Bet you thought I’d dropped off the face of the earth. It’s been such a long time since I last posted. Well, there’s lots to report and share.

First off, I’ve started working in a financial planning practice (my husband’s) and replaced his long-time assistant (due to harder economic times). I had a few weeks to learn her job before she left. What better way to capture a lot of notes and procedures, than with Idea Mapping. I did some hand-drawn maps and a lot of MindManager maps. I hope to share some of these with you, but I have to “sanitize” them for confidential client info. I’ll do my best to get that up on the blog soon.

For now, let me say that I would have been lost without mapping. We did a top-down review of all tasks that the assistant has done in the past, from collecting mail, email, voice messages, filing, tracking the progress of various new business, bookkeeping for the practice, and… a million other things. We also did some breaking down of tasks that recur into annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily. This was very helpful for me. I did most of the synthesis of notes in map form. Although I have LARGE maps, I also began breaking them into smaller maps that I use as a template for what I do each day, week, month, etc.

I started these maps on a Mac using MindManager 7 for Mac. Because of security/confidentiality issues, the practice can only run on PCs that have certain encryption protocols. Suffice it to say that I am using a Dell laptop now, and this week I downloaded MindManager 8 (trial version for the next 30 days). My maps came right in without a hitch. Not so with my learning curve. I have much to learn about how the PC version “thinks.” But, by using one of my existing maps as a template, I get around some of the “don’t know how to do this”-itis.

It’s hard to say how invaluable my maps have been, and the whole process of mapping. I couldn’t work without it.

Once final thing (I promise to end this long post), I am a dedicated convert to the Getting Things Done (GTD) system of time management. I decided on a low-tech use of GTD (mostly Post-It notes and a modified DayTimer), but mapping goes hand-in-hand with GTD.

More later, when I can figure out what maps to put in here. Thanks for waiting such a long time for a new post.