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Old 11-11-2012, 11:11 AM
schferk schferk is online now
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Join Date: 11-02-2010
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This post above got 600 reads in 15 months and no reaction whatsoever.

Two things:

1)

I had VisualMind in mind because I thought MindManager had other priorities, whilst VM could be interested in some pushing of its rather remote market position - also, VM, as UR does, offers a network version of its "mind-mapping" sw, and as regular readers of my posts here will have understood, I consider "networkability" a very strong point in otherwise "individual" sw fields.

Also, I thought - and think - that VM "mind-maps" are visually rather clean, when Tony Buzan's (= the "inventor" and holder of the legal rights to the falsely generic term) own sw (or the sw he just "enobles" with his name - there might be Chanel watches, you know...) has an outright crazy graphical style imo (NovaMind is very ugly, too, as I see it).

But foremost, VM's way of creating children (by Enter) and siblings (just type) is the most intuitive way I've ever found.

On the other hand, it was really buggy 15 months ago, and perhaps it's a little less buggy today - I had told them about all these numerous bugs at the time, but only got a "we can't reproduce this, neither that, and so on" - of course, I had thought that with a little bit of pushing their remote business, I'd create motivation on their behalf to attack these bugs; since they never replied, no need to look back, all the less so since some months later, I had been able to get a free version of MM 8.2.

So personally I'm served for a long time, and my only problem here is that I cannot recommend any "mind-map" sw at this time since I tried them all and wasn't so pleased with any of them, except for my free MM (but not when considering the regular asking price), and which in the meantime has changed from desktop to cloud philosophy, which I consider catastrophical; perhaps, the also very expensive MindView is best now.

2)

Why 1), to begin with? Because I seriously think, after having tried to avoid "mind-map" sw for years, i.e. using it only intermittently, then abandoning it again, in vue of lack of interoperability between outlining sw (on which I depend, as we all do here) and such applics, i.e. I tried to avoid "mind-mapping" since I couldn't integrate it into my "workflow" as they say, and even after getting and installing MM 8.2 free, I hesitated for another 6 or 8 months or so to really do real work within it.

Now, I seriously presume that perhaps for all of us, or for the very big majority of us, finding ideas, creating concepts, with a "mind-map" applic, is indispensable, since it produces much better results in this field of "targeted creative thinking" than any try to do the same with any outliner (or other means), be it our traditional 2-pane kind or something ostensible "1-pane" like Bonsai.

In fact, the results "mind-mapping" produces are so much superior that they easily justify your additional fiddling and efforts and organizational problems this rupture in your workflow necessitates - they partly appear because in your "mind-map", except for the "source item" and the very first indented level, with items further down, you should NOT limit yourself to short descriptions = doing "headings", but you should develop these ideas / elements there by complete sentences or even by paragraphs of about 50, 100, up to 200 chars; of course, if such elements then get to contain more than a single idea, you'll cut up further, and ditto with your maps:

As soon as they contain more than one idea on the very first level (below the source item that is), AND you cannot read them on your screen anymore, without collapsing branches (= same problem with printing), you should cut up into separate maps - in the end, you'd do similarly as you work in your outliner. Perhaps of interest here: Yes, crossway interrelations ARE interesting, but let this aspect NOT make you fall into the trap of trying to put too much stuff into a single map - this would considerably harm the quality of your output there. (In fact this is the big advantage of clean "mind-maps" over concept maps, TheBrain and such - it's no coincidence that applics like MM are to be found in almost any big corporation, AND that they are in regular use there - and not only for graphic output purposes (which might indeed be their main use in some corporations) -, whilst concept maps and such remain of rather exotic, remote importance.

In the outliner forum, some months ago, I mused about the possible reasons for this superiority of "mind-maps" over outlining in conceptual work, and I mentioned especially the presumably thought-triggering white space and such, but in the end, I think that the spatial distribution of the different elements such sw provides (and that you can, and should, re-arrange in the process: MM e.g. offers many keyboard shortcuts for all sorts of moves that allow for very quick editing of such a map), produces a spatial REPRESENTATION of elements which, I suppose, does the "new-ideas" triggering work.

This means, the graphical straightening out of separate elements (which cannot be realized within an outliner where there's always blocks of text, any way these blocks may be constituted) seems to "CLIP", do "DOCK" these elements to neighbouring areas of your brain cell nets, whilst blocks of text dock them into the same area of brain cell nets, i.e. I seriously suppose the "white space" within your "mind-maps" is in some way physically (and not only conceptually) REPLICATED within your brain when you muse about your map (instead of staring at lists / blocks of text (be they espaced by blank lines, leading dashes or whatever).

So it all seems to be about "AIRING" (French: aérer, German: entzerren), DE-COMPACTING what normally is held too compact in your brain as well, in the very physical organization of your physiology there (I'm not an expert but you get what I mean).

Whatever! Integrate "mind-mapping" into your thinking and conceptualization process if you haven't done that yet, even if the integration of the "results" into your outlining-based main system isn't evident. And the quotation marks around "results" are there because I don't think that for important, long-lasting issues, there is a definite "result" point, "everything important is iterative" if I dare say. Which means that in my workflow, for the last months, I've begun to fully profit from my "mind-mapping" since I've STOPPED to import "results" from there into my outlines - which is simply too much fuss and impossible to realize both-ways anyway (see my post above). I've began to work "double-screen", and on my secondary screen, I display the respective external files folder for the outline (part) I'm working (see my development of just days ago within this forum), any such external file (pdf, Excel table), or any MM map that's supposed to inspire me in my work... and often enough tthe sheer presence of such a map inspires me to add new elements to that particular map, even when in my main screen I'm working on different things.

Btw, strictly one-directional graphic representations (like you can opt for in MM when needed, etc., perhaps for programming / Warnier-Orr set-ups), do NOT have this "aeration effect" on your thinking, they are only very slightly better in effect than text blocks / sub-trees in your outliners has. Thus, a program like B-liner cannot replace a real "mind-map" applic; that as well makes me think that the secret lies in graphically "aering" the hierarchical tree (remember, a "mind-map" going seemingly into every direction very well STAYS nothing but an outline tree!) into an all-directional "carpet" so that your physical "carpet" working in your brain can "overtake", which seems not to be possible as well - and far from that - for most people. It goes without saying that your "physics" in your brain ain't a "carpet", but a 3-dimensional web of cells working together, but the 2-dimensional graphic representation, as a "carpet", seems to be sufficient to trigger the 3-dimensional "networking" (= interactive collaboration) of your real physics, whilst lists and even graphic representations in the form of rugs instead of carpets do NOT have this trigger effect.

Btw, it's interesting that a wiki like ConnectedText has found so much appraisal within the outliner forum lately, even though it does NOT have any serious outlining function (cf. two blogs by regular posters there that tout CT but clearly show the absence of practical outlining of that applic) - what CT has got indeed, is an in-built graphical representation function, and I'm musing if that's the real reason behind those people's folly for CT when in fact they write so much about CT, but rarely mention its graphic capabilities.

Anyway! Consider "mind-mapping" on top of your outlining, in spite of the missing technical integration of both concepts for the time being.
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