My last post described the process of how I chose a mind mapping application. The introduction to that post briefly described why I thought it could be a valuable tool for idea generation and data organization and explained that I would use it as a project planning and management tool for my Web design and development projects.
Since then I have been reading a lot about project management in both a general way and specifically with the aid of MindManager. It has been an eye opening experience for me and I have been learning a lot. As a freelancer, I didn’t necessarily have a very systematic project management process in place although I did have a generalized process I adhered to which included specific "phases". What I lacked is a way to organize and track all the ideas, data, documents and files linked to a project in a clear an efficient manner.
Now that I’ve started using MindManager in a couple of real life projects, I already see that it’s going to become an invaluable tool for me and I’ve only just scratched the surface of all that it can do so far. I’m trying to find the methodology which is going to work for me and that is going to be an evolving process. A lot of what has been written regarding project management revolves around managing larger teams of people in software development projects. For a freelancing Web designer like me, the process is going to be different but all I’ve been reading has forced me to re-think my methods and this can only lead to improvements that are going to save me time and effort as well as help me serve my clients better.
Mind mapping is not for eveyone but I haven’t been this excited about a new dicovery in a long time. From all I have read, there seems to be two distinct approaches to mind mapping. The inventor of the process, Tony Buzan advocates a very organic type of mind mapping with lots of color, large images and curvy lines. To me, this would quickly become annoying and takes away from the clarity of mind maps. My brain naturally likes a more linear or organized approach and more business oriented applications like MindManager make a lot more sense to me.
In any case, I would advise any creative who like me had some problems dealing with all the data, ideas, concepts we need to deal with to try mind mapping software. It really helps make sense of the clutter and frees your creativity…