Natural Capture Tool for Creatives

by Inga Yandell

iMindMap 9

Most writers will agree that the creative process can get messy. Organising a weeks worth of loose notes is one thing, but to wrangle a wild workflow of haphazard note-taking generated over several years, is a tall task by anybodies measure.

Despite being a daunting prospect, this writer was determined to find a way to make sense of her scribbles, because the alternative could mean throwing away possible gems of insight or idea. GASP!!!!!

Introducing our ‘Workflow Whisperer’ Chris Griffiths, Founder and CEO of OpenGenius, creators of Mind Mapping software, iMindMap, world-renowned expert on creativity and innovative thinking skills, best-selling author and international public speaker.

How to organise years of loose notes

How many of you have taken notes in a meeting, a lecture or conducted research perhaps, only to then toss your notes aside into one unorganised mountain of papers? Chances are many of you are probably guilty of having a constant, unkempt stack of notes nearby. It may seem like you need a miracle to organise and keep on top of your notes, but there is a simple solution.

The Mind Mapping technique, invented by Tony Buzan in the 70s, is a method of capturing information in a non-linear, creative fashion. Mind Mapping is a process that uses a combination of colour, imagery, keywords and visual-spatial arrangement to boost your creativity, memory and productivity. With that being said, turning your notes into Mind Maps will not only reduce the amount of paper you have lying around, it will also improve your comprehension and ability to recall the information.

Condense years’ worth of information on one page

A Mind Map uses keywords to chunk information into core topics and themes. Using keywords means you can add large amounts of data to your maps without getting lost in the detail. You can take pages and pages of notes and condense them so that only the most necessary and important details are left, helping you unclutter your brain and think with clarity. As you sort through your notes, you can keep adding more keywords to your Mind Map without having to worry about losing its coherent structure or its concision.

See the big picture at all times

It is so frustrating trying to find a certain fragment of information within paragraph after paragraph of linear text. The radiant, hierarchical structure of a Mind Map, along with the use of keywords, will ensure that your notes appear in an easy to read, concise manner. A Mind Map will give you a visual overview of your notes, which means you can see the whole subject at a glance. Being able to see the big picture at all times will allow you to easily spot the connections between information in your notes.

Boost your ability to recall information

An important principle of Mind Mapping is personalising your maps using colour and images as they boost your ability to recall information. The brain processes images instantly, much faster than text, making them easier to remember. The more visual stimuli you can add to your Mind Maps the better. Keywords also play their part when it comes to helping you remember more information. When you think of one of your keywords, it will trigger connections in your brain and remind you of the information connected to that keyword.

Recording important information as keywords is a much quicker way of taking notes compared to the long, linear notes you are most likely used to creating. The physical action of creating a Mind Map will strengthen your ability to recall facts and figures. You will be able to look back at the clear, visual notes you have created and find information in a flash.

What became of my mountain of miscellaneous?

The process of creating a mind map of my ideas, was incredibly fun and liberating. Previously, I had considered re-writing, scanning, and dictation as a means of digitising my notes—all laborious propositions with varied degrees of success. For example, I have a strange habit of writing on paper in all directions (yep, even upside down), so scanning was not the best option. Dictation could be turned into text but only if I spoke clearly and used the right language (period… new paragraph…). Re-writing seemed redundant not to mention impossible (writers cramp… illegible and nonsensical scribble, who wrote this?). On the other hand, the new iMind Map 9 with its colourful interface and intuitive design spoke to my visual nature, and made it easy to capture, sort, and personalise the piles of paperwork I had accumulated.

Gone in a Flash

I felt like Barry Allen (aka The Flash) fast and efficient or that guy from Limitless with access to my minds full capabilities.

The steps I took to tame my wild workflow:

1. Create a cloud-syncing iMind Map for access on the go!

2. Personalise the display with groovy graphics which inspire creativity and leverage visual recognition to speed up workflow.

3. Use keywords to trigger a memory (a neurological point of access for retrieving the good stuff). Far superior to long-form note-taking and open-ended by design to encourage free flowing thought.

4. Follow the thought train and expand ideas with images, links, docs and more! (Last step is not essential but crazy fun, and can lead to deeper insights or alternative directions).

iMindMap 9: Fast as the Flash, Limitless like your Mind

Fast Capture View

* Capture information without distraction with the self-organising bubbles

* Find and organise ideas effortlessly with the new Outline Panel

* Customise your creations with a range of vibrant icons

* Add more data with text notes and links without compromising concision

* Switch instantly to the Brainstorm and Mind Map Views

Brainstorm View

* Find ideas quickly with the new Outline Panel – search and locate your thoughts within the brainstorm

* Shake up your brainstorm and your thinking with the new canvas images

* Auto-organise your ideas at the click of a button with the Clean Up feature

* Give your brainstorm the personal touch with a background picture of your choice

* New customisation and formatting options give you more control over your input. Add icons and images, change the size, font and colour of text and connect ideas with the Relationships function

* Text notes, web links, audio notes and even Mind Maps saved to the iMindMap Cloud, transform your brainstorm into a multimedia hub

* Switch to Mind Map or Fast Capture

* View with a single click – your ideas will seamlessly sync

It isn’t just features that have been added and updated with iMindMap 9, they’ve also worked on the software’s overall performance. The latest modifications now enable you to enjoy a faster, more intuitive Mind Mapping experience. Quicker and more responsive, iMindMap 9 comes with better retina support, enabling high resolution screens to display high resolution Mind Maps. Save .imx files that you create in iMindMap to Google Drive and Dropbox, two new destinations for saving and opening your Mind Maps. The integration with Evernote means you can now share an image of your Mind Maps, much like the Twitter and Facebook integrations.

Explore iMindMap 9 and the Pre-Launch Offers at: http://imindmap.com/imindmap-9/

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Inga Yandell

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