More Great Mapping Shortcuts

If you read my previous post on The top 10 mapping shorcuts, hopefully I've helped you shave a little time from your mapping speed. Further to that, Jason Dorko put up a great list of additional shortcut keys that you need to look at. Check'em out here.

Top 10 Mapping Shortcut Tips (MindManager & ResultsManager)

While I wait on Fedex to come and pickup the laptop mentioned in the last post about Rome burning (second time in for servicing to HP), I thought I'd post what I just developed, my Top 10 Mapping Shortcuts. One of my best clients has been on me to create it and he was right. Hope it helps. If you think it's incomplete at all, just let me know and post a follow-up.

Top 10 Mapping Shortcut Tips (MindManager & ResultsManager):

  1. Control+D: Expands a topic out further each time you hit 'D' while holding down 'Control'.
  2. Shift+F5: Refreshes all topics in a map.
  3. Alt+Shift+(Number): Shows the subtopic level based on the number you select (If you press Alt+Shift+1 on a topic you'll see one level of subtopics).
  4. Control+F5: Fits map to screen size.
  5. Alt F+L: Save all open maps.
  6. Alt F+D: Create ResultsManager Dashboard
  7. Alt C+M: Bring up icon markers.
  8. Alt E+Y: Edit a ResultsManager Activity.
  9. Alt I+Y: Insert a ResultsManager Activity.
  10. Alt C+V: Mark a ResultsManager Activity complete.

Revenge on the No-Entry Icon

Recently, Walter Terry posted an interesting comment on the No-Entry icon. What started the dialogue was my commending Mike Wilkerson of Nodeglue for pointing out how much it can speed up Dashboard creation in ResultsManager if you put a No-Entry icon on the Resources section of the Gyronix Project template. While its an excellent idea and I've used it to great effect, Walter asked the question that got me off my duff and blogging right now: What if you've got key recurring tasks placed in the Resources section of a MindManager map? What then?

My answer is hey, if your business is Relationships (and for that matter whose isn't?) to the point where Relationships themselves can function as Resources for project and client initiatives, than why not have tasks contained in Resources? Now, having said that, I would recommend that the tasks in Resources are highly relationship focused and really exist to support projects contained on the left-hand side of the map. Otherwise, you'll defeat the purpose of the Resources section to begin with: A place to keep a visual view of ONLY what SUPPORTS bringing your project in on-time and under-budget. You see, when many people map they mix their Resources and Project Plan together, which can be hell if you're trying to find JUST the support materials or JUST the tasks themselves.

I think the key here is to keep in mind your setup: Make sure if you've got tasks in Resources you don't have a No-Entry icon on the Resources topic and if you don't have tasks in there Dashboard creation will be faster with the No-Entry icon.

Lastly, be selective about putting a task in Resources:

It only goes in there if it SUPPORTS the Project(s) on the left-hand side of the map AND should naturally be kept with a portion of Resources.

Any thoughts on this are welcome as the topic has my head swirling a bit.

Can you 'See' the News Yet?

My buddy Ron Robison has blogged about some great visualization resources, and I thought you'd want to check them out:

Link to Ron Robison: Learn by Pictures? 

Ron's the guy who brought us the Periodic Table of of Visualization Methods, and I can say firsthand the resources in his new post are topnotch as Maramushi was my startup page a while back... good to be reminded.

'Maybe Never' Stop Eating Smoothie Skittles

Wanted to throw up a quick link to Nodeglue's latest blog post in the series on using the Gyronix System:

Link to Node Glue » Blog Archive » Using ResultsManager to Reorganize My Work (Again): Part 8 of 9 


Mike makes the excellent point that the No Entry icon in MindManager - ResultsManager is an excellent way to speed up Dashboard creation if the branch contains items you know you don't need tracked. He also mentions conversations, which are best stored under the Resources topic (you should put a No Entry icon on Resources) in the Gyronix Project Template, making sure you add any tasks within the conversations to the appropriate part of the Project, which is on the left-hand side of the template.

Now treat yourself to some Smoothie Skittles.

