Archive for the ‘meetings’ Category

Biggerplate Unplugged London – Post Event Output

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Biggerplate Unplugged London took place on the 31 January. What have people been publishing about the event:

1. Videos
2. Maps on Biggerplate
3. Blogs
4. Photos
5. Others
Please download the Mindjet map of these links: Biggerplate Unplugged London – What was said
Do you have anything to add?

Making the Most of LinkedIn and Thinking Space

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

I am experimenting at the moment with the Thinking Space app for the Android Smartphones. An HTC Wildfire in my case. It allows you make maps and save them in MindManager xmmap file format. It will also import xmmap (it’s one of the MindManager save options) within reason.

This evening I went to a presentation in a very pleasent new hall in the Hampshire County Council offices in Winchester organised by Wired Wessex.  I decided to leave my Tablet PC behind and map the event on my phone.  Not an easy thing for me to do. 🙂

The presentation was given by Stephen Dann a veteran of LinkedIn and a very professional user of the platform.  Using Thinking Space presented two problems for me: 1. I am still learning the UI. 2. You have to be concise. You can’t type in a phrase quickly enough.  Here is the result which  you can make appear by magic in the My Pictures folder of my Tablet PC.

Stephen Dann - How to make the most of LinkedIn

Then I opened the Thinking Space file from the folder in my smartphone via Bluetooth and edited it in MindManager.  The unusual thing about Stephen’s presentation was that he used presentation mode with MindManager 7.  There was a lot of talk about groups but Stephen is not a member of those groups.  So I have added links to them to this map and some expansion on the topics in the original.  You would be very welcome Stephen.

Making the Most of LinkedIn Stephen Dann at Wired Wessex 14/10/20

Is the phone and Thinking Space better than pen and paper? Yes if you want to publish to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, WordPress quickly or export to MindManager. No it is not as fluid.

Is the phone and Thinking Space better than MindManager in Ink mode on the Tablet PC. No but it does weigh a lot less and I cycled the 8 miles to Winchester.

Here is Stephen’s PowerPoint version of the presentation as 10 second per slide silent video. Change to 720p resolution and full screen for clearer slides.

Templates, Styles and Map Markers in MindManager

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

MindManager comes with sets of Templates, Styles and Map Markers plus you can create your own.  When, where and how do you use them?  I will explain each of these in a detailed blog shortly.  First of all I would like to give you a quick overview.


Use these to start a map.  You cannot apply a template to a map once it is started but you can cut and paste of course.

Templates have structure and content e.g. the order of a meeting or a new client questionnaire. You fill them in to produce the map for that meeting or client.  They have a Style e.g. company branding and can have Topic Styles.  They have a set of Map Markers.  When you create a Template make sure the Style and Map Markers are appropriate for the purpose.

It is easy to create new Templates using the Save As Template. You can take a map from another source e.g. BiggerPlate or Mappio and convert it to a Template.  Mindjet have a Template Gallery.  Here is a Template for the Six Thinking Hats meeting process with a guide.

I will explain more about setting up a Template and storing them in my next blog.


Each map has a Style map contained in the same file.  The Style controls the default colours, line styles, shapes and many more attributes.  It can be applied to a map after it has been created and edited.

For instance you have a set of maps from previous project and the new project requires some different branding but the same content.  You can copy the maps and apply a new Style to them.  This only works if the old maps have used default Styles.  Whenever you change a font or a colour etc. on a map you override the default Style.  Applying a new Style will have no affect on that attribute (e.g. line colour) of that element of the map (e.g. sub topic) until you change it to the new default Style.  More about this later.

You only see the Style of a map when you look at Format Ribbon > Map Style > Modify.  Styles are universal at the same element type in a map i.e. all main topics have the same default style.  The colours for each stage of the Six Thinking Hats map is provided in a template or possibly a Topic Style.

Map Markers

These are groups of icons you can use to mark up topics. There are prority markers, flags, smileys, task info, arrows, single icons etc.  You can easily create your own text markers e.g. departments and it’s not that difficult to download or make new icons for use as map makers.  You could turn mug shots into avatars!  Map Markers are a fixed size, unlike images which can be scaled.  There are additional Map Markers in the Library.

There are sets of Map Markers for specific applications that come with MindManager e.g. Meeting and Finances. You can see them in Tools Ribbon > Map Marker Lists.  You can add lists to an exisiting map.  Any map markers not used on the map, in the original list will be lost.  You can create and save your own.  You can add a legend to a map.

Map Markers and some style elements are powerful ways to filter a map for viewing at a meeting e.g. focus on incomplete tasks or publishing e.g. a set of topics Tom is responsible for.

That was a quick overview. More details and examples to come for each of them.  Please ask some questions now. I will try to answer them in the next three blogs.

The MindManager versus iMindMap Election Debate

Friday, April 30th, 2010

I am still a novice at using iMindMap, perhaps 40-60 hours on the job. I have been using MindManager most days since 1996.  So comparing the products is quite difficult for me.  I am pre-programmed to use MindManager.  Anyway I thought there is only way to see if iMindMap works for me and that is to give it the 90 minute debate test!  I covered the first priministerial debate with MindManager and the second with MindMeister.  Here is how iMindMap performed.

Once you get used to the Speed Mapping mode, it performs as well as  MindManager with some occasional blips but they could be operator error. Definitely more reliable than MindMeister (but it’s an online tool).  So recording the debate was relatively easy.  As with the other debates I set mains branches and people for 8 blank questions and the statements.  With the appropriate colour coding. I made a deliberate choice to use CAPITALS only.   I did not have the fluidity to make corrections on the fly as I do with MindManager.  Dragging branches is not the same.  No red shadow as per MindManager.  Then the real differences begin.

