Operation Overload

Monday, December 10th, 2007
Michael, Totty, of the Wall Street Journal, recently interviewed me for an article on personal productivity software.
It's an axiom of the computer age: The very technology that was supposed to make us more productive has instead overwhelmed us with more work, too much information and a blurred line between the office and home. And we've repeatedly turned to software to get more organized. But can it really help?
We talked about a number of productivity tools that I use personal and professionally with my clients. He was particularly interested in mind mapping tools, so we talked about two of my favorites: MindManager and Personal Brain. It's a nice article and worth a read. Link to WSJ article

Discussion/Comments (5):

Operation Overload

Congratulations on the interview Eric: I like to hear about people using both the Brain and MindManager, and would love to hear more about how you use the tools together.

Posted at 12/11/2007 10:43:12 AM by Kyle McFarlin


Operation Overload

Eric,

I am very interested in you expanding further sometime on using Personal Brain and Mind Manager together.

I find PB's interface useful in brainstorming new ventures and creative projects, but at a point when there is alot of content I find that Mind Manager's open display is more useful to organize and view information.

I'm wondering how you jointly use the strengths of both mindmapping systems effectively without info overlap.

Posted at 12/12/2007 10:02:57 PM by Neal Aronowitz


Operation Overload

I am a Windows/Personal Brain user, interested in if and how you have integrated Personal Brain into your writing process. I am constructing a novel in my Brain.

From my main brain, there are eight children/categories:

lists

theme

setting

characters

conflict

devises

points of view

time-line

Attached to these categories are about 1000 thoughts, and growing. Through the patterns and connections of all these thoughts, the story is forming. I'm ready for some kind of fiction-writing software. It feels too cumbersome to have a writing program running outside of my brain, when all my ideas are linked inside PB. I have a crazy pipe dream. I want a program that can be integrated with PB. At this point, I’m sort of writing my book in the "note" screen. It would be great if I could just replace "notes" window in PB with an excellent writing program screen, so that as I go from thought to thought, my writing program screen is there, instead of PB’s Note tool window. I have thought of creating a running template in the attachments screen. Then leave it open when PB is open.

Or, maybe I should learn how to transition all my brain into something like wikidpad that could provide connectivity of ideas, like PB does.The thought of starting all over is hideous.Plus, I love the way PB allows me to organize and build my material. aughhhhhhh. I'm so frustrated. Instead of writing, all I'm doing is looking for a program that can do it all for me. I must be out of my mind. I want to write a book, as if it were a technical project, rather than a work of art. Why can't it be both? Am I missing something. Could you be speak to the mechanisms you have in place, how you've put all this together into an efficient, integrated, creative way? How would a writer combine PB and MindManager? I've been asking this question on different blogs today, hoping to find a methodology that will work for me. Thanks for any follow-up.

Posted at 12/20/2007 9:38:27 AM by mcgilh


re: Operation Overload

Heather, remember that MindManager and Personal Brain and just tools - it's up to you to work them to your advantage.

I like how you have described your use of Personal Brain for capturing ideas and visualizing the relationships. That seems like a good approach to me. As for MindManager, I would use it when I KNOW the structure and I want to organize ideas around a structure.

Again, these are just tools. No hard and fast rules.

I hope this helps.

Eric

Posted at 12/26/2007 3:46:10 PM by Eric Mack


Operation Overload

You, sir, are a star.

Posted at 1/13/2008 11:08:33 AM by Matthew Cornell



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