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iMindMap Instructor Course

June 11, 2010

Buzan's iMindMapI am a great fan of MindMaps, especially of the iMindMap software developed by Tony Buzan, the inventor of MindMaps. I use them not daily but they are great for brainstorming sessions with the team or when I need to get my head around certain (new topics).  It is the ultimate Thinking Tool  that has helped me so many times and I look forward to using it the next time.

So why do Mind Maps work? Can’t I just stick to my lists and my conventional tried and tested techniques?

In a Mind Map, information is structured in a way that mirrors exactly how the brain functions – in a radiant rather than linear manner. A Mind Map literally ‘maps’ out your thoughts, using associations, connections and triggers to stimulate further ideas. They extract your ideas from your head into something visible and structured. iMindMap retains this ideas-generating radial process with unique organic branch drawing.
Research shows that the brain likes to work on the basis of association and it will connect every idea, memory or piece of information to tens, hundreds and even thousands of other ideas and concepts.

Try it out for yourself, download the Free Trial now!

Licensed Instructor Courses

Tony Buzsan is now offering Licensed Instructor Courses.  The comprehensive day–workshop is led by in–house training experts, who have been described as “enthralling” by past course attendees. The interactive course guides you through each iMindMap feature, giving you exclusive expertise and confidence, and our experts show you how to apply Mind Mapping to any situation. On completing this course, you will receive Official Accreditation to train others in using iMindMap.

Location: Cardiff, UK

Date: 6th July 2010 9:00am – 5.00pm

Cost: £495 (+ VAT)

If you want to learn more about the course, please follow this link.

iMindMap Master Trainer Course

Led by ThinkBuzan CEO and ‘Mind Maps for Business’ co–author, Chris Griffiths, this course will give you the highest achievable level of expertise of our training programmes. Guaranteed to inspire and provoke deeper understanding, the day focuses upon applications of Mind Mapping and also developing you to be a better presenter and trainer. Past course attendee, Adrian Griffiths of Oval Business Solutions, commented: “I learned a lot about your people, your organisation and what motivates you. It was a real pleasure. You have a great team and a great ethos, which I found really inspirational.” On completing this course, you will receive Official Accreditation to accredit others to become iMindMap Licensed Instructors, helping us to grow our network of future iMindMap Instructors!

Location: Cardiff, UK

Date: 7th July 2010 10:00am–5:00pm

Cost: £995 (+ VAT)

Follow this link to lean more about this course.

Mind Map on the go!

iMindMap Mobile Pro allows you to capture your moments of inspiration as and when your creativity strikes! With lots of the same great features as iMindMap Desktop, iMindMap Mobile Pro will allow you to work any place, anytime, anywhere.

iMindMap Mobile – FREE Available from iTunes Now

iMindMap Mobile Pro – £1.79 Available from iTunes.

The BRAND NEW Pro Version of the iMindMap app for the iPhone, boasting a complete feature set that includes enhanced export options – image, PDF and iMM files – so you can share your maps anywhere! There are no limits with iMindMap Mobile Pro. Check it out and follow this link.

MSK Moleskine Downloads now available

June 8, 2010

Moleskine.com is now offering a new free service which is just fabulous. So I am in the process of implementing it. You may wonder what MSK stands for?

MSK is a printable version for Moleskine ®of digital content like contacts, events or original associations of images and text. You can use the Wizard to create your own page, or use the Events page to upload the events you’ll be attending, or the Contacts page to upload your contacts.
You also can share with others your content creating MSK formats.

At the end of each of my post you will from now on find this button here (well, not on this post 😉 ):

When you click this button the post will be converted into a so called MSK template on the Moleskine.com website to which you will be redirected.  The title will be filled in already and in a second step you can select the page size of the notebook you are using etc. Step 3 allows you to select an image and with step 4 you can select the layout of the page or print. There is no need to add any text unless you want to add anything.

Then you can create you MSK which will open as PDF file. Simply click the “Create MSK” button and print the PDF file. Cut it to size and add it to your notebook. Voila!

Have a look at my 2 previous posts where I have inserted the link already (here and here).

Over the next few weeks I will work through the older post as well and add the MSK link.

Let me know what you think!?

PS:
You can add this service to your own blog or website. Please follow the description here under MSK compatible blogs section on Moleskine.com

Moleskine ® is a trademark registered by Moleskine S.r.l.

Self Esteem – a Starter Guide to Self-Improvement

June 4, 2010

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So how do you stay calm, composed and maintain self esteem in a tough environment? Here are some tips you may to consider as a starter guide to self improvement.

