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iMindMap & Crunch – Creative Accounting

Part 4 of iMindMap in Motion

Crunch Logo

Creative and different are not the first two words that spring to mind when you hear ‘accountancy company’.  Not to say that accountants are uncreative, but the industry image is distinctly lacking in colour.

Not another brick in the wall

Online accountancy company, Crunch, certainly can’t be accused of being ‘grey’.  One look at their website and blog and you are confronted by bright colours, content full of personality, a complete absence of jargon and surprisingly frequent movie references.  They even refer to their base of operations as Castle Crunchenstein.

Everything about Crunch is designed to take the pain out of sorting your finances – they make complicated simple and dull fun.  It is no wonder then that the MD of Crunch came to us for iMindMap – that’s what our software is all about.  What we know, and what Darren from Crunch knows, is that grey pages full of unintelligible business jargon may look the part, but that doesn’t make them effective.  Boredom and confusion do not incite innovation or efficiency.

I spoke to Darren Fell, MD of Crunch, to find out more about this up and coming company and how they decided to bring Mind Mapping into the equation.

Read More →

Mind Map for Strategic Change ー 戦略的な活動計画の策定でのマインドマップの活用

Part 3 of iMindMap in Motion

CINDI logo

Children in Distress Network (CINDI) は南アフリカのKwaZulu-Natal地方で12年近く活動を続けている団体です。KwaZulu-Natal 地方は特にHIV/AIDSの流行率が高く、失業と貧困が蔓延している地域です。CINDIは、草の根活動から地域に密着した団体や大規模なNGOなど、この地域の300の非営利団体と協力して活動を行なっています。これらすべての団体はHIV/AIDSに感染している子供たち、またはHIV/AIDSにより生活に支障をきたしている子供たちを助けるという共通した目標を持っています。

CINDIの活動は、異なる団体の活動の連携とコラボレーションを調整する役割を担っています。CINDIの存在によりそれぞれの団体で情報を共有し、共に活動し、各機関の活動が重複せずに相互に改善を図ることが可能です。

CINDI-organogram-wheel-2007

昨年iMindMapのライセンスを寄付したことがきっかけで、今回CINDIのプログラムマネージャーであるNeill Stevenson氏に話を聞く貴重な機会をいただきCINDIでの戦略的な計画の策定のプロセスを促進するためにiMindMapがどのように役立っているのかを教えて頂きました。今回はこのCINDIの戦略的な活動計画の策定におけるiMindMapの活用方法をご紹介します。

Stevenson氏の担当しているプロジェクトは世界各国の大規模な支援機関の資金援助により成り立っています。これには、共にパートナーを組んでこの地域の13,000人の孤児および支援と保護が必要な子供たちのための総合的なサービスを提供している4つの大規模な非営利団体も含まれます。このような大規模なプロジェクトでは大きな資金と多くのスタッフが動き、相互のコラボレーションと連携が欠かせません。このためStevenson氏はプロジェクトの戦略的な活動計画の策定およびプロジェクトの変更といった過程でプロセス全体の促進にiMindMapを使用しています。

「CINDIでは2~3年の間隔で戦略的なプランに見直しと修正を加えています。今回初めてこのプロセスでマインドマッピングを使用してみました。この過程ではさまざまな内外のステークホールダーに意見や助言を得て、そのすべての情報を異なる戦略的なプランの関連部分に反映させる必要がありました。」とSetevenson氏は語っています。

戦略的な活動計画の策定における5つの過程についての詳細はこのまま続きをお読みください…

1. ブレインストーミング

「iMindMapのソフトウェアを使用することでコンサルテーションの過程で集めた情報やブレインストーミングで得たアイデアから様々な関係者の異なる考えを明確に捉えることができました。 ラップトップのPCとプロジェクターを使用して、参加者全員でスクリーンに表示されたアイデアのマインドマップを見ながら作業を進めることができました。 ディスカッションを行いながらブランチとブランチを関連付けたり、ブランチを自由に移動して優先順位を変えたりと考えが進化し発展する様を全員が目で見て把握できる画期的な方法でした。」

