July 31, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
Text 2 Mindmap is a web-based app that lets you take text and convert it into a visual map. You can use it right from the home page without a login, but they also provide options for you to save your content on the site.
YouTube link (4:57)
01:38 – What I like about Text 2 Mindmap
02:41 – Frustration points
03:53 – Overall impressions [Continue Reading...]
July 29, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
Since so many people use Evernote, I thought it would be good to go over Mohiomap, to see what it can and can’t do. I had a fun time using Mohiomap, and I was able to find some neat the applications for it, but I also ran up against a few limitations.
I’ll go over everything in the video.
YouTube link (6:55)
01:05 – What I like about Mohiomap
01:52 – The “In-graph” search feature
02:39 – Drag and drop coolness
03:26 – My frustration points
03:43 – Is it really good for “Everything?”
04:31 – Relevance feature
05:33 – My Overall Impressions
Key thoughts at-a-glance:
- Google Drive
- Premium – Add connections between nodes, append comments to nodes, apply custom colors to individual nodes, analytics, graphs, mind mapping. $5/month.
What I like:
- You can drag Tags around to make connections between content
- In-graph search – Search only in what’s currently visible
- Drag and drop features – Move to a new notebook, Create connections
- Most tutorials say, “Create new workbook, then add a bunch of notes.” It’s too much effort.
- Too much Top level clutter – Evernote only allows 2 levels
- Relevance filter is time-based – Premium has heat map (shows recently updated files more prominently)
- Auto tags based on file type – I don’t care about that
- It helps you see your Evernote info clearly
- I used XMind to do a lot of the pre-work
- This wouldn’t be my daily use
- Too much work for a to-do list
- It’s good at what it’s good at!!!
- People are trying to make into something it’s not
Have you ever wondered what Evernote would be like if you were just able to have a visual interface to it? We’ll that’s the plan behind Mohiomap. It takes Evernote and goes deeper and let’s you apply a visual map filter to all your notes. Sit back, relax. Let’s have a look at Mohiomap for Evernote.
Hey, it’s Kevin. Today I want to talk about Mohiomap. I’m going to go in and show you the Evernote section, but you can use it for Dropbox and Google Drive as well. I’ve got a bit of a review prepared under Mohiomap, so let’s check it out.
If you’re not familiar with who I am, let me give you a quick idea. I’ll head over to About Kevin, and we’ll open it up. I’m the author of Visual Productivity, It’s a pretty cool eBook on visual mapping. I’m also the creator of the XMind Cheat Sheet, which is also really awesome. And I train people how to use visual maps. It’s kind of a neat job.
Anyway, that’s me. Let’s talk about a couple things I like about Mohiomap, some things I think are frustration points and then I’ll give you my overall opinion.
What I like
I want to talk about a couple of things I like about this. I can either open it in my Evernote program or on the web. For simplicity, I’m going to use the web application.
What I like is that you can definitely just drag and drop things around. One of the really cool things is that there’s an in-graph search. This means that instead of when you do a search, it searches everything in Evernote, it’s just searching particular things. It’s pretty cool when you’re working with the Visual Mapping look of things.
The other thing I like is that you can drag and drop everything around. You can drag and drop to make new connections, to create connections, and I’m going to show you all that in one second.
In order to activate the in-graph search, you can see right now I have everything all over the place. If I hover over Mohiomap review, that’s the one I’m taking about with you today, there’s a little navigate button. I’m going to click on navigate, and that clears away all the clutter, and just lets me focus in on that particular task that I’m working on. Now, if I want to search for Kevin.
I can do a search, and boom, it only provides results that are relevant. That are ones I’ve looked for. What’s great about this, is it combines the visual aspect of using a visual maps to see Evernote and hopefully cut through the clutter. It also still allows you to use the powerful surge that Evernote provides. It’s a neat way to combine a couple of different areas.
