Mindmapping Software Survey

Nick Duffill points to Chuck Frey‘s report on his survey of mind-mapping tool use.

Chuck sums up the issues preventing wider take-up of this sort of software:

These responses seemed to be concentrated around a few specific issues: Lack of time to promote the use of mind mapping software to managers and coworkers, lack of awareness of the benefits that mind mapping software can provide, and restrictive corporate IT policies, which make it hard to implement a new piece of software.

One response I found particularly interesting was this, to the question “If you don’t share your maps with others, why not?”

If you are familiar with the Myers-Brigg Type Index (MBTI), this explanation is easy. The Myers-Briggs “sensors” have significant difficulty using abstract models (such as hierarchical mind maps) or reasoning using abstract models, making decisions about the future using abstract models. It is easy to identify these people by watching them trace a mind map using their index finger. The MBTI sensors start at the root and follow one branch all the way down to a leaf. Then they stop and argue about the leaf and its contents. They rarely ever get back up to the root or to other first level nodes. These people routinely request aMicrosoft Word document without all the confusing pictures. I comply by delivering them Word documents or PDF documents without any embedded maps. The abstract reasoners start at the root and begin tracing circles around the root, tracing first all the first level nodes, then tracing all the second level nodes, and so on outward in widening circles. These people not only love maps,they almost immediately begin suggesting corrections or additions to the maps. For these people I supply printed maps or Microsoft Word documents with embedded map fragments.

Interesting line of enquiry to pursue there – I wonder if it has any relationship to the perception issue I described here?

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Julian Elve
Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change

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