Posts Tagged ‘knowledge management’

Keeping track of your Potholes!

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

It could be tracking anything you are interested in but on Sunday I came across the now fixed hole in a cycle path. Fortunately I approached it from the side the camera is facing in the light.  If you descended in the dark from behind the camera at 25 mph, you could have had a life threatening moment.

On the mapI have a link to Hampshire County Council’s problem reporting site, and the track links for each problem. Plus the photo and a link to the Google map location.  I used task info to store the date of submission and fixing.

You could use a simlar process for snag lists when commissioning equipment or factory inspections or event health and safety tours etc.


My Hampshire Potholes,-1.289456&spn=0.004779,0.011362,-1.289456&spn=0.004779,0.011362,-1.304348&spn=0.002389,0.005681,-1.304348&spn=0.002389,0.005681,-1.18121&spn=0.000597,0.00142,-1.18121&spn=0.000597,0.00142

Mapping a Skype conversation

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Have you ever joined a Skype group chat after the other participants have exchanged several messages? Scrolling down the conversation you get some sense of what has been going on. But the questions and answers are sometimes interleaved and there are multiple threads going on between the participants. Here is my solution for unravelling the spaghetti.

MindManager map of Skype ConversationSelect all the messages and paste them on to a MindManager map. You will get a topic for each message with the Skype ID (writer) and date/time included. Pick a principal statement or question and then drag the responses to the principal creating subtopics. Often responses can be found several unrelated messages later.  Additional marking up you could do:

  1. If topics relate to each other, you can add relationships or colour code the topics.
  2. Search for Skype ids and then mark the topics with an avatar.
  3. Search for keywords and highlight the topics.
  4. Add Call Outs with your private thoughts

This is the map (without the text) from two other peoples conversation that I was not able to participate in yesterday. It gives you some idea of how MindManager can be used to convert a complex stream of messages in to coherent digestable groups!

Click the map to see a larger image.

WikiSummarizer – Rapid information overview

Friday, April 1st, 2011

MindManagerContext Discovery Inc have released a web based tool called WikiSummarizer for quickly summarising (English spelling) the content of a Wikipedia entry based on a key word or phrase.  The result is a page full of classified paragraphs which you can export to a Rich Text Document or a MindManager file.  If you have your browser set up appropriately, the MindManager file will open immediately in MindManager (this works for me in Google Chrome).

So what can I (you) do with this?  For example it is time I wrote a page describing MindManager on a certain web site.  Enter MindManager into WikiSummarizer, after 5 seconds the web page is returned and I Export To MindManager.

I like to see the scale of a map before I start manipulating it,  the first thing I do is open the map to show all levels (Select the Central Topic and Shift+Alt+.).  See above.

MindManager Hide the topics
I don’t need all that much inspiration!  I selected all the topics I don’t need and hid them (Use the Filter Funnel tool at the bottom of the MindManager for Windows screen).  There is quite a bit of repetition and the first map reduces to a digestable set of topics.
MindManager Article
I flipped these topics to the left and added the main headings for my article to the right. I then started to develop the paragraphs under these headings and realised I needed some sub-headings and so on.

Before I get carried away I am going to produce a map which says:

  • Who is the article/web page for?
  • Why am I writing it? Why are they reading it?
  • When? (Soon)
  • Where? (I know)
  • What? (See above)
  • How? (See above)

I hope that has given you one use case for WikiSummarizer. What do you think the others are?

Information Mapping Across the Organisation

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Mindjet have a series of seminars titled “Information Mapping Across the Organisation” running in Europe over the next two weeks.  Scandinavia this week. The Netherlands and UK next week.

I am speaking at Lord’s and Old Trafford (the cricket grounds) in the UK.  I will be showing the audience some Customer Use Cases with MindManager featuring: Brainstorming, Strategy, Projects and Communication.  It would be great to meet you there. The events are free, in the morning from 08:30-12:30 and include breakfast.

In London: Paul Lawrence and John Barber from Mindjet will be speaking  plus Jim McNeil, The Ice Warrior! and me.
In Manchester: Hilary de Rover, John Barber and me.

If you have any special requests, make them below and I will see if I can weave them in to my 45 minutes.

Importing from Word to MindManager

Monday, November 15th, 2010

I just noticed a comment on someone else’s blog about creating mind maps from documents.  MindManager has been able to open or import Word documents for a decade. You can use either the File > Open and select the Word document type or File > Import > Word. For this import to be effective the Word document must have the following styles in it:

  • Title becomes Central Topic Text
  • Heading Level 1 becomes Main Topic Text
  • Heading Level 2 becomes Sub Topic Text and Levels 3 onwards become Sub Sub Topics etc.
  • Body or Normal becomes Topic Notes

Make sure the Word document uses these styles before importing.

I have used this to import tender and contract documents.  Important elements can be copied from the notes and in to topics or call outs. Relationships between call outs and topics can be added to show where the document has conflicting information. Call outs to highlight sections of concern or where there are major cost implications or  links to related documents, emails and contacts can be added.

This process will increase your understanding of the document and can be shared with the supplier of the document to demonstrate your thoroughness in reading their document.

Special Offer on On-Line MindManager Training

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Potential On Line MindManager Training & Coaching Topics

For  several years I have been coaching people on-line to use MindManager more effectively. Some clients have been within 30 miles of Alresford, nr Winchester, Hampshire, England where I am based. Others have been in San Francisco and Sydney!  They all benefit from having a session which is specific to them, takes place at a time to suit them (and me. I have not had a session between midnight and 6am yet!) and, involves no lost time and cost travelling to a training venue.  I recommend a 45 minute session. This is long enough for you to pick up several tasks, some of which may take you a few days to complete or practice.