Brainstorming maps

「以前はこの作業ではフリップチャートを使用していました。これはこれで便利だったのですが、ダイナミックさに欠けていました。 ところが今回使用したiMindMapではディスカッションをしながらその場ですぐにアイデアを記録し、まとめ、優先順位を付け、さらに新しいテーマを作成することができました。  以前と比較して参加者それぞれが作業に積極的に参加でき、また実りのある結果を得られます。  そして全員の意見が一致した内容の文書が最後に出来上がります。会議の後にフィリップチャートを一枚一枚めくりながら議事録を作り、その文書を回覧して全員からフィードバックを得るというステップをすべて省くことができる効率的な方法です。」

“これまでの方法と比較してiMindMapを使用したブレインストーミングは効果的かつ効率的な体験でした。今まで以上に満足度の高い結果を得られ、参加者全員の反応もとても良いものでした。

2. 分析

ブレインストーミングで得た情報は集約し分析する必要がありました。 異なる戦略のテーマを明確にし、適切な優先順位の割り当てを判断しなければなりません。

CINDIではiMindMapの助けを借りたことで2つの主要なテーマを決定することができました。彼らにとって常に中核となっていたネットワーキングと活動の提唱、そして今回新たに浮かび上がった重要な分野も見つかりました。

新たに活動に参加してくる団体は小規模かつ発足したばかりの団体でした。特定のニーズに対応するために活動を開始した小規模の団体は、最低限のリソースとスキルそして活動団体としては非常に小さい能力と組織で稼動しています。

これらの活動団体は、非営利団体として登録しています。登録自体は比較的簡単に行えますが、これらの小規模の団体はリソースの動員を可能にするための知識や組織力の面で不足する部分が多く、円滑な活動を行うことが困難な状況にあります。”

「キャパシティーの構築とリソースの動員という点でさらに力を入れて活動していく必要があることに気づきました。この結果、この分野で活動を行う全く新しい部門を発足する必要性があるという判断にたどり着きました。」

CINDI Strategic Plan map

3. 戦略の組み立て

“新しい戦略分野の開発を行なう段階でiMindMapのソフトウェアを使用したことでアイデアを組み立て、その情報を効果的に共有することができました。”

「様々な要素がどのように組み合わさって全体を構成しているのかを明確に示すことができました。 これにより小規模な団体が低額の資金援助を得てそれぞれのプロジェクトを実行することができるシステムを構築しました。また、プロジェクトの実行に必要なトレーニングと指導も受けられるようにしています。 大規模で経験豊かな団体が小規模な団体のメンターとなり指導を行ないます。その団体が持続して活動を行っていくために必要な分野については、外部講師を招きトレーニングを行います。持続可能な活動にとって重要な分野として、例えばプロジェクトの管理、監視、評価、基本的な経営管理や人材管理などが挙げられます。」

このプログラムを終了するころにはそれぞれの団体は、計画していたサービスを子供たちに提供できるだけでなく、学び得たスキルと能力をもとに自分達で必要な資金を調達することができるだけの力を付けることになります。

4. プロジェクト管理

「iMindMapのプロジェクト管理機能を使用してプロジェクトの基本事項をまとめ、その情報をMicrosoft Projectの形式にエクスポートしました。iMindMapの中で基本的な構造を判りやすい形で組み立てられるため、プロジェクトの内容を全員が把握し同意することができます。」

CINDI Project Plan

5. プレゼンテーションと承認

このプロセスの最後の段階として練り上げたプランをさまざまな関係者に提示し彼らの総意と今後の協力と理解を得る必要があります。 Stevenson氏によるとiMindMapのプレゼンテーションビューを使用して運営委員会に提案されたそうです。

Presenting with iMindMap「通常のPowerPointのプレゼンテーションにその場にいた全員が皆iMindMapのプレゼンテーションモードに大いに感心していました。もちろんPowerPointのプレゼンテーションも有効だと思いますが、iMindMapのプレゼンテーションビューが話題の中心となっている特定のトピックにフォーカスし、そして次のトピックに動きを付けて移動する様子は確実に聞き手の注目を惹きつけます。まさに今回の提案でもこのプレゼンテーション機能により運営委員会の関心と集中を効果的に集めることができました。」

「従来の線形なスライドによるアプローチと比較してインパクトの強い発表を行なうことができました。 さらにミーティングの終わりに運営委員会のメンバーが持ち帰ることができるマップがあるため提案の内容をいつでも一目で把握することができます。」

