On www.motivation4success.net sourced from http://mindmapping.bg [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)]

On Line Mind Mapping Tools To Organize Yourself And Your Team

This article contains affiliate links.

http://mindmapping.bg [<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5">CC BY-SA 2.5</a>], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tennis-mindmap.png">via Wikimedia Commons</a>What is Mind Mapping

A mind map, also known as an idea web is a form of brainstorming that uses visual diagrams to help you understand how different thoughts or ideas could be connected. Mind mapping was originally devized by Tony Buzan but the idea has spread worldwide and is used in schools and businesses, by project planners and authors and by teams as well as individuals.

Mind mapping can help you organize and write a College essay, your next novel or technical manual, learn information for an exam, prepare a presentation, map complex documents, such as contracts and doctoral theses or visualise a company structure.

Simple To Learn

It is such a simple process to learn that young school children can use it and so flexible that it can be used for the deepest and most complex projects. The process is commonly used in project planning and presentations. Being able to share mind maps without having to scan a paper copy is a great benefit of cloud based applications and many of these also also allow teams to create and modify a mind map together.

How To Create A Mind Map

You can read up here on how to mind map or watch the video at the bottom of this page.

Once you know the principles of mind mapping (and they are very easy), here are some of the best cloud-based applications available for free mind map software. Most are free for personal use and also have paid options for greater use or for businesses.

Popplet

Popplet allows multiple users to work on the same project. You can also add media such as images or video to your maps. Organization is helped by the use of tags or categories applied to the maps, so they are easy to sort through later.

Link – popplet

Coggle

Coggle is signed into via your Google account. It’s free, and it’s also an easy mind-mapping application. Coggle automatically randomizes the color of each branch, as you create your map, although you can change it to any other color you want, by clicking on the branch you want to change. Mind maps can be downloaded and shared. And the people you share your mind map with can also edit the content. It’s helpful that Coggle also gives you the option to view your mind map from before you allowed other people to make changes to it.

Link – coggle

GroupMap

GroupMap makes team-based, mind-mapping activities easier. After you create or select a map, you can then invite a team to collaborate with you on it. They can comment and even vote on the best ideas. It doesn’t matter whether the people joining you are the quietest in the group, everyone gets to add their views. No one is drowned out by louder voices, so every team member has a voice when it comes to collaborating. GroupMap collects all the ideas and displays them in a group view. This is where commenting and voting can occur. GroupMap is easy to use and offers a free account option.

Link – groupmap

SpiderScribe

SpiderScribe is an online-based brainstorming and mind mapping tool. You can share your mind map with other people if you wish. SpiderScribe allows you to connect files, notes and even calendar events and you can design your map any way you want. These maps are then stored in the cloud, so you (and anyone you choose to share the map with) can access and edit it at any time. with SpiderScribe you can have a free personal account or you can upgrade to “pro” and “business” options for a small fee.

Link – spiderscribe

Bubbl.us

Bubbl.us is free for 3 maps. It’s a tool that allows you to create online “trees” to brainstorm and map ideas. As with any mind map, you start with a central topic, and add new topics as branches, either at the same level or a level lower. Bubbl.us formats your thoughts and notes into a tree automatically, but you can also move the bubbles around to suit your way of thinking and organizing. You can change the color and size of your bubbles to help make connnections clear. Bubbl.us is free, but an account is required to create or edit a tree.

Link – bubblus

Influence Maps Or Idea Webs

You can also use mind maps or similar visual mapping systems to show how one thought or idea influences another, so you can understand where the best means to insert a tipping point might be.  If you need to brainstorm ideas before creating a mind map, you can see how to brainstorm here.

https://amzn.to/2GRChij from www.motivation4success.netMind mapping is a great tool and fun as well. It allows you to collect your thoughts together in a visual way, so all the ideas are visible on one sheet instead of scattered in a linear fashion over many notes, where it is hard to see the linkages. The tools listed above are just a few of the mind mapping tools available online. There are many other services available that provide mind mapping resources. There are also useful brainstorming tools available. Check these out to decide which is best to help you and your team organize your ideas for whatever you want to do.

