Boundary People #KM Engagement

Our Town

A few weeks ago,  I had a friend visit my office.  As we were walking the halls of the building and passing the various business areas, I waved and said “hello” to the people I know.   My friend said “oh, you must be the Mayor.”   If anyone were truly the Mayor it would most likely be my Architect.

I wonder if it is still true in most organizations today that we can identify those people that we call “Mayor” or if this is something that is changing dramatically due to the global workforce or virtual teams.

For today, at least where I work, it is like a small town with the various town folk representing their areas of business.   I think of this as work-town.

The Boundary People

Today, I considered looking at my network in the context of multiple towns.   I considered all those folks that I know about but generally don’t interact with and the opportunities that they represent.

Socilab   LinkedIn Social Network Visualization  Analysis  and Education

I used the Socilab LinkedIn network analysis tool located here 

Here is another view ..

12me LinkedIn Social Network Visualization  Analysis  and Education

It looks like I may have to get out more..

The  tool only allows for 500 people, so this is a sample size but I think it is a good representation of my connections.

It would be interesting to have this in the office for all of our folks to see individually.  I am well aware that tools exist for this but we would have to consider the practical implications for people.


Basically,  I have my work-town relationships, my hometown relationships, my current town relationships and some that live between the hometown and the work-town.

Looking at the “social network” as informed by a technical system would not be enough to apply the personal context of what the relationships mean to me in context.    This aside,  there is an opportunity to measure operational effectiveness or “connectedness” in some context through looking at the boundaries.

Why do they (boundary people) exist at the edge of my network?

What town are they in?

Where are they relative to me and in what context do we have a relationship?

Relationships are “for purpose” and often times, this is represented as a negative but I see it as a positive.  For example,  I enjoy getting a cup of coffee in the cafeteria in the morning.  I see Toni every morning and share a brief exchange with her.  I enjoy that relationship and the coffee.   If the coffee were not there, I honestly don’t know how often I would simply find myself wandering down there.  That being said, I often walk away from the cafeteria with a lot more than just coffee.

Mindful Boundary Person Engagement

In life you’ll realize there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you. – unknown

Social tools seek to introduce technical capabilities to address these boundaries.   LinkedIn now shows you that someone is having a birthday or an event change that you can see.  This presents the opportunity to reach out to that person living at the edge of the network or town.   This kind of capability generally doesn’t exist in the workplace and even if tools like Jive are in place for this kind of notification, work-town engagement is much different and results would be heavily impacted by work-town culture.

The intent here is to work on our level of awareness without the benefit of these social tools in our network.

I must admit that I do use tools though..   I use “The Brain” Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.52.13 AM

The process I use .. is

Person –> Context—>Date—> Organization—>Group—>Applications—>Events

It isn’t a perfect system but it allows me to determine who I know and in what context I know them beyond a relationship in a CRM tool.    I can see many to many relationships.. but I digress.

The point is to understand the boundaries and find ways to turn them into a relationship of deeper meaning or better context.   The benefits are consistent with good community management.   In my case, it is data about a person converting to dialogue with a person.. and gaining the opportunities to share and grow with new relationships.

Who lives in your town?

Maybe you could get out and meet up with some of your boundary people?


More information on networks and connectedness can be found here






Personal KM and The Brain – Context Tools and Perception

Personal KM – What we think we know. 

Personal KM is now becoming an area of great interest for a number of reasons.   We are creating more information than ever before and from a business perspective it is difficult to understand and manage this information in context.  That being said, information and “data” is of great value.  A few years ago my team introduced some simple patterns of collaboration in order to scope and provide additional context on information relative to a project or program.   One of the first activities of the information management and gathering process is to set out and “discover” what is going on.  Where are we in the organization? What people are involved in a project?  What are the considerations relative to governance?  What is the project or program looking to achieve?  What does a successful outcome look like?   It is a lot of questions but fundamentally the questions drive more questions that will eventually shape what all of the information may mean to YOU(perception).   How are you affected(perception)?  What role and responsibility do you really have relative to what the project or program believes(perception)?  What can you do (perception)?   What tools can you use(awareness)?  What information in available to you(awareness)?  More and more questions and answers. When I start showing people architectures representing these concepts, they overwhelmingly respond in a similar way.   They seem to feel that for their specific work, that they don’t really need a pattern or that they already understand where they are relative to the program.  This is where Personal KM and perception comes into play and how important it is to people as individuals and the organizations they work for.  The next few areas of this blog will show you why.