「iMindMapほど何でもできて、さらに目的の結果を効果的に達成できるソフトウェアには遭遇したことがありません。 大幅な時間の節約ができたのもこのツールのお陰です。ミーティングの時間を短縮し、今までよりも優れた結果を得ることができました。さらに、意思決定のプロセスに各自が直接的に携わることで、それぞれがプロジェクトについてより深い理解と今まで以上に高い責任感を持って活動できています。」

“直感的に使えるiMindMapは誰でもすぐに使い始めることができます。使い出したら最後、このツールがなくてはならない存在となるでしょう。”

____________________________________________________

CINDIとその活動についてはこちらのWebをご覧ください: www.cindi.org.za

iMindMap 5で何ができるのかをご覧いただくには、まずはダウンロードしてお試しください。

このような大規模なプロジェクトでは多大なる資金が必要で、さらに多くのスタッフ同士のコラボレーションと連携が欠かせません。

We want YOU to translate iMindMap 5

iMindMap 5 Global iMindMap 5 is being downloaded all over the world and we want to ensure that we make it as accessible as possible to users of every nationality.

iMindMap 5 is currently available in English and Japanese, but we would now like to start branching out into different languages.

We will begin by introducing 6 new languages and are looking for iMindMap users to help us do this.  The first 6 will be:

Dutch
Portuguese (Brazilian)
German
French
Arabic
Spanish

____________

Read More →

Get Organised with an iMindMap Document Management System – iMindMap を使用した文書管理システムで情報を整理

Part 2 of iMindMap in Motion

ユーザーの皆さんの独創的で工夫に富んだ iMindMap の活用方法にはいつも驚かされます。マインドマッピングはよく頭脳のためのスイスアーミーナイフと称され、ユーザーの皆さんが繰り広げる新しい方向性を知ることに常に喜びを感じています。その代表的な例として Penspenグループが挙げられ、特筆すべき戦略的なiMindMapの使い方を実施しています。

石油・ガス業界でのエンジニアリングとプロジェクト管理のサービスを専門としているPenspen社は、クライアントが保有する膨大な量の情報を意味のある情報に変えて提供することに精通しています。

Penspen業界の中でも有数の石油・ガス企業からその企業が所有する20年近い過去のデータと文書管理システムの見直しの依頼を受けたとき、Penspen社の担当者にとって今までとは全く異なるアプローチで取り組む必要があることは明白でした。そして、このプロジェクトにマインドマッピングを採用してみることにしました。

マーケットに存在するさまざまなマインドマッピングのソフトウェアを比較・検討した結果、Penspen社はiMindMapを最も適したツールとして推奨できるという結論に達しました

Penspen社の上級エンジニアでプロジェクトの重要な役割を担うMohamed Dafea氏はiMindMapを「最も使いやすく直感的なインターフェースを搭載した」今回のプロジェクトに最適なツールと称しています。

Penspen logo「マインドマップは新しいデータ構造を視覚化することでエンジニアが必要な情報を簡単にアクセスでき、その情報をそれぞれの部署への伝達に使用しました。これにより我々だけでなくクライアントにとっても時間とコストの面で効率化が図れると考えました。」

この文書管理システムはiMindMapのリンクの挿入機能を活用しています。 異なるシステム層のマインドマップをそれぞれ作成することで、Penspenでは視覚的にどのファイルへもすぐにアクセスすることが可能になりました。各マインドマップでは異なるフォルダーがブランチで表現されています。全てのブランチにシステムの異なる層(別のマインドマップ)へのリンクが挿入されており、最終的にファイルへ辿り着きます。

Infoブランチを右クリックし [リンクの挿入] を選択して簡単にファイルやWebサイトへのリンクを挿入することができます。リンクの挿入ウィンドウが表示されたらWebリンクまたはファイルを指定します。選択されたファイルはブランチに挿入され、青色のリンクアイコンとしてブランチに表示されます。

実際にどのように利用されたかご紹介します…

1. 最初のマップは各国にある子会社を示しています。ユーザーは青色のリンクをクリックして各国の情報に移動できます。

First map in the document system hierarchy
文書システムの階層構造の最初のマップ

2. 新しいマップが開き、その国の異なるパイプラインの情報が表示されます:

