OneNote or Mind Manager, and GTD
David Allen and I met for several hours yesterday to discuss technology. Among the things that we discussed was OneNote and Mind Manager and how these tools can be utilized by those using the GTD methodology. I spoke of their value as capture/creative tools and I mentioned some of the recent discussion on this topic by Michael and Marc.
I would like to talk with anyone who is actively using either of these tools routinely for more than just the capture aspect (i.e. is actively using these for Process/Organize/Review phases) or who feels that they have achieved a high level of integration between these products and whatever they are using for action management.
If you are that person, I'd like to speak with you about what you are doing. Drop me a line. (email@example.com)
A monthly weekly review is better than no weekly review :-)
Paul, I hear you about the challenge of making the weekly review habitual. I confess that when life happens, I sometimes slip and do mine monthly. (Sorry Meg :oops:) When I do my Weekly Review I find a mind map a great tool to dump ideas quickly. Usually, use my digital Whiteboard or paper and colored pens for this purpose. Lately, I have been working at using Mind Manager to do the same to eliminate double dumping.
Originally Posted by Paul@Pittsburgh
The more often I review and process my open loops, the better I feel. I routinely get out of control; the neat thing about the Weekly Review is that the process is clear and I know what I need to do to recover to clean, calm, and balanced in a few hours. The reason that I started this thread (I guess we can call it that now), is that I was interested to see how (or if) anyone is using these visual tools to do their processing and organizing.
I had a great conversation with Marc Orchant earlier this afternoon. He outlined for me some of what he does and how he uses Mind Manager and Results Manager for more than just capturing.
I expect that he and others will jump in to the conversation soon.
Thanks for sharing!
Mindmaps (input from another field)
Getting things done is for a big part about keeping it simple and lightweight.
In programming, there is a movement called "agile programming". Yes, keeping things simple and lightweight. One of the questions there is whether you really need all those big and heavy diagrams. They can be very handy when discussing a design, drawn on a whiteboard. But do you really want to keep them around all the time? Having to update them? Keeping it in sync with the rest of the system? Why not use it just for discussion/brainstorming and erasing it afterwards?
Mindmaps are a great tool for doing your thinkwork on a whiteboard. But perhaps the best thing you can do is to erase it afterwards, after you've sorted out your thinking.
I've kept some of my mindmaps, but I happily obliterated most of them. The reason why I post this is that all that discussion on big mindmap tools got me a bit worried. It sounds so heavyweight.
Anyway, mindmapping is handy!
Re: OK... I'll take the bait
I've been trying to figure out exactly where MS is going with this tool for a few weeks. Certainly its meant to be used exactly as you are doing. I have a feeling that OneNote may eventually become a front end to what we would refer to as our "reference files". That is, the things that you add to a OneNote page are stored in the file system underneath so what you end up with in the end is an easy, searchable way to find and manipulate the data. Certainly, it has been extrmely handy for capturing data and the side note feature has basically become an inbox for me.
Originally Posted by mochant
One big hole for me in MS Office has been the lack of an outliner. This was a hole which, frankly, I never expected to be filled because I suspected the big market wasn't there for one. There were always rumors but that's all I ever saw. But I think we may have gotten out outliner in OneNote. Probably MS is trying to make it profitable by combining it with the aspects of the program which fit the description above (i.e. collection and storage frontend). So in addition to the way that you are using the program, I've also been using it for light weight project management in combination with Outlook. Links to Outlook items can be embedded into a OneNote project page as a series of next actions. Other "subpages" contain relevant correspondence, documents, etc... In short, I'm doing most of the things with it in combination with Outlook that I used to do with Ecco. When I want to work on a project or look for specific informaiton related to it, this acts as the free-form outliner which gives me the best chance of finding the information quickly.
For those who are actually thinking about trying it out, there are a few relevant things to note. 1) The progam seems to be extremely young and lacks some of the things you may have come to expect in a MS Office program. There's no OLE, yet. There's also no Visual Basic scripting, yet. The integration with Outlook isn't anywhere near as good as it needs to be, yet. As you would imagine, this will require some work from the Outlook people and their priorities are a bit different from those of the OneNote people. 2) No palm pilot interface. A version of the program for pocket PC is planned and should be available soon but there's no way on earth MS will develop anything for a competing system. So some freelance developer will have to put something together which mean there will be no outlines on you Palm for years, yet. 3) The interface isn't as intuitive as I'd like. Some of this comes with the fact that they've tried to make it flexible but the fact is that there may be some initial confusion which will require people to stick with it.
All-in-all, I'm pretty happy to see this program and I've been using it. It should be fun to see where they take it.