Bookmarks I’ve shared on 2010-10-22:
- MindManager Version 9 for Windows Delivers New Feature to Benefit the Process Improvement Practitioner
- Linked Data at the Guardian
Notes on stuff
Bookmarks I’ve shared on 2010-10-22:
Bookmarks I’ve shared on 2010-10-06:
Ton Zijlstra has some provoking thoughts about the limitations of GTD-like systems :Ton’s Interdependent Thoughts: Thoughts on GTD System Weaknesses
In short, Ton highlights the increasing need to apply qualitative (and often social- and/or network-based) approaches to filter the info-glut before you can start putting actions into a GTD-like process.
I think he’s spot on, and it made me think a little more analytically about my personal organisation system, loosely-based on GTD, but heavily reliant on the capabilities of MindManager enhanced by ResultsManager.
ResultsManager adds a project– and action-planning capability to MindManager by allowing any topic in any mind-map to be tagged with task-related metadata, and further, the ability to define “dashboard” maps which cut across the information, pulling together a view based on whatever criteria the dashboard author chooses.
In the most GTD-like aspects of the process, this makes it easy to create a mindmap of “Today’s Next Actions” across all of my projects, but the filtering capabilities are very powerful and allow many other views to be created.
Key aspects of this system which, I think, go some way to addressing the issues Ton raises are:
Ton’s closing challenge is for a system to present patterns about activity that could in turn become “inbox” items – this definitely needs further thought, but my intuition is that a combination of tagging and feed-derivation could take some kind of a log for re-ingest to the “machine”.
If you are using IE and have the viewer installed you should see a map here:
Although I would love to be able to post interactive maps on my blog, I’m really turned off by the ActiveX, IE-only nature of this approach. Yes, there is a workaround available for Firefox, but as that involves embedding an instance of IE in a Firefox tab, it’s no good for people who don’t like to even run IE on their machines. (or who don’t run on Windows)
I’ve used Mindmanager as my core information-management tool at work for several years. For the last few months I have also been using it as the underlying support for my “GTD-like” personal productivity processes, augmented with the excellent ResultsManager add-in from Gyronix.
ResultsManager is very powerful, I particularly like the way it allows me to have a mindmap per project, yet pull all of my “Next Actions” into a single Dashboard mind map. However to exploit this power requires the capture of several pieces of information for each action item.
This is where another Gyronix product comes in – GyroQ – this provides a hot-keyable place to capture odd thoughts without breaking flow, queueing them for later addition to a set of ResultsManager mindmaps.
One of the great things about GyroQ is that the tag-based interface allows end-users (with the approprioate developer licence) to extend the functionality of the tool.
The most active contributor of new tags and macros is the anonymous ActivityOwner, who is both active on the Gyronix support forums and runs an excellent website packed with hints, tips, and example GyroQ tags, MindManager macros, and ResultsManager dashboards.
Latest offering from ActivityOwner that I’ve grabbed and put into service is a set of tags and macros entitled MindReader. This extends the functionality of GyroQ to allow you to enter natural-language phrases such as “Email Bob about project X tomorrow” and have these parsed to create ResultsManager activities with key information fields pre-filled – potentially a huge timesaver.
I run a mixed economy of MindManager versions – X5 at work, 6 at home. MindReader is designed to work with version 6, and I discovered one version-dependency in the code. I’ve posted a fix to make MindReader work with MindManager 5 on the ActivityOwner wiki here.
I’ve been spending time re-familiarising myself with the nuances of this tool. I’ve been using it for about six months, and now use it for planning meetings and pretty much any major document. I’m about to start a project that will also benefit from its ability to link with MS Project and Powerpoint, so I’ve been digging into that part of the functionality.
What I love about the project management link is the way the functionality of this tool complements the total left-brain-ness of standard project management tools. The most important part of any project is the first meeting where the people involved get engaged with breaking the scope down into manageable chunks – to be able to do that with a mindmapping tool and then export a first-cut WBS or PBS is just…cool…
I’ve played around a bit with mind-mapping for a number of years and although you can’t beat the flexibility of pen and paper for personal notes, for collaborative work some kind of electronic tool seems essential. (apart from anything else, I lose paper!)
The other idea that’s nagging me tonight is a need for a MMToWiki tool. I’ve slowly started putting some NLP Wiki pages together but I’m finding the flat-file format of a Wiki rather frustrating when writing a set of interlinked documents. I’d love to be able to outline and write the first major tranche of those pages in MindManager, then export to a set of Wiki-formatted text files.
Hmmm… and when, I wonder, is tool-building a displacement activity from the writing?