3.09.2010

Mind mapping software

In the last couple weeks, I've been looking at a couple different mind mapping software programs.  Today, I've downloaded PersonalBrain.  Its said to compliment David Allen's Getting Things Done personal productivity practices.  I can see potential once I get things set up. 

Things I like:
  • I can tie to-do lists with short-term and long-term goals.
  • Ideas can be linked by relationships, not as a strict hierarchy like some mind maps.  For example, I can have low level tasks linked to several high level goals.
  • Lots of flexibility in how I want to structure the map.  So I can use it for my research projects, for classes, for goals, for home life, etc.  
  • I can tag concepts, label concepts, attached documents, add notes, set due dates, and run reports.
  • This may give me the ability to tie research projects to specific attached articles, along with article authors, and see the relationships between authors, articles, and my research.
  • I could also use it to map concepts used in classes to help ensure a proper hierarchy of knowledge is followed.

Things that may be a problem
  • If I use this for personal productivity, I need a way to quickly develop to-do lists and tie them to goals. While the website claims this can be done, it is not intuitively obvious to me how to set that up.  If I can't figure that out, this software will be largely useless.
  • Lack of portability.  I want the program on my cell phone so that I can add things as soon as I think of them, where ever I am.  This may require some alternative system that I can use to capture thoughts, which I later add to the Brain.
  • Calendar does not sync with Google calendar.
  • The time it will take to enter all my thoughts into the theBrain may be a bit much.  I hate spending hours and hours entering information if I do not get any value out of it, or if the value gained is not worth the effort.
I'll try it for a couple weeks and see how it goes.  If anyone has any experience with this software, I would love to hear your comments.

3 comments:

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  2. I understand that it has not been a couple of weeks yet, but what is your opinion of this software up to this point?

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  3. I've been using it to collect my thoughts on a research project of mine. After spending about 5 hours entering concepts and mapping them together, I realized that I wanted to change how I established the relationships. But it was only because I went through the process of organizing my thoughts that I realized my own mental organization was a little fuzzy at times and that I need to clarify things in my own mind first. To that end, the tool has been be great. I haven't worked with it enough to verify its applicability to goal, project, and task organization.

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