Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Vic's Picks - Mind Mapping Software Survey

Vic Gee runs the Mind-mapping.Org web site and has catalogued every mind- and visual mapping software tool there is - 377 if I have read Vic's summary correctly. 

image Just launched is a new site that takes the catalogue and helps users find the most relevant tools quickly.  In addition they can log their own experience of each software tool and provide a star rating.  As this builds up it will provide a unique insight into "what's hot and what's not" in the world of mind mapping.  The presentation is stunning.


Vic has provided a brief introduction to the site at his blog - see "Vic's Picks is here!"

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

MindManager 9 Launched - 10th August


MindJet have launched MindManager Version 9 today, 10th August.

New and improved features include:

  • improved start up and general performance
  • built-in Gantt chart and resource monitoring views
  • interactive slide views
  • MS PowerPoint integration
  • MS Outlook integration and synchronisation.


Gantt chart







MindManager_MapSlideShowsSlide view







MindManager_OutlookDashboardsOutlook integration 






You can learn more from the MindJet website.  MindJet have also released a new promotional video, which you can watch here.


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Friday, 6 August 2010

Developing Decision Making Criteria

Often business rules or guidance are required to instruct or advise people on what to do in given circumstances.  It can be difficult to develop these where there are many considerations or options.

imageTo begin to tackle the problem it might be useful to draw up a decision tree and step through all the questions that might need to be asked.  The example here, whether to retain email as records or not, was drawn using bCisive.  A huge tree results.

dtreeHowever, using a print out of the decision tree, analysis reveals there are possibly only 6 scenarios or situations for which criteria are needed.  Here, the bCisive diagram has been annotated with green and red notes to show the scenarios.  Green indicates a “Yes” outcome – an email should be managed as a record – and red indicates a “No”. 

dcriteria From this analysis it was possible to develop a new bCisive diagram, with the scenarios mapped as “Options”, the outcomes or decisions mapped as “Consequences” and additional criteria or questions mapped as “Requirements”.  Note that it was possible to reduce the 6 scenarios to 4 as the decision criteria for 3 of the scenarios were identical.

image A feature of bCisive is the ability to view the diagram as a text outline.  Copying the outline allows it to be pasted into Word or Excel to create a more traditional document.

image The final product – in this case an Excel table – presents the decision making criteria, outcomes and recommended action in a simple, tabular format.

Although this example has been presented as a desktop exercise using software, the approach could just as easily be followed in a meeting or workshop using flipcharts, PostIts and marker pens.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

More on Slides in MM9

imageIn an earlier posting I described the new "Slides" feature of MindManager 9 - see "Working with Slides in MM9".  The version I was using at the time allowed for the creation of the slide views and for the slides to be printed. 



A new version of the pre-release software has additional function that allows the information in the "Slides" view to be exported to PowerPoint.

In this simple example, I have first created three slides from a map I made by importing this week's tasks from Outlook 2010.

To save the slides to Powerpoint, click on the drop down menu in the slides pane - to the left of the main screen.  Select "Export Slides to Microsoft PowerPoint".





This opens a "Save file" dialogue - enter the file name and select the folder location for the PowerPoint file.




imageA new dialogue box pops up offering you several choices. You can export your slides as a text outline - each slide will be converted to a bulleted list on a PowerPoint slide.  Or you can export the slide contents as PowerPoint objects - the map structure of the slide will be recreated as PowerPoint drawing objects.



The bulleted list option.









The PowerPoint objects option.

Obviously one then has the option to edit the objects and reformat them to suit.





Other options let you select your preferred PowerPoint template and whether you want to export any topic notes as PowerPoint speaker notes.

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