Setting Contexts

blog.pmarca.com: Quote of the week: Why brainstorming is a bad idea

Posted in brainstorming, Mind-mapping, NovaMind, productivity by jquig99 on July 31, 2007

I can see this point – but I am a firm believer in brainstorming (and mindmapping along the way!). Brainstorming generates more than ideas. It generates community, teamwork, it teaches being open to new ideas and paths of thinking. There are no wrong ideas in a brainstorming session.

But again – this is a different point of view…

blog.pmarca.com: Quote of the week: Why brainstorming is a bad idea: “blog.pmarca.com
Often wrong, never in doubt.
Quote of the week: Why brainstorming is a bad idea
JUL 31, 2007

From Frans Johansson’s book The Medici Effect:

Brainstorming [is] used in nearly all of the world’s largeset companies, nonprofits, and government organizations. And the reasons seem obvious… ‘The average person can think of twice as many ideas when working with a group than when working alone.’… But is it true?

In 1958… psychologists let groups of four people brainstorm about the practical benefits or difficulties that would arise if everyone had an extra thumb on each hand after next year. These people were called ‘real groups’ since they actually brainstormed together. Next, the researchers let ‘virtual groups’ of four people generate ideas around the ‘thumb problem’, but they had to brainstorm individually, in separate “

(Via http://blog.pmarca.com.)

BTW – http://blog.pmarca.com is one of my must reads each day.

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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.

Resources:

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