Second tier of system
システムの2層目

3. パイプラインのリンクのひとつをクリックすると別のマップが表示され、選択したパイプラインの情報が格納されたフォルダーを示すマップが開きます。

Third Tier Map
3層目のマップ

4. 何れかのブランチのリンクをクリックするとiMindMapが関連付けられているファイルを開きます。

マインドマップ パック(iMindMap 5新機能)の機能を使用すればこの情報をさらに簡単に企業全体で共有することができます。マインドマップ パックを使用するとマインドマップとそこに含まれる全てのリンクされたファイルをひとつのフォルダーに格納して配布することができます。受け取ったスタッフはすぐに必要な情報にアクセスできます。

「このマインドマップを使用した新しい”文書管理システム”が石油・ガス分野で働くオペレータが法的規制に準拠し、内・外部の監査をサポートするためにとても強力なツールとなることは間違いありません。」

Penspenグループのチームは大規模な企業内に存在しているファイルを探し出せる非常にシンプルで論理的なシステムを作り上げました。既存のプロセスに囚われず新しい視点から取り組んだことでプロセス全体を能率化することが可能になり、情報の検索に費やす時間の大幅な削減を実現しました。

同じようなシステムを導入するのに国際的な大企業である必要はまったくありません。コンピューターに存在しているフォルダーの情報をマップとファイルへのリンクで視覚的に表現するというシンプルなアイデアはどこでも応用できるはずです。 まずは個人で使用しているコンピューターに格納しているファイナンス、休暇、イベントや健康などのさまざまな文書をマインドマップで整理してみませんか。学生のみなさんにとっては教科、トピックやモジュールごとに学んだ内容をまとめて課題や復習にここでご紹介した方法を活用できるのではないでしょうか。

iMindMap 5でどのようなことができるのか、そして無償ダウンロードはこちらから

Penspen社の上級エンジニアでプロジェクトの重要な役割を担うMohamed Dafea氏はiMindMapを「最も使いやすく直感的なインターフェースを搭載した」今回のプロジェクトに最適なツールと称しています。

Mind Map for Strategic Change

Part 3 of iMindMap in Motion

CINDI logo

The Children in Distress Network (CINDI) has been in existence for around 12 years, located in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.  KwaZulu-Natal has the highest prevalence of HIV and AIDS, and is rife with unemployment and poverty.  CINDI works with about 300 non-profit organisations in the area; from emerging grassroots, community-based organisations, to larger NGOs.  All have the common goal of wanting to help children, who are infected by, or affected by HIV and AIDS.

CINDI provides coordination and collaboration between these different organisations.  It helps them to share information, work together, avoid duplication and improve their organisational capabilities.

CINDI-organogram-wheel-2007

I have been in contact with Neill Stevenson, a programme manager at CINDI, since we donated licenses to the organisation last year.  I spoke with him recently and he provided some great feedback on how they’ve been using iMindMap to facilitate an entire strategic planning process in the network.

The project that Neill works on is funded by a large international donor.  It includes a consortium of 4 fairly large non-profit organisations who are working together in a partnership and providing a comprehensive package of services to 13,000 orphans and vulnerable children in the area.  It’s a big project, with lots of funding, a big staff and a lot of collaboration and coordination that needs to take place.  Neill has been using iMindMap to facilitate a process of strategic planning and change on the project.

“We review and revise our strategic plan every couple of years and this was the first time we tried using Mind Mapping. We had to do a very thorough process of consulting various internal and external stakeholders, capturing their information and putting it all together into different components of the strategic plan.”

Read on for the 5 stages of their strategic planning process…

1. Brainstorming

“I was able to use the iMindMap software to capture the different thinking of people in the various consultations as we gathered information and brainstormed ideas.  We worked with a laptop and a projector, so that as people were sharing their ideas, I was able to get it all into a Mind Map and project it onto the screen.  Everyone could see the thinking evolving as I drew links between branches, and shifted priorities by moving branches around.”

Brainstorming maps

“Previously, we have just used flipcharts, which is fine as far as it goes – but it’s not dynamic.  But with iMindMap, whilst we were talking, we were immediately able to cluster ideas together, priortise them, and create new themes.  It was a much more engaging and fruitful process.  Then at the end of it we had a document that everybody has consensus on.  Rather than going away and creating minutes using the various sheets from the flipchart, and circulating them to everybody to get their feedback, this was all done in one step. ”

“It was more effective and more efficient. We got a better result and everyone was very happy.”

2. Analysing

The information then needed to be pulled together and analysed.  Different strategic themes had to be identified and the priorities going forward determined.

