Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tools to visualize your thoughts/ideas

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Today I stumbled upon this interesting blog post on Strategic Planning and Strategic Innovation, both of which are very important not just for business but in our daily lives.

Michael Michalko in his book "Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius" talks about the various techniques in Mind Mapping used by different creative genius.  These techniques aid in organizing our thoughts/ideas and will help us plan and innovate.  In order to use these techniques effectively I would like to point to few resources here:

FreeMind, is an open-source (SourceForge hosted) tool which has all necessary features to create successful Mind Maps.   It provides a decent UI and I would recommend it highly for your personal needs.

MindManager from MindJet is a professional tool for generating variuos types of Mind Maps and research on various subjects.  It has a pretty intutive user interface and provides a good number of templates ranging from Resume, Meeting to Decision making.  You can define tasks and even allocate resources.  It also allows you to publish your maps in PDF, web page or image file.  They also have an add-in named Research Acceleartor providing integration to Windows Desktop and Google Desktop search platforms.  The tool comes in two flavors Basic ($229) and PRO (for $349).

XPLANATiONS is the tool from XPLANE focussing on effective corporate communication.   They provide tools and consulting expertise to make it easier for employees to understand complex business issues and thereby increasing efficiency and productivity. Dave Gray, CEO of XPLANE blogs at Communication Nation

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