Another climber to scale Mt. Getting Things Done

Flagstaffaz Over at the 'What's the Next Action' blog I saw a post you'll find interesting, especially if if my Elvis sighting post resonated with you. The author blogged about 5 tools he's stopped using for GTD, and is soon going to be trialing ResultsManager as a potential candidate for his trusted system... hope he finds what he's looking for! Check the below link for more:

Link to 5 GTD systems I stopped using and why - What's the next action

To anyone who follows my blog and is using ResultsManager as their tool for GTD implementation, here are a few top tips:

  1. Get your maps in some reasonable order before you start loading projects onto them. It's a house of cards if your map structure can't sustain the weight of your projects.
  2. Ties in directly to #1: Take a phased approach to the Gyronix System, because like any life balance tool if you bring too much in too early on, you'll face overwhelm and may come tumbling back the mountain to where you were before.
  3. Ties in to #2: GTD is a mountain to be climbed - get climbing! I've often thought the many practitioners over the years have built up a wonderful city at the base of the mountain (think blogs, websites, seminars, etc) to support the GTD climbers. The city is there for a crucial reason: Support. Just don't get so comfortable there you never scale the summit!

Stay tuned: I'll try to tune you into more user stories of ResultsManager, MindManager and the Gyronix System as I see them.

The Mind Mapping Software Weblog: Wanted: Your input on my next mind mapping software survey

Wanted to send a quick link to Chuck Frey's request for data on what you want covered in his next mind mapping software survey. Also, be sure to check out the results to Chuck's last mind mapping survey.

Link to The Mind Mapping Software Weblog: Wanted: Your input on my next mind mapping software survey

Burn Down Your Building for a Better Business

So I'm sitting here in Amish Country right now, sipping green tea (yeah, I'd rather be drinking a tripleshot caramel latte but supposedly this stuff is good for me - shout out to Nik Tipler) in Java Jo's, Berlin, Ohio's main coffee shop. Here's the interesting thing, the old Java Jo's burned down about a year ago, and this new one I'm sitting in is the new improved version.

The surprising thing is just how much better this new version is. It really is leaps and bounds better than the old Java Jo's in everything from design to floorspace, window positioning and lighting, and I seriously wonder if the owners would have gone this renegade if they hadn't been forced to by fire.

Now, I'm not proposing you go and burn down your business building, but I am saying that maybe you want to consider starting from scratch when a business or organizational situation is too far gone.  For instance, I sometimes encounter client project maps in the Gyronix System that are so far gone due to Worst Practices that I recommend they create a new map and copy the contents from the old map into an In-Tray map part of the new map. Then the order of the day is to prune ruthlessly and use the Gyronix Project Template, designed for use with ResultsManager and MindManager, to regain control.


Sometimes, rising like a Phoenix from the ashes is better than sitting in the old building, waiting for the implosion.

Here are a couple of pics of me in Amish Country




(by the way, this post was written to the tunes of the Beach Boys 'Pet Sounds' album: Astonishing compositions.)

GyroQ Obesity Prevention

Welcome to Information Obesity

Okay, so it's free to GyroQ an item, right? Doesn't cost you any money, so great? Well, not so much.  You see, GyroQ has made it so easy to capture items that it's akin to charging your purchases to a credit card without a monthly limit.

If you're abusing GyroQ, and no offense those of you I know and love but some are, than you may actually be costing yourself money in the form of work you might have otherwise completed but weren't because you were processing your GyroQ In-Tray.

Now For the Obligatory 'It's Not Your Fault' Spiel

You see, we're so accustomed to having to leave what we're doing to capture a thought, task or hyperlink that we're not used to worrying about capturing too efficiently: the process has mostly sucked prior to now. And then GyroQ bursts through, allowing you to quickly capture anything and everything you want, anytime you want while working on a computer and you just go binge capturing.

It kind of reminds me of food abundance in developed nations: throughout history, human beings have had to fight for every scrap of food they get.  Now we're having to fight those urges that previously kept us alive to keep us fitting into our pants. And if you think I'm ranting, just think how many fast food places you passed on your drive home.  Folks, this is what you face with GyroQ: For the first time you can capture information gluttonously and with abandon.  And if we don't learn to count our 'capture' calories soon, we may crush under the weight of an ingenious product.

Okay, so maybe you think I'm ragging on GyroQ, being too hard on the adorable little box that pops up everytime you have a thought. Sorry, but I gotta lay it out how it is, and the simple fact is that GyroQ has made it so easy to capture your thoughts that there really isn't a precedent for it.  If you want to go with my previous Rome analogy, then GyroQ reps the hordes that eventually bring it down - seriously, it's that game-changing.

