Sunday, November 15, 2009

The First Step in Every Project: A MindMap

You've a new project in your mind, but you don't know where to begin.

To me it's a bit like writers' block, except the ideas are there - but so are a thousand questions.

Identifying your first step is half the battle and having a step-by-step plan is a good deal towards organizing you mind.

But that still begs the question - Where do I start?!

Mind Mapping Tools are an invaluable resource for any project and if, like most of us, you use more than one computer you need an online solution - there's nothing more frustrating than sitting down to work on a project, only to realize all your work is saved on another computer!

SlickPlan ticks all the boxes - it's online, so you can access it from any computer with an internet connection; it has a clean and simple, user friendly interface; results can be saved to html, pdf or sent in  html  to any email address.

Let's take a look inside SlickPlan...

Sign up for a free account and confirm your email address.  We had to wait a few hours for the email confirmation to come through, but so far, that's our only critisism.

Once inside you'll find your personal dashboard.

Click 'Create a New Sitemap'

This is a sample project to show you the basics of mindmapping with SlickPlan.

 First off you'll want to name your project, make it something memorable that relates to the project you're working on - the name of the website or product is usually good enough.

To the left of the page, you'll see a sort of control panel, like this one:

The labels correspond with the nodes you name. In this case, each node represents a page on our new website.

You'll notice three symbols for each node; green arrows to move; pencil to edit and red circle to delete a node.

To edit, click the pencil and change a node's name of it's parent, using the drop-down menu.

When you've finished editing, export your results in html or as a pdf - and don't forget to hit 'save changes' whenever you make any alterations.

 So now you're projects all mapped out, your mind's free of clutter and you can work smarter and more efficiently.


1 comment:

Mindmaps said...

Very interesting to see this tool. I think it will help people to sort out the mind chatter and create a really good overview of their ideas and thoughts.

That is what mind mapping is for me, an assistant that helps me to get overview in thoughts and information. The biggest plus is that it is done in a visual format (so my brain actually likes to look at the overview :) ).

When you use mindmaps the right way (when you make them work for you, in stead of the other way around), you have your first assistant working for you even before you start selling!

Thank you for this article.