Organising thoughts with FreeMind & WikiMindMap

Sorry for the break in transmission over the past fortnight. Occupation hazard having to work and blog.. blogging doesn’t pay the bills (yet) so from time to time there may be a little radio silence. I’ll try to make my travel and work commitments a bit more transparent in the future. Now back to the show….

One of the most useful planning and organisation tools I use is FreeMind, a free, scaled down version of the popular mind mapping application, MindManager.

Now one of the cooler uses of Wikipedia combines raw data with a reverse engineered mind map – WikiMindMap.

Just search for terms like you normally would and this web service builds a rough mind map covering some of the themes that are important to that topic. This makes it a great place to start when you need to brainstorm:

  • A new product area
  • A new competitor
  • A new country, or
  • A new industry segment

Mind maps are one of those tools you either love of hate I find. Conceptually, these work fine for me. In practice though, where these maps fall down is in the “next step”. Going to next actions, in FreeMind at least, requires reading and re-entering data into your action workflow (be that email or a to-do list). I’m sure more expensive versions like MindManager allow Outlook integration, so that may be the next logical step.

I’d be interested how other CI practitioners use Mind Maps in their day-to-day planning activities.  Drop me a line to let me know!

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