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social, health, political imagery through the lens of George J Huba PhD © 2012-2019

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Here is a technique I would try with someone with cognitive impairment. It might also work well with a child, an elder, or anyone else in-between who needs a little help with organization and planning. A caregiver can prepare a mind map or you can prepare one for yourself.

I find the size of standard business envelopes (#10 in the USA) to be just about perfect as a daily information catcher. You can write your schedule on the front and slide the envelope in a pocket, small bag, or the inner pockets of most men’s jackets either unfolded or folded. And since this is an envelope, throughout the day as you pick up receipts, reminder cards for your next appointment with the dentist, a flyer about a concert and all the other little tidbits of life that get lost in your pocket and end up in the clothes washer you can insert them into the envelope and have a good chance of not losing some important information.

Using a mind map instead of a list on the front of the envelope can engage the user, permit color coding, and makes it easier to remember the content.

Takes a couple of minutes.

Yup boss, I have the receipt from lunch.

Notes:

  1. I printed the mind map on an actual business envelope and then scanned it. The green paper was just a background for the scan.
  2. You can use any style you like for the mind map. I chose a font designed for individuals with dyslexia just to illustrate tailoring the content and style of the map to the individual using it.
  3. This mind map was designed in iMindMap. If you wish you can add clipart or photos to the branches; typically I would not just because of the small size of the envelope. Bright colors can substitute for images to engage attention and color code sections.
  4. One can change the map simply by crossing out information that has changed and making notes on the map with a pen.

I think that this can be a very good technique for a paid or family caregiver of someone with cognitive impairment. Prepare the envelope in the morning or preceding evening and go over it with the patient when it will be used (mornings are preferable). I did not put the person’s name on the envelope since the front or inside may contain private information (names of doctors and similar information like medication reminders). I would not put medications in the envelope as they fall out too easily. It may be useful, however, to carry a small amount of paper money in the envelope. Also a standard card with the the caregiver’s first name and telephone-email may prove helpful should there be a health or other problem.

Click the image to expand it.

Scan2014  26

 

This is a review of Simple Diagrams 2 for the Mac. Incredible program, fairly priced. Mac only which is a problem since this program would be absolutely indispensable on an iPad or iPhone. I use this program a lot.

The following review was “written” in SimpleDiagrams2.

Click on the diagrams to expand.

advantages ok sketchnotes

simplediagrams2

conclusions

improvements

sketch mind map

Introduction to Sketchnotes

Introduction to Sketchnotes

advantages ok sketchnotes

In the past, I thought it was quite ironic that the “pad” apps on the iPad were kind of junky. In the most recent updates that has changed. I now find that there are three great choices. Each is inexpensive. Here’s what I think.

Click on the image to zoom.

3 Legal Pads for  the iPadiPhone

There are lots of different applications of mind mapping methods to such areas as brainstorming, task management, scheduling, journaling, and sharing basic information (great day to play basketball!). Other mind maps may tell us about scientific experiments and theories, political arguments, historical events, anatomical features of the human body, the quality of hotels in Barcelona, or expert rankings of world football (soccer) teams projected to finish near the top in the World Cup tournament. How do you know a real expert has ranked your favorite football teams correctly? How do you know that the student who created the cute mind map of the human body as a subway map actually put in the correct names parts and names? What are the professional qualifications of the “expert” who says the world is flat? Do experts believe the purported expert who drew the mind map? Is the information in the mind map you found and downloaded from the Internet really going to tell you what you need to know for your organic chemistry test in two hours?

I sure hope my doctors studied from factually correct mind maps, not just pretty ones given away by a pharmaceutical company. And (since I have a doctorate in psychology), I am really sick of seeing mind maps that say they contain psychological principles that will make you happier, thinner, less anxious, more sexy, and help you self-diagnose whether you have bipolar disorder and which drug would be best to help you and should be ordered from an Asian or Mexican pharmacy over the Internet (URL at the bottom of the map).

Mission critical information in mind maps should be carefully reviewed by experts in the content of the maps to minimize the number of cases where misinformation hurta people . If such a review has not been done, or if the author of the mind map does not provide adequate credentials to assess professional competence, I recommend you do not use such information for making personal or business decisions. While I love artistic maps that are well-designed and “clean” in their appearance and spend a lot of time trying to emulate the best, adherence (or not) to the mind mapping rules of Tony Buzan and the use of a wonderfully artistic program, in no way does or does not make the information in the maps correct. Think about that carefully the next time you download a mind map from the Internet and try to study or make a business decision; that’s a fact, Jack.