With the help of the software, CINDI were able to decide that there were two main themes, or areas.  The networking and advocacy that had always been the core of what they did, and another area that had emerged as being of new importance.

Far more new members were small, emerging organisations – small groups of people who have come together in the community in order to respond to a particular need, with minimum resources and minimum skills, and very little organisational capacity and structure.

“They register as a non-profit organisation, which is fairly easy to do, but they will have very little chance of actually mobilising further resources, because they don’t have the skills and the structure.”

“We realised we needed to place more emphasis on capacity building and resource mobilisation.  We decided we would need to develop a whole new division of the organisation which is devoted to that area.”

CINDI Strategic Plan map

3. Strategising

“Using the iMindMap software we were able to structure our ideas and present them very effectively as we went through the development stages of this new strategic focus area.”

“We were able to very clearly show how the various components fit together.  We developed a modular system where small organisations can receive a small amount of money that could be used to implement their projects and also receive both training and mentoring.  The larger organisations would mentor the smaller organisations and we would outsource training on the key areas that organisational sustainability is founded on – things like project management, monitoring and evaluation, basic financial management and human resources. ”

By the time an organisation has gone through the whole programme, not only have they been able to offer services to their beneficiaries, the children, but they have been able to demonstrate that they have the training and capacity necessary and so are able to attract funding in their own right.

4. Project Management

“We used the project management feature of iMindMap to do the basic project plan which we then exported to Microsoft Project.  Within iMindMap, it was very easy to set up and get the basic structure in place in a form that everyone could see and everyone could understand and agree on.”

CINDI Project Plan

5. Presenting and Approval

The final stage of the process was to present the plan to the various stakeholders and gain their consensus and buy in.  When he presented to the Board of Trustees, Neill used iMindMap’s Presentation View.

Presenting with iMindMap“Everybody was absolutely delighted by the presentation mode, because we are all used to seeing PowerPoint presentations.  That’s fine, but the way iMindMap Presentation View focuses on the particular topic that is being discussed, and then moves onto the next topic in a dramatic motion certainly captured the attention, and held the attention of the boardroom members.

“It had a lot more impact than the traditional, linear, slide show approach.  Then of course at the end of it we had the map that the board members could take away with them to refresh their memory in a glance.”

“I don’t know of anything else that can do all of those things.  I certainly haven’t found anything that has been nearly as effective.  It saved me dozens and dozens of hours of time.  Meetings have gone more quickly, produced better results, people have walked away with a better understanding of what’s happening and a higher level of commitment to it because they’ve been a part of the decision making process.”

“iMindMap is so intuitive that it doesn’t take much to get into it.  And when you’re into it, you forget how you ever managed without it.”

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To find out more about CINDI and the work they do, visit their website: www.cindi.org.za

See what you can do with iMindMap 5 and download it for FREE today.

Missing iMindMap V4 features? Get the lowdown on the upgrade to iMindMap 5

iMindMap 5 is a big change from all previous versions of iMindMap, and we want to clarify where you can find some of the features of iMindMap V4 and how they work in this new software. If you have upgraded from iMindMap V4 to iMindMap 5 certain features, such as Speed Mind Mapping Mode and Branch Ordering, have been improved, renamed and work in a slightly different way.

Take a look at our rundown of the main features that have changed from iMindMap V4 to iMindMap 5:

  • Speed Mind Mapping Mode

Speed Mind Mapping Mode was a popular feature in iMindMap V4 which allowed you to create Maps with your shortcut keys, ideal for getting your ideas down fast.

In iMindMap 5, we have SmartLayout instead which we promise you is far easier to use and will revolutionise the way you work!  Long gone are V4’s  Speed Mind Map Mode and Mind Map Mode.  iMindMap 5 incorporates the principles of both of these but in one space so that you can draw organically AND create a Map using your shortcut keys. This is the best of both worlds and, with the cutting edge SmartLayout technology, iMindMap 5 naturally and organically lays out your map ensuring that your branches are evenly spaced.  SmartLayout also utilises auto-layout technology to try and prevent collisions from interrupting your thinking time! Alternate between organic drawing and fast paced keyboard creation of maps to suit your task and mood.

One important change is that the shortcut keys for Mind Mapping using your keyboard (Speed Mind Mapping) have changed to a more simple and logical combination:

Enter key                               Creates a branch on the same level

Tab key                                  Creates a child branch

Arrow keys                            Use the arrow keys to navigate

*Top Tip: if you ever forget look at the pictures on the keys to help you!