See my earlier post on GyroQ Swarms for more.

A GyroQ item simply isn't free to capture, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you won't be staring down a 2000+ item In-Tray the way I am.  Yeah, you heard me right, I have thousands of topics swimming about my In-Tray.

Just a cautionary tale from a fellow practitioner...

Guidelines to Take Back Your In-Tray

But it's not all doom and gloom: Here are a few tips I've cooked up to get a GyroQ Diet going:

  1. Hyperlinks: Are you ever REALLY going to want to look at that website again, or are you subconsciously trying to create the visual face of Google via MindMaps? If you're really going to look at it later, then by all means GyroQ it, but otherwise, move on with your day.
  2. Information Items: Try to not make GyroQ a clipboard for someday/maybe reading and assorted crap. Let it be for information you NEED to read or preserve.
  3. Action Items: It could be tempting to make an Action item out of everything you do, and GyroQ will CERTAINLY afford you the ability to capture it.  But do you really need to make flossing your teeth at night a task when you've done it all your life without seeing it on a Task list? If you do it naturally, don't capture.

Stay tuned for more on GyroQ.

Nick Duffill Somehow brings Ace Ventura Pet Detective into Event Visualization

I highly encourage you to take a look at MindMapping Guru Nick Duffill's lastest post on event visualization:

Link to Beyond Crayons: A Simple Template for Visualising Events 

In it, Nick does a brilliant job of illustrating how an event can be portrayed, using software mapping techniques to your advantage. Since events seem to stay in style millenium after millenium, Nick's post is must-read as usual (he's even been more frequent than Haley's Comet in posting lately: You go Nick!).

Now You'll Never Be Short on Visual Strategy Techniques

My buddy Ron Robison, who writes a can't-miss blog bursting with spiritual and business nuggets of wisdom, sent me a link today to 'A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods'.

Wow, I never knew how much I'd been missing it until I found it.  Lovingly arranged like the table of elements, you just hover over an item and an example with explanation is presented. Seriously, it has everything from the BCG matrix to cartesian coordinates.

Take a look:

Link to A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

A Blog Audience Begging for Elvis Sightings

Of all the blogs that have baffled and befuddled me, Taming Chaos tops the list.  Not because of the content, which is excellent (hey, I had a few guest posts so don't begrudge me my self-esteem). And not because of the subject, which has great appeal to anyone who is trying to take a strategic approach to managing their life goals and projects using Mindjet MindManager and Gyronix ResultsManager (commonly referred to as the Gyronix System).

No, what baffles me about Taming Project Chaos is that it hasn't had a new post since January, yet it's getting new subscribers at a rate of 5 per week 9+ months after the last post according to blog author Walter Terry.

So, just what does this say? I know it says something, because logically, if something hasn't been updated in the last 2 months, I figure it's been left for dead.  Not Taming Project Chaos.  It's almost as though ResultsManager users are trying to will the blog back into existence, a clear illustration of how ResultsManager users are hungry for frontline accounts of how the the Gyronix System is used. Check out Walter's post in the link below:

Link to ROI Copywriting For Internet Marketing » Blog Archive » The Blog That Wouldn’t Die 

Also, I encourage you to take a look at my previous post here where I talk about a couple of tremendous blogs covering the Gyronix System.

Map Central Meets Dr. Suess

My Buddy over at Dorkotech, Jason Dorko, has Holiday Themed his Map Central with our favorite Scrooge of the Dr. Suess world... Check it out here.

Are your projects "projects" and are you committed to them?

Link: Are your projects "projects" and are you committed to them?.

In order to use GyroQ and In-trays effectively, you may need to do some renovation on the structure and organization of your maps and projects. You may have a "Map Central" page with links to several "sub-map-centrals" for areas …

Continue reading "Are your projects "projects" and are you committed to them?" »

Chuck Frey's Mapping Survey Shows Sensors Often Left Out in the Cold


Here I go again about Myers-Briggs and Sensing vs. Intuition.  If you didn't catch my previous post on bringing MBTI Sensors into the mapping fold, check it out here. What prompted this new tirade?  Simple - evidence at the bottom of page 10 in the Chuck Frey MindMapping Survey that indicates Myers-Briggs Sensors acclamate less naturally than Intuitives to using MindMaps, and usually opt to see the information represented in Microsoft Word. 

