Posts Tagged ‘mind map’

Search friendly mind maps – Getting your maps in front of non-mind mappers

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

On Thursday I have a short presentation slot at Biggerplate Unplugged London  on “Search Friendly Mind Maps”. By which I mean maps that can be found by the internet search engines and be used to promote your business, organisation or passion. This blog is to prompt discussion prior to the event and an opportunity for you to improve my presentation by criticism and correction.  As my research focusses on the Mindjet world, I would also be interested to hear how valid my conclusions are for other mind mapping software vendors.

Search engines are looking for indexable text, so how can they see your map?

An image or Flash file on the web is indexed by its file name and the text in the meta tag “alt”. Some Flash files do present more meta text to the search engines but I have no evidence the map exports from e.g. Mindjet make use of this feature. Adding these images and Flash to a PDF file will not help.

Briefly Mindjet’s web exports convert a map into:

  • Outlines
  • Clickable Image Maps
  • Mini web sites where notes become web pages and the map is the navigation

The first and third produce text, and the second can have alt text on every link. These “maps” are visible to the search engines. However the HTML is archaic (developed 10+ years ago), the ability to add social tools e.g. Tweet this map, requires too much work compared to modern web publishing tools and coordinating more than one map into a multi-map web site is a pain.

There two significant map hosting sites for Mindjet maps Biggerplate and Maps for That. When a map is uploaded to Biggerplate, the main topics are extracted as keywords. You can add and subtract from this list. You can write a description but I doubt whether are many uploaders to Biggerplate that describe the full content of their map. Mindjet’s “Maps for That” does not have the keyword extraction.

For a couple of years I have been recording and publishing maps about presentations and speeches which are followed by the full text outline of the map. This has two benefits:

  • Visually impaired people or their text readers came read the map
  • and so can the search engines

And more recently I have published the maps within a WordPress website.

Last Wednesday I attended a presentation about “Mobile Apps” given by a software house in my home town. I mapped it and published it in ConferenceREACTION, Biggerplate and Maps for That. Yesterday I asked some friends in the UK, Canada and The Netherlands to search for the event using a generic search and a very specific search term. Here are the results:

Where do the linked pages appear in Google's Top 100 for a generic and a specific search term? Cabre - MindManager Training and Consultancy Cabre - MindManager Training and Consultancy

It’s surprising that ConferenceREACTION is in the top ten for the generic terms! If you want your maps to be seen by people who don’t use the catalogues i.e. the non-software mind mappers, then perhaps you need to post them on other sites. Obviously and unfortunately text is important. If you want your maps to be found (and maybe understood) I believe they need to be fully described.

What is your experience and your suggestions for making maps appear more frequently in search results for the non-mind mappers you want to see them?

Okay map pickers, an update on the Top 100 for “matt clarke firstthing apps” 4 Feb 2013

The UK chart:

  • ConferenceREACTION remains at No. 1
  • Biggerplate are creeping up at No. 25
  • BUT the new entry at No. 2 is MindMeister (the map was only posted on 30 Jan)
  • Maps for That are not in the top 100

The US chart:

  • ConferenceREACTION remains at No. 1
  • A repeat new entry at No. 2 is MindMeister (the map was only posted on 30 Jan)
  • Biggerplate are hanging back at No. 44
  • Maps for That are not in the top 100

The Mindjet Map part for Google searches chart: which I presume is via

  • ConferenceREACTION is at No. 1 and 2
  • Biggerplate are straight in at No. 3
  • MindMeister and Maps for That are not in the top 65 (the maximum Mindjet Google map part will report on)

Evernote and MindManager Integration: Browser, Map Parts, RSS Feeds

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Whenever Graham Wilson asks a question it sparks me into doing some research as to what MindManager can do. Sunday’s question was “How do you integrate Evernote with Mind Mapping?“. There is not a simple answer but a variety of tools you can employ.

  1. Evernote tool in Mindjet WebThere is an Evernote Export from Mindjet Web (was Connect). Select a topic, click the Evernote tool, select the approriate options and you could have a topic, subtopics and links from a map as an outline in an Evernote note and a link back to the Mindjet Web map.
  2. You can drag and drop or copy and paste Evernote urls to a Mindjet 11 for Windows (or its MindManager predecessors) map or copy and paste for Mindjet Web.
  3. Open Evernote in Mindjet’s (MindManager’s) built in browser and use the paste function to create a dashboard of your Evernote notes. If you saved this in Mindjet (Cloud) Files, you could access the map from Mindjet Web or the mobile apps. You can also save it in Dropbox and read it in a MindManager compatible web or mobile app.  I could create an Evernote dashboard in Mindjet and add alarms, resources, task info to the Evernote Topic on the map.

