DropMind: A drop of magic in your elixir of creativity

Elixir of productivity 250 X 250If I had to define a formula for my creative thinking, I would say that it is equal to my capacity of dropping ideas out of my mind multiplied by the capacity of visualizing those ideas afterwards.

So, every time I have an idea, I stop everything I do and write it down before I lose this idea. My brain and yours is a wonderful tool to process and create ideas but it’s definitely not the space to store them.

Then, once a week, I organize those ideas in Evernote before structuring them in a Mind Map. The advantage of using a mind map is that it gives me the ability to drop and visualize those ideas which match the formula of creative thinking I was giving at the beginning of this post.

But for those of you who discover the world of mind-mapping, let me introduce you to the mind map concept.

A mind map is a 2D diagram used to display words, ideas, notes, documents, links etc… those elements are linked and radially distributed around a central topic or keyword.

Tony Buzan says that “The mind map is an expression of radiant thinking and is therefore a natural function of the human mind. It’s a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlocking the potential of the brain. The mind map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance ….. ” ( The mind map book – Tony Buzan )

But, around me, most of us are still working on a linear note taking fashion. Fashion that was ok in the industrial age but not adapted anymore in our information Age which requires more non linear thinking. Therefore, Mind mapping should be the way to visually organize our ideas and information

So why Mind Map is not so popular ? Maybe because it takes time to learn and will require some changes in the way we take notes. Some think that mind maps are limited to brainstorming or note taking but its usage goes further than that. It can be applied to prepare a presentation, to analyze an issue, to structure a document, to prepare a lecture, to make a SWOT analysis,…

If a century ago Mind maps were done by hand, today we have the possibility to use a computer to draw them. Personally, I use DropMindTM which enables me to draw my mind map from my multiple platforms(windows and Mac) but also when I am on the go through its web interface. This Web interface enables me to collaborate on a mind map online. Soon Seavus will release a version of DropMindTM for the iPad which will make me happy since mind mapping on the iPad is so natural that I often think Steve Jobs invented the iPad specifically for the mind map users.

Prior to DropMindTM, I had actively been using MindManager  but when it came to use it as a private tool, the costs were to high and I rapidly switched  to DropMindTM which offered me the best quality of service for the price they ask. Until now, I have not found a feature I was using in MindManager that I can not find in DropMindTM and importing my existing mind maps has not been an issue so far.

I know that you may do more in MindManager but in creativity less is more. It’s even more true when you start learning mind maps. So, I suggest you start mind-mapping in order to enhance your creativity and therefore your productivity. There are some free mind map software to start with but I suggest downloading the demo version of DropMindTM and GYIO (Get Your Ideas Organized)

I will finish my post by a quote of Edouard Picard to Paul Otlet:

“Summarize yourself, do not let the world participate to the elaboration of your ideas”

So, did Paul Otlet use mind maps after this remark ? I am sure he did !

Feel free to comment and do not hesitate to ask questions on mind maps since I have some resources and experience to share.

My suggested Links

Comments
12 Responses to “DropMind: A drop of magic in your elixir of creativity”
  1. barthox says:

    Have you tried ithoughts on the iPad? Works like a charm?

    And what about mindmeister?

  2. barthox says:

    Damn, forgot to say that Dropmind loks pretty neat!

    What’s this GYIO you mentioned? A plug in? Got a link?

    • Sébastien Wiertz says:

      Xavier,

      On the iPad, I currently use iToughts HD and it’s my best choice so far but since i use dropmind on my desktop, I will switch to dropmind iPad when it will be released (at least if it supports dropbox)
      If you do not have iToughts, i suggest to install it !

      The GYIO is a pure invention of mine :). This kind of acronyms we invent on a sunday afternoon. i have checked on Google and nobody mentioned it before me :))

  3. fredericw says:

    Exactly same Process for me Sebastien!
    I also use to use iToughts on my iPad but now the mindmeister integration and sync wtih iPad and web is my choice.
    Btw, tools are both great. What matters is Process isn’t it?

    • Sébastien Wiertz says:

      Frederic,

      Thanks for the comment!

      I knew already that you and Xavier where using mind maps a lot since that’s the first thing we did some months ago when we met virtually for the first time.
      Compare to iToughts HD, How is Mindmeister on the iPad ? Same features or better ? Does it support Dropbox ?

      • Barthox says:

        Mindmeister is web based so no need for dropbox … on the other hand, there’s no computer client but I think that they ofer some offline capabilities … Fred know more about it I think …

        This being said, I’ve experienced some difficulties with the Mindmeister app when I don’t have a connection. I did check the option for not syncing at startup, but the app seem to have problems starting nevertheless …

      • Sébastien Wiertz says:

        Exactly the issue I had with mindmeister in the past. I work offline most of the time.
        Is It better now ?

  4. Barthox says:

    I’m using iThoughts as well … very neat …

    This being said, Dropmind looks pretty cool and I will recommend it to a colleague who likes the concept but found MindManager too expensive.

    I have a MM7 Pro license … but I did not pay for it, I won it … ;o)

  5. Hey guys,

    Let’s create a facebook group together. Just kidding. Sebastien, you know already I fully support / agree with you here.
    Happy to see that we are not the only ones.

    Cheers.
    Emeric

  6. Sébastien Wiertz says:

    Emeric moved his post. I have corrected the link.

    thanks for the info

  7. Sébastien Wiertz says:

    DropMind released an iPad version and it’s really a nice App to have for mindmap lovers (with an iPad)
    moreover, you can purchase the desktop version and the iPad version for a really nice price !

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    This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer.