Monday, June 12, 2006

Mind Maps - a way to organize your ideas

In this post I am going to talk a bit about an intresting way I found helpful in organizing one's ideas and tasks, and these are the mind maps.

What are mind maps? Wikipedia's definition for mind map states:
a mind map (mind-map) is a diagram used to represent words and ideas linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, and decision making.

Now I am not going to enter in depth into the definition of this concept, if you like to find out more about it, you can read the rest of the Wikipedia article on this.
Instead I am going to tell you a bit about how I use them. I don't actually use them as often as I should, but when I want to make a short term plan with the things I want to do in one day or in one week, or when I have a long period task at work and I need to keep track of things, I take a few moments to draw a small mind map with the steps I need to take in order to complete my plan or task. For this I use a nice piece of Open Source software called FreeMind which is part of the SourceForge projects. This tool is quite simple and easy to use and I also like the fact that is portable and I can use it on both my Ubuntu and Windows XP systems. What I don't like about it is that it doesn't yet have a nice maps sharing feature so I can make my maps home and read them at work and viceversa - who knows, maybe I am going to think of a solution for this and contribute to the project ;).
If you want to see a nice list of the tool's feature, read the documentation or download it for your use, you can check out the project's wiki.
I hope this post will help some of you organize an plan your ideas a bit better in the future.
Stay tuned for more ;)

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