The other feature I wanted to show you was just how easy it is to drag and drop things. I’m going to go back my Mohiomap review. Let’s just say for instance, I wanted to drop it into something else. I’ve got my house file as well. Let’s just say we wanted to drag the About Kevin into a different file. Instead of grabbing this, and trying to drag it, because you can do that, but it’s not going to move it, what you want do is see this little magic icon that’s on the side and grab that. If I drag it down, I can move it down to my House File. It says, “Move to this notebook.” Then, it’s as simple as letting go. Now, it’s added to that notebook.
Let me go in and talk about a couple of frustration points. Some things that I’m not a huge fan of. Let’s open it up.
One thing is that when you look at the tutorials, they say you can use this for everything. You can use Mohiomap for everything. It says, “First of all, create a new notebook, then add a bunch of notes, then do this, and this, and this, and this.” In all honesty, I don’t see Mohiomap being your your everyday use visual mapping program. It’s great for what it does, but don’t see it being the everyday.
There’s too much effort, and there’s too much top-level clutter. Evernote only let’s you go two levels deep. To give you an example, I did the same review, when I was doing it, on XMind. In XMind, it’s kind of 5, kind of 7, kind of 9 levels deep. Clearly, I don’t usually go this deep. Partly, I was just doing it as a demonstration, but also partly, sometimes you just need to go little bit deeper.
Something else I wanted to talk about is called the relevance feature. I’ll show you it in a second, but what it does is it ratchets down the time filter. It’s more of a time filter than a relevance filter, because I really feel that sometimes, something I’ve thought about a year or two year ago might be more relevant than something I just wrote down yesterday.
What it does is it let’s you see only things that you’ve recently entered into Evernote. You can see that I’ve got a lot of things that I’ve opened up. As I grab the relevance feature, and I start scaling it back, things are going to start dropping off as I get nearer and nearer.
You can see by the end there’s nothing left. I can see where you can say, “I just put it in here a week ago,” and all of a sudden you ratchet it up to see what you created a week ago. I’m not sure. I’m not feeling it quite yet, but maybe you can find a use for it. If you can, go ahead and leave me a comment.
Overall, here’s what I think of Mohiomap. I think it really helps you see Evernote information more clearly than just by going in and having a look at the straight file.
I think it’s good at what it does, which is, taking reams of information, taking lots of information, and just going over that first quick skim. To try and find what’s most relevant, and then letting you go in and get more done.
That being said, I think there’s just too much work that has to go into a to-do list. For me to recommend it productivity-wise, for your daily use, it has to be faster. It has to be a littler simpler. Again, a lot of people use Evernote. If you use Evernote and you want to get that quick skim and get that information and track things down this may be exactly what you’re looking for. So there you go. That’s my take on Mohiomap, which is pretty much just a skin on top of Evernote.
July 22, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
This is a review of the Mindomo visual mapping program. This program is actually a triple threat. It has a desktop application, it has a web interface, and it’s also available on mobile devices, although sadly not for the iPhone.
The Mindomo Mega-Review
In this review I’ll put Mindomo through its paces and I’ll let you know what I like, and what I don’t like. I ended up going a little overboard on this review and made a 17 minute video. At least you know it’s thorough. LOL.
July 18, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
The first review in this year’s visual mapping review series is Mindly. Mindly is an iOS based visual mapping tool. The basic app is free with a paid upgrade for more options.
You can follow this link to download Mindly from the iTunes Store.
YouTube Link (Length: 8:36)
00:46 – Benefits of free version
00:56 – Features demonstration
1:47 – Adding new nodes
3:05 – Adding photos and images
04:14 – What I like about Mindly
05:58 – What I don’t like about Mindly
Today want to talk about Mindly. It’s an iOS app that purports to do visual mapping.
And it actually does it in a bit of a neat way. I’m going to go through and review it. I’ll Tell you what I like and I don’t like, and maybe give you some ideas about whether this might be used for you or maybe not.
Hey everyone, Kevin here. I want to go through some of the things about Mindly. It’s an iOS app. There’s a free version and also a paid one.. It’s $6.99 to upgrade to the paid version.