It’s also a fact that these comments also apply to infographics, concept maps, and other information visualizations.

My next post is going to have a lot to say about the importance of content and how to assess whether that pretty map you just found contains valid, reliable, and important information.

Some more of my thoughts …

Should Mind Maps  Be Reviewed FINAL

 

Keyword Board

topics and subtopics: should mind maps and templates be reviewed? probably not audience you only internal work group intended use personal planning personal/group notes brainstorming journal diary task management scheduling type of information common knowledge 12 inches 1 foot green traffic light go usa flag red, white, blue shoes sold in pairs cover feet simple facts address size weight color presented as opinion no or minimal harm if misinterpreted inappropriately applied yes audience general internet textbook presentations heterogeneous broad background expertise experience general intended use present facts present theory learning tool group textbook as summary facts findings opinions consensus judgments type of information data-supported expert judgment best ice skater best baker best decision consensus presented as fact potential harm if misinterpreted inappropriately applied expert (peer) review best © 2013 g j huba phd some definitely yes opinion expert informed most probably not

This figure shows my current core set of apps. I use these about 90% of the time when I am on the iPhone (in addition to the built-in apps). This set of apps permits you to do some pretty advanced calculations, manage tasks, write longish memos, clean up your pictures, use social media, show movies, take notes, and store web pages for later reading.

Who woulda thought in 1967 that tricorders would exist during the lifetimes of my high school friends and I; cell phones did not become available for another 20 years, and the original scientific calculator was released about 1974.

Now half of the adults around me in a college town look like Spock staring into his beloved tricorder (about 8 times the size of an iPhone). A lot of them seem to have about the same degree of social intelligence as Spock as they stare at the machines in restaurants with their friends.

Without further ado, a look at what is on my iPhone.

iphone 5 apps daily core set

Keyword Board

iphone 5 apps: daily core set photography perfectly clear media amazon instant video youtube netflix mind mapping imindmap social media tweetbot pinterest tweetings word press blog task management due clear magazine zite pocket © 2013 g j huba other scan myscript calculator calcbot wolfram alpha notes draft skitch fastfinga3 evernote ia writer day one

Those who follow this blog and my twitter account @DrHubaEvaluator know that I discuss mind maps a lot as I see these information displays as having the potential to improve learning and memory as well as to facilitate the quick and accurate transmission of information and communication among people with different types of professional training.

I have often written about the usefulness of taking notes in mind mapping programs and that the worth of mind maps is primarily a function of the validity-reliability-quality of the information-data-judgments they summarize as well as the ability of the note-taker to listen carefully and take summative notes in a few important words.

Yesterday I read the e-Book Chasing, Capturing and Spreading Ideas: Live Mind Mapping and TED by Hans Buskes, @hansbuskes on Twitter, blog http://www.mastermindmaps.wordpress.com/, available on Amazon. The book is a series of beautiful, easily understood mind maps of highly credible material (a series of talks at a local TEDx event including speakers from many disciplines). Hans did “live” mind mapping of the conference as it was happening and the book is a compendium of these maps.

Yes, you can take exceptionally useful and informative notes during a professional conference (and college lecture, boring office meeting, PTA session, political campaign speech, or the SuperBowl). Buskes discusses and shows how this can be done in a very clear way. He discusses careful listening, summarizing, and mapping techniques. You can judge the results from the use of his methods for yourself; I rapidly learned a lot from his mind maps which I believe convey important information I will remember.

Highly recommended.  The small amount of time it takes you to read this book will have a return on investment of hundreds of hours saved in the future and probably an increased understanding of what you are hearing.

My own style differs about 10% from Mr. Buskes’ in that at the end I would go back and add a few images (perhaps cartoon-like art or snaps I made with an iPhone), but those are tiny differences in style. I think this is a must-read book for college students. Just Read It. Just Learn the Techniques. Just Do It. And ride the Little Engine that Could in the summer in Colorado for inspiration.

Colorado narrow gauge railroad engine. Narrow gauge trains were used in the Rocky Mountains and throughout the US to haul ore. Many small gauge trains ran in the 1870s through the 1930s. This is the Toltec Railroad, now a tourist attraction in southern Colorado.