Leadership / Management | Training & CPE

Mindmaps: Turning chaos into order


There is hope yet for scatterbrained organizers like myself.

It's called mindmapping, a visual way of organizing your thoughts, planning your strategy, managing a project -- any type of activity that involves drilling down to the nuts and bolts of an issue or task. It's kind of like preparing an outline, but way more graphic, interactive and effective. The photo above gives you a very basic idea of what a simple mindmap looks like.

What I love about mindmaps are their multimedia functionality. With each topic and subtopic, you can add hyperlinks, documents, notes, images and more. You can collaborate on Web-based maps with colleagues in multiple locations and save them as PDFs, Flash files or images.

Mapping your thoughts? Heck, done right, mindmaps will map things you haven't even thought of yet.

OK, maybe they're not that good. But they're close.

"Mindmaps visually connect ideas and information," said Michael Deutch, chief evangelist at Mindjet, one of the leaders in mindmapping software and creator of the MindManager mapping software. "Mindmapping brings together broad ideas and the depth, the flow of ideas to create a holistic representation of your thoughts."

Deutch has taken a keen interest in the worlds of finance and accounting, and has even gone so far as to work closely with MACPA Executive Director Tom Hood to create a special edition of MindManager specifically for CPAs. That edition will make its debut at the Maryland Business and Accounting Expo on June 16 and 17 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The special edition includes about 25 preloaded maps that center on audit plans, change management, marketing strategy, meeting facilitation, social media strategy, XBRL implementation and more.

"We've leveraged the expertise of CPAs and the power of the software to pull together some great, meaningful content," Deutch said.

I spoke with Deutch on the phone recently to find out more about mindmapping and how CPAs can take advantage of it. Listen to what he had to say in this MACPA podcast.

More at the Expo
Besides launching the CPE edition of MindManager, Deutch will be on hand at the Maryland Business and Accounting Expo to deliver a presentation titled, "Using Mind Mapping to Increase your Productivity." The session will take place on June 16 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Get complete details about the Expo and register here.

UPDATE: Keep an eye out for the official page of the CPA edition of MindManager at www.mindjet.com, and enter the special code MACPA to get your discount.


Bill Sheridan