So, I’ll talk about that in the little bit. Let’s go in. I want to show you a little bit about what it does. If you start with the free version new you’ll get three different maps in any . You can make the maps gigantic down below that, but you have three different topics. I’m going to go into my Mindly review.
The first thing I’m going to go over is how this thing works. Now you can see I’ve got my main idea, my Mindly review, and I’ve created three separate topics around it. I can grab it and spin it around. I’m going to go into the specs area first. I’m just going to tap it. You can see in specs, I’ve got a couple of things. I’ve got a little thumbs up sign… it might be a little small depending on how big your screen is. I’m going to click on specs.
I want to show you how deep this can go. So I’m going to click on next, and next, and next. You can keep going down, down, down. So when you get to the appropriate level of the node you want, you can go ahead and add more information if you want. You can tap on any of the plus signs around next.
I’ll click on that one, and type Hello. I’ll hit next. It’ll allow me to add extra information. Once you’ve finished adding your information, you can add some different colors, and then some icons. There’s tons of different icons. There are several different categories, and when you go into the categories, there are several more. How about this. Everybody likes a sunny day. There’s a sun icon in there. Then I’ll hit the checkmark to get me back then.
I just added my new space. If I want to get back in, all I do is double tap the blue dot. Tap, tap. It takes me back in. If I need to get back out, I just hit the checkmark again. Now, when I want to go back, I just hit the upper left hand corner, the next…
I can keep going up until I find what I’m looking for.
Something that’s pretty cool about this is that you can add pictures right into your map. So let’s go in, and we’ll add a picture to our map. They way to add pictures, is to go to the upper right hand corner. It looks like a little image. I’m going to tap on that. I”m going to say, “Take photo.” I’ll give you a picture of my keyboard.
And, Use Photo. And it inserts it. If you look in the upper right corner. you can see that now there’s this miniscule picture of my keyboard. If you’re using a phone, you can obviously see it better. It’s awfully tiny though. All we need to do is press and hold, and we can drag it down.
As I get close to the +, it turn blue. It’s telling me exactly where it’s going to go, so I’m going to release it on there. There we go.
From here, if I want to see the image, all I do is double tap. Tap, tap, and there’s the image. That’s good as well. To have the ability to quickly take images of things. Maybe you’re doing a product comparison, or you’re studying.
What I like:
I want to go over a few things that I do like about Mindly. Let’s go in and have a quick look.
Like I talked about. The ability to add notes, and I do like the ability (like I already mentioned) to have images added. There’s a little selfie (Even my selfie pouty face). I thought you guys would like that. I like the fact that you can spin
it. If you want to have a bit off a different direction, or maybe you want to have something at the top or the side. You can just grab and spin it. It’s a neat thing you can do.And it just looks cool too.
I do like how Mindly turned out, because it was designed to be used on a mobile device and the circles of do work well with limited screen real estate.
Something else that’s pretty cool is the working view where we can go in and see all the detail. They also have a mind map view. If we go down to the bottom right, there’s a little up arrow. We’ll tap on that and it’ll give us a couple options. The home button just takes us back to the home screen. When I click on the mind map button, it shows me my mind map in real time. I can come in here and zoom in and out, and have a quick look. This is a cool way to see relationships between different objects, as well as the depth that your visual map goes. Here’s the node we added a while ago. The hello node. It’s pretty neat. Then, when we’re done we can go back to the working view.
The Emoji’s. I already showed them to you. You can add a couple of things. Add a smelly face. Add some images. They’re pretty tiny, but it’s neat to have some of those things. It’s another way to say more with fewer words.
What I don’t like:
Let’s talk about a couple things that I’m not as big of a fan of.
The upgrade price is $6.99. That’s a bit pricy as far as app standards go. When you upgrade, what it does is it allows you to create more than three maps. The other thing it does is, when I hit share…It unlocks a few more of the ways that we can share. You can see with the free version you can either email it as a Mindly file or as a PDF. The text option is completely locked out.
If you plan on using this with a laptop, or with your home computer, you’re going to need the text option, or HTML option. Something to get this information out of here, because there’s no web interface. There’s no desktop client, so either you’re all on the phone or you’ve got no way across unless you go ahead and pay for the upgrade to get the option to have text or HTML.