This isn’t new but if you haven’t seen this please take a look at this 1 minute video before moving on.

What you think you know and what you know:

If you have watched the video, you may now be wondering.. what else am I missing? Once your brain has been notified that other things are happening in your world that you need to potentially pay attention to, you can be aware of these hidden ghosts and start to deal with them.   The key to awareness is knowing that we aren’t aware and looking for mechanisms and others to help raise our level of awareness.  At this moment in our humanity, it isn’t likely that we will be fully aware of any given situation.

Personal KM – Tacit Exchange:

When we learn something on a personal level we file it away and may not feel a need to share it with others.  Research indicates that Organization Knowledge Management (OKM) starts with Personal Knowledge Management (PKM). HKPKMResearch further indicates that “The basic concept of formalizing software agents to mediate the work processes usually handled by the human counterpart is by having the human counterpart to delegate the tasks to a software agent or multiple software agents. The conceptual model for agent-mediated research work processes commonly handled by human knowledge worker”  This is what the figure above is showing. The bottom line is that we are looking to automate or transfer as much information as we can to a system or systems of systems for reuse.  Additionally, people must enter information that they may not believe (perception) would be important and further they may not have incentive to share this personal information.  Keep in that we as people only know what we think we know and we may also know things that we may not realize that we know. 

More Tools:

I am asked often what tools I use for PKM and why I use them.  Going back to the original discussion point concerning the collaboration pattern, if I didn’t use tools and techniques , the pattern and information associated would be less valuable. The information becomes more valuable because of the conversion of information from tacit to explicit and because the explicit information is further validated by more than one person.  This increases the likelihood of greater awareness.  I generally use a few tools but the primary tool is “TheBrain.”Howietodacenter The Brain is a PKM tool that enables users to take traditional mind mapping to new level. This tool specifically allows for users to define objects and relationships quickly and tag those objects textually and visually. The focus on the “Plex” which is the main interface that allows the user to focus on the relationships on the central node. The central node is the place where the user pays attention. The relationships branch off in parent, child and jump relationships that can have one to many or many to many connections. Additionally the user can create “link types” and differentiate linkages by visual and textual methods. Through the use of tagging, visual line thickness, color and pictures the view in the Plex allows users to have a better understanding of the meaning behind the relationships. The Brain tool enables a multidimensional visual representation of objects and their relationships through a 2 dimensional interface. This interface allows for “stacking” which can increase the actual extensibility of the user experience into the 3rd dimension. This is important to understand because the relationships you see in the plex on a node or object may have other relationships behind them. When the human interacts with the interface and changes the view, the nature of these hidden relationships is revealed. Steve Zeoli has a great blog about his use of this tool (Welcome to Sherwood) where he makes very clear points on the brain and its uses.  Steve notes:

 Here are the ways you can associate information to a single Thought in TheBrain:

  1. Link child Thoughts — topics that flow from the Thought.
  2. Link parent Thoughts — topics from which the Thought flows.
  3. Link related or jump Thoughts — topics related in an unhierarchical way.
  4. Add notes in the Note tool.
  5. Attach as many URLs as you’d like.
  6. Attach almost any type of file: spreadsheets, text documents, PDFs, pictures, etc.
  7. Give the Thought a Type — make all urgent Thoughts red, for example.
  8. Give the Thought multiple Tags — Tags allow you to quickly find Thoughts that share a Tag.
  9. Use the calendar to associate date-specific events.
  10. Use links to define special relationships among the data.

Falling Short…

More context is always needed.   I have to always add tags and link types and relationships. I have used a blend between freemind or regular mind maps and The Brain for many years. Mind maps and Concept maps show a map view as if we are looking at a road map from the top down.  The Brain is almost like a GPS, where you are in the map and driving through it waypoint to waypoint.  For me, it doesn’t go far enough and there is a gap between my needs and what is available.  I would like to see or identify a node and from there in that view I would like to develop or define relationships as many to many or many to one.   I would like to query on that node to further define context or visually move the node and either perform some “what if” analysis or just visually see the connections from any x y z axis perspective.  I would like nodes themselves to be three dimensional, with the ability to pin relationships on any one area of the node.   I would like the tool to essentially show mapping over time and have more integrated functions with the calendar.    There are other areas that are gaps like when you cut and paste information or import /export.   I could go on about what I would like to see but with all the gaps in capability, it is the best thing for me to use right now. It does help me identify or become aware of connections that I would have previously overlooked.

