Think wise, use Mindmapping.
Hello dear readers!
First, I wanted to apologize for my current lack of posts… Between real life, current projects and private life, I can barely find any time to post here… But I should have much more time after feb. 22nd, so I’ll keep trying my best fishing for you random life catches, so be patient, since this is the main quality of fishermen..
So… you have a complicated project, but you wanna organize and clarify your thoughts? Then mindmapping is made for you!
What is mindmapping? Basically, it’s a way to organize your thoughts into hierarchical nodes. You have a root node in which you put the main idea/purpose of your thinking session, and then you can attach several children nodes to it, each one containing a sub-idea/sub-section of your main topic. Each node can have as many children as you want, and there can be as many hierarchical sub-levels as necessary as well.
Here’s an example of an internship project, managed with a mindmap.
Of course, mindmaps are amazing tools for things such as reunions or brainstorming, where everyone has to have a clear idea of what’s going on, and where you have to be able to add ideas fast and efficiently to your project. I’m not sure it’d be that good for a presentation though, since it could be a bit complex to understand for the audience (unless you actually take time to explain the whole mindmap, but I’m not sure this is the best way to proceed in a presentation). But otherwise, you really should use them without moderation!
So, enough for the theoretical part! My favourite tool for mindmaps is called Freemind. It’s a GNU Java cross-platform application with a nice interface, and there is a portable flavour of it, so you can take your favourite mindmapping software everywhere with your USB key! It is very simple to use : [Insert] to add a children node, [Enter] to add one at the same level, [Alt + Enter] to open a multiline node editor. That’s all you need to know for it!
I hope this has convinced you to use this wonderful tool! On my side, I use it almost everytime I need to plan a big project, whether it is for work or for personnal reasons, and trust me, it does help not getting lost in thoughts and knowing what’s left to be done.