implicit thought process made explicit

It is surprising to experience how difficult it is to make a thought process, which to me is second nature, explicit and find a way to share it with others.

When I started putting my thoughts on paper, I tried to put it in writing at first. This however resulted in a fairly strong writer-block. I had no idea where to start and how to get to anything that made sense to anyone, including myself.

I then switched to drawing it out on a piece of paper. After restarting several times I realized this also was not going to work.

Then it occured to me: why not try out a tool that is actually meant to capture the thought process, a mindmapping tool! So I started FreeMind and have started to actually use it sensibly.

In just a short while I managed to get clear how I quickly assess, in my head, what needs to be done.

Now the real challange starts of course. I now have a bunch of erratic mind maps which I now need to structure into an actual processflow, I need to figure out a way to explain based on what I assess the situation other than “experience and knowledge”.

Great feeling to get something that has been locked in my head for ages written out. Next up, going to try to sort things, see if there is some form of order in which I do this in my mind.

I am going to try to do that by moving from the mindmaps I made in Freemind to a tool that was posted in the Software-Testing news-group the other day: treesheets. That should help me get from a mindmap like tree to something more structured like a spreadsheet.

Funny how excited I am over something as simple as getting a mindmap with an overview of stuff that goes on in my head!  Judging by the mindmap, I have a messy mind…

4 thoughts on “implicit thought process made explicit

  1. It is great using mindmapping for thinking and analyzing indeed! Started it a few years ago and i’m just using it as another tool in my daily work. I even started last year to do complete Master testplans in mindmaps. Customer is not used to it yet though, so also a Word doc.

    It also helps in communicating and creative sessions, put it on the screen and talk together about an idea. I use it for example for discussing scope at the start of review-sessions with customers.

    Thanks for the Threesheets link, maybe useful too, I’ll check it.

  2. I’m also using mindmaps all the time. They usually evolve from an unstructured bunch of thoughts to some more structure when I start introducing categories in the map. Never heard of treesheets before, so I’ll check that and hopefully implement an improvement step in my mindmapping🙂

  3. Pingback: Five Blogs – 30 March 2012 « 5blogs

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