The "Mind-mapping" process
You have made a decision to invest in the productivity of your awesome brain. Ideas do not reside in the brain in neat little linear formats and structures. They are randomly stored ready for fast creation of new ideas and for recall.
The Mind Mapping process simulates the brain's natural radiant way of creating ideas and forming associations. It also dramatically improves the recall process, so is valuable for studying.
The human brain - The most unexplored territory in the universe.
VisiMap Professional lies at the heart of the creative process!b>
VisiMap Professional lets you drop ideas onto the map without concern for order - or inhibitions about what is right or wrong.
Simply allow your thinking to flow. It doesn't matter if the ideas are not logical. VisiMap Professional will hold them carefully for you to re-order later.
Quantity and the power of thought is what counts at this stage. Quality comes later when logic is applied after the ideas have been generated, and when you can see what you think!
Once created it is easy to see logical clusters. Natural relationships between random ideas become clear. These form patterns from the fabric of your mind.
Now drag the ideas and let the related ones cluster from branches - individual categories that you have captured. The subsidiary thoughts related to that category will then radiate from the branch. You may see that you have some repetition; just prune the ideas that are duplicated by selecting and deleting them.. You will also find that your creative brain is rapidly generating more ideas around that cluster. Once again, let them flow. VisiMap Professional will radiate them around that new branch.
You may now see further patterns within that newly radiated cluster. This means you need to start another level of thinking. So add branches to the branch you are working on and create a further level of thinking.
Voila! You now have a map with parent branches outlining your key ideas. Each parent branch will then have "children" (subsidiary ideas) clustered around it. Or you may even have grandchildren! Once you start having great-grandchildren, you may need to start a new branch. Try to work with no more than four levels.
Notice the unorganised shopping list on the left. To the right, see how the list has been categoried, with related items dragged to each category. For ease of shopping the branches can now be ordered according to the placement of the items in the store. This process can be applied to something as simple as this, all the way through to managing a project.
This is another wonderful creative process that VisiMap Professional presents with ease. It is at this stage that you decide on the order in which you want to present your ideas - whether working on a report, a presentation, an action list. or that shopping list.
There are three ways to compose. Logically, Chronologically, or in order of Importance. There is no other way. By the way, your reader will prefer Order of Importance.
When deciding on order, it is useful to present the thinking in linear format . There is an icon on the toolbar for this. Then drag the different branches into the desired order. Ideally do this at header level 1. It is easier.
To get started, first customise your toolbar. Most of the typical functions are already on the toolbar. We suggest that you add some more useful ones. Once you have worked with VisiMap Professional for a while, you may wish to consider others.
Go to TOOLS
Select CUSTOMISE Toolbar
Drag each of these to the toolbar - if they are not already there.
TREE - Promote children and Cut to linked map
FILE - (All your usual windows commands). ADD - Close all; Save all; Create package
VIEW - Split vertically and Text outline map (has a little ABC)
LEVELS - Drag levels 1 to 4 to the toolbar.
As you work with VisiMap Professional, you will find your own productive way to navigate and shape ideas. Here are a few useful tips.
Setting up all your preferences
Go to TOOLS, Preferences and set up your various preferences. The options are obvious.
It is useful when you select the MAP tab, under 'Graphical Map Layout', it is useful to select "Lower levels top to bottom". We tend to prefer seeing the most important at the top escalating down to the least important. Rotational will be as the ideas were generated.
Use your MY PLACES bar
This is a must!
Select FILE OPEN, and drag folders that you regularly use from Explorer onto the MY PLACES section of the PLACES bar. This is very useful for folders that you regularly generate maps in.
It is also most useful to create a MY MAPS folder in your MY DOCUMENTS folder. Then create sub-folders for the different categories of thinking that you are working on. When you drag your MY MAPS folder to MY PLACES, you will always know where you saved your thinking.
To put order into your thinking
Start at LEVEL 1 view
you have really enjoyed expanding your ideas, However, you
may find that you have a cumbersome map as some of your
thoughts are radiating off the mapping space. First reorder
the primary branches by selecting LEVEL 1. Now work a branch
at a time. You can do this in several ways:
Remember, you are in Windows. Dragging and dropping ideas are easy in VisiMap Professional.
Select VIEW from the menu
Select CONSTRAIN VIEW TO BRANCH. You can now drag the thoughts radiating from that branch into the preferred order.
To return to your full map simply repeat Step 1.
Select the ABC show text outline. Your map will resemble Explorer. You can now work at level 1 and reorder, then do the same for the children radiating from each of these levels (parent branches).
Drag and drop around your map
This is easy. You simply select the idea you want to move, and drag it to where you want the idea to be. Keep an eye on the little arrow that shows where you will be positioning it.
To copy, rather than move the branch, hold the control key down while moving. You will see the small plus sign showing that you are copying.
When you want to move a few ideas around to present them in a logical order, we suggest you have your numbering 'on'. This will give you visible feedback of the order that your ideas are nesting in around your central theme.
To put numbering ON or OFF.