I deliberately did not want to replicate the linear layout of MindManager and choose the organic setting for Speed Mapping.  This leaves a considerable white space on the map. Good for reading on a A3 sheet but not for maximising the content in a browser screen.  So the result you see below took another hour or two of tweeking post debate to get the best I can achieve.  MindManager has the advantage of global settings that can be applied to topics with regard to vertical and horizontal spacing etc.  This allows you to make instant changes to the topic density on the map.

The result is definitely more organic than a MindManager map.

  • Is it easier to read?
  • Is it more memorable?
  • Is it more stimulating?
  • What do you think?

Third UK Election Debate – 29 April 2010 – BBC

Web Page Notes

1. The header,  footer and general layout are produced by a MindManager web export template Cabre created.

2. The iMindMap is an exported PNG image, converted to GIF, reduced to 90% of original size to speed up page loading and then added to the HTML.

3. The indented text outline is cut from the iMindMap web export of the map with some CSS editing to adjust the styles to work outside of an iframe.  This is a significant plus point of the iMindMap web export. The text on your map images can then be seen by Google et al.

So you may not be able to do this at home !)

MindManager and OneNote – How can these applications interact?

Monday, March 29th, 2010

A Tweet caught my eye this morning about using OneNote with MindManager. In this 4 minute video Raphael Malikian shows how you can paste ink from OneNote as text in MindManager. This prompted me to have a play and I discovered you could select several paragraphs in OneNote and paste them into MindManager as several topics. An empty line in OneNote starts a new topic in MindManager. It is also possible to drag and drop selected OneNote ink to MindManager.

Back in 2007 the OneNote Power Toys blog listed several ways in which OneNote and MindManager could interact including MindManager hyperlinks to OneNote tabs, transfering MindManager map images to OneNote and the Send to MindManager button in OneNote (Can’t find mine 🙁 – Searching the Mindjet Forum suggests it has gone AWOL in MM8)).

Are there addins for MindManager 8 and OneNote 2007 (and 2010 soon)?

What is the value of using OneNote compared to MindManager in Ink mode (my weapon of choise) on a Tablet PC?

A MindManager map of Simon Campbell CEO of ViaPost’s presentation to Entrepreneurs World

Monday, March 2nd, 2009
Last Wednesday I attended the Central London meeting of Entrepreneurs World. They provide a forum for entrepreneurs and investors to meet regularly. At their meetings there is a guest presenter and for this meeting Simon Campbell told us about ViaPost. This new product enables you post a document from your PC and have delivered to your addressee as printed paper for 27p!

Some notes about use of MindManager before you visit the full size page:

  • This is a modified clickable image export with the header and footer cut and paste from the static outline export.
  • I have also added three new customisable fields: Meta Tags for Alt Title,  Description and Keywords to make the web page more Google friendly. Read my tip: Adding Meta Tags to MindManager Web Exports
  • I must add another two: The meeting owner and their URL.  I am post export editing the HTML at the moment.

To see the full summary please click Simon Campbell ViaPost presents his story or the thumbnail to view the full clickable image.

Brainstorming with Whiteboards, Post-Its, Mind Maps or MindManager

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

I just saw a Tweet about someone feeling more comfortable about brainstorming with a whiteboard than using software and a friend Rod Sloane – No Bull Business has just poked me about doing more brainstorming with businesses. Some argue that the manual process is more engaging than an automated one but I don’t want to stir that comparison up.

I think the real issue is the competency of the facilitator with their tools of choice. It takes practice to become competent with these tools. If you are going to draw freehand and write in front of audience, you need to practice. Your competency needs to be greater than most of the audiences you will interact with. I bet Jamie Nast – Idea Mapping has hours of drawing experience with her tool kit and her audience (including me) likes what she does.

Good facilitators know the short cuts (keys) and restrictions imposed by their tool. They know when to start a new sheet or use a different coloured Post-It or send the topic to a new map. It’s also about recognising your limits. Tony Buzan uses some very competent graphic artists in “The Ultimate Book of Mind Maps” Note in the Wikipedia link he is using a computer. 😉

One of my core competencies is being able to use MindManager in front of a live audience either at the keyboard or on the Tablet PC and leaving the audience thinking that was easy and simple.

The manual v software comparison is like saying Jimi Hendrix is better than Julian Bream or vice versa. Both are leading exploiters of their tools and both work well with normally different audiences (well I have albums from both of them but I have only seen Julian live) .

So here are the strengths of brainstorming with me:

  • Items can be deleted, moved, copied, grouped and linked very quickly.
  • It unusual for the projector screen to fall down or off the wall.
  • I don’t run out of paper or pens.
  • I have access to more than 16 colours.
  • I have 8 hours of batteries to cover power failures. With small groups I can brainstorm in the dark.
  • I bring a spare PC, projector and screen.
  • I can paste images on the map.
  • I can add spreadsheet ranges.
  • I can add links to web pages, files and folders.
  • The brainstorm can be published and / or emailed immediately the meeting ends to the participants and others.
  • I don’t stop at brainstorming. It’s easy to assign action owners, dates, priority, duration and send filtered maps or lists to the action owner and meeting owner.
  • Those actions can be seen as timeline or Gantt chart at the meeting.
  • I can organise on-line asynchronous brainstorms accessed via your browser (no need for MindManager desktop license).

Should I be doing something else on a Saturday morning? Perhaps cycle out to see the first steam train built in England for a while smoke past.

You comments please?