Visual Understanding Environment 



changefatigue example Concept mapping –

Concept maps have their origin in the work of David Ausubel
(advanced organizers). The technique of concept mapping was developed by Joseph D Novak at Cornell. “Concept maps have their origin in the learning movement called constructivism. In particular, constructivists hold that prior knowledge is used as a framework to learn new knowledge. In essence, how we think influences how and what we learn. Concept maps identify the way we think, the way we see relationships between knowledge.” Grayson H. Walker, Concept Mapping and Curriculum Design, Teaching Resource Center, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

I use concept maps:

It is always (people, process, methods and tools) but I do love tools.  I use VUE in the same way as these guys use CMAPS at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola Fl, 32502.

I also use a lot of other tools (as needed), if you want a list or have questions please email me.  

Back to the start:

If you are interested, here (KM Institute Final) is the hand out we gave during our talk at the KM Institute.  It talks a little about the collaboration pattern and our use of  The Brain.

We need PKM and we further need to filter and publish relevent information to our businesses or organizations.   This is very important to understand because WE ultimately decide what we are willing to put into the system and what WE are willing to share.  This is all about perception and perspective relative to the information.  I can think of many reasons why people would choose to hold off on sharing.  These are the concepts that we need to consider moving forward.   Most importantly, we need each other help validate what we think we know relative to what the group may think or what the facts are.

I want to point out that I believe an understanding of awareness, behavior modification, km drivers and tools as enablers will help increase real data value.  Personal KM and Perception enhancement may be a next step to KM!

This behavior brings a new level of fidelity to knowledge management and will help us deal with what is as opposed to what we believe.

Am I LinkedIn™ or LinkedOut?

Hampton Roads is taking a beating when it comes to jobs.  I guess that isn’t news to anyone but the folks getting let go.  People that work for the government are getting furloughed.  The current news reports that the days that government workers will have to take off will be reduced; it still has an impact on them that in some cases will be very harmful.    The defense industry work force that supports the government is getting cut not furloughed.     Defense workers are getting pay reductions, two week notices or less.

Whether you are sympathetic to this situation or not within itself doesn’t matter.   The reason is that it may and most likely will affect you.    In my post (, I linked to a congressional report that estimated over 2 million jobs being impacted.   I think those estimates are themselves short sighted.  Let me give you an example, if I am buying a book today, I go to Amazon or B&N online or another online store.  Those items that we are buying are not part of our local economy.   It is certainly reasonable to think that the loss of a few jobs or diminished income for a few would have little impact on the many.   It is unreasonable to think that wide sweeping job loss and income reduction would not impact other areas of the US and potentially other markets.

I have no idea what the real net impact will be but frankly, I know that I myself alone can’t change the economic and political climate.   What I do know is that I have a network.   It is a network of friends, family and work acquaintances that I made through my years of work.    What I have been able to do through this network is help individuals find work and/or at least an opportunity for an interview.

What is different today?

Normally, we have to look out for one or two people and what that may amount to is a phone call or a simple email.   Today is different; there are a lot of people coming off contracts, and being cut.   As an individual, I alone can’t manage as a recruiting, retention and transfer service.   Additionally, dealing with recruiting services has some of its own challenges.   I am thankful that they exist but also understand that in a lot of cases, they are a last resort.   For the record, there is nothing wrong with headhunters or technical service providers.  They provide a service to their clients and labor respectively and they are normally upfront about the conditions of the service.    The bottom line here is that under these circumstances and conditions we need to start pulling our networking efforts together and shift into a new gear.