    Here is a short video showing the adding of Evernote Note’s to a map. Best viewed full screen:

    Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

  4. With Public Evernotes you can use an RSS feeder to get Evernotes on to a MindManager map. See Tips and tricks on using Connect with Evernote in the Mindjet Community and look at the Related Items below.  It you don’t tell anyone else the public Evernote URL it’s fairly private.

Is there an opportunity for an add in developer to do more?  Or has it already happened?

One of the hardest things I have done with MindManager

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Is to write a eulogy. It also made it easier.

The same rules apply for a eulogy as when you write anything:

  • Think about the audience
  • Research the subject
  • Create an outline
  • Write the speech
  • Rehearse, edit, fit to time allowed

I delivered the eulogy from a map which had a couple of key sentences but it was mostly topics with a few words to guide me through the 4 minutes of speaking. I rehearsed and edited it several times. It worked.

I have described the process very briefly and unemotionally above. Doing it takes time and is emotional. But mapping it helped me considerably.

Interview about Mind Mapping & Software

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Chantal Cooke from Passion for the Planet interviewed me about mind mapping and mind mapping software.  Click to listen to the interview Mind Mapping and Software or on the summary mind map below.

Mind Mapping and Software Interview with Andrew Wilcox. Principles, Publishing, Thinking to Action, Communicating, Appropriate, Learning to Use, Who

Andrew Wilcox Interview - About Mind Mapping and Software Andrew Wilcox Interview - About Mind Mapping and Software Chantal Cooke - Passion for the Planet Chantal Cooke - Passion for the Planet Andrew Wilcox - Cabre - Mind Mapping Software, Training and Consultancy Andrew Wilcox - Cabre - Mind Mapping Software, Training and Consultancy

Mind Mapping for Social Work (or general patient diagnosis and care)

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

A friend of mine has asked if I knew of any examples of mind mapping being used by Social Workers to understand complex cases. This arose from his conversation with a Social Worker. My immediate answer is I have no direct experience of it. My second reaction was to search the web. I found examples of social workers using it to study and manage projects but not patients (or even descriptions of how to use mind mapping in patient care). As my friend observed “There would appear to be a prima facie case for mind mapping”.  A statement I find easy to agree with.

Here are some examples of use I can think of:

  • Mapping the patient’s circumstances: Family, Friends, Finance, Illness, Home situtation
  • Asking the patient to map their situation
  • Comparing maps produced at different stages in the case
  • Mapping the assessment, diagnosis and remedies
  • Mapping those involved in the care of the patient and their roles

Perhaps you could suggest other examples.

If you are a social or health worker you could add some comments to this blog about the use of mind mapping in your profession. And if you are willing to put in direct with the Social Worker my friend wants to help please make direct contact with me.

Mind Mapping Software ranked by Google Search Results

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

This is research and background material for a presentation I am giving on Thursday evening called Using Mind Mapping Software to Organise Your Business at Wired Wessex in Winchester Guildhall.

The results are variable in their accuracy because for some applications it is easy to create a unique search e.g. MindManager, iMindMap, MindMeister, XMind, ConceptDraw or Mindomo but others produce results which are nothing to do with the software e.g. Freemind, Inspiration, MindMapper, Visio, or Curio.   Another issue I frequently encounter is people referring to MindManager as MindMapper and I guess iMindMap has a few variations etc.

Do you think these results reflect your understanding of the market and the relative positions of the applications?

I have produced the results in three forms:

Which format do you prefer?

Why would you map like this when you have MindManager?

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Only to prepare for a presentation that will show you how mind mapping software can help you organise your business.

If you can to get to Winchester on Thursday evening 24/2/2011, you can find out more at my presentation on “Using Mind Mapping Software to Organise Your Business”. It’s free and you get a free drink and nibbles courtesy of  Wired Wessex.

The MindManager Web Export is great for summarising discussions?

