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Mindjet User Spotlight: Roger C. Parker

Name: Roger C. Parker
Title/Company: Founder, Published & Profitable
Started using Mindjet: 2003Social Media Links:  TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn

How did you hear about Mindjet?: A friend living in Japan introduced me to Mindjet over 10 years ago. At the time, I was planning an extensive graphic design curriculum for non-designers and producing a weekly 1-hour podcast series of interviews with marketing leaders. I was spending almost 2 hours preparing for each one-hour author interview. Using Mindjet, I was able to cut my time preparing for each interview from 2 hours to less than 30 minutes each week! I was also able to share the maps before the calls with interview guests, which helped them plan for each call.

What do you primarily use it for? Just about every one of my  projects begins with a mind map:

  1. Writing. I find writing is easy once I know what I’m going to write. I never start to write without first creating a mind map. In most cases, the map identifies the premise, or purpose, of what I’m writing, the 3 or 4 major ideas I want readers to remember, the supporting ideas, and the conclusion, or call to action. Mind maps are especially good for organizing a book’s table of contents.
  2. Marketing. In addition to planning the content of articles, blog posts, podcasts, and white papers, I use Mindjet to create Editorial Calendars for newsletters and blog posts.
  3. Client consultations. Before each client call, I create a mind map of topics for each coaching or consulting call, based on client concerns. I conduct calls online, in a shared screen environment. I modify the mind maps during the call. After the call, I immediately send clients an updated copy of the map. This saves me time summarizing each call, and clients appreciate the immediately receiving an easily-reviewed record of each call.
  4. Interviews. Whether I’m preparing to interview an author or marketing expert, or when someone else is interviewing me, I prepare a map of the questions in advance. Planning helps me pace each interview, as well as make sure all relevant points are covered. If I’m being interviewed. I add subtopics to each question containing keyword phrases and quotable facts. During the interview, I can glance at the ideas I’ve entered and immediately respond. (An added bonus, most interviewers use the questions I provide.)
  5. Teleseminars & webinars. In a similar way, I use mind maps to not only organize my ideas for teleseminars and webinars, but also prepare the handouts for each event. During webinars, the mind maps work better than PowerPoint visuals, since I can add ideas during the call. Later, I can distribute the maps as interactive Mindjet Viewer interactive PDFs for attendees to later review and explore linked resources.
  6. New business proposals. One of the best ideas that Mindjet taught me was how to save time preparing new business proposals, and how to deliver proposals as shared-screen conversations with prospects. Instead of adding to my prospect’s workload with a proposal for them to read at their convenience, I deliver my proposal as an
    interactive presentation. This permits me to respond to prospect concerns and questions as we’re speaking, in real time. This greatly enhances the success rate of my proposals.
  7. Tracking ideas. My current passion is using Mindjet to track ideas. There’s so much information and so many good ideas online that it’s difficult to track and apply the best ideas on a systematic basis.

What is your favorite feature and why? When I was starting with Mindjet, I quickly discovered the ability to export maps to Microsoft Word.doc files for editing and formatting. I was elated to be able to be able to create a book proposal based on the map of a book’s table of contents. Exporting saves retyping and also eliminates errors. Exporting, when used in conjunction with Mindjet’s Notes feature, permits me to do a lot of writing in the mind map, so I can include details for chapters and subtopics within chapters as I’m planning a book or series of blog posts. Later, I can use the map to track my progress as I complete each chapter using Task Icons. While writing a book, I enjoy the ritual of updating the Task Icons associated with chapters and topics as I complete my writing sessions each day.

Is there anything the tool helps with that was unexpected? There’s a lot more to Mindjet’s Export feature than I originally took advantage:

  • Interactive PDFs.  I consider the ability to Export Mindjet Viewer interactive PDFs to be an extremely important, but often overlooked tool. Now, I can share interactive mind maps for clients and prospects, or event attendees, that I can send as e-mail attachments or blog or website downloads. Teleseminar and webinar attendees can click on topics to reveal answers or further information as desired.
  • Interactive web graphics. Likewise, I frequently Export and embed interactive SWF files in my blog or website, allowing visitors to explore topics, subtopics, and notes while quickly accessing desired information.
  • Mobile & online. My use of Mindjet took a fresh leap forward after I purchased an Apple iPad and downloaded the app. The first week I owned my iPad, I took it with me on a road trip from New England to Chicago, and—while my son drove—I prepared maps of over a dozens upcoming blog posts and teleseminars. Now, of course, with the emphasis on cloud computing, using resources like Mindjet and Dropbox, it’s even easier to share maps with clients without the hassle of dealing with email attachments and map versions.
  • Creating graphics for print and online. About 2 years ago, I began exporting the mind maps I created for planning my blog posts as graphic images to show the structure of each blog post. Instead of using boring and over-used stock photographs, I could– in seconds–create a striking a web graphic that is relevant to each post and reinforces the key points in each blog post. As a bonus, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a higher referral-rate and increased pass-alongs when I use a mind map as a graphic illustrating a blog post.

The Export feature, when used in conjunction with adding Start Dates and Due Dates to topics, and Filtering on the basis of upcoming deadlines, has changed my use of MindManager from a purely “content” tool to becoming a serious project management and time management tool.

Tell me about the map you’ve attached here.

This is the map I created to prepare for this call. Once again, the time I spent preparing the map was more than saved when I started preparing the interview!

[Click for full size image]

Published & Profitable is a content and publishing membership site offering writing resources for authors, content marketing, and personal brand building. As owner, Roger is simultaneously an acting book coach and author — you can find of over 35 of his marketing, design, and software productivity books here. Also! He was gracious enough to contribute to our publication earlier this year. Check out his top ten productivity tips for working with mind maps here

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