MindJet MindManager for project planning and more

For project planning, documentation and work breakdown purposes I started using MindManager from MindJet back in 2009. I really like it’s overall features and the connection to Office software. When starting a project I always start with a general layout of the main topics and project highlevel goals or milestones that need to be achieved in order to complete the project and it’s documentation. The software allows me to add all project topics and elements in a structured manner and it’s easy to add or modify things within the project map.

A feature I really use a lot is the “notes feature”. This allows you to describe a topic in detail and together with the topic duration input field I can generate a full Word document that contains the topic’s estimated time of completion, it’s progess, stakeholders and a full description or report about it, it generates the Word document headings based on the map’s structure. Great stuff and pretty usefull! And it mostly looks similar to this:

MindManager basic project layout example
MindManager basic project layout example

By entering startdates, expected duration and relations between topics you are able to generate a Ghantt chart overview of the project, which can be very useful to determine project bottlenecks and other potential risks. Besides using it for project management, control and documentation you can also use it for Getting Things Done and all sorts of other purposes as you can find on the Maps for that! site.

Another great option is to implement MindManager in a business environment in order for people to share maps and collaborate within a map, by adding documents, ideas their own personal maps. Especially suited for Microsoft business environments to use in combination with the Office suite.

Markdown HTML tool for writers

If you are familiar with formatting HTML pages and articles and sometimes have the feeling a general notepad editor just doesn’t meet your formatting needs, Markdown might be for you. Markdown is a markup language with plain text formatting syntax designed so that it can be converted to HTML and many other formats using a tool by the same name, it is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML). The goal for Markdown’s formatting syntax is to be as readable as possible. A Markdown-formatted document should be publishable as-is, as plain text, without looking like it’s been marked up with tags or formatting instructions. In short, you can create beautiful HTML documents without knowing any HTML because of the simplified syntax (I know. Little contradicting statement there, but just use it and you’re on you way to be an HTML master in no time). For example the Markdown syntax allows you to do thing like:



[Link to this article](http://www.mauricebakker.nl/all/markdown/)Link to this article

Here is the full syntax reference provided and maintained by packetlife.net

Markdown Cheatsheet
Markdown Cheatsheet

For more information about the Markdown initiative see Daring Fireball

Markdown software programs

MarkdownPad for Windows

Remarkable for Linux

From our Linux department

I know that Linux is around for quite some time now. I tried it in the past, multiple times. But the issue is that you intrinsically prefer to stick to what you know and it used to look like not much you’ve wanted to touch for miles. That’s changed recently with pretty great looking alternatives to Windows (and not only XP). This is how I got one of my systems rigged up (pretty basic).

From our Linux department (Which basically also is, well.. me)
From our Linux department (Which basically also is, well.. me)

You see the Counter-Strike icon up there? Classic, now on a Linux system near you (an old XP machine that don’t like the taste of Windows 7 maybe!?).

Stay tuned for tips and tricks. More information about Linux mint

Alternative Cloud solution that you manage yourself: ownCloud

I am using cloud file storage services for quite some time now, they are pretty convenient to have your files on the go, share them and collaborate using them. I am using Dropbox since 2008 already, look:

Click to see a larger image
This is what the introduction mail looked like: “Welcome to the Cloud” | Click for a larger image

Besides Dropbox I actively used former Microsoft’s SkyDrive, now OneDrive and Google Drive as well, seeing as it’s part of your Google account, but also Box and some other ones to try and test.

Surely they are easy to use and free, but I would like a more private solution and found one, ownCloud.

owncloud is self-hosted solution that you manage. It provides the following features:

Click the link to leanr more  get ownCloud to install on your server
Click the link to learn more get ownCloud to install on your server

Why is everyone so busy?

Time poverty is a problem partly of perception and partly of distribution.

Why is everyone so busy?

THE predictions sounded like promises: in the future, working hours would be short and vacations long. “Our grandchildren”, reckoned John Maynard Keynes in 1930, would work around “three hours a day”—and probably only by choice. Economic progress and technological advances had already shrunk working hours considerably by his day, and there was no reason to believe this trend would not continue. Whizzy cars and ever more time-saving tools and appliances guaranteed more speed and less drudgery in all parts of life. Social psychologists began to fret: whatever would people do with all their free time? Continue reading…

From: The Economist |