To find out more about how to use SmartLayout, please check out our free video tutorial. For more detailed advice, please see iMindMap Help within your software.

  • Branch Ordering

If you have ever presented with iMindMap, you will know how important Branch Ordering is. Rather than your branches being displayed in the order you created them, you may want to change the order for your branches to display in the sequence of your choice. In iMindMap V4, you could change the order of your branches with the Branch Ordering tool. Now, in iMindMap 5, this functionality can be found under the Outline side panel.

In Outline you can drag and drop branches to the sequence you wish these to be displayed.

For more information on Branch Ordering in the Outline panel, please see our free video tutorial. If you require more detailed advice, please see iMindMap Help within your software.

  • Child Mind Maps

Many of our users have expressed that they found Child Mind Mapping useful. However, although the MultiMaps feature has now been created to allow you to work on all of your big ideas at once, you can also create the Child Mind Map functionality by using links.

To do this, simply insert links to any of your branches linking to another iMindMap 5 (.imx) file and these will then open as a Child Mind Map would, for you to edit and save.

If you would like to know more about this functionality, we have written a blog post on document management using this method. For more detailed advice, please see iMindMap Help within your software.

While we have made every effort to include as many features from iMindMap V4 in iMindMap 5, your feedback has helped us to locate a few more feature favourites to include in our next update to iMindMap 5, version 5.1. Take a look to see which features you can expect in 5.1:

  • Export Image to PDF

Want to export just the image of your Mind Map and not its text hierarchy to PDF format? The new update will allow you to do just that.

  • Floating Text Blocks & Images

Create floating text and add floating images in your workspace with the 5.1 update.

  • Visual Branch Ordering

Make branch ordering even easier by numbering your branches in visual branch ordering, available with the free 5.1 update.

  • And many more to come…

We are taking each and every one of your feature suggestions into account, and we will be addressing as many of your concerns as possible in our future free updates.

If you have any favourite features from iMindMap V4 which you do not feel have been adopted by iMindMap 5, please make your voice heard and give us your feedback. iMindMap 5 is all about improving our software by taking our users’ ideas, uses and suggestions into account – help us make iMindMap 5 the best it can be. For further advice and tips on how to use iMindMap effectively, please see our video tutorials and quick guides for guidance.

On iMindMap 5 Launch

Recently I sat down with our CEO Chris Griffiths to review the release of iMindMap 5, what people were saying and how it went. Along with the release of iMindMap 5 desktop, we also launched a wealth of other systems and services designed as a fundamental step change for ThinkBuzan as an organisation.

To start we have launched a totally free Mind Mapping Software product. Anyone can now benefit from using iMindMap, download the trial, after 7 days it downgrades to iMindMap basic and is free for life.

iMindMap Online is another new product for us and we have given accounts to anyone buying the desktop product so they can sync their Mind Maps to the cloud, access them and collaborate from anywhere.

A few weeks ago we launched our new support system at support.thinkbuzan.com designed to allow us to support our users even better by adding knowledge-bases, online ticket access and feedback systems so you can let us know how we are doing.

Finally feedback.thinkbuzan.com went live which allows users to feedback on ideas for the software, what they like, what they don’t like and vote up and down these ideas so the important ones rise to the top.

Image of a megaphone with text feedback, comments

It’s that last system that really surprised us in a number of ways. It’s the first time we have held ourselves publicly accountable for our work. Please go check it out, we haven’t removed anything (apart from a bit of spam) and thats where the conversation started with Chris Griffiths.

It’s coming up to 4 weeks since we launched iMindMap 5 and we have already had over 460 votes, on 115 ideas, not to mention a lot of comments (every comment gets emailed to me and I read each and every one). Looking at the top ideas, the comments and votes, over the 3 forum categories, the simple fact is some people are happy & some aren’t, which led to our chat.

Now to be completely honest we have received a huge amount of praise for iMindMap 5, people love a lot about it but as Head of Development it’s the negative feedback that provides the most opportunity for me. Here we have a product that people are so passionate about, they care so much about and want it to work for them so much that they are willing to spend their time and effort communicating back to us what needs to change.

This is gold-dust.

I am very lucky to be a part of a software program that people are so passionate about, but, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. We promised an aggressive upgrade plan, we promised to listen to our customers and now we must act on our promises.

