More importantly, the maps themselves continue to evolve. The more I work with them, the more powerful and efficient they become.
When I introduced my original Expert Tracker (below) in October, it provided me with an efficient way to organize influencers in the content marketing, graphic design, mind mapping, and writing/publishing communities. Displaying the experts alphabetically, last name first, rather than with their business or website names, eliminated confusion when adding names.
A month later, I demonstrated how to take my Expert Tracker to the next level by adding tags to categorize experts by areas of interest and influence. Tags, used together with MindManager for Windows’ Power Filter feature, allowed me to view only experts active in specific areas — i.e., graphic designers, content marketing experts, etc.
Simplifying the Expert Tracker Mind Map
However, some bugs remained.
Originally, I had organized the list of topics into four categories; A-F, G-M, N-S, and T-Z. This worked for a long time, but as my Expert Tracker continued to grow, the list of experts in each of the major topics grew uncomfortably long. It got so I couldn’t conveniently scan the names associated with any of the specific groupings.
I solved the problem by adding subtopics for each of the letters that made up the four groups: i.e., subdividing the A-F into separate topics for A, B, C, D, E, and F, as shown in the above example.
Benefits of the Latest Expert Tracker Upgrade
The biggest benefit is that my Expert Tracker operates much faster than before. By scanning the 26 characters reversed out of the black backgrounds, I can instantly locate the topic I need, find a previously-entered expert, or insert a new expert. Best of all, I rarely have to change the zoom level when working with different topics. And, as before, I can use MindManager for Windows’ Power Filter to search the map for experts, either by category or level of influence.
The big payoff, of course, is that since I’ve reorganized my Expert Tracker, I’ve noticed appreciable time savings when adding more new experts and updating earlier resources — things like less scrolling, etc.
I want to thank Conspire editor Arwen Petty for her contribution to this article. When I offered her a choice of a new Content Dashboard template or a suggestion for enhancing the Editorial Tracker, she immediately encouraged me to share my latest Expert Tracker update. In doing so, she reminded me that mind maps are not set in stone, but are intended to be continually updated and refined; mind mapping is a journey to enhanced productivity, a process of continual and incremental exploration.
Do you agree? What were some of your recent 2013 mind mapping discoveries, and what are your mind mapping goals for 2014? Are there any Content Dashboards you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments section, below.