Video On How To Mind Map

Can A School Newspaper Motivate Study Skills

A school newspaper is a great way to learn about what is going on in the organization. That is not the only benefit for those who are involved with this publication, though. There are many advantages of school newspapers and some of them will be shared in this article. Read on to learn how a school newspaper can motivate study skills and contribute to personal development as it does so much more.

1. Team Work. When creating a school newspaper it takes a lot of teamwork. While some students may choose to do the research and the writing on their own, they will need to collaborate with the other members of the school paper to help them decide what to write about, what angle to take, where to place the article in the paper, and more. Because of this, those who work on a school newspaper will learn important skills pertaining to team work. And when you are willing to learn how to work with others, this can help with your studies. Sometimes studying is an individual act, but many times it can be a group activity. With appropriate team work skills, the study sessions will be much more effective with a lot of learning taking place.

2. Research. Research is not only an important life skill, but it also helps with improving study skills. In order to write good articles, many times it takes a lot of research. Practising this skill while creating reputable pieces will help you with studying. By taking the time to read various pieces, talk with people, and dig through information, this helps to discern valid information from that which isn’t quite as credible. Learning how to critically examine information is part of education and studying as it allows you to determine what is most important in what you are learning about. Knowing how to focus on the main and valid information helps tremendously with school and life in general.

3. Time Management. Being a part of the school newspaper requires time management. When is the article due? When does the paper need to be complete? When does it need to go to the publisher? There are so many requirements that involve time management when dealing with a school newspaper. This means that anyone who has the opportunity to take part in this experience will definitely learn great time management skills. Not only is time management crucial in the newspaper world, but it is so very important in life and for studying. When you are trying to prepare for a test or have an assignment due, it is important to use time management. You will want to pace out your actions so you can obtain the knowledge necessary and complete the necessary actions to doing what is needed.

4. Quality Work. Performing the tasks for creating a school newspaper requires quality work. To ensure the layout of the paper is appealing: to sharing interesting and relevant articles: to readable fonts, there are many factors to consider when creating a quality publication. It can take practice, perseverance, knowledge, and more to do this. By spending time working with a school newspaper, you can learn the skills to create quality pieces. This transfers over into studying as it is important that the time spent studying and working on school activities is quality time. Plus, making sure that the effort of your actions are quality is important, too. For instance, if you have an assignment that involves writing a paper, you will want to make sure that you have followed the rubric shared and turn in a piece that reflects your best efforts.

5. Perseverance. Working on a school newspaper takes a lot of perseverance. There are times when the work is not ideal, but necessary. There are times when the work may be difficult. However, when you are willing to push through to the end, it is quite a rewarding experience. This type of perseverance is quite helpful in the learning environment, too. Studying may not be particularly exciting, but when you have the perseverance to do what it takes, the end result is very rewarding.

6. Social Skills. Interviewing people is a good way of learning and improving the social skills you need for improving study skills and for life after study. Asking questions, listening to the answers, critically examining the information you have been given and keeping the other person on course to provide the information you need for a good story are all great social and study skills.

In conclusion, a school newspaper is a great way to learn, use, practice, and refine many important life skills. Through being a part of the publication, you learn how to be a good team player and learn the important skills of research, time management, quality work, and perseverance all of which can help improve your study skills.

Bramble Purpose In Life

Bramble Patch Purpose

Is time management important to you? You may not have even thought about it until someone asked you to add one more to a long list of tasks or you got sent on a time management training course. Maybe you have just found that it’s impossible to do everything you might WANT to do? And you also realised that typical time management doesn’t mean anything to you. Have you ever thought of looking about you into nature for inspiration?

You CAN get everything done that you NEED to do if you take some tips from the bramble patch.

You may have brambles in your garden. Perhaps you planted them for their fruit or they may have just grown there and you would love to get rid of them! If you don’t have any brambles in your yard, there may be some in a rural location you visit to collect berries in the autumn.