Imagine yourself as a Dart Board. Everything and everyone else around you may become Dart Pins, at one point or another. These dart pins will destroy your self esteem and pull you down in ways you won’t even remember. Don’t let them destroy you, or get the best of you.  So which dart pins should you avoid?

Dart Pin #1 : Negative Work Environment

Beware of “dog eat dog” theory where everyone else is fighting just to get ahead. This is where non-appreciative people usually thrive. No one will appreciate your contributions even if you miss lunch and dinner, and stay up late. Most of the time you get to work too much, without getting help from people concerned.  Stay out of this, it will ruin your self esteem. Competition is at stake anywhere. Be healthy enough to compete, but in a healthy competition that is.

Dart Pin #2: Other People’s Behaviour

Bulldozers, gossipmongers, whiners, backstabbers, snipers, people walking wounded, controllers, naggers, complainers, exploders, patronisers, suffers… all these kinds of people will pose bad vibes for your self esteem, as well as to your self improvement scheme.

Dart Pin #3: Changing Environment

You can’t be a green bug on a brown field. Changes challenge our paradigms. It tests our flexibility, adaptability and alters the way we think. Changes will make life difficult for awhile, it may cause stress but it will help us find ways to improve our selves. Change will be there forever, we must be susceptible to it.

Dart Pin #4: Past Experience

It’s okay to cry and say “ouch!” when we experience pain. But don’t let pain transform itself into fear. It might grab you by the tail and swing you around. Treat each failure and mistake as a lesson.

Dart Pin #5: Negative World View

Look at what you’re looking at. Don’t wrap yourself up with all the negativities of the world. In building self esteem, we must learn how to make the best out of worst situations.

Dart Pin #6: Determination Theory

The way you are and your behavioural traits is said to be a mixed end product of your inherited traits (genetics), your upbringing (psychic), and your environmental surroundings such as your spouse, the company, the economy or your circle of friends. You have your own identity. If your father is a failure, it doesn’t mean you have to be a failure too. Learn from other people’s experience, so you’ll never have to encounter the same mistakes.

Sometimes, you may want to wonder if some people are born leaders or positive thinkers. NO. Being positive, and staying positive is a choice. Building self esteem and drawing lines for self improvement is a choice, not a rule or a talent. God wouldn’t come down from heaven and tell you – “George, you may now have the permission to build self esteem and improve your self.”

In life, its hard to stay tough specially when things and people around you keep pulling you down. When we get to the battle field, we should choose the right luggage to bring and armours to use, and pick those that are bullet proof. Life’s options give us arrays of more options. Along the battle, we will get hit and bruised. And wearing a bullet proof armour ideally means ‘self change’. The kind of change which comes from within. Voluntarily. Armour or Self Change. Changes 3 things: our attitude, our behaviour and our way of thinking.

Building self esteem will eventually lead to self improvement if we start to become responsible for who we are, what we have and what we do. Its like a flame that should gradually spread like a brush fire from inside and out. When we develop self esteem, we take control of our mission, values and discipline.  Self esteem brings about self improvement, true assessment, and determination. So how do you start putting up the building blocks of self esteem? Be positive. Be contented and happy. Be appreciative. Never miss an opportunity to compliment. A positive way of living will help you build self esteem, your starter guide to self improvement.

Print it in Moleskine MSK format

Happy as You Want to Be

June 3, 2010

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Almost everyone have heard the hit single ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ by Bobby McFerrin. The song has a very catchy way of conveying its message of being happy to everyone. Bobby Mcferiin’s simple message surely made a lot of people by telling them not to worry.

Living a happy, resilient and optimistic life is wonderful, and is also good for your health. Being happy actually protects you from the stresses of life. Stress is linked to top causes of death such as heart disease, cancer and stroke.

One of the better things ever said is – ‘The only thing in life that will always remain the same is change’, and in our life we have the power to make the necessary changes if we want to. Even if we find ourselves in an unbearable situation we can always find solace in the knowledge that it too would change.

Social networks or relationships are essential to happiness. People are different, accept people for who or what they are, avoid clashes, constant arguments, and let go of all kinds of resentments. If arguments seem unavoidable still try and make an effort to understand the situation and you might just get along well with it.

Happiness is actually found in everyone, increasing it is a way to make a life more wonderful and also more healthy.

To be happy is relatively easy, just decide to be a happy person. Abraham Lincoln observed that most people for most of the time can choose how happy or stressed, how relaxed or troubled, how bright or dull their outlook to be. The choice is simple really, choose to be happy.
There are several ways by which you can do this.

