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  • What's this, You can use mind manager as a project management tool

    How is this so... I don't see how a mind map would be usful for that especially in comparison to microsoft project

    David Allen, I heard you use it as such. Is there anyone that wants to give an example about how it's used as a project management tool, there is no documentation on the web site..

    Dwayne

  • #2
    What do you mean by project? Are you referring to projects in project management terms (with work breakdowns, Gantt charts, etc.) or as David Allen defines them as something that will take multiple steps to complete?

    I am a grant writer and I use MindManager as the back end of my GTD system. I create a project list mind map with topics for each funding source. I then add subtopics for each applicant I am assisting. Finally, I create Outlook tasks for the actions needed to move these projects forward and attach them to my subtopics. This provides me with a visual picture of all my current projects and actions.

    For me, this, along with Outlook 2007, serves as my "project management" system. Whether or not a professional project manager could use this system is up to them. Finally, Mindjet has a page dedicated to project management using MindManager. You can find it here.

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    • #3
      Mind maps do not (in general) replace Microsoft Project. (Although see Wes's pointer to Mind Jet's project management page.)

      But the vast majority of projects (in the GTD sense) do not require Microsoft Project-scale planning tools.

      And even for the very large projects that do need Microsoft Project, a mindmap can help in the early conceptual stages, as well as in brainstorming the individual subprojects.

      It's not either/or, it's using the best tool for the job. I wouldn't try to drive nails with a screwdriver, either.

      Katherine

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      • #4
        What's this, You can use mind manager as a project management tool

        Dwayne you have started a new post but I belive your question came from my post on the following thread http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6713

        The link Les provided will give you information as to how I use Mindmanager to brainstorm and then import into Project.

        Originally posted by kewms View Post

        It's not either/or, it's using the best tool for the job. I wouldn't try to drive nails with a screwdriver, either.

        Katherine
        That is what I say in my earlier post, that for GTD type projects I either use a small form which includes the NPM based on Randall Fullhart's or for really simple ones I do NPM in my head. For large work projects as a project manager which go on for months have hundreds of tasks and lots of resources I use MindManager and MS Project.

        Pixlz

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        • #5
          Thanks everybody for the clarification!

          Wes, when i said project, I meant them as David Allen defines them - as something that will take multiple steps to complete.

          Katherine you maybe be right, perhaps I am trying to drive a nail into the ground with a screwdriver, so lets forget about using MS Project with mind manager

          " I create a project list mind map with topics for each funding source. I then add subtopics for each applicant I am assisting. Finally, I create Outlook tasks for the actions needed to move these projects forward and attach them to my subtopics. This provides me with a visual picture of all my current projects and actions. " - Big Wes

          Wes, I like your implementation, but when you check off the tasks you do in Outlook, do you go BACK into mind manager..and update the task list inside of MindManager?

          I'm trying to get a workflow going, I just discovered mind manager and though I use KinklessGTD... I like the visual nature mind manager offers.. a second question.. is it possible to run an entire GTD system using mindmanager... on the MAC OS
          Last edited by dwayneneckles; 02-27-2007, 01:46 PM.

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          • #6
            Dewayne,

            The beauty of the system I use is that MindManager and Outlook 2007 play very nicely together. You can create and edit Outlook items (tasks, appointments, etc.) inside of MindManager and changes are synced between programs. You can also export items from Outlook to MindManager as well.

            For the front end of my system, I use custom views in Outlook per "Total Workday Control" by Michael Linenberger. He shows you how to configure Outlook so that the To-Do bar (was called Taskpad in Outlook 2003) only shows what youíve marked due today. This serves as my next action list. When I finish something and mark it complete in Outlook, it disappears from the To-Do bar and gets marked complete in MindManager as well. When I exhaust the list, I can flip over to MindManager and change the due dates on queued tasks to refill my list. Anything left undone is automatically carried forward to the next day and flagged in red (gasp!).

            Please note that I donít use contexts for my system, but to implement them, it would be as easy as creating custom categories for the contexts and sorting the To-Do bar by category as well as the other criteria which Linenberger demonstrates.