This is a really cost-effective, energy efficient and time-saving way to meet and share material, and I can’t recommend the approach highly enough”

The normal process is to book a free fifteen minute technology testing and briefing session. We could be using phone, Skype, RealVNC, Live Meeting, Team Viewer, NetMeeting depending on the requirements of the session.  The briefing is to find out what you want to do in your session or series of sessions. This is so I can be prepared with examples including the ones you send me and think about the structure for your particular requirement.

“It was only today when I had to get a project completed quickly, a project I had no idea how to tackle or even what to do – that I realised the full value of the training.”

During the session I will share my desktop with you and you may be showing me your issues from yours. When the session completes I will provide a map with a summary of the session, links to relevant follow up material and some homework. Hopefully you will come back for further session suitably spaced so we can review progress and I can suggest next steps.

“Sessions are always on time and very concentrated. Andrew has solved most of the problems my work has presented us with, and left me copious notes (in map form) for me to study afterwards.”

Normally I charge £87 plus VAT per 45 minutes including preparation and post session activities.  Until the 31st October I will be charging £67 plus VAT.

You can contact me on 44 1962 73534 or 44 7813 211451 or Skype ajwilcox or Twitter ajwilcox.

If you want to suggest some dates and times, send me 3 proposals including the 15 minute briefing via Meeting Wizard to email  If I can accept one of your proposed session times I will send an invoice which you can be settled by credit card or electronic bank transfer.  Payment has to cleared before the session.

As a trial until 31st October 2010 I will also offer the option of booking a 30 minute unprepared session for £37 plus VAT.  I will not do any post session work unless we agree terms for this. Use Meeting Wizard to propose some times.

Notes on VAT: In the UK its 17.5%.  If you are resident in the EU and you give me your VAT number I can supply without VAT otherwise its 17.5%.  If you are in the Rest of the World the charge is VAT free.

Using MindManager to Mock Up Web Sites

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Last night I went to a 80s party orgainised by the Like Minded Companies, a bunch of businesses that jointly sponsor the event and invite their friends, clients and suppliers. They are always very eclectic evenings. Last nights highlight for me was the discussion with the fiancee of someone I met at a VizThink evening several months. I won’t bore you with the details but you might get the gist of the conversation about an information system requirement we discussed from the mock up I prepared with MindManager this morning.

Hot Spots

Two maps

  1. Africa – A map as the background image. With a floating topic for Cairo linked to the second web export. Exported as a clickable image map
  2. Cairo – Map with notes exported using the static outline template.

Will this get beyond this stage, who knows!

Using MindManager with your bicycle or bike

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

This is one I did earlier and a video I found on YouTube.

First my map of how to programme a two button cycle computer. the sort that tell you how far you have gone and how slow you have been. I average about 12 mph on my road bike. I was getting lost as to how many buttons to push and when. I think the process of mapping it fixed it in mind but I always had the reference on one sheet of A6 when I needed it.

Does that make it clearer?

Here is a video by Paula where she shows how she runs and tracks the maintenance of her Pegasus bike MindManager.

That is definitely getting value out of using MindManager.

Managing Files and Folders with MindManager

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

MindManager File Explorer Map Part

1 Using the File Explorer Map Part

MindManager comes with a tool for mapping folders and files. You add one of the Map Parts to a map and point it at a folder. Depending on the choice of Map Part you will get the files, folders or files and folders added to your map.

2 Dragging and Dropping from Windows File Explorer

Open Windows File Explorer and select file(s) and folder(s) (hold down the Ctrl Key to do multiple selects) and drag to the map.


3 Adding a hyperlink
You can use the Add Hyperlink tool to add files or folders links to the map.

MindManager Hyperlink tool


4 What’s the difference?

MindManager File Explorer Map Part4.1 Sub Folders
The Map Part will show one level of subfolder(s). If you right click the Map Part icon on a folder and Refresh you will add the next level down.

Folders added by dragging and dropping are just a link.

4.2 Refreshing
Map parts can be refreshed. Any files or folders added or deleted after the map was edited will be added or deleted.

5 Sharing with Associates

You can share your map of files and folders with others by
• Using Export > Pack and Go or Send > As Attachment
• Export as Web Pages. Use the Clickable Image Map template and then copy the exported folder and the sub-folder called Linked Documents (which contains all the linked files) to your web or network server.

6 Attaching Files

You can attach files in MindManager using the Paper Clip tool. This takes a copy from your disk and embeds it in the map file or allows you to create a new document and embed it in the map. Opening, editing and saving an attachment changes the file in the map not the file stored on the disk drive.
Attachments can only be accessed by MindManager users from the map. Attached files are not exported with the clickable image map web export.

Using MindManager to create a Financial Information Map

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

The map below is the one I use to get at all the tax and financial information I need to run my business. It contains links to government web sites and documents e.g. HMRC, VAT, PAYE. There are links to my company documents stored on my PC (they all link to a dummy document in this version) templates for dividends & minutes or the actual documents or copies of documents produced by submitting my VAT etc.

There are also topic alerts to remind me complete my next VAT Return or Corporation Tax.

There are links to my on-line banking sites. You will have noticed I blanked out the user names and passwords. The map I use only contains discrete reminders.

There is also a set of topics that maps out how to complete the PAYE processing required once a month. I can never remember where all that stuff is.

What is the benefit of this? One place to go to get at all my financial information and to add knowledge as I find it. If I could discover the way to get direct links in to my accountancy package they would be there to.

Click on the image to see a full size map. All the links to web sites can be clicked. You can download the MindManager map and some of the linked documents as a starter for ten for your financial dashboard.

A MindManager map with links to tax and finance web sites: HMRC, VAT, PAYE, Corporation Tax  Includes downloadable documents and and the orginal MindManager map