Transcript is as follows:
When you are brainstorming an idea, either individually, or in a group, the most important thing is to get the information down as quickly as possible.
NovaMind makes this really easy.
Some people like to put down their ideas in an outline format, so if you just want to show the outline view, you can slide it all the way across, and add your ideas without being distracted by anything graphical. Just type the text, and press Return to finish editing, and then either Return again to add the next topic or Command+Return to add a child topic. The first item is the topic of the brainstorming session; the first level topics are the main ideas, and the subtopics expand on those ideas.
If you want to have the notes available you can leave them showing, but if you want to hide them, you can either click on the notes icon in the toolbar, or use the hide notes option in the view menu, or for any of the panes on the NovaMind document window you can double-click on the divider between it and the other view, and the view that takes up more than half the space will expand to fill the whole space, and the other one will collapse, and then if you want to restore it again, you can double-click on the divider again, and it will restore it to the previous dimension.
So in this case, we will double click the divider to hide the notes.
But just working in the outline view means that you miss out on one of the biggest benefits of Mind Mapping – being able to think non-linearly. Your ideas come at different times, and you don’t always know how they are going to relate to other ideas, but if you don’t record them they can be quite ephemeral, and just disappear.
So let’s use the Mind Map, and while we could have the notes panel hidden so as to just concentrate on the Mind Map, we think we might want to quickly jot down some notes so we’ll have the notes panel there ready to go. Seeing as we are not using the outline view at all at the moment, we will slide up the notes pane so that it is the full height.
Now we have the topic of the Mind Map in the centre – just type the text and press Return to finish editing, then Command+Return to add the first main idea, and Return to finish editing, then Return again to add the next topic, and so on.
But as we come up with the ideas, we are not sure where they will fit in the hierarchy. While it’s easy enough to alter the hierarchy later on, it’s often very useful to have what I call “Idea Islands” where we can assemble groups of ideas without worrying about how they fit into the Mind Map. So let’s add a floating topic to get us started. You can either do this through the insert menu or the toolbar, or just drag one on, or if you have a topic there already there that you want to turn into a floating topic, just use the graft control to drag it off. Or if you have a bunch of topics you want to make into floating topics, select them all and use the graft control to detach them. Let’s drag on one floating topic for our new idea, and we’ll detach some of our other ideas that we want to explore further.
Now if we’re just jotting down random ideas at this stage, we can just put the text on the floating topic, press Return, and Return again to make another floating topic for our next idea. If you want to add some more related topics, you can press Command+Return to add a subtopic, and keep typing and pressing Return twice to add as many topics as you need, and then after you have finished editing, go back to the floating topic using the arrow keys, and press Return to add the next floating topic. Let’s separate out our islands a bit so we can have similar ideas in the same general area. This is done by moving the topics using the move handle.
On any of the topics, if you want to add Notes, press Command+Quote and then when you’re ready, Shift+Command+Quote to go back to editing the topic. If you want a callout to explain more information about the topic, use Option+Command+Return to add a callout.
OK, so now we have the basic content, and we want to organise the information. These topics can all go on the Mind Map, so we select them and graft them on.
Now we want to start grouping some of our other random ideas. These ones really relate to this, so let’s drag it on to this other floating topic, and so we go on grouping them together.
Now these ideas really are all related, but we don’t have anything that really serves as their parent topic, so let’s just select them all and use Shift+Command+Return to make them all subtopics of a new parent topic.
Sometimes having a different perspective on your information can be useful, so let’s now show the outline view as well. In the outline view, if you Option-Click the expand triangles, it expands or collapses the entire outline below that. This can be useful if, for example you want to see every subtopic, or you can Option+Click to collapse the outline, and then just click to show the first level subtopics.
So looking at it in the outline view, we can see that this floating topic really belongs over here in the hierarchy, so we can drag it from the Mind Map to the outline view. And this topic from the outline should be attached to a topic we can see easily on the Mind Map, so we can drag it from the outline view to the Mind Map and attach it there. And of course, you can drag and drop within the outline view to graft topics too.
With any of the grafting options, you can hold the Option key down while grafting to copy the topics. This can be useful if you are doing things like assessing a number of items based on similar criteria, or have similar subtrees with just some minor differences in information.
Now we want to reorder some of the items. As you have seen, we can do this using the graft options within the outline view or on the Mind Map itself, but you can also do this very easily by using the Control+Command, and either the up or down arrow key. So let’s select these topics and move them up above their sibling using Control+Command+Up arrow.
So now we have our Mind Map with lots of information on it, and only a few ideas that haven’t been connected in to the Mind Map. But now our Mind Map really is too big and complex, so if you are using NovaMind Pro or Platinum, you have the option to move some of the information over to other Mind Maps within the same document.
So, this looks like a prime candidate – we don’t need all this detail here, and it’s separate enough that it should be on a different Mind Map, so let’s right click on the topic, and create a new Mind Map from the topic. As you can see, there are links in both directions between the original topic and the title of the new Mind Map.
Now this floating topic really represents an idea island that doesn’t relate closely to the original concept, so we want that on another Mind Map, so again we will create a new Mind Map from the topic. But we really have no need for the original floating topic, so we will delete that. We get a warning that this will remove the hyperlink, which is OK in this case, and so we go ahead and delete it.
We’re almost done with the information content of our Mind Map, but there are some ideas that we’d like to visually link together to show secondary associations between them. This is where link lines come in. So let’s just create a link line between these two topics by clicking on one topic and then on the other. Now let’s select it and just alter the curve a bit. Now we want to connect these topics through here, so we will click, click, click and drag, and finally click on the destination topic. And finally, we want to connect this topic to this floating topic, so we will create an automatic link line, but we want it to be straight, so we will delete the automatic point from the line, and choose some different styling options from the line inspector.
And we want to put a boundary in to show the visual grouping of these topics, and collapse some of the subtopics that we don’t need to be looking at right now.
And finally a couple of annotations about a couple of the topics, which we do using shapes.
And that’s it for the information content of our Mind Map. As you can see, we have not done anything about formatting yet. Now formatting is very important, to make it look visually interesting, attractive to your brain, and to add meaning through color and images, but that is beyond the scope of this basic brainstorming video.
I hope this helps you to brainstorm effectively and produce great results using NovaMind.