Look, it's great to have conceptual types (read, Intuitives) conceptualizing until the Sun sets in the East, but if Sensors aren't right there with them to ensure details are handled and the maps adhere to some sort of linear/logical standards, these maps will take their already emerging propeller shapes and spin themselves right off of your computer screen.

I guess I'm blowing off smoke, because the survey shows what it shows, and I'm infinitely grateful to Chuck for going out and getting great, quantifiable data.  I just wish Sensors were coming into the fold in a more seamless manner.  Hek, I'm an Intuitive and I'm railing this much (in fact, I'm Lord Voldemort).

So, what do you think can be done to bring Sensors into the fold? 

The Two Towers of Mapping Books

A lot of Gyronix clients ask me where to go for reading on Mapping.  Here are two books I recommend highly:

  • Power Tips and Strategies for MindMapping Software by Chuck Frey
    • Everyone from beginners to advanced users, this is a must-read.  It shows you what mapping can be used for, what resources are available, and is chock full of power tips and examples.
  • Summapping: A Visual Evolution by Arjen ter Hoeve
    • If you are interested in portraying information relationships, you can't miss Arjen's gripping book.  It shows you numerous mapping techniques and examples of how to represent complex knowledge using proximity, color, shape, etc.

Chuck Frey's Mind Mapping Survey

As a Gyronix Trainer, I'm often struck by how intensely people are yearning to see more of how mapping is being used.  I even feel it sometimes: just how far can you push it?  No joke, you can manage corporations or you can visualize your favorite brands of potato-flake-based potato chips - NO LIMIT (Master P flashback) WHATSOEVER.

Toward the end of building greater understanding of how mapping is utilized, I want to take a quick moment and point you to Chuck Frey's Mind Mapping Survey.  I like it because it really gets to the bottom of the true benefits mapping enthusiasts are getting.  Check it out here.

GyroQ Swarms

Gyroq GyroQ has gotten a lot of positive attention in the blogosphere lately, which is awesome.  If you haven't yet seen it, I encourage you to look at Robinz' post on it here.

And now I'm compelled to tell you about the dark side of unlimited power to capture information easily for later processing: When you first begin using the product, you may find yourself, as a result of a multiverse size braindump, staring down a thousand tasks which have been 'flushed' into your In-Tray map.  Seriously, your sense of balance can easily be thrown for a jarring loop when you go to process your bloated In-Tray: Maybe you'll see yourself a bit like Frodo going into Mordor or Ricky Bobby after he begs Tom Cruise for help.

Here's the smashing part: having a ton of tasks to process really forces you to get good.  You're playing tennis with Agassi at this point, scaling with Bruce Lee.  And it's a great Result: you're compelled to get Professional about quickly accessing your maps in order to update them with nuggets from your flushed GyroQ. 

Perhaps you'll go Buzz Bruggeman's route which I've followed and create an ActiveWord for each map you use regularly.  Or maybe you'll have hyperlinks galore, jetting you everywhere imaginable in your glistening map infrastructure.  Whatever your path, the key is making your infrastructure's highway into the autbahn.  You're Rome.

Best Practice from Buzz Bruggeman: put an 'mm' in front of each ActiveWord you create for a MindMap.

I can't wait to read about all of the different ways people are using GyroQ and even more, how it's brought their mapping up a level.

Chuck Frey Covers Tim Bolwerk

Recently, my good friend Tim Bolwerk had a white paper featured in the Mindjet newsletter on using MindManager for project management.  Check out Chuck Frey's blogpost on it here.  If you're a ResultsManager user, I think you'll find nothing but great ideas in Tim's paper on how to manage project processes with PMI's (Project Management Institute's) set of best practices.  After all, Tim does use the term 'dashboard' quite a few times... ;).

Chuck Frey has a Book You Can't Miss

As a Gyronix Trainer, I've noticed a lot of people are interested in how to build better, more sophisticated sets of map infrastructure.

To that effect, I want to whole-heartedly recommend a book by Chuck Frey, who also has an excellent blog on visualization tools.  The e-book is "Power Tips & Strategies for Mind Mapping Software", and you can safely view it as an investment that will pay itself back many times over.  I'm particularly fond of Chuck's technique for mapping different options.