Whether you have a bramble you love or not, almost everyone knows about the briar patch, the prickles and the juicy fruit but did you know you can also learn about time management from the bramble? Brambles are prickly shrubs with long looping thorny shoots – only the blackberry in the UK – but also including the raspberry in the US. There are thought to be 1,000 different varieties of bramble worldwide! So it is a widespread and successful plant. But how does it demonstrate time management?

Time Management starts with a Purpose.

(If you want to find out about your own purpose, scroll straight down to the bottom of this article now.)
The bramble has one purpose, to spread as far and wide as it can and to hold onto any territory it has gained. Any gardener knows that unwanted brambles are VERY difficult to remove and the longer you put it off, the harder it gets and the bigger the patch grows. In order to achieve its purpose, the bramble needs to hold onto the ground it has, spread into new areas and protect its core, in case of damage. These are its main goals.

Needs To Keep Ground Already Won

Protection

The bramble doesn’t want to get eaten by animals as a source of food, so its shoots have strong thorns that provide good protection from grazing animals. These thorns are also backward facing and can help shoots move rapidly through the undergrowth as they grow. The shoots grow in a tangle because their ends root into the ground, forming loops that rapidly create an impenetrable tangle.

Needs to Spread

Long arching shoots

In order to gain new ground, the bramble has to spread. It does that by getting resources (water, sunshine) and using these to send long shoots arching quickly into the air (to gain distance) and which then bend down to the ground. If the tip touches the ground, it sends out roots and a new plant becomes established.

Flowers and fruit

It also spreads by means of its fruit which is sweet and juicy and very attractive to many animals, including humans. The fruit includes seeds that are highly resistant to digestive system acids. They can also survive for 100 years! Animals eat the fruit and the seeds get scattered in their dung, so they have their own source of fertiliser ready made. The seeds create new bramble patches at a distance from the parent plant if they reach somewhere suitable.

Need To Protect Its Core

Brambles have a perennial underground rootstock. It is hidden below the earth, making it resistant to damage and possibly keeping it safe from fire.

So what is Your Purpose?

The bramble’s purpose is to spread as far and wide as it can. (OK, I know that a bramble doesn’t have a brain, nor does it appear to make conscious choices, however, its ACTIONS appear to be as good a way as any of determining what its purpose might be if it were a sentient being.)

What is your purpose? Why are you here, what is it you want to achieve?

Do you want just to survive and keep your head down, making as few waves as possible, just to get by?

Is your purpose to bring up your children as best you can?

Maybe it’s to be a success in your chosen employment or to win a race or achieve a difficult goal?

What Do You Need To Do To Achieve That Purpose?

The bramble needs to spread, to gain ground, (using looping shoots and seeds), it needs protection (thorns) and it needs to keep its core safe (perennial underground roots).

Brambles are highly successful plants, spreading aggressively, protecting themselves and keeping their core safe. They demonstrate time management through their actions in achieving their PURPOSE and in using their GOALS (spread, protect, hidden core) to achieve their purpose.

How can YOU copy the bramble and achieve YOUR purpose?

If you want to find your life purpose, watch this video:

https://youtu.be/js_Q27lMs_8

You can get the book at

The Secret Is In The Bramble

Are You A Bramble Marketer?

On my frequent walks in the local area, I get time to observe the local environment and sometimes really useful ideas spring up from things I have seen. The local hedgerows have a lot of brambles and this year, they have been shouting at me to watch them and learn.

What do you think of brambles?

  • A garden nuisance, with their long thorny stems, that are painful and difficult to remove?
  • A walker’s or forager’s favorite, with juicy black fruits ready to pick and munch in autumn?
  • Or maybe you have never really thought about them at all?

Secrets

The bramble holds several secrets that we can learn from if we want. For instance:

  • Did you know there are said to be 1000 described species of bramble in the world, with over 320 microspecies?
  • The study of brambles has its own name – batology.
  • Even more important, the bramble is excellently adapted to obtain its nutrients and light at the expense of other species.

So?