In December of 2006, I joined LinkedIn™ and I started using it as I believe it was intended.   When I meet people or if I have a relationship with them already, I ask if they are on LinkedIn and I connect with them.  I check LinkedIn on a regular basis and I update my status.  I have LinkedIn™ connected with Twitter and I am a part of many groups including a group that I have on IT concerning the defense oriented computing.   I also started the Forge.Mil group when I worked with the team supporting DISA on that effort.   All in all, I have a professionally established network on LinkedIn™ of over 1000+ people.   In the past I have referred to Dunbars Law which states that people can only manage about 150 relationships with any real depth of context or tribal type of relationship. Seth Godin talks about this on his blog at ( if you have any additional interest on this subject.   I have in previous posts linked an authoritative source for this study.   Essentially, you can know of a lot of people and you can have a large network but it is not possible to push the relationship boundaries for normal people over the 300 person mark.   What this means is that on LinkedIn, the people that I know who have chosen to use this service are mostly acquaintances.   It doesn’t matter if I met them at a party and they got the essence of Howie, they mostly don’t know to care much more about me than somebody that they used to know (there is a joke in there Goyte ).

In addition to LinkedIn™, I have an application that I use to manage relationships called “The Brain”, feel free to ask me about it but I have over the years advertised for them enough.  I just use it to tie people to areas of work or systems and other things.   In addition to this I have other social media outlets.   I try not to use Facebook for anything business related except that when I blog it does go to Facebook.  I also use Google+ the same way as Facebook.  I will say that Google+ does seem to appeal to me more.  All that being said, LinkedIn™ is the place where I expect to pull most of my professional network together and the place I can go where people keep their information up to date.

It Seems to Be Failing Me

It is taking me a long time to get here, I apologize.   LinkedIn is not working the way I expect.  Is it because I use the freemium version?   If Jeff Weiner CEO of LinkedIn™ wants to double tap me, I think not.  I am giving him content, in my view that content is worth more weight and value than the $240.00 a year that he expects me to pay them for the service.  As a matter of fact, he should incentify me to put information into LinkedIn™ by offering me something.     Last week was the first time that I have ever reached out to my whole LinkedIn™ network at one time for anything.  I didn’t reach out to them for myself; I did it for someone else.   When I put out a post asking for a response for a person who I know has skills that are in demand at this time, I got very little back.   When I say little, I will be clear (two likes and one email ).    In order to get some opportunity going, I had to work as hard as usual to make phone calls and send emails and do all of the things I would have to do regardless of LinkedIn™.    Maybe I am using LinkedIn™ incorrectly?  I get hundreds of appearances on search and I get about 7-10+ views over the course of a few days.  Most of them don’t amount to anything unless I initiate a conversation.  I could do that without LinkedIn™.    The discussion threads in LinkedIn™ are almost useless.  I said almost because I haven’t found the value in them for the most part.  On occasion there have been good threads or linkages.   Those occasions are fleeting.   In terms of social analytics or metrics, I wonder what the ratio of active engagement is relative to named use.    I digress.

Outside of LinkedIn™ and Beyond

If LinkedIn™ is just a resume service, I have one of those with VisualCV™ and that service does a better job of resume management within itself.   I get more responses or hits from Facebook and Google+ on my blog than I do from LinkedIn™.  Maybe Google+ or Facebook can replace it?

On Jobs

“It is very hard to be brave,” said Piglet, sniffing slightly, “when you’re only a Very Small Animal.”

If you are still reading this blog, I am going to assume you care about others.   I am also going to assume that you care about yourself.   In other words, there should be the realization that we are all connected and that those connections and tethers far exceed our ability to understand the cause and effect relationships in our current view.    I believe that it is our personal responsibility to help each other.  I am not talking about a charity or hand out.  I am not talking about a donation of GoodWill or a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.  I am talking about helping each other with a micro transaction.   A little help can go a long way.  Do you know that (insert name here) they losing their job or getting cut?  Is (insert name here) a good person?  Is he/she competent?  Can he/she benefit another organization or group that you know?   If so, make the connection.  It is good for them and it is good for you.  It is a situation that is mutually beneficial.   I haven’t always been successful in these efforts but I am not going to quit doing it.  I am not a recruiter and I don’t make any money from my efforts.  I am no better a person than anyone reading this.  I simply believe that helping others is a responsibility and a blessing.   Helping others pays dividends, not necessarily to you or me explicitly but it may help that person in a big way and the world in ways that we can’t comprehend.


A lesson From Matt S (You know who you are dude)

Matt teaches “Howie, if you want people to do something, you have to tell them what you want them to do and it has to be actionable.”