Numbering your map is useful when using Visimap Professional for group thinking. Delegates can say "Go to 3.1 and move it to . . ." etc, rather than having to name the branch with confusion as to which one is being referred to or where it is positioned.
Select "Maps" tab
At "Branch Numbering" select or de-select the option. None to Arabic.
Use the BRANCH "Reorder" facility
To reorder branches Alphabetically, just select the branch with the children you want re-ordered, and then select CTRL+Q (see SHORT-CUT keys),
Work in TEXT OUTLINE format
We have been conditioned to linear thinking for most of our lives. Remember, that even though the creative process is unstructured and dynamic, you will still need to finally present your ideas in a logical format.
TEXT OUTLINE gives a lovely confirmation of how the ideas will ultimately be presented. While in this format, you can drag and drop your ideas around again. But stay focused on the LEVEL. With NUMBERING turned on, you will also clearly see where the idea should ultimately be nesting. It is similar to Explorer.
When in TEXT OUTLINE view, it is useful to view your Notes to the RIGHT of your outline.
GO TO "View", Notes Split Orientation, and select "Vertically".
Reduce the size of your map
It can be frustrating when you are working on a third-level idea that you want to move over to another branch, but your preferred branch is out of view.
You can reduce the size of your map with the little magnifying glass on the toolbar, or by using the AUTO FIT icon on the toolbar. When you do this, remember that you will also be able to see which branch you have selected by looking at the STATUS BAR at the bottom of your map.
If your STATUS BAR is not turned on, do so through TOOLS "Show Status Bar".
Cumbersome large maps
Collapse the map to LEVEL 1 and work with a branch at a time.
Or, cut the well-developed trees to linked maps
Select the branch that you wish to convert to a linked map.
Select TREE from the Menu
Select CUT TO LINKED MAP (or select from the Toolbar if you have set this up)
From this new map, create a link back to your plenary map.
Right click your mouse.
Select ADD LINK
If you know where the file is, insert the path; or select the little dotted section, and select the plenary map that you wish to link your newly created map to.
If you have saved a branch as a linked map, you can readily view this link as a branch again when you right click on the link, and select "replace with linked map".
Radiate from a child branch - then position.
When you enter a new branch, VisiMap Professional automatically throws it out to the end of all the branches. Eventually the newly created branches seem 'lost'.
It is useful when working with large maps, to generate a few new branches from one of the existing ones, then place them where you want them afterwards.
Use radiated branches as notes and vice versa
This is really useful. Once you have radiated your points, you can place them in your Notes section:
Go to "TREE" and select "Cut children".
After getting them 'swapped' (to the clipboard), simply open your notes editor and drop them there. They will land there nicely numbered.
Conversely, If you have points that you have made in the notes and now wish to bring those onto the map instead, cut them and paste them onto
the desired branch. VisiMap Professional will ask you if you want to bring them in as separate branches, or as one branch..
Work with numbering "on"
This is useful with group thinking when ideas need to be dragged around. The group members can call out the branch number for re-positioning. "Move 4.2 to 3!" etc. rather than calling out the branch's information
Go to TOOLS "Preferences" (MAPS "Branch Numbers") to select.
It is also useful to switch from radiant to linear view when wanting to re-prioritise branches. Start working in Level 1 to prioritise your parent thinking first, then address each set of children.
When linking several maps
Create a link from each linked map back to your main MAP.
RIGHT CLICK where you want the linked map to be
Select "Add link", and click on the little dots to browse for the map (or any other file) that you wish to link.
When many maps are open at the same time
When you have several maps tiled in front of you, you can drag branches from one to the other. Remember to hold the control key down if you simply want to copy them.
It is easy to go from one open map to another by simply selecting the desired map from the STATUS BAR.
When two maps are open and reduced to a floating window, you can simply drag ideas from one map to another, either to take the information across, or to copy from one map to another. Remember to hold the control key down if desiring to copy.
A few useful short cut keys
Most of the Windows short cuts apply. Here area few for VisiMap Professional and a reminder of some useful Windows ones as well.
SHIFT+F3 - Toggle from UPPER to LOWER to SENTENCE case CNTRL+Q - To sort information alphabetically. Useful for names and places. CTRL+F8 - Toggles between map and notes view.
CTRL+ENTER - Opens dialogue box for changing formats - colour, lines, shapes, fonts, etc.
CTRL+M - Modify the style
CTRL+O - Open a file
RIGHT CLICK - Opens dialogue box for managing maps - links, etc.
CTRL+D - Inserts the current date and time
CTRL+Z to redo
ALT + UP or DOWN - arrow enlarges or decreases the size of the map ALT+1 (2, 3, OR 4) Opens up the selected levels. F7 Spell check from either the centre of the map or any selected branch.
SHIFT + F7 Thesaurus. Highlights the word you wish to find synonyms for.
CTRL+B (bold);+ I (italics); +U (underline); etc.
Select the icon on the toolbar to access the notes window pane. Or CTRL+N or F8. Ideally use the VERTICAL split orientation (from VIEW on the toolbar).
