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Dragging & Dropping Knowledge Objects

One of the interesting things about MindManager is the way it turns all information into discrete, reuseable knowledge objects.

Compare, for instance, the difference between getting Google search results or RSS news feeds in MindManager versus getting them in news aggregators and search results listings. In the latter case (and I am not an expert in this), people generally have to cut and paste content and/or link to actually put the content to use. When you find a web site you like, maybe you file it away in Favorites.

With MindManager, since each result is an independent object, you can take that discrete result and put it in context. A list of search results or news feeds is not much context. A Favorites file is not context at all. Context tracks back to why you searched in the first place, why a particular news feed caught your attention. MindManager allows you to move content from a generic to a specific location–to a specifc context.

Let’s say you have a map that contains 15 RSS news feeds (one caveat here: MindManager is probably not the best news reader if you subscribe to dozens or more news feeds–it just gets too busy). You open the map in the morning, notice that in the first feed there is an item that is relevant to a particular business (or personal) project you’re working on. To connect that feed to that project, all you have to do is first, make sure the map of that project is open. It doesn’t need to be the one you’re looking at but it needs to be open. Now go back to the RSS News Feed map, highlight the feed you want to use for that project, and drag it up to the title/tab on that map on the top of the MindManager screen. Hold it there for a second and the project map will open up and pop to the front. Keeping your mouse clicked, drag the feed to the exact topic in the project map where you want that news feed to be–and release.

Presto and voila. You now have a link to and summary of that feed (or search result) exactly where you need it. From there, you can add topic or callouts to that feed to remind you why you put it there, assign some task to it…whatever. (Similarly, you can also click on the IE logo next to the URL of a web page and drag the curson to a topic. Wait a moment for the topic border turns green, release the mouse, and you have made a link from that topic to that web page.)

This same "select, drag to the title tab, drag to topic, release" sequence works for any map topics and is a great way to bring together the knowledge objects you need and put them in the precise context where they will be of the most use.