The Sunday Post #87

In an attempt to try something new and to help me to get ideas to paper or screen, I thought I would try to some honest to goodness mind mapping.

My mind doesn’t work like that

To avoid spending too much time learning how to do a new task, instead of using that time working on the task at hand, I haven’t spent a lot of time on this. But, I can tell you mind mapping is not for me. From Wikipedia:

>Mind maps are, by definition, a graphical method of taking notes. The visual basis of them helps one to distinguish words or ideas, often with colors and symbols. They generally take a hierarchical or tree branch format, with ideas branching into their subsections. Mind maps allow for greater creativity when recording ideas and information, as well as allowing the note-taker to associate words with visual representations. Mind maps and concept maps are different in that mind maps focus on only one word or idea, whereas concept maps connect multiple words or ideas.

I don’t know about you, but my brain doesn’t work in circles or in any way that could be represented by anything that looks like a tree. If anything, my brain works more like a slide rule, go forward and backward between ideas on a straight line. There aren’t bubbles, branches, squiggly lines or any symbol one might find in a Visio map. Which is probably why any app or software package that is designed specifically for mind mapping only makes me crazy.

I tried one or two, just for getting ideas out of my head. But the concept is so foreign to me, and I really need to get these ideas out of my head onto to paper or screen. Instead of wasting a big pile of time trying to learn something new, which would only slow my process down, I decided to work like I know how to work. My own personal mind mapping system if you will.

When I get an idea, I usually keep it in my head for quite sometime before doing anything with it. For this particular thing, I have already built in, designed it, changed the UI (three times), seen it in action and trained on it. All in my mind of course. Then I start taking notes on paper.

Once on paper, then I take to my favorite text editor and start typing. And I don’t stop until I have put everything there that’s in my head. Then I stop. Usually for a day. Then, I revisit the text file and start refining my idea, adding parts that I missed, changing things that don’t make sense. And I keep working it until I have something that resembles a cohesive thought. In this particular instance, represented by about 70 lines in a text file.

So far, I have revision 1 mapped out for functionality, purpose and use and have moved on to creating a very rough mock up. The mock won’t be functional or look pretty, but it will help me to better visualize what it is I am trying to create, and to better help me when the time comes to add others into the project.

So, in 2 weeks time I’ve completely sorted it out and started working on a mocked up version. I’d say that’s pretty good progress. And, I must point out, not slowed down (yet) by me trying to spend more time fiddling with a process that obviously doesn’t work for me instead of working how I know.

Maybe if I had a whiteboard and was working on this with a few other people in the same room, then a system like this would be handy. But for my purposes right now, I’m going to continue on the path of least resistance and do what I know.

Now, if you would excuse me, I have some HTML to code.

Published by Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

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