So that’s your decision. Whether you want to leave it on the phone. You can make three gigantic maps.
Something else, that I’m not a huge fan is zooming. You can’t zoom in. I wish I could just take two fingers and just drag it out. You can’t zoom-in while in the work view. I think it would be neat sometimes for some of the images or Emojis, instead of having to double click on an image and look at the image I can just zoom in a little bit and see a bit more. I understand they’re trying to make it as simple as possible and still make a functional.
The obvious limitation to the free version is that you can only save as a PDF or a .Mindly file. This will be OK if this is the only place you’re going to have it, but whenever you wan to transfer information out, this this is going to hamstring you, unless you go ahead and upgrade to the full version.
That’s my initial impression of Mindly.
I like it. It’s a really neat app. I just think that if it was in the $3 to $4 to $5 range, I’m more likely to call it a buy, because everyone likes cheap apps. But for $7 it’s not that big of a deal. If you want to go ahead, and this works for you, check it out. Drop the $7. I think you’ll actually be really happy with going with it. It’s a neat app.
July 17, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
Here’s a look a what to expect from the 2014 version of the Visual Mapping Review Series. I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements in products from last year, and also at seeing what else it out there.
YouTube Link (Length: 2:34)
00:35 – At least one day with each
00:55 – One size does not fit all
01:06 – Last years reviews
01:32 – How you can get involved
Transcript of Video:
Would you like to have an over-the-shoulder look at how to get real work done using visual maps? That’s the whole point of the visual mapping review series.
June 25, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
We’re starting this year’s set of reviews
In Episode 44 of the You’re Making Me podcast, I’m going to look ahead to this year’s visual mapping review series. I’ve given it a new name, and I’m adding the year because I plan on keeping this going as long as it provides value to people.
The official name is The Visual Mapping Review Series 2014. I’ll probably also use the abbreviation VMRS too, so keep an eye out for that.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be looking into several visual mapping programs for your PC, mobile devices, as well as Internet solutions.
In this episode you’ll learn:
- What I’ve heard that makes me think visual mapping is the coolest part of my business
- Which review from last year upset the most people.
- Why one size doesn’t fit all with visual mapping tools
- How I plan on doing each review
- The 4 main categories for this years reviews (Including 2 new ones)
- The first two videos I’ll be recording
Other items mentioned in the podcast:
- [YouT ube] Plalist of Last year’s Review videos (XMind, Freemind, Mind Meister, Mind Jet, Mind 42, Bubbl.us, The Brain)
- Mindly (for iOS)
Do you have a favourite program?
If you have a specific visual mapping tool that you absolutely love, feel free to live and leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to have a look at it. Unfortunately, I can’t promise that I’ll do a video review since there’s so much out there, but I’ll do my best to look at as many visual mapping solutions as I can.
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This podcast episode was originally published on YoureMakingMe.com.
June 16, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
Yes, you read the post title correct. This is a review of the Surface Pro 2.
Surface Pro 3 is already out!
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Kevin, are you crazy? Don’t you know they’ve already released the Surface Pro 3.”
Aaaah, yeah (here’s where I begin blushing).
I was going to review the Surface Pro 2 in January
I had a chance to review the Surface Pro 2 back in January but never got around to it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have the opportunity to check out what Microsoft had to offer.
I’ve thoroughly tested it
I used the Surface Pro 2 as a second screen during the Winter Olympics in February, and was happy with that.
I also spent a lot of time over the past two months trying to figure out whether my new every day device was still going to be a laptop, or whether I’d switch to a tablet. I look at a number of different tablets, including Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2.
I also talk more about my likes, dislikes, and other observations in Episode #43 of the You’re Making Me Podcast.
You should still watch the video
So, in a nutshell, even though I’m reviewing something that’s already obsolete, a lot of what I talk about applies to most tablets (Including iPads, Android devices, and others).
I always look at things from a productivity perspective, and that’s the exact approach I’ve taken in this review.