Eat That Frog!

October 27, 2007

Get More of the Important Things Done – Today!

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“There’s an old saying that if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day.”

“Eat That Frog! takes this saying as a metaphor for tackling the most challenging task of your day – the one you are most likely to put off, but also probably the one that will have the greatest positive impact on our life.  There simply isn’t enough time to do everything on our “To Do” list – and there never will be.  Successful people don’t try to do everything.  They focus on the most important tasks and make sure they get done.”

What an great little book – small in size, easy to read, straight forward, to the point and yet packed full of advice that you could implement today.  A few  quotes which really stood out were:-

“Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete.”

“The number one reason why some people get more work done faster is because they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives and they don’t deviate from them.”

“Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal.”

“Read in your field for at least one hour every day…The more you learn and know, the more confident and motivated you feel.”

“Take one full day off each week.”


Microsoft to pay $240 million for a stake in FaceBook

October 26, 2007

Facebook and Microsoft Expand Strategic Alliance

Anyone who likes to keep an eye on the major players in the software world will be interested to learn that Microsoft is to pay $240 million for a 1.6 percent stage for Facebook, which would value this fledgling company at $15 billion.

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See full press release

The New York Times (Saul Hansell) [ 24 October ]:

“He’s saying that the money will let Facebook hire hundreds of engineers and buy thousands of servers. And he defines the company’s business as “social computing.” That means Facebook wants to build a serious technology company using its close relationship with users, which challenges Google. “

See full article 

The New York Times (Brad Stone) [ 25 October ]

“The Microsoft investment throws the value of the holdings of Facebook investors into the stratosphere. Mark Zuckerberg, the 23-year-old Facebook founder who dropped out of Harvard to build the company, owns a 20 percent share which is now valued at $3 billion. Accel Partners, the venture capital firm that invested $12.7 million in May 2005 and owns 11 percent of Facebook, now holds stock worth $1.65 billion. “

See full article

What will Google make of this investment?

 


MindManager Office Productivity Pack

October 24, 2007

… and it’s free to existing Users until 31st October 2007 !

I use Microsoft Office extensively and have done so since 1989 (or thereabouts) but I know that there will always be something to learn … or something to see from someone else’s perspective.  When I first looked at MindManager’s Office Productivity Pack earlier this month (see 17 October), I was looking at it solely from my point of view.  Today I want to re-look at it to see who else it would be useful for…

Do you use Microsoft Office software?

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If so, MindManager 7.0 Pro could really assist you by making it the “hub” of your interactions with various Microsoft packages.  The Productivity Pack contains a useful, straightforward Map outlining the various applications that MindManager 7.0 Pro integrates with and the benefits that it can help you achieve.  For anyone who believes that MindManager would be useful for others in their company but is struggling to convey the message to colleagues, this and other Maps could help.  It focuses on the benefits of the integration with each of the various packages rather than the features themselves, making it a useful tool for anyone trying to explain why they want to introduce “mapping” software more widely in their company.

White Paper

The Pack also contains a well written White Paper, entitled, “Simplify the Way You Work” which opens by saying…

This white paper explores the benefits of integrating Mindjet MindManager Pro 7 with Microsoft Office.

MindManager Pro 7 integrates with Microsoft Office in three ways—it shares Office 2007’s new user interface, it supports attaching or linking Office documents to maps, and it can import and export data between MindManager and Office applications.

Because MindManager can pull in and exchange data from Office, it simplifies your work and serves as your Microsoft Office productivity hub.”

It then includes very useful step-by-step How To sections for each of the following applications:-

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The How To’s are clear and straightforward and would benefit very many Users.   However, what I liked the most was the narrative text supporting each How To … many of the paragraphs could be used to explain the benefits of MindManager as a “Hub” for Microsoft Office.

“MindManager’s integration with Microsoft Office transforms the world’s most popular business toolset into much more than the sum of its parts, and Mindjet MindManager helps you and your organization reap all benefits the integration creates.

Because of the integration of MindManager and Microsoft Office, you will work smarter, think creatively, and save time, everyday…”

 Maps to visually show you HOW TO

Well you’d expect nothing else, would you?  In addition to the White Paper, the Productivity Pack contains a separate Map of HOW TO integrate with each of the Microsoft Applications.  This alone is worth getting the Pack for because it will either generate ideas or it will enable you to discuss the possiblities with colleagues.

