There's an elephant in the room when it comes to MindMapping. Yeah, and it's a big, pink elephant with stripes and purple polka dots. Okay, now you're having Winnie the Pooh flashbacks (or Studio 54, which I'm almost convinced will never get a Ken Burns documentary).
And the elephant in the room is... no one can find their MindMaps. Yeah, yeah, you know where yours are, and that's great, but most don't. If you're a casual user, you may not be aware of how widespread the problem is. If you're a longtime user, I'm sure you have maps that have rode off into the sunset.
It's an understandable problem: we all get really excited when we get our greasy palms on MindManager. And we map, and map, and then map some more, watch Seinfeld, then map, map, sleep, map, you get the point. At the end of which you have more maps than Panama City has college students at spring break. Okay, you do calm down after a while, but give it a couple of years and I guarantee you spend time looking for the map you need when you need it. In fact, I bet you have multiple maps for the same topic in a lot of cases.
This isn't just wrong, but immoral folks (does that make Mindjet founders the Jetters Gods?). They're MAPS after all!!! They're supposed to help you FIND things. But if you've got 900 maps as some do, then good luck finding anything.
Rather than just rant, though I admit it was fun, here's 3 proactive steps you can take to own your MindMaps:
- Complete your Weekly Review. If you're not familiar with GTD, you're not with the red pill crowd (not Studio 54, the Matrix): click here to get GTD in your life. By processing your In-Trays frequently, you'll become intimately familiar with your end destination maps. And those are the maps which matter.
- Get ActiveWords. If you could think of a map you want to see and have it instantly appear, that would float your boat, right? That's ActiveWords: a few keystrokes and you're on your way.
- Get the Two Towers of MindMapping: proceed here. Arjen will show you how to combine like maps, and Chuck will give you the fundamentals.
- If you liked what you read and yet have little clue as to what I'm talking about, take a look at MindManager and ResultsManager here.