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« Houdini and the Buzz effect.... | Main | Riding out the storm...from an upper floor... »

August 17, 2005



Awesome notes. I just left the on-line Live Meeting seminar that David did this morning (08-18) and I have a full OneNote SideNote on the coverage. Then I read your long post of notes. The vertical and horizontal grid really comes across after hearing the pieces described in the "instant" abridged version. The Live Meeting presentation will be on-line at here:
in a day or so.


Oh, David mentioned MindManager in the seminar too, with a short comment on how he uses it. Dang, I had this "ick" experience with it and uninstalled the trial version. I will have to try out the alternative that I found.

I can fully understand why ActiveWords is important in quickly launching exactly the right thing (say capturing a next-action or a project idea) while on a call or doing something else. OK, OK, I'll try it (ActiveWords, that is ...)


OK, now I have to laugh as I just saw the comment about Mind Manager. Not sure if it was referencing the Fairmont seminar or the online seminar with Microsoft. One of the 2 comments I wrote down for feedback (Fairmont version) was I didn't think David explained mind maps to people although people may have been able to guess from his 1991 slide. I'm guessing if I missed the Mind Manager reference, I may have missed the definition too. (Yes, this comes from a woman who did not count all 8 f's in the seminar. Can I make up a point if I silently mouthed another word starting with "f" when he showed the final slide?)

One quick note about Evan and Odeo, he wasn't alone. I think the whole company was there from what I observed. Nice move.

With regards to the "ick" experience from the previous poster on Mind Manager, I can understand that point of view. I had the benefit of doing mind maps free hand before I tried the program. I had also read a lot of Buzan's work too. Although I like and use the program, I wouldn't force yourself to use it. I'm of the opinion that a tool forced, is no longer a tool.


Bob Ashley

Great notes!!!

On Mind Management/Mapping, I've drawn many mind/concept maps for study through both undergrad and graduate degrees. I attribute a slice of credit to that practice in graduating first in my class, both BA and MA. Peers thought I was nuts, drawing pictures in classes, lectures, from texts.

The downside of electronic mapping, I found, is that it largely absents "physical" action, a key principle in GTD. Sitting at the computer can tend steer us to blend thinking into just another keypad input routine/rut. I always fall back to using crayons, colored pencils, markers, and sketchpads. Swiping a big line of colour across a big sheet of rough paper can feel a big physical action. It "feels" more artistic, more organic, messier (in a good way).

Crappy but colorful, amateurish but active, child-like drawings are much more memorable than any calculus of perfectly proportioned forms and shapes output by any computer program. We don't think in rectangulars, arrows, and charts, after all. Those things are all derivative, not originary. And they steer structure, the software's author's setting up THEIR structures in OUR minds. This will never do. We think in our own unique misty dreams, shocking visions, passing fragments, and unorganized splashes of shade and color. As I see it, the mind is really well-connected to the hand.

My test for a thinking tool is trans-historicity. That is, if the tool can be conceived as being just as useful to the Neanderthal hunter, Ancient Roman centurion, Renaissance artist, Revolutionary to the postmodern techno-sapien, then the tool has transhistorical currency. It's "HUMAN", in other words.

Mindmapping software, for me, constrains creative risk-taking in thought in much the same way that the pre-drawn lines in a coloring book constrains a kid with a mittful of crayons. The technics condition our thinking, however gently, always seducing us towards the toolmaker's way of thinking.

Which is exactly why so many people fall into the rush for computer solutions like MindManager. It reassures us that we need not think up our own ways of thinking about thinking.

Standing in the sand on the beach, drawing with a stick, is sufficient to envision the universe. I don't live near a beach so I use paper (sand) and a pencils (sticks). In the creative mind, it's pretty much the same damn thing.

Great notes!!


Gil Friend

Thanks Bruce. Great notes. Fine enhancement to sitting in on DA's LiveMeeting the other.

I've been easing my way into the GTD system -- haven't been able to bring myself to invest the recommended 2 full days in startup -- but I'm seeing powerfull results -- in effectiveness and peace of mind (and new business coming in!) -- and find myself wanting to invest more time in organizing it to take it over the top.

I completely agree with Bob re 'The downside of electronic mapping, I found, is that it largely absents "physical" action, a key principle in GTD.' I'm trying to make sure that planning sessions include walls and markers and working around. OTOH, I really like the portability/editability of good software tools. (Still waiting for Mac version of MindManager; using ConceptMaps in the meantime.)


Matthew Cornell

Thanks very much for the notes. Would you please give some detail about the 'paper clip' exercise? Thanks!



Does anyone recall the sentence we read and then counted the letters? (the letter F, I think).

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