Online Mind Mapping and Brainstorming

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five stages by Mind Map: five stages
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five stages


100% of the open loops

sources of open loops, email inbox, RSS reader, phone calls, magazines, notebook, meeting agendas, stuff in our drawers, mind, etc etc

how to identify "open loops"?, "should", "need to", "ought to", "should I?", "I'm going to", "I don't know what else to do"

collection bucket tools, in-basket, paper note-taking device, notebooks, slips of paper, post--its, voice-recording, electronic gadgets (high tech), laptop, email, mobile phone, PDA, etc

success factors, get it all out of your head, have collection buckets ALWAYS near you, at work, at home, on the road..., don't try to process as it comes in - just collect, as few collection buckets as you can get by with, don't write notes in many different places, collect paper materials in single inboxes, empty the buckets regularly, does NOT mean "finish", take out one single item, decide what the NA is, place in the appropriate place, you need to have a clear system with simple, clear options, NEVER put back in "In', "Not emptying your in-basket is like having trashcans that nobody ever dumps - you just have to keep buying new ones to hold all your trash."


gets you from stuff in buckets to organized actions


you can't organize stuff before you process it

you can only organize actions - what needs to be done



primer on determining NAs

it must be something you can actually act on NOW, if you had the time, ex., "Do my taxes", becomes, "Call Diana to ask if she knows a good accountant", goes on "Calls list", "Go to conference", becomes, "Ask Laurentiu to find out speakers, background, location, cost.", goes on "Agendas - Laurentiu"

these are NOT NAs, "decide", usually you need to, gather more information, organize the information, the decision is the outcome of the info gathering and organizing

USE the 2-min rule..., sometimes you'll want MORE or LESS than 2 minutes... whatever works for you!

NA verbs, > 2006 > 11 > 14 > Project-versus-next-action#more-788, absolute next physical action




most of the magic is here


why?, to keep it on paper, not your mind!, to get back on track after a few crazy days

how to do this?, process everything, check all open loops, check calendar, next actions list, including Agendas, project list, waiting for list, someday / maybe list, update the lists

how long?, typically ... 2 hours

short one - daily


maybe, project list


three possible models for making action decisions

four-criteria model for choosing actions in the moment, context, time available, energy available, priority

threefold model for evaluating daily work, doing pre-defined work, doing work as it shows up, danger - you lose sight of it, keep a list right in front of your eyes, if it's that kind of a day - you need reviews every 30 min - 1 hour, defining work, ex., weekly review, project planning, meetings

at any moment, you need

to decide what you'll DO

to decide what you will NOT DO, New node

feel good about your decisions