When you have typed a note and return to your branch, you will see a symbol showing that a note has been attached. This is called a 'glyph'
There are three ways to view these notes:
Let your mouse hover over and you will have a preview
Click on the symbol and the note pane will open
Enhancing your map
CONTROL+ENTER brings up a dialogue box. Play around with changing your fonts, line shapes, etc. For instance, selecting a dotted line may indicate that the thought is yet to be progressed. You decide!
This deals with colour, shapes, line thicknesses, adding pictures, etc. Each individual branch can be presented differently, over and above the Style format chosen for the map.
Working with colour
Colour is valuable for creating associations between displayed ideas, and for recall. The colour pallet can be dragged and placed to the side or the bottom of the map.
When you LEFT CLICK on a colour, the selected text changes to the colour selected.
When you RIGHT CLICK on a colour, it colours the background of the selected text or box
This is most useful for sales, or for attaching graphics that need to be displayed in a document or in a PowerPoint presentation.
Scroll down dialogue box to PICTURE
Click on small picture box and select SELECT
Once selected, right click on the picture to see Placement option.
Note the useful alternatives here. You can capture an active screen, etc.
If the picture is too large, right click on picture and scale down
INSERT on the toolbar will give you access to whatever object you wish to include in your notes. This can be an Excel graph, a Word table, etc. Note the options that become available when the dialogue box opens.
Creating a new style sheet
Style sheets are useful for presenting ideas in different ways. For instance, when presenting to a group through a data projector, you will want the notes and writing to be in a larger font. You can name a style and simply select the one you wish to use for the desired application.
Click on and select "Modify Styles"
Style will show "Default Style"
Press "Save As" and enter a new file name
Your new style sheet name will be saved to a directory called TEMPLATES
Now make all your changes in the dialogue box
At end of all your selections, press "Save" to store your settings.
Your new Style has now been saved under the name you chose earlier.
Attaching a style sheet to a new map
Have a new map (or even an existing map) in view
Click on "Attach Style Sheet" from the drop-down box.
Select the name of style you wish to apply and click on it.
Although listed under USEFUL TIPS, bear in mind that numbering your map is useful when using Visimap Professional for group thinking. Delegates can say "Go to 3.1 and move it to . . ." etc, rather than having to name the branch with confusion as to which one is being referred to or where it is positioned.
Select "Maps" tab
At "Branch Numbering" select or de-select the option. Arabic will give you the usual numbers; Non will be no numbewrs at all. Notice that you can select upper or lower case here as well. Avoid using Roman numerals.
It is useful to have a plenary map, with links to subsidiary maps. At times it is useful to drag information from one map to another
The beauty of working with visual concepts, is the powerful ability to create linkages - something that the brain is doing all the time. However, when you can see these linkages, thinking becomes more organised and more manageable; both the retention of information and the innovation of new ideas has a productive reservoir of thought to work with.
As a branch of a map
With your cursor in the centre of the map you wish to take your map across to another map as a branch. Simply cut and paste the map into the map you would like it to be on. You can of course do this with any single tree that you wish to cut and past else where (or drag there).
When in tiled view, simply drag the whole map across to your present map, holding the CTRL key down.
As a link on another map
When the two maps are tiled on your screen, drag the map file across to your present map while holding the ALT key. It will automatically create a link.
Or, select the branch that you wish to convert to a map.
Go to TREE
Cut to linked map
Your radiated thinking can be swiftly exported to MSWord, Excel, MSProject and a host of other filters. Or a formatted Word doc can swiftly become a map for further 'massaging' and re-exporting to Word again.
Exporting maps to other applications
These export options are very useful, especially when sending your thinking to someone who does not have a VisiMap Professional installation; or for exporting generated ideas to other programs.
Simply select the desired program icon from the tool bar. if the programme you want is not there . . .
Go the QUICK EXPORT drop down menu
Select the program installed on your computer that you wish to use, and that has a filter that VisiMap Professional exports to.
With the program selected displayed, select OPTS (options) to format export requirements
Some known and useful quick export icons on your toolbar:
Microsoft Office: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, MS Project.
A pdf file
An HTML file (very useful for placing procedures etc on the Intranet)
JPG, BMP - Very useful for instantly converting your map to a pic that you can include in a presentation or document.
To import a Word doc into VisiMap
Ensure that the document has been formatted (headings and subheading formatted in Word)
Save your document with an rtf. (rich text font) extension
From VisiMap Professional, simply go and open the file.
With your source file's window open, you can also simply drag the file that has now been saved with a rtf extension, from explorer across to VisiMap's form (with no maps opened) and the document will immediately transform itself into a map.
This is useful for taking historical information and re-massaging the document to update it. Then simply export back to Word with VisiMap Professional's useful export icon.
ATTACHING DOCUMENTS TO YOUR MAP
You can launch any document stored on your computer. This includes launching a URL for easy access to needed websites straight from the thinking process.
select "add link"
enter or select the target file or url
finish the steps as shown
websites to visit
www.coco.co.uk (UK developer's site)
22 August 2012 14:55 +0200