If you see that I post something on LinkedIn™ or any social media outlet and I am referring to a person that needs some attention or help.  I want you to pass that on.  If I have 9 million people in my extended LinkedIn™ network, there is no reason why one person out of 9 million won’t have an opportunity to offer.    At the very least pass that name on and tell them when you pass it on that you don’t know the person but you have a second or third degree connection.    Results will vary but the effort itself as small as it may be is that something that you can do that will make a difference even if that difference is simply to you.

Mind Mapping Resources, Tools, and Tips

Here he goes again with the mind mapping…

Happy New YEAR!  It is Sunday January 1st, 2012 and I have to share with you all that I kept my resolution last year and managed to blog throughout the year.  It is important to share information and I believe that it is even more important to write outside of the office in order to keep your thoughts and writing fresh.    With that, I am writing today to bring back a subject that is near and dear to my career which is Mind Mapping!

There are many ways to express information but what I find most valuable is a thought tree with node (thought) connections, linkage types and the relationships in context.   Essentially it is a visual way to write what you think which further enables you to go back and look at your writing from a graphical perspective.

Think that is not important?  Guess again.. Infographics are becoming more familiar because the grouping of concepts and information with graphic representation is more natural to consume.  You know “a picture is worth a thousand words?”   How about a picture with words will save you thousands!  If you start with the words in an image it helps pull things together for analysis and saves time in re-work.

Something simple


Something a little more complicated

Something more practical

I practice mind mapping almost every day and I even generate documents from the maps I build.   You can use Freemind to do this but I like the MindJet interface.   For high level mapping and document generation I use Freemind and for deep dives and what I call “node traveling” I use Personal Brain.  Below are resources provided by but I pasted them here for ease of travel.   If you have questions on how you can use mind maps or you want more information, let me know!

Free Software

mapping your mindFree Mind – the premier java-based mind mapping software known for its quick, one-click “fold/unfold” and “follow link” operations.

Wisemapping – “Visual Thinking Evolution”, offering free web based mind maps you can share anywhere on the web.

Mindplan – mind mapping and project managementcombined with Lotus Notes.

Mindomo – an online mapping application offering both free and paid premium accounts.

Recall Plus – enhance your learning power with the downloadable software for free, or upgrade to Plus for full functionality.

MindMeister – collaborative online mind mapping with free basic, premium, and team plans.

Mapul – online mind mapping using Ajax and Silverlight web technologies.

DeepMehta – software combining open-source and interdisciplinary research for knowledge management. – a simple and free application that allows users to brainstorm and share ideas online.

Mind42 – manage all your ideas in a collaborative, free browser based software solution.

Compendium – created by the Compendium Institute, with an open online forum for continued support.

Gliffy – easy, free, and fun way to draw and share diagrams on the web.

Wikka Wiki – a flexible and lightweight, php-driven wiki platform designed for speed and security.

IHMC Cmap Tools – designed to construct, share, and criticize mind and concept maps.

Semantik – a mind mapping tool designed for document generation, especially student reports and thesis.

Labyrinth – a lightweight mind mapping tool written in the Python programming language.

View Your Mind – a flexible tool used to generate and manipulate maps which show your thoughts

Mindraider a semantic web outliner, connecting the tradition of outline editors with emerging technologies.

Pimki a personal information manager loosely based on Instiki’s Wiki technology.

Planfacile – software designed to help people organize complex ideas into coherent documents.

The Brain – over 65 features in a dynamic visual interface and information organizer.

Resources – the most complete resource for mind mapping software on the internet, covering most freeware, open-source, and proprietary software.

iMindMap – unleash the other 99% of your brain using the power of the iMindMap.

About mind mapping – and basic introduction to the concepts and benefits if mind mapping.

Wikipedia on mind mapping – the usual Wiki-style treatment of the subject that you (and Google) as grown to love.

Mindtools – lots of articles and resources to develop excellent skills for an excellent career.

JCU Study Skills – an essay wring resource that discusses using mind maps in preparation.

Mind mapping training & resources – resources provided by Llumine training, the world’s leading provider of Mind Mapping training for business.

Mind mapping strategies– get more done with less time, and turn your data into knowledge.

Mind mapping resource center – InnovationTools – Innovation, creativity and brainstorming resources from InnovationTools.

The Graphic Organizer – covers topics related to mind mapping including concept maps and graphic organizers.

