February 2009

MindNode Pro: Effective Way To Gather And Organize Thoughts

2009-07-02T12:16:30-04:00 Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , , |

Software Review: MindNode Pro

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for better ways, tools, and applications to get things done. I’ve recently discovered a mind mapping application for the Mac that you must check out: MindNode Pro.

“On paper” mind mapping has always worked best for me to brainstorm ideas and organize thoughts. I’ve tried mind mapping apps in the past, but found most over-loaded with bells and whistles that get in the way of the rapid capture of ideas. If the application will slow me down, it isn’t practical.

The beauty of MindNode Pro is that the interface is simple, and doesn’t get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish. Thankfully Markus Müller, the programmer avoids unnecessary functions.

I’ve used MindNode Pro for to do lists, brainstorming ideas, and to write drafts for my blog posts and articles. (In fact, the image below is the mind map for this review.

When I write with MindNode Pro, I usually create a map that branches out in all directions and then arrange the ideas in the sequence I want them to appear in my writing.

[click image for larger view]

Getting the content out of the mind map and to other applications is easy. Simply select all, cut, and paste the map into a text editor. The content pasted will follow the flow of the diagram. You can also copy your mind map directly from the application and paste as a TIFF image or PDF (for example to place directly into an email message). If you need to convert your mind map to another format, these export formats are available.

  • PDF
  • Freemind Doc
  • TIFF image
  • OPML document
  • HTML text
  • RTF rich text format

The only negative? There isn’t a Windows version, but there are PC-based alternatives including: XMind or maybe Freemind.

Good news for iPhone users, Markus is working on a version for that platform now.

MindNode is free, and has great functionality. It’s a great way to try the software. However, I quickly found I needed the additional functions provided by MindNode Pro. And at $14.95 USD/€12/30 Euro the price can’t be beat!

I highly recommend giving MindNode and MindNode Pro the simple, easy to use mind mapping programs for the Mac, a try. [MindNode Website]

May 2007

Return on Investment: Illustrated (Understood)

2016-05-18T15:53:23-04:00 Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , , , |

Ah, the beauty of a good diagram. Picture = 1000 words.

We’re familiar with the term ‘return on investment’ or ROI. Have you ever thought through the relationships of the elements that make up ROI? Neither have I.

Here is the chain of formulas that build the ROI equation:

  • ROI = Profits / Investment, and…
  • Profits = Sales x Margins, and…
  • Margins = Price – Cost

Take a look at this same relationship illustrated…

I’m almost excited about ROI when I view this diagram. I “get” it now. ROI isn’t just about your PR budget as it relates to an increase in sales… You can see that margins, costs, and price are also factors.

It’s not rocket science… but illustrated… ROI becomes something easier to grasp.

Use this example to break down and tackle challenges. Draw them. Don’t worry, they needn’t be fine art. Discover relationships between the parts.

Transforming your problem into pieces you can view and maneuver will help you reveal the solution.

[click on diagram to download a larger PDF]