning. But it’s not necessarily a an organizational tool, in the sense of being able to work off of it. So when I’m brainstorming, I will sometimes do it in that ink, note space in Evernote, or in like I said, good notes, mapping it out visually. And then I will sit down and organize my thoughts into mind mapping software, and then export it into that hierarchical list. And then identify the actions associated with those items, which I can then copy and paste. If I’m doing if I’m, if I’m feeling like it. And this really comes down to to a feeling like it’s situation I will Mind Map, as I’m note taking in a lecture, especially if the lecture is in my mind’s eye, geographical in the sense that you’re moving from one place to to another, and you’re trying to get there along that path. If the presenter provides a, a route to get to that point, it’s actually easier for me to take notes in that I, in essence, I’m drawing my own map. And the mind map allows me to choose my own adventure to get to the different points that I want to on the map. And it is called a mind map after all. And so I like to map out the presentation as I’m watching it, to help me understand how the presenter goes from point A to point B, or Point A to Point F, and mapping out the points along that that path. So I will I will think about the presentation as the presenter entrees into the topic. And I will immediately think, Oh, you know, what is is is this presenter is she trying to bring me from one point to another or she just trying to explicate something in a nonlinear perspective, then I will try to organize nonlinear thoughts in the hierarchical perspective. But if they’re actually giving me a story arc, which takes me from one place to another, then I will typically mind map. So it gives you some ideas in terms of when to mind map or not mind map in a notetaking environment. And then the only other final place where I mind map fairly consistently is when I’m helping other people identify their life categories. That is the the areas of focus and accountability. however you define your domains within your life, your life domains, that construct, I feel like if you put yourself at the center, and then you start identifying the different parts of your life, it’s helpful to do that in the mind map oriented space. Also a pie chart. Now for some reason, a pie chart helps with that as well. But frequently, I’m doing that in a mind mapping environment because you kind of move different parts of yourself underneath different categories and ultimately see visually how your life is is broken up into constituent parts
Augusto Pinaud 33:42
for the people who haven’t or listeners who have not ever try the mind map go simple. One of the things what are some listening is there is a lot of use an experience and comfort on the tool. And it’s not a difficult tool. It’s a really powerful one. But I understand that can sound overwhelming all that we’re doing on a simple, you know, bubbles on lines. So if you have never used Mind Map before you have not consider you try it and didn’t saw the power of it. You know, go in a star with something simple start playing with it. One of the things that was challenging for me many years ago, was listening was that part it was how easy or hard it was to let go of your linear ways. And you know, you’re used to 123456 and the mind mat will not offer that will not allows you to do that. So it is really, really important to let it go so that way you can really get into that deep thinking process. So If you are one of those people who have not find the use of the tool or new on the tool or tried many years ago and stopped using it, go slowly. Because the objection to the mind map is not the parent, the tool is the use you are to the linear thinking,
Art Gelwicks 35:18
I suggest do some reading first, before you try to dive in, do some looking at some some of the texts that are out there, Tony Busan, obviously a great source of this, there’s tons of YouTube videos out there to just get comfortable with it, and set your expectations low for the first time you start to do this. This is not a Miracle Method of idea management and creation. This is a skill that takes time it takes practice to evolve. And to strengthen. It’ll be incredibly valuable once you do. But you need to be patient with yourself. As you start to put this set of tools and the set of concepts to use,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 36:01
I will I will say this, if you are looking for mind mapping as a tool, look at the examples of what already exists out there. Many of the software that exists that many of you have mentioned, you know, today on on the show, there are galleries of Mind Map templates. And so look at those Mind Map templates. After you’ve done a little bit of reading as art said, and look at the various examples of what other people have done. This a couple of really interesting things that I found in researching for today’s episode was that the average Mind Map includes 2.7 nodes. And the reality is, is that mind mapping doesn’t have to be that complicated, you can have it very simple. And it helps you organize your thoughts or you can have it very complicated and have it manage your entire world. As I said, I know some folks who use their mind map has their complete productivity system where they have all of their tasks and projects and their software allows them to be able to do that one tool that’s very, very powerful is called the brain. I’ll put a link to in the show notes. But the brain allows you to be able to have this flexible, very extensible software that can hold you think about what it could possibly hold and the brain does. And it syncs across devices. And, and