Task Lists, Journaling, and Mindmaps Oh My!

13Jul07

So I’ve read half way through Allen’s Getting Things Done, and I have started on another book called The Well-Educated Mind by Bauer. These two books are on vastly different subjects, yet they both deal with a common theme (in their own ways) of how to digest, sort, and utilize information.

There is no need to go into Allen’s GTD system seeing how everyone knows it inside out. Bauer’s system, if you can call it a system, involves keeping a journal handy when you read (she provides a list of classic literary works as a suggested starting point) so you can write down striking quotes or snippets as they come to you. Bauer then encourages that you reflect on each of the quotes or summarize them in your own words after you finish the book.

Bauer’s journaling system doesn’t really involve ‘getting things done’ per se. As I consider the idea, I wonder if there is a way to integrate Journaling into a larger process that involves Journaling for the production and facilitation of creativity, and Allen’s GTD principles for moving the products of journaling forward. The reason I propose this is because I find the GTD system really lacks a window for creativity. Perhaps GTD was designed without giving creativity a thought…but to accomplish something substantial I need to be able to manufacture an idea (Journaling), create a plan for its production (Mindmaps?), and finally move forward with actions (GTD).

The middle step that I have left out of my little rant is planning…how does one plan effectively anyway? I have seen a surge of the use of ‘mindmaps’, and I have dabbled with a few of the major Mac programs myself (the big companies like MindManager charge a bit much for their software if you ask me…). I also recently subscribed to a host of mindmap-related blogs in hopes of further revealing the potential of the mindmap as an effective planning tool…stay tuned for tips as I come across them.I realize that this is a bit of an unorganized rant (on Friday morning no less), but this is just me struggling to isolate a system that works best for my needs. This is what I have so far:

1. Creativity Booster – Bauer’s Journaling
2. Planning – Mindmaps?
3. Actions – Allen’s GTD.

Any thoughts on this? What do you use for planning?

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2 Responses to “Task Lists, Journaling, and Mindmaps Oh My!”

  1. Hi there- I looked for another way to get in touch with you but couldn’t find one. You may be interested in viewing David Allen’s GTD webinar with Mindjet at this link:

    We greatly reduced the MSRP on our latest MindManager Mac version and have some great education discouts as well.

    http://www.mindjet.com/us/company/events/davidallen.php?go_id=195

  2. Gaelen,

    Thanks for the tip. I have hesitated to post my email address on here because I am trying to limit the hundreds of spam messages I get from people abusing my email addresses.

    I looked into MindManager and at $99 USD for Mac edition I hesitate. It seems a bit much at this point seeing that I can get Microsoft Office Student Edition for about the same price (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Entourage). This is not to say that MindManager and Office serve the same purpose, but rather $100 for just a mindmapping tool may be a bit steep, in my opinion anyway. I will keep a watch on the prices.


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