Hi – Did you know that a lot of people start their day or week without first thinking about what they want to do or accomplish?

Maybe you are one of them…

But you know – It is really a shame!

Why?

Because you can be far more productive when you take 10 minutes each day to write down the days activities and to prioritise them. Let’s review some advantages:

 

  • Your brain is turned on! You will be more effective because your brain is ready for action and it is focussed on the tasks that you have written down
  • You can mark tasks as done. It gives a good feeling and positive energy to mark a task as done on your list. This energy helps you to continue with your next taks.
  • You are prepared. This is a tremendous advantage. Some say that preparation is 90% of your success. Have you ever been in a meeting with people who were not prepared? – than you know what I mean 🙂
stopwatch.

Don’t underestimate these advantages of a simple review of your daily activities. Those 10 minutes are the best investment in the success of the whole day. You will experience that these 10 minutes will save you at least 1 hour each day and it will give you confidence and energy. Please let me know about your methods of preparing for the day…

 

 

 

Greetings Your WorkSmarterGuy      

iMindMap Basic

I am very excited to write this article about the complete new iMindmap 6. I already liked iMindmap 5 very much but still missed some features. It looks like the “guys” at Thinkbuzan have read my mind. This new version addresses most of the issues that I had with iMindmp 5.

Here is a short movie where Owen Hardy @ThinkBuzan explains what is new in iMindMap6.

Now let’s have a look at the new and improved featured I like most. Note that these features are only available in het Ultimate version of iMindmap6.

iMindMap Basic

My personal favorites

 

The New presentation mode

The presentation mode has been completely rebuilt and it now possible to make your OWN presentation. You now can design you own “slides” and you have all the freedom you want and need. It is now very easy to use one mind map for different presentations. 

See this 12 minutes video for more details  on the presentation mode. After this you want to download the free trial version and experience it yourself 🙂

 
 

Improved 3D mode

The 3D mode is now fully functional. You can create mind maps in 2D or 3D mode. There are also special central idea images that are enhanced for 3D mode viewing. The effect is stunning. Thinkbuzan has also added some 3D backgrounds. This really enhances the 3D experience. You have to see it to understand how it works. 

This video shows you some highlights about the new 3D mode

 The new branch target

The new design of the branch target is a real time saver. In version 5 you had to use the menu to choose between the type of branch before you could draw the branch. With the new branch target you can directly draw normal branches, box branches or relationships without using the menu. Together with the full screen mode you really have the idea that you are working on a mind map instead of using a program to do that. You don’t need the menu that much any more because almost you want to do is available from context menu’s that pop-up automatically or by using the new branch target. Way to go ThinkBuzan! See the movie for the new branch target.

 

 

Mindmap Snppets

 The last new feature I would like to mention is the mind map snippets feature. It looks a lot like map part feature of Mindmanager that I use a lot. It allows you to re-use mind map parts. Just select a brach that you want to re-use and create a snippet. You can use this snippet in another mind map without having to draw the branches again. Very useful for planning or work breakdown structures that you use over and over again.

Other interesting new and improved features

  • better stench tool
  • better and smoother performance
  • Multi select ( Yes – finally)
  • better floating text features
  • Versioning with way back feature with Buzan Cloud services
  • New box branch types
  • Customizable relationships
  • Fullscreen mode
  • ….
 
iMindMap Basic

Conclusion

 
As a business consultant and trainer I used to prefer Mindmanager as the ultimate business tool. With iMindmap 5 I started using iMindmap more and more. It was the only software that could produce beautiful mind maps and it could be used on a PC and on a MAC (very important to me) . It gradually became my software of choice for mind mapping in a business context. 
 
With iMindmap 6 there is no doubt for me. It will be my preferred software for visual mapping. No software program is perfect but iMindmap 6 comes as close as can be.
With iMindmap 6 you  can create
  • beautiful mind maps
  • basic flowcharts
  • Gantt charts for project planning
  • outlines
  • basic concept maps
The 3D view and the smart layout and lots of other features just blows the competition away.  Combine this with the iMindmap freedom package (Buzan Cloud, Android and iPhone apps) and you can’y go wrong IMO.
 
Is there nothing that could be improved or are there no wishes left?
Of course. Like I stated – no software program is perfect. 
These are some improvements that I would like to see in iMindmap 6.
  • Improved task management system with a more intuitive interface and basic resource reporting
  • Expand and collapse options for one branch and not only for the whole mind map
  • Saving filter queries
  • Easier drag and drop of branches
  • floating topics for easy brainstorming (idea generation)
So I hope @thinkbuzan will read this article and take note of my suggestions 🙂
 
Yours
 
Ton Meeuwissen
Visual Thinker, Trainer and Business Consultant
 
 
 

 

Visual projectmanagement

For project management Gantt charts and Pert charts belong to the most used visual aids. A Gantt chart shows the taks and the assigned team members on a timeline. This can be very helpful but in real life Gantt charts have to be updated on a daily basis because the actual work that is done differs from the project baseline.

WEB 2.0 technology enables groups to collaborate. This type of collaboration is very useful in projectmanagement. Services like basecamp can provide overview in projects and you can share documents and comments.

