Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Productivity – Got It Mapped!

In businesses, offices and workplaces all around the world one of the main challenges facing us is trying to balance and cope with ever increasing workloads and constantly changing demands on both our time and output requirements.

Most of the time, it seems that work is a constant pressure situation where we are continually juggling tasks, priorities, deadlines, project requirements, etc. not to mention immediate demands and last-minute urgent requests for our input and contributions.

All of this against a backdrop of the absolute need to absorb, assimilate and effectively process data, knowledge and information to aid understanding, determine priorities, reach decisions and take clear, focused and effective actions.

There are a plethora of tools, techniques, models and methodologies claiming to be the best to “boost productivity”, “increase efficiency”, “help you work smarter not harder” and similar well-intentioned performance-enhancing claims.

Coming from a strong background in business process and business performance improvement, in particular in the MindGenius business mind mapping area, I was delighted to read independent research into mind mapping as a method for improving productivity. I was particularly interested to learn that studies show that mind mapping increases personal productivity by as much as 20%.

Just think, if you and I and the teams we work with or manage could improve overall productivity by 20%!

That made me reconsider again the real value that mind mapping brings (if you recall the benefits of using mind mapping in business was the topic for my last article “Mind mapping in business…are you serious?”). In particular it made me think of the “why” it adds value and the “how” it enhances productivity directly.

I brainstormed the topic of “Mind Mapping for Productivity” (see map below) and quickly came up with a few quick highlights, benefits and value…

As many MindGenius users will testify, beyond the concepts of traditional mind mapping, and with the productivity-enhancing functionality of modern and intuitive software, sits a “must-have” solution for capturing, sorting, prioritising knowledge, ideas and information…and more!

Its use is only limited by the user – productivity is enhanced right from the start, from the point of engagement on – everything is as quick, or in some cases quicker and easier than traditional approaches. All your ideas, knowledge and experience are quickly and effortlessly captured and, more importantly, utilized in a way that’s more engaging, visual and action-centred than any alternative manual process.

Ideas for action plans, outputs from meetings, project plans (WBS), project schedules, presentation and document outlines and content, study notes, research maps, problem solving methods, etc, etc, the tasks and activities we do day-in, day-out, all brought to life, all more thoroughly thought through and more clarity and with increased focus injected into the whole process.

We all strive to save time, use time better and generally be more focused and productive.

I cannot but agree with the research – 20% increase on productivity through the use of mind mapping – I’m glad we’ve got that covered for you with MindGenius!

Author Bio: Jamie MacDonald, Head of Client Development at MindGenius. Jamie is a highly experienced trainer, facilitator and coach with over 20 years’ experience in training, development, HRM and business improvement.

Are you getting the best out of MindGenius to enhance productivity for you / your team?

MindGenius Ltd provide an extensive range of tailored training and consultancy solutions for individuals and teams. If you need to improve your use or wider adoption of MindGenius, contact your Account Manager or email – we’d be happy to discuss your requirements and options.

How to Assign Actions to Branches…

What are Actions?

Actions (or Tasks) are a set of properties that help you track and manage the things you need to do.

Where will I find this function?

Actions / Tasks are set and managed via the “Task Schedule” and “Action Misc” command groups on the Tasks ribbon.

How do I apply Actions / Tasks?
  • Switch to the Tasks Ribbon
  • Select the Branch you wish to assign an Action to
  • Set Action / Task properties by selecting or entering values using the ribbon controls

  • Actions / Tasks can be given Start, Due or End dates  
  • Priority ratings can also be applied to any Action
  • Ongoing Status of Actions/Tasks can be applied to monitor and manage progress to completion
  • Use of the Filter enables pro-active management of Actions/Tasks

Icon denotes if a Branch has Dates properties

Icon indicates status: Not Started

Icon indicates status: In Progress

Icon indicates status: Complete

Icon indicates Branch/Task linked to MS Outlook as an MS Outlook Task

What are the benefits of using the Action/Task Function?
  • Allows you to assign timescales
  • Enables tracking of Actions / Tasks
  • Improves task management capabilities
  • Allows you to set deadlines
  • Provides filtering capabilities
  • Visually engaging and collaborative

Did you Know... You Can Link Documents and URLs to Map Branches

The MindGenius “Attachments” function...

  • From any Branch, create a link to any document on your PC or Network
  • Link to MS Word documents, MS Excel spreadsheets, other Maps, audio files, etc
  • From any Branch, create a hyperlink to a URL
  • Link as many documents and hyperlinks/URLs as you wish to any Branch
  • Once links have been created, can be quickly accessed by mouse-over / click on icon
  • Useful feature for knowledge gathering and research
  • Many uses and benefits when instant access to related information is required
  • Improves organisation, document access and overall efficiency

Where can I find this function?

  • Attachment functions for both Hyperlinks/URLs and general Attachments can be found on the “Insert” Ribbon – right-hand side “Attachment” area.
  • Clicking on the “Hyperlink” option opens an “Add Hyperlink” dialogue – insert or copy/paste the URL into the “Hyperlink Address” field.
  • Clicking on the “Attachment” option opens an “Add Attachment” dialogue – simply use the “browse” function (yellow folder icon, bottom-right) to browse your folders/files and double click to submit the relevant file-path into the “Attachment Name” field.
  • These actions will result in attachment / hyperlinks icons to appear on the relevant Branches
  • (multiple attachments / hyperlinks are indicated by “paper clips” icons)