Sunday, April 30, 2017

What do you create and share using mind mapping?

I’m originally a mind mapper; and at the beginning I mapped out everything from my shopping to my music and the dreaded To Do lists.

Yup that was a long time ago and I was younger and a tad more adventurous with my newly discovered tool that led me to believe I was way ahead of the information curve at that time.

And it was, in my experience, at that time; a tool that provided a tangible gain to the ways I enhanced my information management abilities.

I very rarely came across fellow mind mappers in my early days of mapping during the early 80’s. And thus I used it as my secret weapon for information management and staying ahead of the competitiveness within my field at that time. Hey if I could map out my shopping list, music collection and to do’s; I was an information manager right?

Of course reality is a slap isn’t it? When the mind mapping tool appeared way back in the 70’s we didn’t have software that could do what we do now in the semblance of mind mapping that we now call Visual mapping, Info-Graphics or even Database knowledge mapping.

The hand drawn maps in the vein of what Tony Buzan presented and formalized: they were awesome for gathering thoughts, making connections and expressing it all in what was then looked upon as a funky, almost hippy expression of information and knowledge.

I eventually came across a few fellow mind mappers who surprisingly enough were extremely similar to my profile as an addict to graphical expressiveness. Yes we were addicts and expressed all the attributes of an addict when it came to how we believed everyone should think of and express information/knowledge.

Mike and Bettina Jetter managed to popularize software mind mapping via their Mindjet Mindman software; later to become so well known as MindManager. Of course there were other developers, but the Jetter’s managed to grab a fledgling audience of users, and were more commercially successful that their existing competitors.

Original mind mapping was on paper; yes we had to draw it all out long hand, make all of those damn spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and then there was that dreaded lack of context and content for relevance. So we often ripped up that hand drawn map and started all over again. Thank the gods of knowledge management we no longer have to willingly endure that. Yet hand drawn mind mapping is a staple of the Buzan approach even to this day, and indeed is the ideal intro to information mapping for many who’ll more than likely go on to use the Buzan endorsed iMindMap cross-platform mind/visual mapping software/service developed by Chris Griffiths and his team at OpenGenius

Yes there’s other products that came along too, only a few are relevant to the bigger picture that is now developing via Visual mapping and what we are now experiencing as graphical knowledge mapping/management.

And then: there was Biggerplate.

Of course you know who Biggerplate are: they're the go to place for mind map image sharing. Have you shared snapshots of you maps at BP? Initially BP was a MindManager centric site that has nicely developed into a business model offering numerous services for personal, academic and business users of mind/visual mapping/management.

Do you want to share your maps with other users of mind maps? Go to BP, create an account and off you go. The file formats may expand when users of other products create a groundswell of file format exchange that equates into a need for users to have a place for their specific software product file formats at BP.

Biggerplate have in recent years developed a rather good get together series of events that have toured via significant global locations and the events have been recorded for all to see.

Sharing maps though is a conundrum for some (like me). I am constrained by NDA’s that restrict much of the meat and potatoes I may offer for fellow mapping viewers to read and study.

Do we need to share maps at all? Good question, as it does seem much of the map sharing I and many colleagues have taken part in privately have been at best minimal for detail and at most embarrassingly short of context and content to make it anywhere near as interesting for recipients due to my NDA choke hold.

Have you had good or not so good experiences regarding map sharing? Please share your experiences.