Mindjet User Spotlight: Dr. Andrew Makar
|Name: Dr. Andrew Makar|
|Title: Founder, Tactical Project Management|
|Started using Mindjet: 2004|
|Social links: Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube|
How did you hear about Mindjet?
I’ve been a Mindjet enthusiast since 2004 when a colleague mentioned how visual thinking can help people organize their thoughts and improve their productivity. Nine years later, I’m actively applying mind mapping techniques in the project management fields and promoting the benefits of visual thinking to other project managers and creative thinkers!
What do you primarily use it for?
I primarily use Mindjet for project management activities and article writing. Project management has a variety of opportunities to apply Mindjet for visual thinking. Developing a project scope statement, creating a work breakdown structure and even documenting meeting minutes can be facilitated better using Mindjet and visual thinking.
I often speak on the use of mind mapping in project management for various project organizations including the Project Management Institute and ProjectManager.com. Below is my video series on how project managers can use mind mapping for better project management efficiency.
What is your favorite feature?
Mindjet has a ton of useful features including shared map collaboration to full task management. However, my favorite feature is Mindjet’s ability to simply capture great ideas and organize them easily. By simply using the default map, I can create meeting minutes, organize a project or outline my next book. If I publish the map, I can improve the aesthetics with colors, icons and links.
Mindjet’s cloud based feature is my second favorite feature since I can create maps on my iPad, iPhone or laptop and still work off the same map.
Is there anything the tool helps with that was unexpected?
When I create mind maps in my project management meetings, people become more focused and engaged. People often ask what tool am I using to create these easy to understand visual diagrams of complex topics. As the meeting progresses, I make notes, add a node, highlight a branch and add icons. Team members will pause and request edits to the map so everyone understands the key outcomes, decisions and next steps from the meeting. In meetings filled with “Death by Powerpoint”, Mindjet provides a unique way to capture an audience’s attention while presenting great ideas.
How does Mindjet help with collaborative processes?
With Mindjet’s latest integrated release, Mindjet Tasks and cloud based service provides a variety of ways to collaborate on projects. My favorite use of collaboration is around the mind map itself. Using Mindjet’s web-based editor, I can collaborate with other guests and jointly edit the map to improve the discussion. I’m currently co-authoring a book with my colleague in New York. When we outlined the book, we both used Mindjet to edit the same map, make notes and conduct research. Each of were able to edit the map as we discussed new ideas.
Tell us about your map.
I recently published a book called Project Management Interview Questions Made Easy that helps project managers find, prepare and successfully pass a project management interview. Preparing and interviewing for a position can be a nerve wracking experience. People often wonder about the specific interview questions and constructing the perfect interview response.
In the project management domain, I constructed a 1-page mind map that I use in my own interviews to successfully create a meaningful introduction, response to technical and managerial interview questions as well as remind myself of the key questions I want to ask a potential employer. The one page mind map approach is a useful technique for any interview situation although this map is tailored to a project management interview (click here to view the map in Maps for That) .
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Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and avid mind mapper. You can subscribe to the project management part of his brain by checking out his blog.
Here are Mindjet, we know the value of sharing ideas. It’s just like philosopher Michel de Montaigne said way back in the 1500s: “It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.” The Mindjet User Spotlight series aims to help that little endeavor along by bringing your stories and experiences with Mindjet to the forefront. If you’ve got one to share, don’t be shy! Give us a shout.