For small projects there are interesting new developments. One of them is Trello. Leonardo Da Vinci once said that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and that really holds true for Trello. Trello is very simple yet extremely effective (and free :)).
So let’s have a look at Trello by clicking on the Youtube video.

You have to try this for yourself. Like I said – It is FREE 🙂

At home my 14 year old son uses it to keep me informed about his homework assignments and other tasks and chores. Until now nothing worked bu this does. He enjoys it and I know what he is doing and when. It is simple and at the same time more sophisticated than you think.

Another helpful webservice is Cohuman. It is a Mindjet initiative and that’s reassuring because Mindjet has some trackrecord in visualisation software (ie. Mindmanager).

Cohuman.com differs from Trello in the fact Trello resembles your actions and Cohuman.com actively determines the priorities of the tasks in you project(s). Cohuman.com is a webservice that still is quite unique. I have never come acros something like it.

Cohuman is a social online task management service that provides groups of people a more dynamic and effective way to communicate on projects and get work done.  Cohuman creates a social task network that improves the coordination of people and tasks across all projects so everyone is on the same page and knows precisely what they need to do.

While Trello can be used for simple projects and collaboration Cohuman is capable of handling complex projects and tasks. It is very difficult to describe all the features and therefore I advise you to watch the three minute Youtube video and see for yourself. I am very confident that you want to try this out immediatelly!’

So – if you are a project manager of if you work in a project team, you have to check out Trello or Cohuman. These two novel webservices are free and enable you to run your projects effectively with visual dashboards and social media integration.

I am very interested in webservices that you use for task- and project management. Feel free to leave your comment.

Till next time

Brain Rules?

Yes – Brain Rules. If you want to understand why certain strategies to change habits work better than others it is vital to know something about our brain and how it works. John Medina has written an excellent book about this topic. It is very readable and contains a lot of vital information.

Medina is a fascinating story teller and he has a nice sense of humor which breathes life into brain science. You’ll learn why Michael Jordan was no good at baseball. You’ll peer over a surgeon’s shoulder as he proves that most of us have a Jennifer Aniston neuron. You’ll meet a boy who has an amazing memory for music but can’t tie his own shoes.

You will discover how:

  • Every brain is wired differently
  • Exercise improves cognition
  • We are designed to never stop learning and exploring
  • Memories are volatile
  • Sleep is powerfully linked with the ability to learn
  • Vision trumps all of the other senses
  • Stress changes the way we learn

In the end, you’ll understand how your brain really works—and how to get the most out of it.

The book describes 12 brain rules.

Exercise EXERCISE | Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power.

Evolution SURVIVAL | Rule #2: The human brain evolved, too.
wiring WIRING | Rule #3: Every brain is wired differently.
attention ATTENTION | Rule #4: We don’t pay attention to boring things.
shortterm SHORT-TERM MEMORY | Rule #5: Repeat to remember.
longterm LONG-TERM MEMORY | Rule #6: Remember to repeat.
sleep SLEEP | Rule #7: Sleep well, think well.
stress STRESS | Rule #8: Stressed brains don’t learn the same way.
multisensory SENSORY INTEGRATION | Rule #9: Stimulate more of the senses.
vision VISION | Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.
gender GENDER | Rule #11: Male and female brains are different.
exploration EXPLORATION | Rule #12: We are powerful and natural explorers.

This insight will help you to understand what strategies have the most effect when you are trying to change some of your nasty habits like procrastination.

Next time more about some of the 12 rules… Stay tuned.

 

Cut your meeting time in half

Picture of a stopwatchI am going to share a personal experience with you. This experience changed the way I do things completely.

A few years ago I attended a course in speed reading. The trainer asked this question “What is the fastest way to read this book”. The answers from the group ranged from “read the backside” to “read the table of contents”. You know what the trainer said

The fastest way to read this book is NOT reading it.

So it all starts with setting the right priorities. Today I joined a seminar for entrepeneurs and one of the keynote speakers said that we should be very careful how to spend our limited amount of energy. Meetings really can be a waste of energy and time.

So here is the blueprint to cut the

number of meetings in half (at least)

Step 1:

WHY do we have this meeting? or  – What is the purpose of this meeting?

Sometimes people will say things like

It is very important that the meeting has a specific well defined purpose. In next posts I will write about “brainfriendly meetings”. If there is no purpose your brain will shut off within 15 minutes and start doing other things.  Furthermore – if there is no real purpose you do not have to hold this meeting at all.

Step 2:
Is it really necessary to have this meeting?

Sometimes you get responses like

  • we always meet on mondays
  • to exchange information
  • to keep the project members informed
  • the boss wants us to

These responses can easily be countered. It is more effective to exchange information at the coffee machine or you can make use of adequate ICT solutions to keep you informed about financials, project status etc.

Step 3:
Can we change the interval of the meetings?

Sometimes meetings are on a daily or weekly base. Can your change that interval?

Step 4:
Apply all the steps on all the agendapoints of your meeting.

Applying these four simple rules on your meetings will cut the amout of meetings at least in half. Imagine what you can do with this extra time and energy 🙂

Here are the four rules in a mindmap and here is a downloadable PDF

[iframe width=”600″ height=”400″ src=”http://www.mindmeister.com/maps/public_map_shell/98688722/half-the-number-of-meetings?width=600&height=400&zoom=0″ frameborder=”0″ height=”400″ width=”600″]