Personal Transformation Helped by Mapping

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During the last 3 months I’ve had the good fortune to receive the teachings of several people, either in person or through books. It has come at a pivotal point in my human development, and the synchronicity is astonishing.

While going through it, I was only aware that something was happening, but hadn’t put the pieces together until the last couple of weeks. As a visual-thinker, my first thought was to make a drawing.

The first idea was in the form of puzzle pieces radiating from something undefined in the center. After doing that, however, I realized I was leaving out a couple of elements, and rather than expand the puzzle (which I tried to do to an unsatisfying result), I started arranging the influences by their sources. When it was a book, I found an image of the cover and drew it.

From there, I made drawings of the elements of that source (distilled into keywords or images) rather map-like but not slavishly following any “rules”. I left a blank space in the middle because I didn’t know what my central image would be (this is often what happens to me until I’ve gone through the initial design).

After making the surrounding images, I realized that what I was doing was creating an image of myself and what were my core beliefs and influences. So I decided to draw a portrait of myself. This was a challenge for me as an artist-novice.

Here are the “maps”. Enjoy. (BTW this post was created with my iPhone. Ain’t technology grand?)

MindManager Monthly Idea Map

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In my work, I create monthly idea maps with repetitive tasks so that as I go through the month, I keep track of the work that needs to happen that month. In a previous post, I showed an example of a daily mind map that I create at that level. Here is a MindManager map for the month of August.

august idea map

Image Mostly Map

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I promised a map using MindManager this post. I was going to use one of my regular MindManager maps, but recently, I made a map that I hope to use as the dashboard for a large writing project I’ve been working on.

For the last 12 years (sporadically), I’ve been collecting, digitizing and organizing over 16,000 files representing my father’s 70+ year career as a commercial and fine artist in Western New York.

This map is one way I may organize data. I hope you’ll be able to see the images by zooming into he map .

Did the Same Person Draw These Maps?

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Here are 2 maps done in a very different way. Do you think the same person drew them?

Daily Map

7 Habits

Answer: Yes. I did these, but under different circumstances and for different purposes. The yellow one is an example of a kind of map I do every day when I get to the office. It’s a “quickie” done to capture things in my iPod Touch from Omnifocus. I use this program as my GTD (Getting Things Done) system, but because it’s a database and the iPod version has to open and close each time you access it, it takes too long to open it frequently. So I make the map to lay out what I’ll do. Then at some point in my work session (end of morning) I’ll go back into the iPod and update that system.

The second map was done while attending Jamie Nast’s IdeaMapping seminar last April in Florida. I’d done the “exercise” of mapping Steven Covey’s 7 Habits, and decided to try and find a different way to express the information. So this is more of an artistic map.

Next post, I’ll show how I use Mindjet’s Mindmanager, which I also use every day both personally and professionally.

Daily Mapping

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For me, mapping is a part of my life everyday. I make a map first thing to plan out my day. It takes the form of a map with a date and day heading and a timeline with the hours spread across the map at the bottom. I then plug in the things that I hope to accomplish and appointments and use the timeline to report when those things happen. The next day, I might go back and fill in the times for things when they actually happened (if they weren’t appointments or set times). That way, I see how my time was spent, and I can, perhaps, anticipate what my day might be like (over-booked, extra time…). I find that the act of creating this first map (the system was developed by Vanda North a few years ago) helps focus me, and the soothing nature of creating the map begins my day in a gentle way. Here are two images: The first is a map from yesterday that I completed this morning by plugging in the actual times for the branches on the map. The second is today’s map made first thing. As you can see, I have only “ideas” of things to do, but they haven’t occurred yet, so the timeline is largely unfilled.

Thanks for tuning in. There’s more to come when I get the chance to put things I think you’ll enjoy.

Business Card in Map Form

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After refreshing my mapping skills with Jamie Nast in May, and fresh with the enthusiasm she creates in her classes, I decided to design a business card that not only shows what I do, but shows it in the form that I do it in. So, here’s my business card. (There is a larger image in the “About” tab).


Jamie has a class coming up next April (2009). For more information click here.

Celebration of Life-Lynda Goodremont

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I was contacted by a colleague of Lynda’s who wanted to have something to share with her family and friends to celebrate the incredible life she had led. Lynda was in hospice care when John Mayer contacted me (thanks to a referral from Jamie Nast) and he provided information about Lynda’s many accomplishments. It seemed appropriate to use a tree as the central image, and to hang the various main ideas off the branches. The actual map is 8.5″ x 11″ and done with ink and colored pencil.

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