Mind Map As To Do List

(notes from 2005-2008)

Despite having my personal To-Do List on my Wiki On Zaurus, and having a shared Issue Tracker at work, I often make a Mind Map that's redundant to those.

This has some real shortcomings

  • to use on home and work computers, need to carry/send back and forth (or find some auto-synch service which I don't otherwise need)

  • can't use on subway (unless I print it out, make notes, then transcribe later...)

So why do I do it?

  • bring together personal and work on one page, so I don't forget to look at them

  • easier to scan to decide what to work on next (I do a lot of "nudge something forward, wait for someone else..." cycling, sometimes.)

  • can group separate "ProJect-s" into some governing theme which might drive a top-down priorization (this month I'm trying to integrate with a bunch of new Partners).

    • can also put things "close to each other" without making an enclosing parent...
  • can show multiple levels of Task Hierarchy for greater Context

    • sometimes low-level nodes have their own Issue Tracker pages, sometimes not

    • purposely check off completed items but leave them visible to give you a sense of sequence

  • can make visual flags to draw attention to higher priority items.

  • after a chunk of time, I move on in one of 2 different ways

    • copy file to new name, delete completed chunks, start making changes

    • start with a brand new empty file as a clean slate.

Hmm, I don't think I'm going to stop doing this, and I doubt this can be easily/automated as a view from an Issue Tracker. (But goal might still be Wiki Page As Mind Map.)

Nov'2006 update: I'm adding yet another element: a paper Post ItNote listing just the few projects I want to move forward in the next few hours (Most Important Task).

  • I'm quickly finding that I don't stick to that list, because of a variety of interruptions (not necessarily in the middle of one of those tasks, but between them).

    • This may be unavoidable in a Start Up.

    • But I'm going to track these things separately because I'm suspecting they're good candiates for delegation, once I train the right person on how to do each one.

Aug'2011 update:

  • Mind Map (ThinkingSpace app) on my Nexus One and Archos70 for merged personal/work items (as per above)
  • no separate Post It, though often stick next-few-hours of stuff into top-most branch
  • no personal text To-Do List, all is in the Mind Map.
  • update: ThinkingSpace bought/killed. Use FreeMind for work, PrivateWiki for personal.
    • 2016: discover Filtering feature in FreeMind that lets me see just hierarchy of nodes with P1 icon.

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