so it’s a it’s a very, very powerful tool, mostly desktop, there is a web and mobile component to it all, but I’ve not really seen the the true efficacy of those mobile and web tools, as much as I’ve seen the desktop tool be very, very powerful. I mean, you could put so much data into it. And, and the way in which you can manipulate the data because of the features of the brain is very, very powerful. You can go simple, you can go complex, you can go somewhere in between, but use the examples of what people have put out there to see what is possible. So that you can start to think about how mind maps can be useful and productive for you in your own systems. Oh, I was gonna say. So one other tool that I use in conjunction with my mind mapping software is workflowy. So for those of you who don’t know, workflowy is an outline based productivity software. And it allows you to be able to export in that opml file format. And so you can, you can, in essence, export, you know, download that opml file format, and then import it into your mind mapping software, and then export it again, and kind of move back and forth between those two fairly seamlessly. So if you have any desire to kind of do those both in the in the web completely, you know, in the browser, or if you just want to be able to get those back and forth. And you don’t have say Microsoft Word, you could use something like LIBOR office writer, or workflowy. And very easily, you know, export and import in that format. And so I do go back and forth between workflowy and developing the outlines there and then exporting them to the mind mapping software and then back into workflow if I need to. So it’s just helpful to know that there are many software out there that go back and forth in that opml format file format so that you’re able to get the data in different views very quickly and easily. So you’re not locked into the mind map only. And I think that’s the power of the digital mind mapping that you can do outside of just brainstorming. Oh and my other thought from earlier my my other thought is that I will frequently take a visually drawn Mind Map and I will then export the, the PNG of that or if I you know take a photograph of it. I will export the JPEG of that image and I We’ll put that inside of my project support note. So if each of my projects has a project support note that matches in Evernote. So each, you know, each project has a note in in my Evernote projects notebook, and titled The same as the name of the project, I will if I’ve done a mind map, then that mindmap will be embedded within the project support note, so that it’s there and available to me so that if I need to review back and say, Oh, you know what, when I was planning out this project, what were some other things that I thought about to solve this particular challenge in the process of planning out the project, then I will look back at that mind map and reference it for new ideas or other ideas that I had had. And that is, has been incredibly beneficial to me. And even sometimes it’s looking at the visual map of where I saw the project going, has been helpful and being able to motivate me to make progress on a project. So just some thoughts there in terms of the the overall perspective of a mind map in practice, is it especially when it comes to project planning and project execution? It can be very, very useful. Okay, so we have reached the end of our time together. And I really appreciate everybody’s thoughts in terms of mind mapping, and how mind mapping fits into our productivity world’s our productivity systems. And so if you have a question or a comment about this caste, or something we discussed, feel free to visit the podcast [email protected] there on the episode page at the bottom, there’s a comment form, you can leave a comment or a question, and one of us will be more than glad to respond to any of those comments or questions. If you are also there. On the podcast episode page, you will find our show notes which include links to anything that we discussed. And if we miss something, please let us know we’ll we’ll add it. But also there you’ll find a machine produced transcription of our audio, and a downloadable version and PDF, so you can download it if you want to and reference it. And so those are really helpful. Also on productivitycast.net, you will find the instructions for being able to subscribe to the podcast in your podcast app of choice. So if you’re using Apple podcasts or overcast or Stitcher or otherwise, you can just go to that subscribe page, and you’ll see the links to be able to hop out to them and subscribe. If you have another question about personal productivity and one you’d like us to tackle on a future episode, feel free to visit ProductivityCast dotnet forward slash contact. And there you can either record an audio message or type a message into the message field and send that along to us and we’ll be able to read and respond to or maybe put it into a future episode. If you could please leave a rating or review on Apple podcasts or Stitcher or if your podcast app for some reason allows you to be able to leave a rating review please do so that helps us to grow our personal productivity listening community. It provides us good feedback for how to improve and so thank you. Again, thanks to Christopher now Francis weighed in our galaxy for joining me here on this every cast. This brings us to the close of this episode of ProductivityCast the weekly show about all things personal productivity, take care of buddy, here’s to productive life.
And that’s it for this ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things productivity, with your hosts, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.