Not so much New Year’s resolutions but more a slight change in approach for this year.
1. Use more Visualisation
This is becoming very clear, the whole a picture tells a thousand words approach makes a lot of sense in helping to explain complex ideas. I have always liked Kathy’s graphs and charts on the Creating Passionate Users site and I think this is something to aim for.
Even note taking / brainstorming can be more visual :- Howard Rheingold’s Sketches From a 1994 HotWired Meeting
More examples at information aesthetics of representing data online.
And I think that Google Chart may be quite useful for charts and graphs.
2. Mind Mapping
To use Mind Mapping to build diagrams of relationships between ideas and/or other pieces of information. For brainstorming, mind dumps and critical thinking I will be using Rationale from Austhink who are associated with the University of Melbourne (rather than Inspiration).
The use of the term “Mind Maps” is trademarked by The Buzan Organisation, Ltd. in the UK and the USA
Tony Buzan suggests using the following foundation structures for Mind Mapping:
1. Start in the center with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colors.
2. Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your Mind Map.
3. Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.
4. Each word/image must be alone and sitting on its own line.
5. The lines must be connected, starting from the central image. The central lines are thicker, organic and flowing, becoming thinner as they radiate out from the centre.
6. Make the lines the same length as the word/image.
7. Use colors – your own code – throughout the Mind Map.
8. Develop your own personal style of Mind Mapping.
9. Use emphasis and show associations in your Mind Map.
10. Keep the Mind Map clear by using radial hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace your branches.
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
I will also investigate these two packages;
- Compendium – Compendium is about sharing ideas, creating artifacts, making things together, and breaking down the boundaries between dialogue, artifact, knowledge, and data.
- Cayra – Cayra is a program that lets you represent tasks, ideas, concepts and other items in a graphic, well-structured way. Cayra is based on such mental techniques, as Mind Maps and Concept Maps and allows you to conveniently work with big maps.
i.) Buzan, T. (1991). The Mind Map Book. New York: Penguin.
ii.) Mindmaps directory
iii.) Rationale Thoughts
Long term planning is great but we are currently in a time of rapid change, a solid project can be totally changed in 2 weeks, staff moved to different buildings, labs bulldozed over the weekend … you get the picture. Modify my project planning approach so that it is not an emotional investment, allow for complete redirection over a two week period; do not rely that thing are ‘set in concrete’.
And some tools to assist
* Easel pad + easel
* Transparent whiteboard (glass/perspex) – they seem to work in all the criminal investigation shows
* graphics pad/tablet for digital sketching?
Focus on using the SMART framing for tasks and goals.