I am about to begin a major research project - one that will require that I bring all of my PKM tools to bear for the next three months as I process hundreds of articles and thousands of other digital artifacts.

I will continue to make extensive use of three of my favorite tools for information and knowledge management:
  • Lotus Notes
  • Personal Brain
  • MindManager
The issue that I am thinking about is where I will use these tools and how. Each has its strengths. For this post, however, I want to focus on a more fundamental issue: organization and portability and I am reaching out to my readers to join the discussion.

For this project, I will need to integrate these tools more than I have in the past. Thankfully, I have the integration down quite well. Both teams at MindJet and The Brain have accommodated my request to integrate support for Lotus Notes Doclinks, which means that I can simply paste a Notes doclink into a MindManager map or a Personal Brain and have that become an active link or thought that will link back to the source in Notes. (A big shout out and thanks to both companies for listening to my passionate pleas and for looking at the source code I sent them to do the job. Both product work great with Notes.)

Now, I want to add two more factors into this equation:
  • External files stored in folders on the file system
  • The ability to sync my MindManager maps, brain, and external files between computers.
Doing either of the above is actually not difficult - I've been doing either one (at a time) for years. What gets tricky is that I now want to do both - Oh, and it has to work seamlessly and reliably.

So, let me restate my objective:

Objective: Seamless nonconcurrent use of Lotus Notes, Personal Brain & MindManager (with all related files in My Docs) between multiple computers.

We can leave Lotus Notes out of the equation because, well, it simply works. I want your help exploring the issue of file management under both Personal Brain and MindManager.

Continue Reading "Lotus Notes, Personal Brain, and MindManager playing together" »

Guest post by Wendy Mack:

Next week, my sister Amy and I will be accompanying our father to the GTD Summit; we will be assisting him at the eProductivity pedestal in the product showcase. We will help people learn how we use Notes, eProducivity and Mr. Allen's GTD methodology to get things done.

As part of my preparation, I created two documents to help my sister and me prepare for the Summit. I have learned that it is helpful to map out the people we might meet and connect this to a picture so that if we meet them we have a reference point. So that is what I did.

GTD Summit Planning Map. Created by Wendy Mack

My father encouraged me to share these maps on his blog so that whoever is interested can use them to plan for the conference.

The first mind map contains all of the information relevant to the GTD Summit (speakers, agenda, exhibitors, etc.)

The the second map contains information about key people at the David Allen Company - many of whom will be attending the Summit.  

I hope that this information helps. My sister and I look forward to helping and learning.

Update: I created these in MindManager 7. Use the free MindManager viewer to read these maps.

I've been a user of Gyronix' GyroQ for MindManager for many years and I find it to be the fastest way to get information, ideas, and actions into a mind map. A year ago, we added support for GyroQ so that you can now capture actions into a Lotus Notes database, e.g. eProductivity - and Notes doesn't even have to be running!

Gyronix recently announced GyroQ2 which adds support for MindManager 8 and Mindjet Connect. It also adds several new tagging and map building enhancements.

Watch how GyroQ works with MindManager: video
Watch how I use GyroQ to capture ideas and actions into Lotus Notes: video

Via Mind Mapping Software Blog
Gyronix web site

Personal Brain and MindManager Maps Together

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
I've been a big user of MindManager and Personal Brain for many years. I do not see them as competing products as, in my mind, they serve very different purposes and I will often use both products side by side. Still, there are times when I'd like to move information from one to the other.

I recently received an email from the folks at Personal Brain announcing version 5, which among other things, provides the ability to import MindManager maps. It's now possible to use MindManager for organizing thoughts in a structured map and then, if desired, import that structure into a brain and connect those thoughts to others in the Plex.

I already use both MindManager and Personal Brain, (both are Lotus Notes enabled) with eProductivity. I find that each tools helps me visualize my ideas, knowledge, projects, and actions in useful ways.

Now, with the added capability to import maps, I have yet another useful tool in my productivity toolkit.

More information

If you have followed any of my blogs for any time, you know that I am a huge fan of mind mapping and that one of my two favorite tools for mind mapping is MindManager.  (The other is Personal Brain - both claim to be mind mapping tools and in a sense they are but for me they fill very different productivity roles.)  Each of these tools does an amazing job at helping me visualize and map ideas and knowledge.

This week, Mindjet released Version 8 of MindManager, its mind mapping software, as well as MindManager Web, an on-line mapping service. Here are just a few key features: Rich export to fully interactive Adobe PDF or SWF files (you can work with people that do not have MindManager), Web access within MindManager, Web Collaboration, MS Office Editing within MindManager (MindManager becomes your working environment). And, there's much more... Brian Friedlander, over at the Assistive Technology blog has done a terrific job of writing about the key features and benefits of MindManager 8. I encourage you to read his summary.

MindManager 8 Press Release

You're not using ActiveWords?!!  You don't know who Buzz is?!! You're in for a real treat!  Tech evangelist, Robert Scoble will interview my buddy, Buzz Bruggeman, CEO of ActiveWords, on www.fastcompany.tv today at 10:00 AM PST.


Buzz is always an interesting guy to visit with. To refer to him the CEO of ActiveWords is too limiting. Buzz is perhaps the best networker in the tech world - he's certainly the most prolific. (There are probably only 2-3 degrees of separation between Buzz and anyone in the tech world you'd want to meet.) I've had the opportunity to work with Buzz on several occasions as we share a common passion for all things mind mapping, GTD, and productivity.

Buzz and I first began talking about adding ActiveWords support for Lotus Notes several years ago. We finally did it and, with ActiveWords and eProductivity, millions of Notes Users can finally control the most productive aspects of Lotus Notes, from anywhere - even when Notes isn't running! I wonder if he will demonstrate or talk about ActiveWords and Notes on the show? (Hint to Buzz)

Anyway, here's the link to the live broadcast. I believe the replay will be up shortly, too.

Update: Here is a link to a PDF of my ActiveWords Wordbase

I've been using mind mapping tools for over two decades. I started with colored pens and paper and moved to digital tools. One of my favorite mind mapping resources, Chuck Frey, has just published an extensive comparison chart of the major web-based mind mapping applications - MindMeister, Mindomo, Mind42, Comapping and Mead Map...

Some of the comparison features include:
- Overview (versions, pricing)
- Map formats supported
- Map level features
- Topic-level features
- Import options
- Export options
- Publishing options
- Collaboration
- Other features

Chuck's comparison chart is available as a free download from his blog.

The Brain as a networked nonspatial interface to your thoughts: In this second installment of my interview with Harlan and Shelley, Harlan takes us on a tour of his brain and answers many of my questions. He even promises Lotus Notes users a treat before the product launch!

This podcast, an audio tour of a visual product, if from an interview with Harlan Hugh and Shelley Hayduk of The Brain Technologies at their offices in beautiful Marina Del Rey, California.

As I've written before, Personal Brain is an amazing tool for mapping your brain. You might even call it a true mind mapping tool. Listen to the podcast and you hear why I think so. I plan to make The Brain a key component to my personal knowledge management tool kit along with Lotus Notes, MindManager, and other excellent productivity tools.

The link to listen or download this podcast may be found at the end of the show notes...

Continue Reading "Part two of my interview with The Brain Technologies" »

20070628-Shelley-and-HarlanTheBrain320.jpgI recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview Harlan Hugh and Shelley Hayduk of The Brain Technologies at their offices in beautiful Marina Del Rey, California. Also joining me, was my colleague and KM expert, Steve Barth.

20061031-GTDOnTheBrain.gifPersonal Brain is an amazing tool for mapping your brain. You might even call it a true mind mapping tool. Listen to the podcast and you hear why I think so. I plan to make The Brain a key component to my personal knowledge management toolkit so I expect that I'll return to visit Shelly and Harlan again. If you have comments or questions, post away. I'm not sure that I can or will answer all of them but perhaps some of my other readers will.

This is the first of a two-part interview with Harlan and Shelley. It's also a first for me, as I recorded it on my shiny new Sony ICD-MX20 digital recorder. I hope you enjoy this segment. I'll post part two shortly. Enjoy!

Last week, I posted a quick preview of a powerful capture tool for MindManager, however, I did not reveal the tool at the time. Well, the tool is GyroQ, it's from the team at Gyronix, and I've been working with this product for the past 6 weeks.


In this post, I'll share my thoughts on GyroQ and a simple screen movie to show how I use GyroQ and why I consider it a valuable addition to my productivity toolbox.

What GyroQ Does

First, GyroQ allows me to quickly capture ideas and actions via a small pop-up window, regardless of the program I'm currently using.
Second, GyroQ automatically populates a MindManager Map with all of the the thoughts and actions I've captured.

Continue Reading "GyroQ - a powerful MindManager capture tool" »

Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes

Thursday, December 15th, 2005
The power of mind maps as a visual planning tool is undisputed. MindManager brings that power to the personal computer. Lotus Notes is a tool long-used by highly productive organizations for managing their communication, collaboration, and coordination of information-related activities. Hmmm. Can you tell where I'm going with this post?

Here's a screenmovie of my test mind map with embedded Notes

Notes Doclinks in MindMaps bring together two powerful tools for information management:

One of the Lotus Notes productivity features that I use regularly is doclinks. In Lotus Notes, a doclink can be created to jump to a Notes document,  database,or view. The ability to embed these doclinks in my project and action lists gives me a quick and easy way to link to all of my support material regardless of where they are located. The beauty of Notes Doclinks is that the Notes client will locate the target regardless of whether it is located on the local machine or a remote server.

Continue Reading "Using MindManager as a Dashboard for Lotus Notes" »

X1/MSN Search MindManager & Lotus Notes?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005
I'm still waiting for X1 to add MindManager search capability to their product. I've been testing their Lotus Notes Support for many weeks. The Notes support is OK, but not quite ready for prime time, IMHO. And, they have yet to implement the list of fixes and required features that I sent them.

I've pitched the idea of adding MindManager support to execs at both companies. The folks at MindManager have indicated that they are willing to play. I hope that the folks at X1 decide to play, too; I think MindManager support in X1 would be a powerful addition to their product.

For now, X1's still on my "must watch, but wait and see" list.

Meanwhile, the new Desktop search toolbar from Microsoft apparently allows plug-ins. And, there's a plugin for Mindmanager!  (ComputerWorld | add-in)

A while back, I blogged about how my ideal desktop search tool would include support for both MindManager and Lotus Notes. I wonder if we'll see a MSN Search toolbar add-in filter for Lotus Notes?

If they did, I might switch gto MSN. My clients might, too.

Wishful thinking?