  • Being grateful is a great attitude.  We have so much to be thankful for. Thank the taxi driver for bringing you home safely, thank the cook for a wonderful dinner and thank the guy who cleans your windows. Also thank the mailman for bringing you your mails, thank the policeman for making your place safe and thank God for being alive.
  • News is stressful. Get less of it. Some people just can’t start their day without their daily dose of news. Try and think about it, 99% of the news we hear or read is bad news. Starting the day with bad news does not seem to be a sensible thing to do.
  • A religious connection is also recommended. Being part of a religious group with its singing, sacraments, chanting, prayers and meditations foster inner peace.
  • Manage your time. Time is invaluable and too important to waste. Time management can be viewed  as a list of rules that involves scheduling, setting goals, planning, creating lists of things to do and prioritizing. These are the core basics of time management that should be understood to develop an efficient personal time management skill. These basic skills can be fine tuned further to include the finer points of each skill that can give you that extra reserve to make the results you desire.
  • Laugh and laugh heartily everyday. Heard a good joke? Tell your friends or family about it. As they also say -‘Laughter is the best medicine’.
  • Express your feelings, affections, friendship and passion to people around you. They will most likely reciprocate your actions. Try not to keep pent up anger of frustrations, this is bad for your health. Instead find ways of expressing them in a way that will not cause more injury or hurt to anyone.
  • Working hard brings tremendous personal satisfaction. It gives a feeling of being competent in finishing our tasks. Accomplishments are necessary for all of us, they give us a sense of value. Work on things that you feel worthy of your time.
  • Learning is a joyful exercise. Try and learn something new everyday.  Learning also makes us expand and broaden our horizons. And could also give us more opportunities in the future.
  • Run, jog, walk and do other things that your body was made for. Feel alive.
  • Avoid exposure to negative elements like loud noises, toxins and hazardous places.

These are the few simple things you can do everyday to be happy.
And always remember the quote from Abraham Lincoln, he says that, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Print it in Moleskine MSK format

Apple Macbook Project

June 3, 2010

I decided it is time for a new laptop!

So, with money being not so plentiful as needed,
I now get a new Macbook for
FREE !!!

If you want to find out how you can order your FREE Apple product
(Macbook, iPhone, iPod or even the iPad)

…. follow this link here:

Yes, I want my  free Apple Product!

Productivity and Lighting

May 27, 2010

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As seen on http://www.productivity501.com/the-role-of-lighting/37/

“Lighting plays a much greater part in our productivity than most people realize.  There is quite a bit of research that supports the idea that productivity increases along with the amount of light in your workspace (at least up to a certain point).

However, if the increase produces glare, it is counter-productive.  This is especially true for people working in front of a computer. The best lighting solution is one where the lighting is indirectly bounced off the ceiling.  This helps diffuse the light and cuts down on the amount of glare. Some of the best lamps I’ve used are the halogen floor lamps that shine their light all on the ceiling.

Another thing to consider in lighting your workplace is the spectrum of the light. Different light bulbs give off light in different parts of the spectrum.  Ideally, you want light that is as close as possible to sun light.  In the past, florescent bulbs have not been very good at this.  I once attended a university where the communications department had specifically put in incandescent bulbs in their classroom areas because they felt that the florescent light was distracting.  There are modern florescent bulbs that cover a very wide spectrum.  They are more expensive, but the cost is often more than offset by increased productivity.

A final area to consider is the impact of the seasons on your lighting.  Areas that are well lighted in the summer may be less than adequate during the darker winter months.  If you feel like you are hitting something of a winter slump, the remedy may be as simple as turning on some additional lights.”

Originally published on November 16, 2005.

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GTD Implementation Guide now online

May 26, 2010
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David Allen has created a more detailed guide to walk people through the key steps in implementing GTD. He describes it as being pretty “much like part two of the Getting Things Done book does, but with even more detail on the steps and how much time you may expect it to take.”

This GTD Implementation Guide is now available online in the GTD Online Store. It costs $20.00 and might be worth while depending on how familiar you are with GTD.

Personally I am in the middle of changing from a digital GTD system to a pen and paper system and once I am done I will post the results. The main reason for changing is that the digital version is not portable enough for me. I would like to be able to take it with me wherever I go.  I would have been happy to sync it with my iPhone but there is no such function. I had tried an Outlook version but unfortunately my company prevents the synchronisation of tasks. So I saw the need to find an alternative. What I have found on the web was a Moleskine ® Version which I liked and I try to set it up now.  Stay tuned.

Print it in Moleskine MSK format

Moleskine ® is a trademark registered by Moleskine S.r.l.