How do we cope with our growing digital lives?  How do we manage the ever increasing amounts of digital stuff we create and use?  This is the challenge of Personal Information Management.   

 

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Tuesday
Jan102012

Web-based mindmaps become my primary PIM and PKM tool

I have written about Mindmeister before, a web-based mindmapping service that I am fond of.  During this past year I have used a single mindmap to manage my day-to-day to-dos as well as my longer term goals.  I use this mindmap as an all-purpose dashboard, linking to other documents as needed--such as a google docs spreadsheet I use to track my project work hours and my personal journal, also a google document.  I also use it to store and manage what I refer to as my "directional" information, including my mission, my goals, my key research questions. My daily routine involves consulting this mindmap first. During the day I check tasks off as I do them, and add notes and new to-dos as they come up. 

 

I also use Mindmeister to capture book notes and thoughts on certain topics, in some cases attempting to capture and outline my current thinking on a topic.  Sometimes I return to these mindmaps and review them so I can increase my retention and memory of the topic.  Sometimes I add to them.  In this fashion, I use this tool for personal knowledge management (PKM).

Although this service is powerful and continues to be improved I have run into two issues.  As a cloud-based service I am dependent on my network connection to use it.  Occasionally this connection falters and the tool is not available when I need it.  Second, I am concerned about the lack of portability of these mindmaps.  So long as I stick with this service, I am OK.  But should it go out of business or change its terms so as to make it unattractive,  I will be forced to save/migrate each file one at a time to get the information out of the service.   Bulk backups are available, but only to large scale business users with a much more expensive subscription.  I will speak more about this in a follow-up post about cloud-based services

This is part of a series of posts summarizing my PIM activities in 2011.


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