One of the things that has frustrated me in the past six months is that as I look back over 60 years, I would like to be able to organize much of the information I accumulated in mind maps into something that looks like a time line. I did learn a while ago about the absolutely fantastic time line mind maps developed by Hans Buskes (@hansbuskes on Twitter; http://mastermindmaps.wordpress.com/) and Philippe Packu (@IPhilVeryGood on Twitter; http://www.drawmeanidea.com/). These guys have some incredible examples. Far beyond my artistic ability.
So I kept using regular mind maps with a first branch being a year or range of years. The example below shows my reactions to the presidencies of the individuals who served as POTUS during my lifetime. But, notice a little trick I introduced. Instead of the year branch coming directly out of the central idea, I have a “blank” or filler branch and then the time period branch comes out of that. No big deal. Just like a regular mind map with a little piece of formatting.
What I discovered is that my adding the extra (padded) branches in the mind maps like those above, it then takes just about 10 minutes (I need more practice) to go from the mind map above to the one below.
All you have to do is turn off the automatic routine for changing the positions of the branches and drag them around a little. You get the the nice straight line by pinning each of the extra padded branches along a straight line and then letting little time-cluster mind maps grow at the various temporal nodes. Takes almost no time. (Ok, so I did stop and do a little font and picture formatting but it is no big deal). All of these good things happen because the program I used (iMindMap) has a feature that permits you to pin some or all of the branches into specific places. In this case you just have to pin the one padded branch for each of the time nodes.
Want a 3D timeline? Hit the button in iMindMap and you can have one like that below. Note that you also can treat the timeline as a “regular” iMindMap in terms of changing fonts, colors, styles, and adding clip art and images. Kind of cool. I was heavily influenced by the work of Hans and Philippe: this is my attempt to simplify it.
Want a timeline presentation? Yup. There’s a button for that too.
Thanks for stumbling onto my blog because your timeline based mind map will work for much of what I’m doing. Some things track better through cultural and/or linguistic links, so I need a mixed mode mind map. A map working in parallel to your timeline styled map may work, for me.
George, fantastic work, and brilliant to see people building/evolving new maps based on what they have seen elsewhere!
Keep up the mapping, and don’t forget – Biggerplate always likes to see new innovative maps being added to the mind map library!
Love this and pinned it at http://pinterest.com/pin/147141112796998670/ Love your twits. Not too political on my blog or Pinterest board, so published this on better writing and blogging. It does make some points I agree wit.h
Hey George! I LOVE your timeline mind map. There is nothing to add if you just compare the top image with the two below. You cannot imagine how much I’m proud to see such a result in someone else’s mind map. It really means that I’m really able to influence the domain and I will continue to do so. With this kind of practical example, your are a great ambassador of creative mind maps. Hope to see more in the future.
Thanks Phil. I consider your blog to a a MAJOR contribution to information visualization and I think anyone who is mind mapping should be reading it. For inspiration, information, and techniques, I find your writings to be superb. George