Setting Contexts

Monthly Tools – 1) Mind-Mapping

Posted in GTD, Mind-mapping, NovaMind, productivity, Software by jquig99 on April 8, 2007

Mind-mapping intrigues me. I’ve tried a number of ways (including the wonderful GTD Template by Dr. Pascal Venier at [Productivity Workflows]) to incorporate mind-mapping as my GTD tool of choice and have never been able to adapt to it. I guess it’s a left brian/right brain thing.

What I have been able to do is to use mind-mapping as a monthly overview tool, a brainstorming tool, and a project tool (but only for client presentation – very impressive as a tool the client can use to map all that you are doing to help them!). What helps ME is mapping (at the beginning of each month) all the projects and tasks that my teams are working on, as well as who is working on what. What I find is not only is it a great way for at-a-glance tracking tool, but that it can spur visual cues – connections – on ways I can integrate services or other products for my clients.

I start with placing the name/year in the middle of the map. Then I detail the new projects for the month at the upper-right quadrant. I include the client, project tasks and team members. I then move to the lower-right quadrant and detail the projects already in process and their status (carried over from the last month’s map). Then in the lower-left quadrant I focus on team development – specific activities that include meetings, reviews, etc. Finally in the upper-left quadrant, I put in my “Someday” list – house projects, new development, etc. (These have a 3-month cycle before I have to put them into the “New” project quadrant).

There are many free and pay mind-mapping tools. I’m using NovaMind at the moment (after I tested MindJet’s MindManager for Mac, FreeMind, NoteMind and MyMind. NovaMind has a great website with a number of templates (I’ve downloaded the project templates, the company org template and the brainstorming template) – it also reads MindManager templates.


Novamind – Different versions to suit need/trial versions/templates
Mindjet’s MindManager – Different versions to suit need/trial versions/templates/webinars/plug-ins
MyMind – Free tool
FreeMind – Free tool


3 Responses

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  1. Marcel said, on April 10, 2007 at 8:50 am

    To add a very productive and visual tool to you list of concept map tools: IHMC Cmaptools. It is free and it does not require a hierarchy. I use it all the time.



  2. Gaelen said, on April 11, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Hi there- I just came across your blog and noticed you’d tested out MindManager 6 Mac. Should you have any questions about the software or want some additional free training, let me know.

  3. jquig99 said, on April 11, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    @Marcel> Thanks for bring IHMC Cmaptools to my attention. I also just came across a post about it today and it looks like a worthy entry. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

    @Gaelen> I love your name(first). Second, thanks for the offer – I did like MindManager and will tell you that the customer service/product knowledge was deeper with the MindJet staff. I may take you up on your offer. Thanks for commenting.

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