Mind Map Options – resource that is the doorway to the mind map universe.

Professional Training

Visual Strategist – founded by Kyle McFarin to assist Entrepreneurs and Organizational Teams in Strategic Management.

MindMap Training – visual mapping and mind mapping training solutions to manage information and visualize your successes.

Blackbelt mind map training– become a trained black belt in the dark arts of mind mapping.

In the News

Mainstream Matters – insights and intelligence from the analysts of Freeform Dynamics.

Mind mapping on the iPhone – if you thought your iPhone was cool before, imagine what it will do once you have a mind map application?

Helping children learn with mind mapping – the sooner your kids learn the technique, imagine how much they be able to accomplish?

Mind mapping in meetings – Lifehacker shows you yet another method of increasing your productivity.

Makers of mind-mapping software visualize success – CNN Money covers the release of Mindjets’ MindManger software.

Examples of Mind maps

Mind map template – a blank map to help get you started on your first ever mind map

Inconsistency of Laws Mindmap – example of a software generated mind map that’s easy to read and digest.

Learning Power mind map – wonderfully illustrated map about how to build your “LP”.

Motivation mind map – another example of different software mind map generation, with graphics.

Art & design mind map – beautifully hand drawn map related to art and design, a work of art in itself.

Banking Mindmap – mindmap about money and consumer information in a entertaining, comic-book style of illustration.

Mind mapping mind map – a very simple example of mind mapping that discusses the actual properties of the technique.

Relativity mind map – clean, basic map made with software that uses simple colors and shapes to get the points across.

Goals mind map – everyone should have one of these, if you plan on accomplishing anything in your lifetime.

Planning a party mind map – if you’ve never planned a party, it can be tougher than you think; keep this colorful map around for inspiration.

Peter Russell mind map – a mind map of the various teachings and techniques used by Peter Russell himself.

Tony Buzan mind map – a great map discussing the ins and outs of a specific book from the man himself, Tony Buzan.


The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Unlimited Potential – written by Tony and Barry Buzan, it’s THE book you’ll want to pick up if you’re new to mind mapping.

Mapping Inner Space: Learning and Teaching Visual Mapping – Nancy Marqulies and Nusa Maal discuss various concepts related to visual note taking.

Use Both Sides of Your Brain: New Mind-Mapping Techniques, Third Edition (Plume) – Buzan does it again with step-by step instructions of how to use the potential of your brain.

Idea Mapping: How to Access Your Hidden Brain Power, Learn Faster, Remember More, and Achieve Success in Business – Jamie Nast explores using that hidden brain power to grow your business.

Mind Mapping: How to Liberate Your Natural Genius – Michael Gelb talks about how to organize your thoughts in such a way that is uniquely your own.


Power Tips for Mind Mapping software – supercharge your visual mapping skills with these tips, tricks, and best practices.

How to select the right mind mapping software – how to select the right mind mapping software to meet your special needs.

Mind mapping power pack – the advanced course that will explode your mind mapping skills into new heights and help you reach the goals of your dreams.

Articles On the Web

using your eyesMind mapping for project management – Innovation Tools discusses using mind mapping in regards to project management.

Mind mapping at 43 Folders – open thread with over 60 responses about the usage of mind maps.

Guerilla Marketing with mind maps– Squidoo lens discussing the 10 best small business marketing tips.

Mind mapping software resources – another lens discussing the best collection of visual mapping sources.

Mind mapping in 8 easy steps – the Innovation Networks quick-start guide to mind mapping.

Comparison of mind mapping applications – check out the pros, cons, and differences of the top freeware mind mapping programs.

The best external monitor for Tablet PC mind mapping – eric mack online discusses monitors for hardcore computer mapping enthusiasts.

Three web-based mind mapping tools reviewed – Web Worker Daily reviews 3 of the top mapping applications.

PDF Articles

Mapping the Mind – a Google book about about the long dormant view of the nature of human thought.

Mind mapping for web instruction and learning – 12 page PDF from Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Fabio Chacon, Ph.D.

Graphical Knowledge Display – 14 pages discussing the role mind mapping can play as efficient tools in mathematics education.


The Mind mapping software weblog – designed to provide businesspeople with a focused collection of resources related to visual mapping.

Beyond Mind Mapping – how to get the most out of mind mapping software for business uses.

