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Mindjet User Spotlight: Ary Velstra

Name: Ary Velstra
Title: Partner, Drielingh
Started using Mindjet: 2000
Social links: LinkedIn, Twitter, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook

How did you hear about Mindjet?

When my youngest daughter went to high school she needed a better method to study. She read a book on mindmapping, but was not convinced until she discovered the enormous extra benefits of digital mapping with Mindjet. Since that time she’s only needed to review her study materials — like books — once because she makes a map to remember what is important.  She has never failed a test since. As soon as I discovered the potential I started using it for our business.

What do you primarily use it for?

I use Mindjet together with my colleagues every day to be sure we achieve our goals. We develop a highly innovative cloud solution for HR activities like Personnel Reviews, etc. And of course we became a Mindjet VAR and certified trainer, because our customers wanted to know how to reap those benefits as well.

We created a meeting map, based on the standard Mindjet template for meetings, and tuned it a bit to fit our needs. I have used the same map for many years now as the guideline for our meetings and the starting point for our projects and other activities. This map is ideal as a one-page management tool. The map also acts as a company archive, since it contains the notes and actions of every meeting, online or face-to-face that we had for a particular amount of time. And because we use Mindjet’s web app, we were all able to work on it, from any location, at any time.

I also give a lot of presentations on how to use Mindjet for projects, information management, brainstorming and more. Customers request us to deliver templates and add-ons designed to fit their needs. And we found that in-house training is the key to change even the most skeptic users into Mindjet enthusiasts.

I also use Mindjet a lot to gather and structure knowledge we need for our company. For instance, if I have to give a presentation for a user group on a certain subject, the built-in Google mappart helps me to remember what is important while diving into the Web.

What is your favorite feature? 

I use icon markers a lot in combination with the powerfilter and marker index, because it allows me to keep the overview while staying focussed on the activities and subjects I am working on.

Is there anything the tool helps with that was unexpected? 

Mindjet Tasks is a real treat since it keeps track of all acitivities I share with my colleagues. The best thing is that it changes the priorities of tasks, across projects and resources based on due date, who else is involved, and other key elements. This ensures that I will always be alert to the needs of other team members. Anyone who collaborates with others on various projects should investigate the enormous power of this add-on facility.

How does Mindjet help with collaborative processes?

With Mindjet’s latest integrated release, Mindjet Tasks and cloud based service provides a variety of ways to collaborate on projects. My favorite use of collaboration is around the mind map itself. Using Mindjet’s web-based editor, I can collaborate with other guests and jointly edit the map to improve the discussion.  I’m currently co-authoring a book with my colleague in New York. When we outlined the book, we both used Mindjet to edit the same map, make notes and conduct research.  Each of were able to edit the map as we discussed new ideas.

Tell us about your map. 

Another use for Mindjet is to create knowledge maps on various subjects. There are many maps with abstracts of important books and documents we use in our daily work. As an example I created a map with the only 8 words or text phrases you need to communicate with almost anyone in the world. It contains the 27 languages that allow me to get the most out of travelling to other countries and cultures. I used to carry a small handmade booklet around with the words / phrases per language each on one page when visting another country, but now I have the map on my smartphone This makes it easier to share and to expand.


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Ary Velstra is a partner at Drielingh, and suggests digitally stalking him here for any additional information.


Here at Mindjet, we know the value of sharing ideas. It’s just like philosopher Michel de Montaigne said way back in the 1500s: “It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.” The Mindjet User Spotlight series aims to help that little endeavor along by bringing your stories and experiences with Mindjet to the forefront. If you’ve got one to share, don’t be shy! Give us a shout.

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