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Drafting a report using mindmapping

by mel starrs on February 8, 2007

in Outlook, Wordpress and Other Tips

I’ve been using Freemind for both work and study recently. It’s a free comparable alternative to Mindmanager and small enough to fit on a flash drive. Thought I’d share my top tips for drafting reports.

The concept of mindmapping is a great way to sort thoughts into more coherent patterns. The great thing about using an electronic version rather than pen and paper is that you can drag ideas around the page, sorting them into more organised arguments.

Outline
The image above shows the outline for a strategic marketing plan I’ve been drafting for the MBA. Now for the clever bit. Within Freemind there is the option of exporting the mindmap as XHTML, which can then be opened in Firefox or IE. The results look like this:

XHTML
Using the ‘select all’ and ‘copy’ functions, the titles can be copied into Word (or whichever application you are using).
Word1
Then a quick play with the formatting, to convert the text to title formats and you’re ready to start the slightly more onerous task of typing up your report.
word2
Can help ensure you don’t miss any parts of the report and also helps with ‘flow’.