Saturday, July 24, 2010

Regression of Project Management

San Rafael California
What am I doing in Cali? Click here.
Mind Map Done With MINDOMO

To run an efficient life is no easy task. Especially for someone like me, who may be on the cusp of ADHD. This may be why I love planning and planner software and all the associated items that go with. Follow through is especially tough for me. Without my gadgets I think I'd be especially disorganized. I wrote a blog entry back in April of 2009 pertaining to how I manage information. You can read that engaging post by clicking here. Above is a JPG of a mind map I have been working with in trying to develop some essay themes for this coming semester. You can sign up and use this web based software for free. Just click here and check out MINDOMO.COM. I find the use of mind maps very helpful at the beginning phase of a project. It's a brainstorming tool to help flush out ideas and find the connections or dislocation of ideas and lists. You can easily share the mind map and collaborate with someone across the planet, even in real time. But I have found the mind map only works for me in planning. Once put into motion the ideas or tasks brainstormed must be transferred from the map into a more traditional work list. If I don't, the practical steps of getting things done plummets.

Enter ToDo for iPad. I bought this APP from the iTunes Store for a punishing $4.99. It's fantastic. Since iPad is a touch screen it acts just like an old school paper style planner. I set up important things I must accomplish or appointments with email reminders that blast off to my Blackberry Curve as a tickler. Yes I may have a problem. To much multi-tasking.  I move ideas and taskers developed within the mind map to the iPad in an effort to actually complete tasks.

Recently I have been having meetings with people and found myself bumbling around with note taking. I don't want to be a bumbler. Important things were being conveyed and I had no easy way to capture the info. I did not find the iPad good enough for note taking and what not. The iPad and ToDo APP is stellar while sitting in a coffee shop and even better when siting up in bed, but will be substandard in a class room or meeting setting. Enter the Franklin Covey Planner System.

As I mentioned in my April 09 post, the Coast Guard paid for a week's course for myself and my shipmates in the use of Franklin System. I used it consistently my entire career, but abandoned it when I retired. I'm back in the Franklin Covey saddle. I purchased a refill (as I still have my now 18 year old leather binder) and am using the old tried and true, old school style system.

If you look closely at my mind map JPG above, you will see I'm thinking of writing a 20 page essay on organizational change within the Coast Guard. Generally speaking, I dislike change. The Coast Guard is obsessed with change. I found many times a change would be set in motion only to come full circle a few years later, with the latest change being the original policy that never should have been changed in the first place. Kind of like maybe I should never have changed my planning system in the first place!

So to recap, Allaire does the following:

1. Large scale projects are tackled originally using mind mapping.

2. Tasks developed are transferred to both iPad and Franklin Covey.

3. Tracking and Progress are monitored using both electronic and paper system.

Sound like a pain? You bet! But is seems to work for me.

Capt Chris

PS: I wonder if anyone finds this stuff remotely interesting. Of course I'm absorbed by it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Me at 43 Years

Marin County California

It is my birthday today. Maybe I'll start an annual self-portrait project. Kind of puts things in better perspective. An annual check on how your using your time kind of thing.

Capt Chris

Sunday, July 18, 2010

German Coast Guard Trainee

This video provided endless entertainment while I was in the Coast Guard. Found it again the other and laughed just like before! Wonder if you need to be a coastie to appreciate it.

Capt Chris