In order to outline my final paper of the semester, I had a cunning plan: vacuum the living room rug, then layout pieces of paper for each of the four main areas of a Balanced Scorecard.  Next, layout sub pages of paper, then the related reports.  (Not hard to tell whose a visual learner, eh?) When I mentioned this to the husband, he brought up the point we have two rather active male cats and that perhaps there was a better way via technology — namely, FreeMind mind mapping software. Now I’d heard of mindmapping software before, but hadn’t wrapped the gray matter around using it (never mind the puns). Free Mind was a snap to use – within two minutes of installing it I was adding on child nodes, dragging and dropping , adding icons to highlight action and follow up items, fantastic!  I really love the ability to link to documents too –in a paper where you have to cite resources, it’s easy to lose track. Seeing it laid out like that really helped me to scope the task at hand.  I saved the project and then went to get a coffee in preparation for converting the bubble map to a document outline. Imagine my delight when I went to hit save again and I saw that I could export it as an Open Office Writer document. I thought this would embed the image on a page, so thought, “Why not?” Nope — it exported the sucker as a numbered, text outline- at the click of a button.  Done!  Complete with all the links I’d created.  Freeing me to tidy up the outline, create notes pages for each sub point and to start my writing and research to identify any questions I need to raise in my online chat with my prof tonight.  And making me a fan of mindmapping.


  1. You still need to do the vacuuming…

  2. Damn it! I was hoping that detail would slip by….