Over the coming days we will be releasing minor updates in a 5.0.1 version along with a 5.0.2 version of iMindMap, designed to patch up some minor bugs that have been noticed. This will also feature linking to folders (not just files), pack and go of folders and improved PDF export resolution, all based directly on feedback we have received.

I am also pleased to announce we have started work on 5.1 that will feature large improvements, again based directly on your feedback, such as:

  • Export Image to PDF
  • Free Form Text Blocks
  • Visual Branch Ordering
  • Improved Printing Support
  • Improved Presentation Support
  • Improved Project Management
  • Improved Export Ordering
  • And a lot of other minor fixes too!

IMindMap 5 was the beginning of something new, not just a new piece of software but a new way for us to work with our customers, to be more open in our communication and reach our ultimate goal of producing the best thinking tool on the planet! 5.0 was a huge leap forward, we’re even giving the basic version away for free, but we can and will do more.

In the meantime please talk to us at feedback.thinkbuzan.com, we are most definitely listening.

Chris

Get Organised with an iMindMap Document Management System

Part 2 of iMindMap in Motion

Our users are always coming up with ingenious ways to use the iMindMap software that continue to surprise us.  Mind Mapping is often called the ‘swiss army knife for the brain’ and we are enjoying seeing what new directions our users will take it in.

One such organisation, The Penspen Group, have made a particularly strategic use of the iMindMap software.  Specialising in engineering and project management services for the oil and gas industry, Penspen are well-versed in taking on a lot of information from a client and having to make sense of it.PenspenWhen one of the world’s largest oil and gas corporations came to them to overhaul their document management system, presenting them with almost 20 years of historical data to plough through, they knew it was going to take a very different approach and it was decided they would try out Mind Mapping.

After conducting a review of the different Mind Mapping software tools on the market, Penspen selected iMindMap as the tool to recommend.  Mohamed Dafea, Senior Engineer at Penspen and an instrumental part of the project, said that iMindMap was the best choice because ‘it was the easiest to use and had the most intuitive user interface’.  As the system is to be rolled out throughout a large organisation, it was vital that it require little or no training.

Penspen logo“Mind Maps were used to visualise the new data structure so that information is easily accessible for their engineers and can be transferred across their organisation.  This is expected to save time and cost for us and our clients.”

The document management system makes use of the Inserting Links feature of iMindMap.  By creating different Mind Maps to represent the different tiers of the system, Penspen have made a way to visually navigate your way to any file very quickly.  Within each Mind Map the branches represent the different folders.  Links to jump down the tiers of the system (to other Mind Maps), and finally to the files themselves, are inserted on every branch.

InfoLinks to files or websites can be inserted very easily by right-clicking on any branch and selecting Insert Link.  Once the Inserting Links window opens you can either choose weblinks, or select files and browse to the file’s location.  Once selected this file will be attached to the branch and the blue Link icon will appear on it.

Here’s how it’s done…

1. The first map will show the different subsidiaries of the company in various countries.  The user can then click on the blue link for the country they want.

First map in the document system hierarchy

First map in the document system hierarchy

2. This will then open up a new map showing the different pipelines within that country:

Second tier of system

Second tier of system

3. Selecting the link on one of the pipelines would lead the user to another new map showing all of the different folders of information about that particular pipeline.

Third Tier Map

Third Tier Map

4. From there they can click on any link on the branches and iMindMap will open up the specific file they need.

The Pack & Go feature (new to iMindMap 5) makes this system even easier to roll out across the organisation.  They can use Pack & Go to zip up the Mind Maps and all of their linked files into one neat folder and send it out to the staff to start using straight away.

“We believe that the new ‘Document Management System’ using Mind Maps is very powerful and will help Oil and Gas operators to meet their regulatory requirements and support internal and external auditing.”

The team over at The Penspen Group have created a very simple and logical system for locating files within a large organisation.  They have saved employees valuable time usually spent searching, and streamlined the whole process by ignoring the status quo and trying something different.

You don’t need to be an international corporation to try out a similar system.  The simple idea of linking maps and files to visually represent your computer’s folders can be applied anywhere.  Why not organise your personal computer so you can quickly and easily find documents on finance, holidays, events or health.  If you’re a student, what better way to sort your work into subjects, then topics, modules, assignments, revision?

See what you can do with iMindMap 5 and download it for FREE today.

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