Erik Mack Online – the personal blog of Erick Mack, discussing learning and information management through new technologies.

Idea Mapping – training readers to be more creative, more productive, and to become better learners.

The Mindjet Blog – the official blog of Mindjet, the company responsible for the

The Underlying Blog – Kyle McFarlin’s blog, a Visual Strategy Expert and Gyronix Certified trainer. Blog– covering software for mind mapping and information organization.

Eric Blue’s Blog – Eric Blue’s thoughts on technology, philosophy, and personal development.

Activity Owner – a forum for sharing notes, discussion, and solutions using various mind mapping software applications.


tony buzanTony Buzan – Wikipedia bio of one of the biggest names and promoters of mind mapping and mental literacy.

Dr. Allan Collins – the history and sometimes controversy surrounding the man who created mind mapping.

Dilip Mukerjea – owner and managing director for the Buzan center, an organization dedicated to the advancement of mental literacy.

Joyce Wycoff – president of ThinkSmart Learning Systems and founder of the Innovation Network,

Nancy Margulies – creator of Mindscapes, a system that uses pictures, visual metaphors, symbols, color and the space on a page to create a graphic representation of ideas.

Peter Russell – covering Peter’s topics of The Spirit of Now, of science, consciousness, spiritual wisdom, global brain, meditations, and the nature of reality.


Tony Buzan on Mind mapping – five minute video discussing how to maximize the power of your brain.

iMind Map Video Tutorial – a short four minute tutorial going over Buzan’s iMind mind mapping software.

Mind mapping for your business – a power-point video on mind mapping; have a can of Red Bull before watching!

Mind mapping with Brenda Mckinney – video of a class presentation of mind mapping.

Stephen Pierce – business optimization specialist discusses mind mapping.

How to draw a mind map – breaking out the markers and drawing a mind map from scratch.

Noteworthy Paid Software

Gyronix – a system used in conjunction with Minjet’s MindManager software for unit erupted productivity.

Mindjet – save time by visually capturing, organizing and communicating ideas and information effectively.

Concept Draw Mindmap – a business and personal productivity tool that provides versatile integration with MS Office.

Topicscape 3D – mind and concept mapping in 3D, available in both lite and pro editions.

Headcase – mind mapping application for Windows based heavily on ActiveX.

Inspiration – the essential tool for students to think, visualize, organize, and learn.

Nova Mind – “mind mapping at it’s best”, creating visually pleasing graphical mind maps.

Personal Brain and MindMapping

I guess it has been a while since I posted to this blog.  In the age of everything everywhere is seems that we can be overloaded with everything from everyone all the time.   I have been working on ways at work to sort through this problem.   It seems to haunt us all.  Whether we are at work or at home we are dealing with information overload.   I see that Microsoft is working on this problem from the search engine area with Bing.   I am looking at this from a more practical sense to the individual.  We need to be able to compose information that is relevant to us individually in a dynamic way.   Technically we can do this in a lot of ways but what we are missing is patterns to show us how we can do this easily with existing tech.   While Personal Brain is probably the best UI for me to create patterns for myself, it is not practical for all of us.  I think MindMaps are a good way to illustrate these patterns as well.  I mean Freemind, Xmind, mindmeister all of those are fine.  I work with DODAF the DOD Architecture Framework and it is sort of the same thing to me.  I am NOT an Architect and do not pretend to play one but I do have to understand the framework to support it technically.   All of this boils down to contextual lists that are represented graphically.   I think the best way to achieve the goal here which is once again composing relevant information to you or me the individual, we really need to focus on the simple list.  Once we have the list we can apply technology as required.  For example,  you want to look at certain things everyday on the internet. We can narrow it down to one thing to start. 

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While these are websites that are holistic in nature, they might as well be services.   It starts to delve into the importance of mashups.   I am still working on these concepts in application for work but the bottom line is that context and patterns are important and should be considered for all aspects of our technical lives.   


MindMap Reviews

Top 30+ Free Mind Mapping Tools – Best Mindmap

Trying xmind this week.  It works with freemind but not personal brain.  I will see how well it translates.    Personal brain is by far the best overall but it does not provide the map views or breakouts from the maps that I would like to see.  In other words,  if you have built a complex map and just want to pull a piece from this easily and move it around doesn’t feel easy.