            MindManager is a great tool. Not only have I integrated it into my GTD system, but I use it for brainstorming and quickly working out a visual representation of just about anything. Itís an expensive solution (at least in my opinion), and is only as useful as the amount of time and effort you are willing to invest in learning (which the program is pretty simple to pick up and use) and using it.

            BTW, I use a tablet PC, so my system is pretty much with me everywhere. If youíre mobile and canít (or donít) carry a laptop with you, this system might be a little hard to maintain.

            Wes

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            • #7
              Sometimes a screwdriver can drive a nail

              Originally posted by dwayneneckles View Post
              perhaps I am trying to drive a nail into the ground with a screwdriver, so lets forget about using MS Project with mind manager
              My .02 cents/ opinion - yes you can use mind maps for Project planning - the Idea Mapping book explains it better than me

              From "Idea Mapping" by Jamie Nast
              Wiley - Publisher
              pg.235
              "Project Plan
              Try creating a (mind)map to track all key components of a project. This will assist the entire project team by providing a visual reminder of upcoming deadlines, task priorities, problem areas, budget and client information to name just a few possibilities. Mindjet software would be another option for handling large amounts of data, and it can export the map to and from Microsoft Project if applicable.
              It is in some of these more complex applications that you begin to experience the tremendous power, clarity, and timesavings you can gain by having a tool to house all the data in one place. Use the map to share the project status with others or during meetings."

              And in one of Tony Buzan's recent books on Mind Mapping I recall reading he mentioned that mind maps were used to coordinate the restoration of power to New York City after 9/11.

              I can see everyone's point of view on this though, as this is initially counterintuitive but personal experience would determine if you would like it.
              I like it because the big picture master plan is all in one location and if mind manager is used it can be supplemented with links etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                NovaMind - Mac os mind-mapper

                To add to this discussion re the following:

                "I'm trying to get a workflow going, I just discovered mind manager and though I use KinklessGTD... I like the visual nature mind manager offers.. a second question.. is it possible to run an entire GTD system using mindmanager... on the MAC OS"

                Mind-mapping is in my view a wonderful front end to the GTD process. I've being playing with NovaMind [http://www.nova-mind.com/] (Mac OS version (which I'm about to purchase USD 100)) and it provides a lot of options for handling maps. To illustrate it can:

                - create a outline (within the program)
                - export to:
                -- powerpoint
                -- keynotes
                -- omni outliner
                -- etc

                If your into hard core project management NovaMind also allows you to send your map to Merlin (a very good Mac Os project management s/w).

                As to KinklessGTD, Omni (with the Kinkless developers help) is working on a new program called "focus" that is reported to be a specific GTD program. Release date is TDB ...

                So in the meantime look at mind-mapping and give it a try you may be pleasantly surprised! I was (computer based mind-mapping s/w has come a long way).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Take a look at JCV Gantt Pro

                  Each different project is different in its own way, as Tolstoy might have put it. What some folks refer to as mini-projects may need nothing more than a short list of actions in the notes window of an Outlook task pane. MS Project certainly has its place for large projects where the efforts of multiple teams of people need to be coordinated and where budgets and timelines need to be carefully monitored. But the overhead in time and effort to log in all the data to make it work and in maintaining the system makes it prohibitive for most of the projects that most of us have to contend with most of the time. We're usually better off doing the work than feeding the system.

                  There's been some very good advice here but from comments by dwayneneckles elsewhere it seems that he deals with some projects that require careful projections and monitoring of the timeline. He may want to take a look at JCV Gantt Pro, an application that can be used standalone but has been designed to work hand-in-hand with MindManager to give MindManager some real project management muscle. It builds Gantt charts from project mindmaps and sometimes this can be a very useful thing to do. It can also monitor resources and costs, but without the complexity and overhead (or power) of MS Project. Another tool in the toolkit which can be quite useful in the appropriate situation.

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                  • #10
                    I can add a little to this post.

                    Here is an interesting article in leveraging mind mapping to help with project management:
                    http://www.edragonu.ro/project-manag...th-a-mind-map/


                    I have also used this mind mapping software and it exports straight into MS Project!!

                    http://www.mindjet.com/us/support/qa...etter=102005US

                    Hope this helps!

                    J Black
                    www.pmconnection.com

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