Read on to see what that means for YOU and Your Motivation to Market:

  • A bramble is any tangled, prickly, rough shrub, usually a blackberry in the UK, though it may also be a raspberry in the USA.
  • It has an underground, perennial rootstock that throws up new shoots or suckers in the Spring. Perennial means it lives for many years.
  • The new shoots last for two years.
  • In their first year, these shoots grow as very long arching stems, reaching down to the ground.
  • If the tip of the shoot touches the soil it can develop roots and form a daughter plant. Those roots then form part of the underground rootstock.
  • In the second year, these shoots develop flowers and then fruits.
  • Brambles are difficult to eradicate once they have become established.
  • If you try removing the rootstock, anything left below ground may regenerate.
  • The root systems will be so wide-spread and interwoven that removing them would require digging up the entire area.

OK, so what does all this information mean for secrets in marketing motivation?

Bramble Root System – Perennial Rootstock

The root of the bramble plant is persistent and perennial, it lasts for years.

Being underground it is hidden.

For established bramble patches it spreads all over the area and is very hard to get rid of.

New shoots (first year) try to arch to a distance from the parent plant and then reach down to touch the ground, forming a new perennial rootstock at a distance from the parent plant.

The rootstock throws up new shoots every year.

Learning Points

How can you make your product(s) or your marketing efforts perennial, so they will last for years?

What does “hidden underground” mean for your marketing (or product)?

How can you keep your rootstock spreading so it is hard to get rid of and any left over piece will send up new shoots?

What new shoots do you need to throw up?

Trip Hazard

On footpaths and in areas of semi woodland, say, brambles can create a trip hazard with those first-year arching shoots that root at their tips.

Learning Points

How can you trip your customers into staying on your web page or with your promoted product, so they stay longer, perhaps buy more?

Any “trip” needs to be ethical, to keep your customer interested. What would interest them? Do you know what brought them to that page? What did they expect or want? Can you give them more of that?

First year bramble shoots

These are the long, dangly, arching stems that try to reach as far as possible from the parent plant. Once they touch the ground, they send out new roots. That starts a fresh bramble bush, with the same genetics as the parent.

Learning Points

Can you send out long first-year bramble shoots in YOUR business?

What would those look like? For the bramble, they are still part of the original bush and spread it further.

How can you spread your niche further?

Is there another micro niche you could spread into?

Maybe a different variation of a successful product?

Second year shoots

These shoots are shorter and close to the main plant. This may be because many of the the long first year shoots have been cut back to keep the paths open and not choked with brambles.

These shoots can bear fruits and flowers simultaneously, that is, they keep flowering throughout the summer, even after fruit has been set. The bramble needs the flowers to produce the fruit. It uses the fruit to spread itself further. The fruit contains seeds. The fruit is attractive to animals as well as humans, these eat the fruit and spread the seed, possibly a LOT further than the first year arching shoots can do.

Learning Points

What “fruit” are you using to attract your customers?

What “seed” is contained within?

How will this help you increase your marketing reach?

If you consider this as your social media marketing, your fruit is the meme, picture or quote that everyone wants to share. What seed or message goes along with it? Your URL? A product review? Maybe a free gift that can spread your message?

Keeps flowering

The bramble keeps on flowering even when ripe fruit is available. It takes no account of the fruit that has already been produced, after all, who knows whether the seed in that fruit will reach a suitable site? The only way to reach new ground is to keep on flowering and producing fruit.

Learning Points

Are there any time management techniques you need to employ to follow this strategy? Outsourcing? Automation?

Conclusion

The bramble is a survivor. Its seed can survive up to 100 years and STILL sprout. It spreads 3 ways, by extending its underground root system, by sending out long shoots to form new plants and through seeds, dispersed by animals. The rootstock is perennial (lives many years) and hidden and sends up new suckers or shoots every year.

It is an amazing plant. (I love blackberries in any form).

It also provides a lot of lessons in motivation and marketing. Are you a bramble marketer?

Want A WorkBook For This?

You can get a workbook with the learning points in it as a 3 page downloadable PDF here.

http://www.motivation4success.net/

Top 8 Tips On Time Management

http://www.motivation4success.net/
Tips on Time Management

Top Tips

Time management isn’t difficult if you use a few easily-learned techniques. There are also some useful tools you can use but they are not necessary for starting out to learn how to manage your time better.