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

A couple of evenings ago I attended a discussion about “Community is Essential to Building Brands”. As is my habit I inked the discussion on my Tablet PC using MindManager. Today I have processed it in to a web page which summarises the discussion, links to the web pages mentioned and “borrows” a few logos from their sites. The content is very interesting but here are some tips on how this map was created.

The central topic uses an image “shape” rather than the standard shapes on the ribbon. You will find these in the library under Shapes!

You can drag hyperlinks from links or the favicon in the address bar of your browser on to your topics. If the topic goes green, the link will be in the topic and if it goes red, it will be add as a subtopic with the title text from the web page.

Mostly the logos were grabbed, by right clicking on them, copying the image (not the link) and then pasting them in to a topic using Ctrl-Shift-Alt-V. This does not work with Google Chrome, it just adds the image link. So I reverted to Mozilla Firefox (Internet Explorer will work as well).

Occasionally you will get an image which has a black background. I then use the Windows Snipping Tool that comes by default with the Tablet PC. You can enable it on other PCs by turning on the Tablet PC tools in Control Panel > Programs and Features > Windows Features.  Many image applications have screen capturing tools built in.

The web page is two exports combined:

Main Page:  Is produced from one map. It is a customised combination of the clickable image and outline web export templates that I use for ConferenceREACTION and other reports. It’s nearly in a state that I could let others use it.  Are you interested?

Social Networks Map:  A clickable image export of the social networks map was pasted into the main web page. It’s easy to do: Copy the map image to the same folder as the main export. Copy the text from the mapname.html.txt file and paste this into an appropriate part of the main web page .html file. Change the default file name for one of the exports from index.html to something else e.g. map.html or you will be wondering why things don’t work.

I think those are the interesting bits of the export but if you have any questions please ask them below or contact me.  To see the full maps please visit

Community is Essential to Building Brands

Community is Essential to Building Brands

Mind Mapping Software – a review

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Mind Mapping Software: Applications, Platforms, Sources of Info

Yesterday I gave a 45 minute session at the Winchester Jelly about Mind Mapping Software.  The first two parts were based on MindManager and the third part was a general review of the market:

  1. How it works, sharing your maps and its interactions with other applications.
  2. How I use it in my business. They saw the live applications on my PC rather than the public summaries linked in the map.
  3. A summary of the platforms and applications available. I know have not listed …………. but they all get a mention in the linked guides and other blogs.

You can see the examples, applications and blogs etc. on this clickable map.

Next date for this presentation is the 24 February 2011 at Wired Wessex.  I would be pleased to run this session or Mind Mapping for Business (a paper and software session) for other audiences.

Reading Shared Mindjet Catalyst Maps or Mindjet Player PDFs

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Reading Shared Mindjet Catalyst Maps or Mindjet Player PDFs

To help search engines find this page and those with impaired vision to “read” the map.

The image map content is repeated below as a text outline.

Reading Shared Mindjet Catalyst Maps or Mindjet Player PDFs

1. When you open a web page or PDF with a Flash version of a map (Mindjet Player), you can see the central topic and the main topics.

1.1 Where do you start reading it?

1.2 What is the size of the map?

1.3 What is complexity of the map?

2. The normal place to start is at the 1 o’clock topic and to go clockwise from there. This tempts you start opening sub-topics from the top right topic by clicking the open/close button at the right hand end of the topic. You may never get to 11 o’clock! You are reading the map like an outline or list. Is this the best way?

3. I would suggest not. A significant value of mind maps is that they give you an overview of the subject, where you can see:

3.1 Relationships between topics

3.2 The "size" of the topics

3.3 The structure of the map

4. Seeing just the main topics is a good place to start but it does not do the above.

5. What I do next is this:

5.1 Right click the central topic

5.2 Show all levels

5.3 Shift – F5 or Fit map to the display button (bottom left)

6. Now you can see the size, structure and complexity of the map.

7. My next move is either:

7.1 1

7.1.1 Increase the zoom until you can read the map

7.1.2 Use the hand of movement (right click on the background, hold and drag) or the browser scroll bars

7.2 2

7.2.1 Select a topic

7.2.2 Shift F3 ( or target icon bottom right) will focus on that topic, open its sub topics and close other subtopics

7.2.3 Use the mouse or the arrow keys to move between topics and refocus

8. I hope this helps. Your feedback on this blog would be useful to me and others.