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I've recently "discovered" mind mapping and even found some people here recommending it.

It seems like a real handy tool, but I'm not really sure how to apply it to my work and/or hobby projects. I really want to organize my time and work, because I feel like my projects are stagnating lately, and that doesn't really feel nice.

So I'm interested in any tips you have if you're using mind maps, how do you organize your projects, TODOs, ideas..? For example: do you keep separate mind maps for projects, tasks, ideas, or do you have separate mind maps for each project? How do you organize your project mind maps? Please share your thoughts and ideas. (Feel free to suggest alternative methods if you think mind maps suck, but state your reasons)

[Can we make this community wiki since there is no "right" answer?]

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closed as primarily opinion-based by GlenH7, MichaelT, Kilian Foth, gnat, Dan Pichelman Jan 30 at 19:07

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2 Answers 2

I use mindmapping on my iPad to:

  • Gather notes during meetings or just to capture ideas...

  • Organize my main TODO list with priorities

But I also use it to organize ideas of a specific projects. For example the chapters and sub divisions of a book, features of a software, business strategies and things like that.

The REAL mindmapping is the one you draw by hand, not specifically with texts, but images, icons, etc.

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Do you organize TODOs as high priority=>child-items, or do you have a list of items and then assign priority to them in a form of an image/icon? Do you keep your finished items as well? –  dr Hannibal Lecter Oct 24 '10 at 17:35
For priorities, I prefer to use colors. My mindmapping software has a feature for completion too that I use. I prefer to use the hiearchy to describe dependancies, rather than states –  user2567 Oct 24 '10 at 17:56
Thanks, that's helpful. I'm starting to think experience plays a major role in using mind maps.. :) –  dr Hannibal Lecter Oct 24 '10 at 18:29

Mind Mapping is literally that, mapping out your thought processes into some tangible form.

Personally I use MindGenius Business, which is a separate application that I saw used by our HR department first. I will often scribble ideas down on paper, and have a few hours a week set aside during the early stages of a project to add more sophistication to the raw ideas and create the flows and mappings in MindGenius.

This process works very well for me, but I know some people detest the idea of mind mapping. If the process works for you or at least your willing to give it a go then you should start on paper, spend time developing out your ideas for new sections and spilt from there.

Top level: What features and functionality am I trying to impalement 2nd Level: Functions and Procedures (names and results no code) 3rd Level: Time to impalement, resources required and importance to the system.

Once you have this mapping its easy to take over and code.

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Could you give a very simple example (I'd be most grateful:))? It seems like you could be getting really huge mind maps if you go into detail for every functionality; do you ever split them into different mind maps? –  dr Hannibal Lecter Oct 24 '10 at 17:45
They are all separate maps, as in different diagrams but part of one project. Think of it like a simple application, each map is a unit, that forms part of your application, and you can drill down to specific levels of design or return to the overall aspect. To get a good understanding of this have a play with MindGenius Business, they do a free trial and the demos will give you the idea better than I could dream of writing in a textual format. –  Reallyethical Oct 24 '10 at 17:50
Thanks, I'll give it a shot! –  dr Hannibal Lecter Oct 24 '10 at 18:21

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