Mindjet User Spotlight: Nigel Goult

Filed Under Mind Mapping, Mindjet

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January 28, 2013


Nigel-MJUS
Name: Nigel Goult
Title: CEO, Olympic Limited
Started using Mindjet: 2001
Social links: Twitter, LinkedIn, MODi, MMDevX

How did you hear about Mindjet?

I was introduced to Mindjet when I applied for a position with M-Urge Limited which, at that time, was the Mindjet Infocentre for the UK. M-Urge was acting as the main distribution and sales channel for Mindjet and that was the sole focus of the business. Being interested in software and IT in general I started to really dig into the workings of, what was then, MindManager version 4.0, and soon became the resident expert on the product for the company. Since that time I have worked for two further companies in a Director/Owner capacity, both of which have focused almost solely around Mindjet sales, development and consultancy.

What do you primarily use it for?

As a core part of Olympics’ business is Mindjet add-in development and integration, I find Mindjet is great for pre-planning and requirements gathering for the development projects I work on. The ability to get thoughts and ideas down onto the map canvas and then be able to re-order, tag, categorize and prioritize the topics quickly and easily is one of the most fundamental benefits of using Mindjet for me.

I also find it useful for creating structured data out of often completely unstructured information. For instance, if a Word document is not making much sense I sometimes import the document into Mindjet and then go through the reorganization of the map content so that I get a clearer understanding of the information.

Of course I also use Mindjet as a platform for providing value added solutions and capabilities to global clients through Olympic, enabling those clients to maximise their ROI from Mindjet through bespoke integration and add-ins targeted at specific business needs.

What is your favorite feature? 

I would have to say my favorite feature is the API which allows third party developers to design and develop add-ins and solutions that can enhance Mindhet in different ways. This feature has given Mindjet users the Marker Index, (formerly Power Markers developed by Nick Duffill of Harport Consulting), which helps locate topics and navigate large maps with so much more ease when the map view does not visibly show them.

The in-built browser is another example of a great feature which was first seen in MindManager Pro 6 seven years ago and was provided as an add-in developed by myself and a colleague while at Visual Technology Solutions as a requirement for a much larger project management solution we were developing at the time.

This great feature, which no other mapping software currently offers on such a feature rich basis, has provided numerous add-ins and solutions to Mindjet users around the world over the last 10 years and continues to be just one of the things that currently sets Mindjet apart from any other software of this type.

Is there anything the tool helps with that was unexpected? 

I think the most unexpected benefit I have experienced is just how much time I save using Mindjet. Once you have a good working knowledge of the capabilities, Mindjet really is the most feature-rich information mapping application. I have spent a lot of time using just the basic features, but once you start to delve deeper then you discover there is another layer that really starts to impact your productivity.

How does Mindjet help with collaborative processes?

As already mentioned Mindjet is great for gathering data and then making sense of it. I think the most powerful example of the software was used for collaboration from my own experience came from a consultancy session we delivered back in 2005 for one of the large oil companies. They had gathered 30 of their senior project managers and risk consultants from all over the world to one location for a day, and we had attended to provide an overview of Mindjet’s benefits and how they could potentially use it within their business.

Part of the demonstration included showing them how intuitive and easy the software was to use once you knew a few simple keyboard shortcuts. We took one laptop and hooked that up to a projector. We then asked for the person with the best keyboard skills to “drive” the application and gave them 5 minutes worth of knowledge in adding, deleting, cutting, pasting and moving topics.

The head of the meeting then chose a subject, which happened to be a real life planned project for an offshore drilling platform in South East Asia, and they started to brainstorm the requirements. Within an hour they had collated more information than they could have dreamed. When we asked the head of the meeting for his reaction he replied saying it would have taken him months to collate that amount of knowledge from these 30 individuals at an unquantifiable cost. He immediately placed a PO for 50 licenses and I don’t think they have ever looked back since. This powerful demonstration was all done with one laptop, one view, 5 minutes of training and the collective knowledge and experience of 30 professionals. Amazing!

Tell us about your map. 

This map is the Project Dashboard map taken from our flagship Mindjet add-in, OPTi-P2, which is a project management solution for those who want to use Mindjet to run PRINCE2® projects.

It is a perfect example of how a mind map can be used to display a complex project methodology together with supporting information. The map allows users to access official guidance material based on the selected project process or activity which is displayed in a customized browser task pane on the right hand side.

The Project Dashboard also links to a further 40 detailed Activity maps that describe the project method each of which is linked to associated project documentation.

MJ1 - Project Desktop

[Click for full size image]

Nigel is an experienced visual information management professional with over 12 years of experience in software mind mapping. He currently owns and manages Olympic Limited, a company that specializes in solution and add-in development for Mindjet users around the world. He is also co-founder of the new M.O.D.i, a further source of Mindjet value added resources run in partnership with Patrick Baker of Mindlogik in New Zealand.

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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.

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