 

Would I buy the Productivity Pack?

Yes, because it contains a good all round overview of how you can gain extra benefit from your existing Microsoft Office applications by using MindManager 7.0 Pro as a “knowledge hub”, in a way that will help you explain the concept to others plus it contains straightforward, easy to follow, HOW TO instructions for each application.  So, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it.

Mind you, seeing as it’s free to existing users until 31st October, I’d recommend that you do as I did – get it FREE

Download a 21-day free trial of MindManager 7.0 Pro – and then buy it before 31st October so that you can download your FREE Productivity Pack

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Mindjet say “Because of the integration of MindManager and Microsoft Office, you will work smarter, think creatively, and save time, everyday…” and I truly believe that to be the case.  I am a Microsoft Master Instructor and consider myself to be a Productivity Specialist and I know that by integrating the two M’s together (Microsoft & Mindjet) it truly is a case of the sum being greater than the two parts.  Mind you, anyone who has been reading this blog will know, I won’t ever create a map again without remembering the words of wisdom in Jamie Nast’s book “Idea Mapping” … I consider her ideas to be the key …


Seeing a clearer way to project success

October 21, 2007

 

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MindManager& Microsoft Office Project & Prince2
 

Anyone who has ever worked in project management (whether beginner or expert) knows that Prince2™  is a methodology and, to the beginner, it seems “difficult” and “daunting”.  I was therefore extremely pleased to discover this free event being hosted by Visual Technology Solutions and am really looking forward to it.  Anything which can assist people running projects to be able to “see a clearer way to project success” must be worth taking a good look at and it is yet another reason why I am enjoying the journey of learning MindManager 7.0 Pro™  from Mindjet.  To be able to see the VISION whilst controlling the DETAIL is a common theme with me … people need to be able to “see the wood from the trees” whilst keeping accurate and timely records.  Looks like this event should be a perfect demonstration of that in action.

The details from VTS are as follows:

Location: University of Westminster, New Cavendish Street, London, United Kingdom
Date: 31st October 2007
Time: 9:30am – 1:00 pm  

The availability of Project Management applications in today’s market place are plentiful, but what about the age old problem of project Inception, Planning and Brainstorming activities?  These very necessary precursors to any major project are often managed using the more traditional tools of white boards, flip charts and sticky notes. 

This morning event is aimed at providing anyone with an interest in  project management methodology a short but thorough clearer picture of the processes involved.

Agenda

9:30am           Registration Tea & Coffee
10:00am        Introduction to Mapping
10:40am        Visualizing PRINCE2™
11:15am         Coffee
11:30am         Implementing New Processes
12:15am         Q&A
1:00pm          Close

Register for the above event or download a free 21-day trial of MindManager 7.0 Pro

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I’ll post an update after the event on 31st October and am now about to take a closer look at VTS’s Visual Bubble Ribbon … sounds very interesting …


Mindjet Monthly Newsletter (US)

October 19, 2007

Collaboration with Jamie Nast – Integrating MindManager with Microsoft Outlook

As anyone who has been reading this blog knows, I bought Jamie Nast’s book “Idea Mapping” in August and highly recommend it – there are several posts on this Blog about her work – please select “Jamie Nast” from Categories to see them all.  She has enabled me to allow the creative, imaginative, visionary “Me” to work in harmony with the linear, logical, analytical “Me” and I am enjoying the results.  I have always been an organised person but I am now taking those skills to higher levels.  Thanks Jamie!

You can imagine my pleasure when Jamie asked me if I would be prepared to share some of my Maps for an Article she was writing for the Mindjet Monthly Newsletter (US version) about integrating MindManager 7.0 Pro with Microsoft Office Outlook.  You’ll find the US Newsletter on Mindjet’s website where Jamie’s article explains the maps below … I hope that the maps (and the integration with Microsoft Office Outlook) will inspire some ideas …

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Download a free trial copy of MindManager 7.0 Pro 


 


What’s in a name? Mind Mapping / Visual Mapping / Idea Mapping…Information Mapping?

October 18, 2007

Information Mapping?

