Most marketers and writers typically generate a lot of content. Many can efficiently generate content, but, relatively few have an efficient system for planning, managing, and tracking content.
In this series of posts, I’m going to share my recent experiences taking MindManager to a new level by creating a dashboard-based content Management system for myself and my clients.
Why you need a dashboard
The consequences of not having an efficient content management system are many, including:
- Frustration and wasted time. Writing is difficult without a system for pre-selecting topics before you start to write. The hardest part of writing is often selecting what you’re going to write about.
- Reinventing the wheel. Without a content management system that helps them track what they’ve already written, marketers and writers fail to leverage their writing by recycling, re-purposing, and re-using previously-written content. Blog posts, for example, can be expanded into articles, chapters of a book, e-books, speeches, or teleseminars.
- Lost opportunities. Writing success requires consistent daily progress, the same way that marketing success requires consistent visibility. Without a content management program, marketing and writing tasks often end up being put off because of the pressure of day-to-day demands.
What is a Content Dashboard?
A MindManager-based content management system consists of a linked series of maps that make it easy for you to view, access, and track your writing projects, past, present, and future.
By providing a visual framework for linking, accessing, and tracking your projects, your Content Dashboard saves your time and provides a new perspective on your writing and marketing.
Above is the Content Dashboard I created with MindManager. It’s the first thing I see in the morning, and the last thing I see before I go home.
From my Content Dashboard, I can see what I’ve done and what I need to do.
- Seeing what I’ve done. The ability to quickly review and access topics I’ve already written helps me avoid embarrassing duplication and helps me leverage existing ideas into new formats.
- Seeing what I need to do. Being able to view upcoming topics enhances my productivity by engaging my mind before I begin writing. Knowing what I’m going to write about before I’m on deadline enhances my productivity by engaging my mind. While doing other tasks, my subconscious mind is looking for ideas and connections. As a result, when I sit down to write, the ideas are in place, ready to be written.
You can do the same, only, by using my experiences as a point of departure, you can progress faster and use more of MindManager’s capabilities!
Details of my Content Dashboard
The concepts of links and linked-maps is essential to the concept of a Content Dashboard and an example of why mind mapping software like MindManager takes mind mapping to a new level.
The adjacent example shows what happens when I expand the Promotion topic, and select View>Show Branch Alone. Notice how I the Promotion link let’s me review what I’ve done and what I need to do in 6 important areas. Notice that there are links to each of the primary marketing and promoting media I use on a regular basis.
In future installments, we’ll explore my Content Dashboard in greater detail.
Setting Up Your Content Dashboard to Automatically Open
I encourage you to set up your Content Dashboard so it automatically opens when you load MindManager in the morning.
To set up your Content Manager to automatically load when you start MindManager for Windows:
- Click the MindManager Button in MindManager for Windows.
- Select MindManager Options at the bottom
- When the MindManager Options dialog box appears, select General.
- Click the Open Document on Startup: and Existing Document radio buttons, then Browse till you locate your Content Dashboard file.
- Click OK to return to your current map.
In the next installment of this series, I’ll be sharing details of how I use my Content Dashboard to plan, write, and track my posts on my Published & Profitable blog, as well as guest posts on other blogs like Dan Schwabel’s Personal Branding Blog and the ActiveGarage.
Roger C. Parker, author of over 30 best-selling computing, design, and marketing books, is a Mindjet Evangelist who invites you to visit his Published & Profitable MindManager Resource Center and download his mindmapping resources.