Goals

Before you groan, it’s not difficult. Many people think goal setting is hard because they don’t know what they want, but that’s just the problem – they don’t know what they want so therefore, they can’t set goals to achieve it. A lot of people just want an easy life, with enough money coming in to avoid the debt collector at the door. If that’s what you want, fine, there’s nothing wrong with that if you can do it. It’s when you want something different from what you have already got that you need to set goals to get there.

If you have never set goals before and don’t know how to go about it, then take some time for yourself over the next few days and think about what you want. Maybe you want “an easy life”, or a new job or a foreign holiday every year, or to learn to paint or to write a novel or lose weight. Everybody has different goals in life but if you don’t know what YOUR goals are, then you won’t be able to achieve them. It’s like the Cheshire cat in “Alice in Wonderland” said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

So which road do you want to be on?

Once you have decided on your major goal, you need to set small goals on the way to achieving the main one. So if you want to write a novel, you might decide to write a chapter a week. If that’s 3,000 words, then you need to write 600 words a day if you work a 5 day week at it. So your daily goal might be 600 words and your weekly goal, 3,000 words. Now you know what you have to do each day and each week and can check off the steps along the way.

Of course, you may not be at the point of being able to write a chapter a week, you may need to develop your characters or your plot or be at the editing stage or looking for an agent or publisher. Whatever the overall goal, break it down into smaller goals that you can achieve in a day or a week and check them off as they get done. Each check mark is a new step completed on the road to success.

How To Stop Procrastinating

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination means putting off doing something. Sometimes that is what we do, even when we KNOW we HAVE to get something done, whether it’s pay a bill, take exercise, prepare a long report, decorate a room, apply for a grant or return something bought online that doesn’t fit! We all do it. We may procrastinate in different areas but we all procrastinate.

Structured procrastination

Some people have used procrastination as a way of getting things done – surprising? This is called structured procrastination and was devised by a Stanford professor who wrote a book called Art of Procrastination: The Art of Effective Dawdling, Dallying, Lollygagging, and Postponing. He used procrastination on BIG (really impossible tasks) to get him to complete smaller tasks. We all do that too – he just used it in a really big way. Don’t believe me? Tell me, if you have an article to write, or a long report or a textbook to read, does doing the dishes or tidying your room suddenly become imperative? We often try to put off starting a big task that we dread by working on smaller, easier tasks that we don’t like doing but that we find preferable (or a way of postponing) to making a start on the big important task.

Student Syndrome

This is where someone is given a task with a long completion time, so a student might be told to write an essay that doesn’t need to be submitted for 3 weeks (or the end of term). Student syndrome is thinking that completion date is so far away that there is not need to start just yet, so it keeps getting put off. A week before the due date, or even the day before, the students suddenly realise this is now due and start to panic. Putting off starting is a well known way of putting time pressure on yourself, so the project gets completed in a rush. There comes a time when the anxiety about not submitting a completed project overcomes the fear of having to get started on something you may not know how to do. You can find out more about student syndrome in this post, together with some resources on how to overcome procrastination.

Strategies To Overcome Procrastination

1. Reminders

Our subconscious may try to get us out of starting a new habit or starting on a big project by “making” us forget. Habits are automatic but starting to put a new habit into place needs conscious thought each time, as does doing something that moves us forward on a project.

If you have a calendar with large spaces on it where you can write something and which you check daily, then write a daily reminder to yourself for the next 21 days.
Put sticky notes on your bathroom mirror or the inside of your front door, anywhere you will see them several times a day.

2. Visualization and Affirmations

Take 10 or 15 minutes at a quiet time of day to visualise how you will feel and act when your project is completed or how you will feel when you hand it in on time, knowing you have done good work or how you will feel when you have made your chosen new habit automatic. We often avoid tasks that we feel won’t be enjoyable, so think about why you will enjoy the outcome or the benefit you will get from your new habit. Use affirmations. Say them out loud. “I enjoy swimmimg / jogging / dancing / tennis.” “I feel happy and relaxed handing in my completed essay / report / work”. Affirmations should be positive (I enjoy, I love, etc and should be in the present tense, I am, I do, etc)

3. Just A Small Step

I call this “Just One”. You tell yourself you just have to do one (pushup, dish) or stick it for one minute (putting away laundry, filling the dishwasher) then you can stop. Allow yourself to stop after the one if you want, you can do another very soon but often, you will see that it is only a small job and you finish it in a very short time.

