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Mind mapping software - How it can help the DBA Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011 10:03 PM
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Mind mapping software - How it can help the DBA

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Post #1214343
Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011 2:31 AM


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Good article. Mind Mapping is very useful.

However I think you missed out one of the main functions of mind-mapping - for Studying, especially for long term understanding and data retention - not just cramming for exams.

I've used mind-mapping on and off since 1974 - when I first saw Tony Buzan's BBC TV Show. I actually went out and bought the book - not cheap for a 12-year old.

Actually the mind-mapping part is the last step of his Organic Study Method. This is an approach to study I use especially when learning new topics. Its a real 'attack' strategy to data where you dont start at page 1 and read everything sequentially, instead you forage deeply into the data, getting familliar with whole chapters in minutes, then going back to fill in the blanks later. The mind-map is part of your notes, very visual, to remind you and serve as revision material. I passed all my exams using these techniques.

For 15 years I stopped using this method, having been convinced that it was wrong and would only increase confusion and misunderstanding. I didn't make much progress in those 15 years. however in 2005 I rejected that other method and bought Buzan's revised books. Since then I've never looked back. Those 1,000 page software books no longer stay gathering dust on the shelves. I've been through them, maybe not read them completely, but I know whats in them and where to find it.

I recommend people find out where the mind-map fits into the whole Sudy Technique, rather than use it in isolation.



Post #1214426
Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011 3:39 AM
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A very interesting article....


Post #1214458
Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011 4:48 AM
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This is really good use of mind mapping!

Are you familiar with the mind map library and community at www.Biggerplate.com? It would be great to see your map and explanation added to the library for others to see.

Biggerplate is a site I created a couple of years ago. It's totally free to use and there are currently almost 2,000 maps and templates available to view/download/use for free, and our community has almost reached 25,000 members from around the world! Be great to see you and your maps there!
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Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011 5:47 AM
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Thank you David - for opening up a whole new world! I'm not sure why isn't this a global norm - both the concept as well as the (now seemingly readily) available tools!

Or maybe I've been living under a rock?!

I intend to waste no more time in spreading the word!








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Post #1214541
Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:56 AM


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Love Mindmaps. Mostly use it during meetings to take my notes or if I have a lot of information and I need some structure in it first before I start to put a list together. But as always, it's a matter of working preference.
Post #1214655
Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011 7:57 AM
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I've been using mind mapping since '95. The article shows good use of the basic structural aspects, but to me the main aspect is the use of creative elements within the diagrams which are used to aid memory and creative thoughts.

Really what I see is a radial tree diagram with cross references. I could use an ERD type structure to do the same. However, using the MM software to do this is innovative.
Post #1214657
Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011 8:08 AM


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Thanks for sharing.

I've been interested in mind mapping for a while. I have a hard time finding other people at work or in my social circles who are at all interested.

In the last 10 years of my professional life, I've had maybe two or three requests for a brainstorming session - or something that could be considered remotely like brainstorming.

For the sake of discussion, let's say that my work life sample is normal. So, why don't people want to brainstorm with other people at work? I think it's because that's not part of the game that people play at work.

At work, ideas are valuable - and people want to be considered valuable.

So, managers want to play the "Take the Credit, Assign the Blame" Game to justify their hierarchical dominance over workers. Workers want to play the "I've Got a Monopoly on Valuable Tacit Knowledge" game so they can increase their indispensibility. There's also the "I'm the Ultimate Source of All Good Ideas" game that's a big hit with many.

There are typical moves to these games including "pretend that insightful email i just got from a worker was never sent - then wait a while and re-brand the info and take credit." - or the "that's an okay idea, but I'll just make a comment to refine it further before you say it, so I can claim the idea and then go tell my new idea to decision-makers."

Anyhow - that might sound negative - and we're all supposed to run from negativity - but that's only to set up the following point (and it's only observation made from real-life situations).

If your workplace is interested in mind mapping software and brainstorming, then one can probably take that as a very good sign that people value collaboration and individual contribution - and you might find that place to be somewhere that offers self actualization in work life.

So, maybe we should find and gravitate toward people who are interested in mind mapping, collaborative tools, brainstorming and the like - if that's the kind of world we want to live in.

Regards,
Bill


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Post #1214668
Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011 8:42 AM


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Very much for lateral thinking, rather than linear, me-thinks, and so might have stronger appeal for them (us).

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Post #1214694
Posted Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:16 AM
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I'm glad for the article on mind mapping software. Ok. I'm even sold and will likely be looking into acquiring something for my personal use.

What I missed in the article was a comparison between mind mapping and ER or UML diagramming. Mind mapping obviously leaves off the technical precision necessary for an automated implementation. Then from the example, at the lower levels of a hierarchy there is a switch from entity abstractions to what would be actual row instances (eg. Data Warehouse Appliance-->Training-->instances of who and what require training). Add methods and we are nearing UML territory. Is it the lack of formality in the approach which is its strength?

The approach seems very familiar to data modeling. Lack of comparisons to other more formal approaches of documenting thoughts (for instance network modeling and/or programmatic functional decomposition) left me wondering where a tool like this might fit (all the more reason to go acquire one, I suppose).

Still, I was quite happy to see organization of thoughts strongly supported in the area of database management. Value in data modeling comes from simply approaching a problem with some way of organizing data and function rather than using a DBMS as a file server then managing all business rules and data relations in unstructured harried application code.
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