I am in the process of launching a new business venture and intend to incorporate “mapping” workshops as part of the solutions available from January 2008.  I firmly believe that the TITLE of a workshop / eBook / seminar / press release etc really matters and I am therefore currently giving this considerable thought.

I personally don’t like the term “mind mapping” because, as a logical, linear, analytical person the term feels “alien” to me but it is a term which people know (eventhough many people pull a funny face when they hear the words) and more than once I have heard  “oh no, mind mapping is not for me; I like lists“.  So, clearly I want to avoid this term so as to not create an initial barrier.  What are my choices?

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Idea Mapping … I really like this because it clearly conveys that I will be mapping my ideas.  The concepts within Jamie Nast’s excellent book are so important that I will always include them in the way that I use mapping and I urge you to discover what she has to say – you’ll find my review via this link:-

https://kayenightingale.wordpress.com/2007/09/01/idea-mapping-jamie-nast/

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Visual Mapping … I really like this term because it conveys that I will be mapping visually so this makes me think of “maps” and flowcharts and diagrams of various types.   Please see my post about Wallace Tait’s excellent discussion on this topic.:-

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https://kayenightingale.wordpress.com/2007/10/17/a-challenge-to-visual-mapping-software-developers/

However, although I really like both of the above terms, neither is exactly the message that I want to convey – and, afterall, I want these workshops / seminars to have my stamp on them …

My focus will be on helping businesses to “get more done in less time” and therefore I feel the term “Information Mapping” better describes what I do. 

We are all bombarded with data and information all day long … and I am using mapping software to keep a track of what needs to be done and where I can find that particular piece of information when the time is right.  Furthermore, I am linking the mapping software (MindManager) to Microsoft Office (Outlook, Project etc) to enable me to be able to see the VISION whilst working on the DETAIL and, most importantly, using the map as a visual medium to enable others to see the WHAT, WHERE & WHEN.

I am therefore drawn to the term “information mapping” to describe what I will be doing.  

I would really appreciate some feedback to find out whether you agree that the term “mind mapping” can be a barrier to some people and whether you feel that  “information mapping” gets through that barrier for the purpose described above? 


New Productivity Pack to integrate MindManager with Microsoft Office

October 17, 2007

Harness the Complete Power and Benefits of Microsoft Office

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The Mindjet Productivity Pack for Microsoft Office provides MindManager 7 users with a detailed guide to maximizing their use of their Microsoft Office productivity tools.

The Productivity Pack includes a whitepaper and seven MindManager maps that explain and illustrate how to use MindManager to:

– Display Microsoft Excel® ranges

– Create Microsoft PowerPoint presentations

– Write compelling Microsoft Word® documents

– Create plans for and present status from Microsoft Project®

– Add and update Microsoft Outlook® events, notes, contacts and tasks from your maps

– Draw Microsoft Visio® org-charts and process flows

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I have a considerable interest in the integration of MindManager 7.0 Pro with Microsoft Office and I therefore read the White Paper, entitled “Simplify the Way You Work: Enhancing Microsoft Office with MindManager Pro 7″, with particular interest. 

When I first discovered MindManager 7.0 Pro (in July this year) it was this ease of integration which excited me.  The White Paper opens by saying:

Typical knowledge workers spend approximately one-third of their time searching for and retrieving information. Hours are lost each day scanning email folders, databases, and network directories.   Additional

time is spent re-entering information as well as copying and pasting content. Despite the sophistication of productivity software, it is still difficult to:

– Access and synthesize information from network and desktop systems.

– Connect the dots and take action on the big picture.

– Collaborate with clients and colleagues.

Important data is trapped in information silos and format restrictions imposed by software, rather than integrating ideas in ways that enable you to work smarter, think creatively, and save time.

MindManager Pro 7 removes these obstacles through its integration with Microsoft Office. With its intuitive visual maps, MindManager captures, organizes, and shares information between Microsoft Office applications, but more importantly, with your team. With MindManager, you and your team will spend more time getting things done, and less time hunting for information and fighting the limitations of different information systems.”

Existing Users can download the Productivity Pack (free until October 31) via this link:- http://www.mindjet.com/us/productivity_pack_office/?cid=bridge3  or,  download a 21 day trial copy of MindManager