4. Reward yourself

I have motivation charts that I use to get me to do certain jobs. I award myself points for doing them (eg a point each time I climb the 3 flights of stairs or for making the bed) and a small monetary reward for so many points. I choose to give myself a dollar for 100 general points or for 50 exercise points. If funds are tight, be creative about your rewards: how about a 15 minute bubble bath or a visit to a favorite website?

5. Encourage yourself

Forming new habits and overcoming procrastination would be easy if we could just decide to change but it doesn’t usually work that way. Rather than making a “never again” vow, tell yourself it’s “just for today”. You can do the same again tomorrow. Step by step day by day is much easier to achieve.

6. Use A Project Motivation Chart

I have found that a Project Motivation Chart uses several of the above techniques and that of a Daruma doll in one easy colorful page. At least, it’s colorful AFTER you have colored it in! You put the chart somewhere prominent, so it provides a reminder (strategy 1). It has space for completing a small step (strategy 3), provides a means of rewarding yourself (strategy 4) and encourages you to complete a project (strategy 5). You complete it yourself so it will contain empty areas until you complete them (like a Daruma doll).

A Project Motivation Chart provides two scales. One is a timescale in days or weeks, or even months if you choose. This one gets filled in every day or week or month that passes, whether you have done anything or not. This provides the time pressure for those who need it and a visual reminder that the completion date is approaching for those suffering from student syndrome. The other scale is a picture or graphic with areas to be completed as you complete a step in your project. So if one of your steps is to read a chapter in a certain book, then you color or shade in one space on the graphic. It is obviously best if your graphic gets completed in step with, or even slightly ahead of your timescale (to allow for difficulties) but even if it falls behind, having it in a prominent place will remind you each day.

What Strategies do YOU use to overcome procrastination?

You can comment below.

Getting Back Into The Flow Zone

Got It In One

Did you ever see a cartoon or comic strip that either captured your feelings exactly or illustrated something that you had felt but never really understood? This is one of the reasons for having cartoonists (and poets and jesters), who often see or capture things that others have failed to observe. I have seen two of these in my life. cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Another Cartoon

Another one was a Dilbert cartoon back in January about getting back into “the flow” after an interruption. Have you ever experienced a brief interruption that totally ruined your concentration? Even someone asking you whether you wanted a cup of tea or coffee or whether you were warm enough? I couldn’t understand why it always took me so long to get back into working after such a brief interruption but the Dilbert cartoon explains it perfectly. You can see that cartoon here: http://dilbert.com/strip/2017-01-05 Go and check it out then come back to read the rest.

Flow Zone

For some people, whether exercising, computer programming or doing other work, they get into what they call the “flow zone” of optimal experience, where progress or exercise seems easy and the work just seems to flow and all the pieces just come together. It is a state of deep concentration and effortless, where what seems like 10 minutes to you may actually have been two hours but it takes time, maybe 15  minutes, to reach that state and interruptions can throw you right out of it, needing another 15 minutes to get back in and then another after another interruption.

It’s often easier to get into a state of flow after you have looked over your project, thought about it and made some decisions on it, such as how to go about it, which exercise program to follow, which report to write or which subject to study.

While being in a state of flow or “in the zone” puts you into deep concentration mode, this is NOT the same as being in a reverie or daydream. That is not productive though it may be very pleasant. After all, the old saying is true, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”. Dreams without action are just wishful thinking. Being in the zone or the flow, means having an optimal experience as it gets things done and you are taking action and making progress, often much faster than you thought possible because you are working smarter.

What Action Are YOU Taking?

Have you ever experienced being “in the zone” where your progress just flowed? How did you get there? Can you do it again? Are you able to get back into it after an interruption? If not, what action could you take to use this work smarter tool?