Add New Standards back to Map Template

Often times, I find myself working on a MindManager-ResultsManager Project I created from one of the  map templates I have.  For a long-time, I was unable to come up with a workable solution for updating the Master Project Template with new standards from the project I was currently working on. 

In the last week, I've found my solution: I simply add a uniform MindManager icon to each new standard in the current Project map, and have a ResultsManager task at the end to filter (using MindManager) new standards and add them to the Master Project Template.  That way, I don't have to open the Master Project Template and add a new standard everytime I think of one in the current Project map - it all gets done at the end.

Nick Duffill Strikes Back

My friend and colleague Nick Duffill has a Haley's Comet approach to blogging: rare, but awe-inspiring when it comes around.  Well, like Slim Shady Nick is back with a brilliant post about creating organizational value with visualization technology, which you can read here.

Guest Posts at Walter Terry's Blog Taming Project Chaos

Recently, Walter Terry of the Taming Project Chaos blog invited me to do some guest posts.  Personally, it's been like Christmas ever since he gave us the thumbs up on ResultsManager: phew!!! 

I've done my best to contribute valuable content in my posts, which you can check out by clicking on the following links:

Family Picnic or Billion Dollar Project?

ResultsManager Straddles Both Worlds

Bringing Sensors into the Mapping Community

There's something that bothers me on a daily basis.  David Allen would tell me that it's been taking up psychic RAM in my mind, but I've made excuses to myself for not writing it down because I couldn't see where it would go (Cardinal GTD sin: I should've written it down simply to get it off of my mind).  Well, better late than never.  Somewhere an angel just got its wings.

Here it goes: I haven't encountered enough Sensors on the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator who are using MindManager and ResultsManager.  I'd love, absolutely love to tell you otherwise.  But from my vantage point there is a clear user majority in the Intuitive Category.  Further, the survey carried out in the Yahoo! MindManager group came away with INTJ being the most common respondent, so I've got one quantitative finding supporting my hunch that there is a lack of Sensors in the mapping community. Granted, I want all the Intuitives in the world using visual productivity tools, but Intuitives without Sensors is something of a cake without icing proposition (who else will tell Intuitives to get their heads out of the clouds besides Sensors? ;) ).

I've noticed that Sensors are some of the absolute strongest users of the products.  They have some of the most brilliantly detailed and well-organized maps you will ever encounter, and tend to be very good at systematizing their usage.  And getting Sensors involved with mapping is of huge benefit to Intuitives because when they are matched up with such detail-oriented thinkers, you get some serious, kick-ass synergy.  The Intuitives can dream big, and the Sensors can reign in their huge concepts with details and a healthy dose of reality:  The forest is illustrated (Intuitives) and created (Sensors applying logic with Intuitives sometime squirming), with each tree lovingly maintained (Sensors). 

So please, go out and tell a Sensor friend about MindManager and ResultsManager.  I'd love to see a debate in the mapping community about what will get more Sensors involved in the use of visual productivity tools.  Perhaps as users continue to discover that the MindManager environment supports Excel links (what I've noticed to be a strong Sensor tool), the number of Sensors will increase.

Nick Duffill's Knowledge Visualization Analogies Bring All the Mappers to His Blog

Duffillnick_1 Recently, my friend and colleague Nick Duffill was kind enough to introduce me at his phenomenal blog, Beyond Crayons.  For the benefit of anyone out there reading my blog, I'd like to reciprocate and introduce you to one of the world's foremost experts on information mapping and knowledge management, Mr. Nick Duffill.  He posts sparingly, but when he posts, he POSTS.  In fact, I tend to think of Nick's posts as less traditional blog posts and more as substantive essays. 

Check out Nick's great post on "Why Maps Really Work" and you'll be hooked.

Mindjet's Olivia Woodard on Holiday Shopping

Woodardolivia I had the good fortune to meet Mindjet's Olivia Woodard in person at the recent Blawgthink! 2005 Event.  Olivia is Mindjet's Major Accounts Manager in the Mid-West, and a very witty conversationalist as I've discovered.  As an exercise in using The Gyronix System, Olivia and I agreed to tackle holiday shopping, to which Olivia said:

"It's overwhelming to even pretend to think about it."

Olivia, it's one of the top ten funniest things I've ever heard.