Visual models are often underestimated and underused. Mindmapping and visual modelling are powerful techniques for communication
Mindmapping is useful to start an activity diagram, a use case, the description of a system and provide a basis to formalise a model in UML.
I’m not against words. On the contrary, I have grown to love words through my work in translation, but have found the old maxim ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ to be true. Convention requires words but many a concept, database, or project could be summarised with a diagram.
Only highly progressive organisations value mindmapping significantly.
Visual modelling in the workplace
Brainstorming has had good press over time and gained favour from management consultants in empowerment workshops and team-building seminars.
Visual is intuitive, understandable often at a glance, more memorable but often undersold.
Edward de Bono was the first to understand the power of lateral thinking. Visual methods are a continuation of this legacy, particularly in the form of mindmaps. See the many uses of mindmapping including problem-solving.
Visual Modelling with moh.io
Moh.io was a very useful system for visual modelling to combine Evernote into a graphical representation. It can help you draw links between related subjects. The two combined make a powerful partnership.
Moh.io provides a way of getting insights into your Evernote database, model scenarios, mind map and use visual modelling. You can pull and push, move, tag, associate, group and arrange nodes, notes visually.
Moh.io gave you a visual view of your Evernote database. It places notes on a spatial workspace and provides you with a sense of flexibility which frees the mind. It allows that liberty of thinking that is so necessary for mindmap-thinking.
Mindmapping with moh.io
Mohio is and isn’t a replacement for mindmap software. It is mindmap-like when using moh.io to add, clarify, de-duplicate, to condense an existing domain. In contrast, mindmapping starts with a clean sheet. The two techniques overlap because the thinking is similar. With moh.io you add children like you add branches. You link where you see commonality and relation.
Cleaning your Evernote database
When used with moh.io, a loop is set up where you create and modify your Evernote environment. The two complement each other, adding notes, adding nodes. As you clarify things, you are cleaning up your Evernote thoughts.
Evernote and moh.io in analysis
This process enables managers to learn about their business, to gain an understanding of the system in which they operate. Students or theorists can make models of systems.
Developers, designers, system modellers, lawmakers may use it to study social engineering, sociologists human systems, society and complex systems. Formalise initial models in UML.
Use visual modelling to highlight relationships between individual objects, concepts, nodes. It allows you to stand back and get a holistic vision of the whole, the sum of the parts.
I hope to offer examples of systems analysed. I use the notation to set down objects in proximity, intending to gain new perspectives.
This is somewhat theoretical. We will not always handle real-life systems, and we may talk about how-we-would-like-them-to-be systems, designing for improvement.
This principle may apply to any domain, business, educational, social, political. We could, for instance, describe the racism system as a study in understanding its causes. We could model the actors, the thoughts, beliefs and cures. The main aim, however, is to explain the tools and explore free-minded thinking.
Other visual organisation systems
Ayoa is another example of a system useful to organisation which provides a mindmap interface to which you can attach tasks and task boards. See our evaluation of Ayoa.
A worthwhile book to read on the subject is the idea of the memory palace, which clearly shows that internal visualisation helps with memory.
Infranodus is a lovely tool which generates a visual model of a text