Use a Mindmap as a dashboard

This is my first post in this blog, it’s important for me to begin with this dashboard.

If you don’t know what is a mindmap, have a look on google image, or on this wiki if you want know more about this universe. I would also advice you to stop reading here, because dashboards are far from being the main interest of mindmapping.

Some purists might argue that this is not a real mindmap as it does not  respect some axioms. Well, this debate might have some interest in the case of regular mindmaps, but I think dashboards are a very special case.

It’s been 4 years that I use this mindmap as a dashboard, it has seen many changes with time, as it seems to be stable through these last months, I guess it’s the time to share it. This dashboard has been created with Xmind which is my favorite mindmapping application for the moment.

A dashboard is obviously personal as it has to fit (or to strengthen) your working habits, but I hope this one would give some inspiration for your very personal one.

captureThis map has 4 corners : Todo, Plan, Notes, and Motivation.

In the todo part, I enter the stuff I have to do in my day. Previously I had some different categories, now it’s split in just two parts : Main and others.

The Plan part concerns my planning 20 minutes by 20 minutes or my personal report when I am too lazy to plan. When I am in a good working flow each task contains these 4 informations : todo (the aim of the task), type (shorted or calibrated), done (what was really done), and do next (what remains). Just a word on the type attribute : if “shorted” it means that no matter what, I will stop doing this task when my stopwatch beeps for 20min, it forces me to be as efficient as possible. Then I switch to another task, and continue later. If calibrated, I truly think that I can do it in 20 min, then I bet that I will do it.

The note part is reserved to write some new ideas I have, or some new stuff I have to keep in mind. This place is just a kind of temporary. I place notes there in order to not break the workflow, and I move them latter on another mindmap or in evernote or somewhere else.

The motivation part aims for stuff which helps me to keep focused. This part is very changing for me. Years ago I had some kind of motivators, like “you are awesome” type and some personal commitment like “I have to succeed in this or that”. Now, that I found how effective was gamification for me, I used rather blocks aiming for counting points. When I work well (use a distraction site blocker like cold turkey, using my 20 min timer, practicing relaxation techniques, or calibrating precisely my tasks) I grant myself some points, which allows me to up a productivity block in habit RPG, and then level up etc…geek you say ?

Here is a biggest picture and the xmind file, if you want to fork it for your own needs.

English is not my first language, then don’t hesitate to correct me.